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Sprouting, A Healthy Diet

Dr. Urvashi Bandhu

Sprouts are healthy and taste good too. They hold immense medicinal value and should be added to every household’s regular menu. Breakfast of sprouts is the most nutritious and healthy breakfast. Combined with fruits, it forms an ideal diet.

Seeds contain all the important nutrient needed for human growth. They are excellent sources of protein and the essential unsaturated fatty acids which are necessary for health. They are also one of the best natural sources of lecithin, most of the B-complex vitamins and vitamin E, which are perhaps the most important elements for the preservation of health and prevention of premature ageing. Besides, they are rich sources of minerals and supply the necessary bulk in the diet.

Seeds contain pacifarins, an antibiotic resistance factor, which increases man’s natural resistance to disease. They also contain auxones, natural substances which help produce vitamins in the body and play an important role in the rejuvenation of cells, thereby preventing premature ageing.

Sprouted seeds are excellent live nourishment. They are valuable sources of protein, vitamins, and complex carbohydrates. Germinated seeds enormously increase their nutritional value. All seeds should ideally be eaten raw but those, which can be sprouted, should be consumed in that form to derive maximum nutrition.

Sprouts of grains, cereals, pulses are a nutritious meal. The combination of sprouts and fruits is considered to be an ideal diet.

A Few Tips on Sprouting
The time for sprouting each of these types varies from one to three days.

But following things should be taken care of before soaking the seeds.

  • Discard broken seeds
  • Wash thoroughly before soaking in water
  • Water should be twice the quantity of the grains
After soaking, drain the water, tie the grains in a muslin cloth and hang it. In winters, one may need to sprinkle luke warm water on it a few times in the day. A moist atmosphere is good and care should be taken that the grains do not die.

During the process of sprouting, care should be taken to eliminate the danger of dead seeds rooting and infecting other healthy ones. It is better to use fresh sprouts every time.

Why are Sprouts Considered more Nutritious than Soaked Grains?
When the shoots begin to grow, these known as sprouts have the maximum quantity of assimilable nutrients. The process of sprouting starts with the development of enzymes inside the seed by the process of germination. These enzymes help in breaking down the protein to amino acids, the carbohydrates to simple sugars and fats to elemental forms. Certain water soluble vitamins start forming. There is a significant rise in the content of vitamin A and E and sprouts developed in the light also show an increase in vitamin K, which is essential for clotting of blood and for the normal functioning of the liver. Bengal gram, green gram, whole lentil, groundnuts, soybean, sabut urad make delicious sprouts.

How and When to Eat?
Breakfast is the ideal time to eat sprouts and they should be taken alone.

Above all, sprouts should be consumed raw. Raw sprouts can be topped with finely chopped onions, tomatoes, green chillies to add flavour and taste. One may also add grated carrot, beet root, coriander leaves, cabbage, radish, cucumber to add taste.

Small cubes of boiled potatoes can also be added. Lemon can be squeezed into it with a little bit of salt and pepper to give it the “Chaat taste’, “A healthy Chaat”. Those who are fond of sweets can add coconut scraping, raisins and a dash of honey or jaggery to make it an ideal dessert.

Chew Thoroughly
Sprouts should be chewed thoroughly so that you can derive complete food value from it. Saliva breaks down sprouts to a more digestible form and additionally, mastication enhances the taste also. Cooked sprouts are also healthy and tasty. Such flours are available in some nature cure centres.

Sprouts are healthy and taste good too. They hold immense medicinal value and should be added to every household’s regular menu.

Spend a couple of extra seconds in the kitchen, use a bit of imagination and soon you will be sprouting health and energy in your household.

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