The Magical Sprouts
Have you ever eaten sprouts, or at least tasted them? No? Well, you should know that sprouts have become one of the most popular foods for many people around the world. It became popular in the 1970s as a healthy option for those striving to improve their food choices without putting on weight.The nutritional and health benefits of sprouts have become more known to chefs, athletes, food manufacturers and all other people who are finding different ways to incorporate sprouts into their regular diet.
Sprouts have become a popular food choice for many diet-conscious people around the globe asthey contain lesser calories as compared to other snacks, and are an excellent source of vitamin K, C, fiber, and other essential minerals.
What exactly are sprouts?
Technically,we can say that sprouts are seeds which begin to sprout. It can be said that sprouts begin as seeds, and when exposed to the right temperature and moisture, they germinate into very young plants. The most common varieties of sprouts that you can see are the grain, bean or leafy sprouts.
The most common sprouts that people regularly use in cooking are alfalfa, soy, and various other types of bean sprouts. The reason that so many people turn to sprouts as a source of food is that they contain significantly more vitamins and nutrients than in an un-sprouted form. Usually, a week after sprouting, the sprouts will have the highest concentration and bioavailability of nutrients.
But, quite a number of people are sceptical about sprouts, as they have no idea about the positive and negative effects of sprouts.
Why are sprouts healthy?
Sprouts are said to be one of the healthiest options for us as they are very nutritious and contain all the elements needed for a healthy growth. The simple process of sprouting brings out the many enzymes in germinated seeds, legumes, and grains, and makes them easier to digest. It also increases the amounts and bioavailability of protein, vitamins and minerals, and transforms them into nutrition powerhouses.
Studies have shown us that sprouts have essential therapeutic benefits and have the ability to protect us from diseases. The health benefits of sprouts make up quite an impressive list, which include the ability to improve the digestive process, boost the metabolism, increase enzymatic activity throughout the body, prevent anemia, help with weight loss, lower cholesterol, reduce blood pressure, protect against cancer, boost skin health, improve vision, support the immune system, and increase usable energy reserves. Isn’t that really an impressive list?
The important thing to remember is that much of the nutritive value of sprouts is lost when they are heated or cooked. If you want to avail their benefit, they should always be added to a meal in their raw form to guarantee that they have the most impact.
What is the nutritional value of Sprouts?
All the nutritional and medicinal benefits of sprouts are derived from the abundantvitamins, minerals, and organic compounds that they contain. Sprouts contain a significant amount of protein and dietary fiber, as well as vitamin K, foliates pantothenic acid, niacin, thiamin, vitamin C, vitamin A, and riboflavin. Speaking of minerals, sprouts contain manganese, copper, zinc, magnesium, iron, and calcium. Sprouts are a rich source of essential enzymes that are necessary for our health. The nutrients contained in sprouts increase drastically as the sprouts continue to develop.
What health benefits do Sprouts give you?
Sprouts offer a wide range of health benefits, some of which are given below:
Sprouts contain an unusually high number of enzymes, which help boost the various metabolic processes and chemical reactions within the body, specifically the digestive process. Enzymes are an important part of the digestive process, as they help to break down food effectively and increase the absorption of nutrients by the digestive tract. Sprouts prevents constipation, diarrhea, and even prevents colorectal cancer.
Improves Heart health:
Sprouts are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory in nature, and so they reduce the stress on your cardiovascular system. The potassium in sprouts also helps to reduce blood pressure, and release the tension in arteries and blood vessels. This increases circulation and oxygenation, while reducing clotting and lowering the risk of atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes.
Sprouts contain a wealth of enzymes that usually are not available in food. Sprouts also contain abundance of protein, which allows our body to perform all of its bodily and chemical functions. Protein is necessary for almost all bodily processes, particularly the creation and maintenance of cells, organ repair, skin regeneration, bone growth, muscle development, and a number of other very important aspects of health. It is an ideal source of proteins for vegetarians.
Regulates Blood Sugar levels:
Sprouts increase the activity of hydrolytic enzymes and also regulate our blood sugar level to provide the required nutrients throughout the body.
Improves Blood Circulation:
Sprouts are an excellent source of iron and copper, andpresence of iron in your body ensures that you have a good red blood cell count.
Benefits of sprouts for weight loss:
Sprouts are one of those foods that are very high in nutrients but very low in calories. This means that you can eat sprouts without worrying about putting on weight. Sprouts contain Ghrelin, which is the hunger hormone, which can reduce overeating, and snacking - the two main factors for obesity.
Benefits of sprouts for skin:
Eating healthy is the best way to ensure a better looking skin. Sprouts contain nutrition which maintain the health of the skin and enhance its glow.
Boosts the Immune System:
Sprouts are a power booster for the immune system - its vitamin C content makes it a powerful stimulant for the white blood cells in the body to fight off infection and disease. The vitamin A content in sprouts has a number of antioxidant properties that boosts the immune system.
Benefits of sprouts for hair growth:
Sprouts contain a decent amount of vitamin C, which is known to promote healthy hair growth and prevents the hair from appearing dull and lifeless. It destroys the free radicals in the body which makes the hair weak, brittle, and thin. It also prevents a variety of hair disorders like alopecia andhirsutism. It contains omega 3 fatty acids which are vital for the nourishment of hair follicles, and helps combat dry and brittle hair, flaky scale, and helps reverses hair loss.
The antioxidant activity of the organic compounds found in sprouts makes it a very good anti-cancer choice for your diet. Sprouts can counteract all effects, and thereby helps to reduce the chances of developing cancer.
What care should you take when eating sprouts?
While eating sprouts is a healthy option, do take the following precautions:
- Clean the sprouts thoroughly - if they are not cleaned properly, then the bacteria present in them will keep multiplying and make you sick.
- People prone to allergies are advised not to eat sprouts. It might reduce your immunity and make you susceptible to a number of infections.
- Sprouts may cause indigestion in a few persons.
- People with weak immunity are advised not to eat sprouts as it may lead to E. coli and Salmonella infections.
- Sprouts like alfalfa contain a toxin called L-Cavanine which reduces the blood-cell count and also might lead to spleen enlargement.