There’s many good reasons why I love sprouts. You can grow them at any time of year and add them to a wide variety of meals. There’s also dozens of different kinds of sprouts to choose from. Sprouts are also incredibly nutrient dense, are low in calories, low on the glycemic index, are high in fiber and loaded with vitamins and minerals and like most real, fresh food, offers a host of health benefits. Here are my top 5 health benefits of sprouts. Here’s to sprouting good health!
Top 5 Health Benefits of Sprouts
1. Sprouts Are Easy to Digest
During the sprouting process there is a tremendous increase in metabolic activity:
- Plant hormones are activated
- Phytates are split off (phytates inhibit the absorption of vital minerals, so it’s a good thing they split off)
- Starches are broken down into simple sugars
- Proteins are predigested into easily assimilated free amino acids
- fats are broken down into soluble fatty acids
- Minerals chelate or merge with protein in a way that increases their function
All this metabolic activity during the sprouting process increases the nutrient value, and enhances digestion and easy assimilation because our body doesn’t have to do all the work to break all the elements down into their more ‘usable’ form – this is already done for us. In this sense, due to these dynamic influences, sprouts can be considered predigested food.
2. Sprouts Are Mega-Nutrient Dense
Sprouts are extremely nutritious because they contain all the elements a plant needs for life and growth. The nutritional value of sprouts is beyond remarkable as they contain a high concentration of vitamins, minerals, proteins, enzymes, phytochemicals, anti-oxidants, nitrosmines, trace minerals, bioflavinoids and chemo-protectants (such as sulphoraphane and isoflavone). This concentration is highest in the sprouting phase, even higher than when the plant is fully mature. This is the true magic and healing potential that is inherent in living food as all these components work against toxins, resist cell mutation and strengthen the body’s immune system. Sprouts are high in vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K, calcium, carbohydrates, chlorophyll, iron, magnesium, niacin, pantothenic acid, phosphorus, potassium, zinc.
Vitamin and Mineral content increase with sprouting. Specifically:
- Vitamin B6 increases about 500%
- Vitamin B5 increases about 200%
- Vitamin B2 increases about 1300%
- Biotin by about 50%
- Folic Acid by about 600%
- Zinc content doubles
3. Sprouts are a Complete Protein
According to Sprout People sprouts contain all the essential amino acids and simply by sprouting a seed, protein content increases up to 35%. (Want to know more about protein, check out my article series where I answer most commonly asked questions about protein) This makes intuitive sense as sprouts are gearing up to grow into big and strong plants, that they would need a wide range of amino acids to help them grow.
4. Sprouts are High in Enzymes
Many experts attribute the incredible longevity benefits of raw foods to their high enzyme content, although there is some controversy around this (surprise, surprise!) Germinating and sprouting are known to increase the enzyme content by 6 to 20 times. This abundant enzyme content in sprouts is partially what makes them easily digestible. In this way, the living foods already come ‘prepackaged’ in a sense, ready to do a lot of the work needed for digestion and assimilation.
5. Sprouts are Alkalizing
Given that the Standard American Diet is a highly acid forming diet (so is stress and pollution!), almost everyone can benefit from eating more alkaline foods, especially fruits and vegetables, leafy greens and….sprouts! We need a higher ratio of alkaline foods in our diets to maintain optimal health and green foods are a great place to start because of their high chlorophyll content (chlorophyl = alkalizing). Sprouts are a concentrated source of chlorophyll making them naturally alkaline-forming foods and will help maintain the pH balance in the blood.
If you’re new to sprouting, check out the sprouting instructions that sprout people have on their website. Its super helpful!
When it comes to eating, I don’t eat food because it’s alkalizing or because I think its high in enzymes. I actually try not to approach eating from a “food-as-nutrient” perspective and approach food with the perspective that it’s incredible life force energy that tastes delicious, is appetizing and nourishes my whole being.
Have a wonderfully healthy day and sprout into action!
Aloha from the Big Island of Hawaii,