By waiting just three to seven days to watch the wonders of nature break open seeds, beans, nuts, and grains into their fuller potential, we can enjoy some astounding nutritional benefits. Without much effort, just a little water, and a warm environment, seeds start to germinate. A towering oak tree was once just an acorn and one of the smallest seeds in the world, only 1/300th of an inch long, becomes a gorgeous tropical orchid. The same innate power of nature to turn nearly nothing into something is what powers the crazy nutrition in sprouting foods.
Much like microgreens, sprouts contain a considerable amount of nutrition compared to the fully grown counterparts. Consider these nutritional facts about some common sprouting beans, nuts and seeds:
- Sprouting peas can yield an 800% increase in Vitamin C as opposed to just eating peas alone.
- Just three-day germinated broccoli sprouts can contain as much as 50 times the amounts of phytonutrients as eating a mature broccoli spear.
- Nutritional depletion can be lessened and toxins found in nuts and seeds can be minimized by soaking them (allowing them to sprout). Specifically phytates (in the outer shell of nuts and seeds) can inhibit the absorption of calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc and iron, but soaking them removes this toxin.
- Sprouting and then eating alfalfa grains means you will be consuming more chlorophyll than if you ate mature spinach, kale, cabbage or parsley.
- Sprouts contain large amounts of absorbable protein, and contain increased calcium, potassium, sodium, iron, as well as vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, and C.
Finding organic sprouts and microgreens isn’t difficult if you live near a health food store. Growing them in numbers enough to serve yourself and family may be a bit more work, but would certainly be worth the effort.
Sprouting is simple and economic considering how much nutritional value you get for your dollar. You can keep dry seeds to sprout in a jar, and then eat them instead of chips or a salad, or even add them to cooked dishes to increase their nutritional oomph. Many vegans and raw foodists sprout, so start supplementing your regular diet and enjoy the health benefits that accompany more vital nutrition for your body.
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Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.