Thursday, August 23, 2012

Why Should You Eat Sprouted Foods?

If you find you have an intolerance to nuts, seeds, legumes, or even some grains, it might be worthwhile to consider soaking or sprouting them. Why? We soak/sprout our nuts in order to make their nutrients more bio-available to our bodies. In this quick article, we break down how soaking initiates the germination process, what the means for your digestion, and how it affects nutrient levels.


Sprouting Aids Digestibility 

Enzyme inhibitors, present in nuts, seeds, legumes, and grains, prevent the activation of enzymes within the seed that initiate the germination process. Enzyme inhibitors exist to prevent the seed from germinating while in storage. These enzyme inhibitors may hinder optimal digestion and absorption of nutrients. By way of hydrolysis, soaking these food items begins the germination process. This process also neutralizes a component of plant finer called physic acid, by means of activating phytase, which initiates the release of  phosphorus, calcium, iron, and other minerals in seeds. As a result of this process, soaking aids the digestibility of the stomach.

Sprouting Increases Nutrient Levels 

Studies have repeatedly shown that sprouted nuts, seeds, legumes, and grains have higher nutrient values over non-sprouted versions of the same items. Think about it, at the time of germination, the sprout is in need of the highest level of nutrients to grow. This means the nutrients within the seed will be at the highest point of availability. To prove this, specifically, studies have seen higher absorption rates of essential amino acids (proteins) and B-group vitamins of sprouted items. Also, A-group vitamins and C-group vitamins have shown similar improvements. The magnitude of nutritional improvement is dependent and influenced by type of nut/seed/legume/grain, its seed quality, and the conditions of sprouting. Choose organic, raw products and use alkaline water for optimal nutritional improvement.

Learn How to Sprout/Soak in Your Own Kitchen

For a comprehensive list of how to sprout various food items, check out these great instructions by Thomas Billing.

Nuts: To soak nuts, follow these great directions by Kim Harris at the Nourishing Gourmet.

Grains: To soak grains, follow these directions by Jenny at the Nourishing Kitchen.

         

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