The benefits of consuming sprouts are many. They offer general, overall health benefits such as improving digestion in the body, boosting metabolism, improving the immune system, and supporting weight loss. However, they also have more targeted benefits such as preventing cancer, preventing neural tube defects in babies, preventing anemia, keeping the heart healthy, and improving eye health, among others. Sprouts are so easy to prepare and consume that it would almost be a crime to not include them in your daily diet.
Sprouts aren’t actually a seed or grain. Sprouts is the general term giving to the products of the process of germination. When vegetable and plant beans are soaked in water overnight, they grow a shoot, and this is the visible marker of any sprout. However, the chemical properties of sprouts are an intensification of nutrients. Many seeds are better consumed as sprouts than raw because of this property. Sprouts can be made from practically any seed, including but not limited to, broccoli, mung bean, soy, and alfalfa.
One of the best things about sprouts is that the longer you allow the germination process to take place, the higher the amounts of nutrients in the serving. For instance, a seed or bean that contains only 5.6% of crude fiber on day one, can contain up to 14.1% of crude fiber on day 7. Additionally, sprouts are an all-rounder in terms of the kind of nutrients that they contain. While it is hard to pin numbers to the content, because of its variation based on the type of seed or bean used, sprouts are generally high on protein and dietary fiber. Further, they are also rich in vitamins A, C, K, folate, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, and pantothenic acid. They are also abundant in minerals such as iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and calcium.
The proteins present in sprouts also enable the human body to perform all the chemical functions essential for its functioning. These chemical functions include crucial things like cell repair and regeneration, organ repair, skin regeneration, muscle development, bone repair and growth, amongst others. Sprouts are so easy to prepare that they automatically become an easy way to heal and maintain the body. Additionally, experts recommend sprouts as a dietary necessity for vegetarians, as a supplement for animal protein, minus all the fatty content of the meat.
One of the biggest benefits of sprouts is that they contain a high number of enzymes, more than usual. Enzymes are an integral part of the chemical and enzymatic or metabolic reactions that take place in the body, including the digestive process. There are many enzymes that the body cannot produce on its own, which is when it needs an external source to provide them. Enzymes present in sprouts help the body break the food down along with enabling the nutrients to be absorbed in a better manner by the digestive tract. Furthermore, the fiber present in the sprouts boosts the digestive process as well. It plays a key role in bulking in up the waste matter, which makes it easier for it to pass through the digestive tract. Fiber also stimulates the production of gastric juices which support the enzymes in breaking food down efficiently. Those who suffer from constipation as well as diarrhea should consider making sprouts a regular feature in their diet. Sprouts can also prevent the development of colorectal cancer.
Sprouts are an absolute wonder food. They are abundant in nutrients while also being low on calories and fats. Consuming them supports weight loss in multiple ways. For one, it improves nutrient absorption and metabolism, which is what the body is ideally meant to do in weight loss without compromising on the intake of nutrients. Additionally, the high fiber content of the sprouts makes the body feel full for a longer period of time. The fiber content also inhibits the release of ghrelin in the body. This, in turn, limits the urge to overeat in a meal and limit hunger pangs between meals. As we know, snacking and overeating are two of the biggest contributors to weight gain.
There are multiple nutrients in sprouts that make it beneficial for overall immunity. Its vitamin C content ensures a regular production of healthy white blood cells. White blood cells are absolutely necessary in fighting off infections and diseases. Patients of HIV and AIDS are recommended a moderate serving of sprouts as they need all the help they can get in boosting their immune system. HIV and AIDS patients are far more susceptible to infections and diseases, and a regular intake of vitamin C is essential to keep the production of white blood cells going. Further, as a sprout matures, its vitamin A content increases to up to ten times its original value. Vitamin A possesses antioxidant properties which boosts the strength of the immune system.
Certain varieties of sprouts, such as those of broccoli, have been known to reducing allergic reactions. For instance, asthma, which is caused by an inflammation of the respiratory system, can be reduced. Research is still being done into this aspect of sprouts. The exact cause and effect of this benefit has not been understood completely yet.
Foods that contain fats usually contain one of two, or both, types of fatty content. The first is unsaturated fats, which are good and essential for the body, and the other is saturated fat which is actually bad for the body. Sprouts, fortunately, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are the good kind. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties which play a big role in reducing the stress on your cardiovascular system. Additionally, the potassium in sprouts acts as a vasodilator. It reduces the tension in the blood vessels and arteries, and therefore reduces blood pressure. It boosts the oxygen levels in the blood and improves the circulation of blood in the body. Better circulation can prevent problems such as clotting of the blood, and the risk of stroke, heart attack, and atherosclerosis.
Anemia is the technical term for iron deficiency in the body. A deficiency in iron consumption can impact the red blood cell count in the body, which in turn has a number of detrimental effects on the body. Anemia can cause fatigue, nausea, light-headedness, a lack of concentration, as well as stomach disorders. Therefore, it is essential to maintain a healthy count of red blood cells in the body. Sprouts are an easy way to do this and consume the vast number of other essential nutrients present in it. An abundance of red blood cells means improved circulation and oxygenation of the organs, which means that all organs in the body can perform at their optimum level.
A deficiency of folates, which is a member of the vitamin B complex family, can cause neural tube defects. These take the form of birth defects related to the development of the brain and spine such as anencephaly and spina bifida. Sprouts therefore, are one of the essential components of a pregnancy diet.
An additional and crucial benefit of antioxidants in the body is that it prevents the buildup of free radicals in the body. Free radicals are a byproduct of cellular metabolism that is dangerous. They can cause healthy cells to mutate into cancerous cells. The combined strength of vitamin A, vitamin C, proteins, amino acids can combat the buildup of free radicals.Besides causing cancer, free radical buildup can also cause cognitive decline, heart diseases, and premature development of the signs of aging. Therefore, consuming sprouts combats these symptoms as well.
One of the most well-known benefits of consuming vitamin A rich foods is that it improves vision. Its antioxidant properties protect the cells in the eyes from free radical buildup. In this way, it can prevent the onset of conditions like cataracts, macular degeneration, and glaucoma. In fact, some studies show that eating sprouts can also improve vision.
Cold sores are an uncomfortable condition whose symptoms are not just painful, but are also unsightly. If left untreated, cold sores can pose a serious threat. They can become infected quite easily. However, consuming sprouts can prevent the onset of this infection quite effectively. Sprouts contain an enzyme called lysine that inhibits the growth of cold sores. In fact, you can also consume them if you are already afflicted by cold sores, as they can also treat this condition. A moderate serving of sprouts contains an abundance of this enzyme.
Sprouts are extremely easy to prepare and are at their most vital one or two weeks after they have first sprouted. Once germinated, the beans can be consumed as they are with salt to taste. However, many people prefer consuming them as a salad of sprout. In and of their own, they’re quite flavorless and therefore require the help of other vegetables and seasoning agents to give them flavor.
While sprouts are best consumed raw, they are also highly susceptible to contracting and transmitting foodborne diseases such as E. Coli. If the seeds or beans are being germinated at home, great care should be taken to ensure that the climatic conditions are optimum, so that they don’t become carriers of bacteria. As a precaution, it is best to purchase them from a reliable grocer and wash them thoroughly before serving.
Sprouts have been a recommended national and medicinal food for about 5,000 years now. The earliest record of their use is in Chinese history. More recently though, they were used as a treatment for scurvy by sailors in the 1700s.