Sprouts Can Add a Healthy Crunch to Your Lunch

Bean Sprouts on Fresh Sandwich

Sprouting seeds for consumption in salads, smoothies, and stir-fries couldn't be easier, and it is a great way to keep yet one more fresh food on hand.  With a stackable- or multiple jar-style sprouters it is possible to keep fresh sprouts for almost any purpose on hand, without refrigeration, right on the countertop.  It doesn't require a lot of labor, but a moment of attention each day.

Sprouts have a wide variety of uses, but the nutritional theory behind the use of sprouts is based on pure biology.  Sprouts are made from seeds, most often in the form of beans or grains, which are essentially germinated.  Plants in this part of their life-cycle have all the nutritional components that they need to form the leaves and roots of a new plant.  Each seed is packed with everything the plant needs to grow itself.  This is a vitamin, enzyme, and mineral peak for the plant, and eating the sprouts about a week after the first growth appears is just about the height of nutrition for the human body to absorb.  In addition, this process boosts the fiber content, transforming the starches of the plant.

While eating cooked sprouts is better than not eating them at all, for the maximum nutritional value, sprouts should be eaten raw.  Instead of adding them to stir fries in the beginning, they can be added as a topping at the end for better nutrition.  117 degrees Fahrenheit is the magical temperature at which the enzymes begin to degrade and deactivate.  To avoid this, they can be added raw to salads, smoothies, cold soups and sandwiches, with all of their enzymes intact. 

An additional benefit to eating sprouted beans is that the chemicals in beans that make them the musical fruit are broken down in the germination process.  Bean sprouts are far more flatulence-neutral than beans themselves, giving more nutrition with less gastrointestinal distress and social consequence.



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