What is sprouts?

Sprouts are miracle food, a great source of nutrients having high food potency. Sprouts are germinated seeds of grains or legumes. In the process of germination, it acquires properties of growing and preserving the life which will help in rejuvenation and health promotions. In Naturopathy, sprouts are considered as living food. Sprouts are alkaline in nature and very beneficial in promoting health, detoxification and building immunity.

Why sprouts?

In today’s scenario, people are more and more dependent on ready made acidic and junk foods which are the cause of many hitherto unknown disease conditions- right from obesity to life threatening cancer. It is believed that our food should be 20% acidic and 80% alkaline. Introduction of sprouts as part of daily food will help to balance the ratio.

It only stands to reason that from the seed to the full-grown plant, there are different nutrients, and some are in concentrated form. The vitamin E content which boosts your immune system and protects cells from free radical damage, for example, can be as high as 7.5 mg in a cup of broccoli sprouts compared to 1.5 mg in the same amount of raw or cooked broccoli.

Can everyone take sprouts?

Everyone can take sprouts. Initially it should be taken in small quantity and must be chewed well to digest. It can be added with cucumber, tomato, green chillies, coriander leaves and lemon to make it tastier and nutritious.

What are seeds that can be sprouted?

Seeds of sun flower, moth bean, green gram (moong), fenugreek (methi), alfa alfa, gram, soya bean, almond, amaranth, wheat, groundnut, etc.

How to prepare sprouts?

Select fresh, new, clean healthy untreated seeds. Wash the seeds thoroughly several times with clean water. Then soak the seeds for 8-10 hrs (overnight), strain and put them in a clean cloth, secure with tight knot. It can be hanged at some safe place; within 24 hrs it will start germinating and can be used for consumption.

Benefits of sprouts:

Sprouts are natural, fresh and completely living food.

They are excellent source of vitamins and minerals as the amount of vitamin C , iron, niacin and phosphorus increases after sprouting.

The starch present in these seeds will be converted into glucose, fructose and  maltose — they improve the taste as well as the digestibility.

They are easy to prepare, cost effective and less adulterated.

You get from sprout 43 percent of the daily recommended value in vitamin K (for bone strength and formation and increased protection from neuronal damage in the brain, which is helpful in treating Alzheimer’s disease). You also get 23 percent of the desired value in vitamin C (a proven infection fighter) and 16 percent of the folate (required for DNA, the genetic material found in all cells of the body, and amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, without which our chances of developing anaemia, heart disease, stroke, and cancer would increase).

Besides vitamins C, A, and K, sprouts contain fiber, manganese, riboflavin, copper, protein, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. One can easily get the required amount of these essential vitarnins and minerals from sprouts which will generate benefits for nearly every area of the body.

When you eat sprouted foods, you increase highly concentrated proteolytic enzymes that make carbohydrates and proteins digestible.

Sprouts as young as three days old contain 10 to 100 times the glucoraphanin, the main enzyme inducer, of the mature vegetable, which helps protect against chemical cancer-causing agents.

Studies on Sprouts:

Sulforaphane, a natural compound derived from broccoli sprouts, was examined in a clinical study for its ability to inhibit breast cancer stem cells (CSCs) and the potential mechanism. Scientists found it to their surprise that it not only decreases the breast cancer cell population, but also reduces the size and number of primary mammospheres (cell clusters) by 65 to 80 percent.

The conclusion of the study: Sulforaphane inhibits breast CSCs and down-regulates the self-renewal pathway, which supports the use of sulforaphane for the chemoprevention of breast cancer stem cells.

Another study was conducted to evaluate the biological, alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH, an enzyme that inhibits toxic alcohol molecules compromising our nervous systems 2), and antiproliferative activities of different extracts of mung bean seeds and sprouts. All extracts from the sprouts showed higher contents of total phenolics, total flavonoids, and the diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activity than from seeds. The sprout extracts were more effective against human pulmonary carcinoma and human gastric carcinoma cells than the seeds.

The conclusion was that “sprout extracts could be a source of antioxidants with health benefits”

So eat sprouts or sprout some — they’re a mega-healthy food we can all live with.