Eating sprouts is another great way to give your diet a nutritional edge. You can sprout any edible seeds, legumes, or grains, and even nuts. There are a wide variety of sprouts to choose from such as alfalfa, mung beans, broccoli sprouts, bean sprouts, sunflower and lentil sprouts. Sprouts are considered by many a “wonder food” as they are rich in nutrients like vitamins A, C and B, and antioxidants, and are an excellent source of living enzymes. When a seed sprouts or “germinates” its nutritional value significantly increases, for example, vitamin C content can increase up to 200 times after sprouting.
Sprouts are one of the best sources of living enzymes. Raw fruits and vegies are also a great source of living enzymes. Eating fresh raw foods containing living enzymes can help assist digestion and promote general health. Unfortunately, most of the food people eat these days is enzyme-deficient. Processing and cooking of foods destroys many of these living enzymes. Therefore, a diet rich in processed foods places a greater demand on the body’s energy and digestive enzyme supply.
Most dry seeds, legumes and grains contain enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid that make them hard to digest. When they are soaked however the sprouting process begins and these inhibiting elements are neutralized, making them more easily digested, and their nutrients more readily absorbed and utilized by the body. Sprouts are also an alkalizing food. We should be including plenty of alkaline- forming foods in the diet to promote good health and prevention of disease.
Excess cooking will destroy valuable enzyme content and vitamin C and B, so raw or lightly cooked is the healthiest way to eat sprouts. I like adding sprouts to sandwiches, salads, stir-fries or soups. Try combining sprouted grains into your breakfast cereal (half sprouted half cooked grain).
When you buy sprouts only buy fresh looking sprouts. Sprouts are fresh when they are crisp and their roots are moist and white. Avoid musty-smelling, dark or slimy-looking sprouts. Keep sprouts refrigerated and use them in a timely manner. Wash the sprouts thoroughly with water to remove any dirt.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lisa Guy – Art of Healing
Lisa Guy is a highly qualified Sydney based naturopath and author, with 10 years of clinical experience. Lisa runs a busy naturopathic clinic in Double Bay called ‘Art of Healing’. Lisa is passionate about helping people achieve optimal health and wellbeing, through good wholesome foods, nutritional supplementation, healing herbs and homeopathic remedies. Being a mum of two, Lisa has a particular interest in supporting women through pregnancy and beyond, and for children’s health and nutrition. Lisa is also the author of ‘My Goodness: all you need to know about children’s health and nutrition’, ‘Heal Yourself’, and ‘Pregnancy Essentials’. Lisa is an avid health writer, being the resident nutritionist for Body and Soul magazine, and regularly writing for a number of health and natural parenting magazines and websites. http://www.artofhealing.com.au
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