Sprouts have been gaining popularity among health enthusiasts in recent times. Sprouted foods are loaded with nutrients making them everyone’s first choice from a person trying to lose weight or stay healthy. Sprouts are filled with several micro-nutrients, protein, enzymes, fiber, and meager calories, giving them the name nutrition powerhouse.
The germination process of the sprouts makes them nutrient-rich. Moreover, it is straightforward to include sprouts in your diet, which also helps you curb binging. In this article, we present you with several benefits of sprouts.
Different Types of Sprouts:
There are different types of sprouts available in the market, and some of the common types are:
- Pea and bean sprouts: Green peas, garbanzo beans, mung beans, soybeans, black and kidney beans, lentils.
- Leafy and vegetable sprouts: Broccoli, fenugreek sprouts, mustard greens, radish sprouts.
- Sprouted grains: Brown rice, quinoa, amaranth sprouts, oats, buckwheat.
- Seed and nut sprouts: Sunflower seed sprouts, pumpkin seeds, almond, radish seeds.
Nutritional Facts of Sprouts:
There is an availability of so many types of sprouts. Although all of them offer almost similar nutrition, each has its own specific set of nutrients that they give us. Sprouts, in general, are excellent sources of:
- Vitamin K.
When it comes to the nutrients present in every type of sprouts, here are some details:
- Mung Beans: Protein, fiber, vitamins A and C.
- Alfalfa Sprouts: Vitamins A, B, C, E, and K.
- Lentil Sprouts: Protein.
- Brussel Sprouts: Richest sources of vitamin K, C, antioxidants, potassium.
Benefits of Raw Sprouts:
With all the information about the nutritional profile of sprouts, no wonder sprouts are considered nutrition powerhouses. Let us go through the following section that helps you understand the benefits of eating sprouts and how you can include them in your daily diet.
1. Regulates Blood Pressure:
Sprouts are considered a nutritional food and are the most economical option that gives you tons of benefits. The highest concentration of proteins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, anti-carcinogens, vitamins, and minerals is found during the seeds’ sprouting stage. In addition, sprouts have demonstrated their ability to lower blood pressure with the help of an antioxidant called glucoraphanin.
2. Helps Increase Hemoglobin:
One of the prominent reasons for the decrease in hemoglobin levels is a deficiency in folic acid. Folic acid plays an essential role in forming red blood cells and is a B-complex vitamin. Therefore, the consumption of sprouts regularly will help your body increase hemoglobin levels since they are rich sources of folic acid. So, if you are looking for a cost-effective, healthy, and natural way to boost the hemoglobin in your body, try to eat sprouts as frequently as possible.
3. Beneficial for heart health:
According to animal studies, chickpea sprouts have lower bad cholesterol levels, thereby protecting your heart. In addition, they further contribute to cardiovascular health by improving the fatty changes in the aorta with the help of phytoestrogens present in chickpea sprouts.
Broccoli sprouts are another alternative known to improve heart health with the help of an antioxidant compound called glucoraphanin (1).
Although there is a need for more research, sprouts may help prevent a condition called atherosclerosis by improving the health of blood vessels with the help of a compound called sulforaphane (2).
4. Helps for Weight Loss:
We try a significant number of things when we want to lose weight. But sprouts can be an easy, cost-effective, easy to make, and protein-rich solution for weight loss. The high amounts of fiber and fewer calories make it a relevant solution for people of all ages. In addition, consuming a bowl of sprouts will help curb your appetite by making you feel fuller for a long time, making you shed those pounds quickly.
5. Remedy for Anemia:
Being anemic is one of the common problems many of us face. Sprouts with vitamin C in abundance, such as Brussels sprouts, make your body use iron better by boosting iron absorption. The improvement in the absorption of iron helps treat your anemia (3). This is the reason why the consumption of sprouts is recommended for those who are anemic.
6. Improves Your Digestive Health:
According to many studies, the germination process increases the protein and fiber content, making them an excellent option for healthy digestion (4). In addition, broccoli sprouts help protect the human colon mucosa from the detrimental effects of oxidative stress with their antioxidant properties (5). Broccoli sprouts also induce a variety of antioxidant enzymes which protect the gastrointestinal tract with the help of a compound sulforaphane.
7. Beneficial for Eyes:
Sprouts help improve eyesight and sperm health since they are rich sources of vitamin A. This vitamin also helps in your body maintenance and brain development. In addition, the consumption of sprouts is shown to prevent the formation of cataracts and muscular regeneration.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are the two powerful antioxidants helping boost vision health, and they are present in Brussels sprouts in high amounts (6). These antioxidants also help reduce the age-related macular degeneration risk.
8. May Boost Immune System:
Brussels sprouts, broccoli belong to the cruciferous veggies category that promotes better immune system functioning since they are rich in antioxidants. These sprouts encourage membrane cell signaling and maintain the functioning of cells properly because these sprouts contain choline (7). In addition, Brussels sprouts also help in disease prevention and cure since it has high amounts of vitamin C (8).
See Also: Eating Sprouts During Pregnancy
9. Muscle Gain:
Sprouts might look tiny, but the impressive amounts of fiber, folate, vitamin C, and potassium would make them your best friend, especially if you are looking to gain muscle mass. In addition, consuming sprouts and brassica vegetables help you pump up the muscle mass since they are rich in glucosinolates.
10. Reduce Acidity:
Sprouts can be an excellent option to reduce the acidity in your body since they are highly alkaline and, therefore, good for your digestive system’s functioning. In addition, they help lessen stomach acid because they are naturally low in fat and sugar. Some of the seeds you can include for sprouting that reduces acidity are beans, lentils, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, almonds, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds.
11. Hair Growth:
Sprouts have reasonable amounts of vitamin C that promote hair growth and prevent many hair disorders like alopecia effectively. Silica is another mineral abundantly available in sprouts apart from vitamins and minerals. There are sure sprouts like alfalfa that have slow down hair loss and put a stop to baldness because of the silica content. In addition, it helps contribute to your hair regrowth, making it stronger and longer.
12. May Prevent Premature Ageing:
Sprouts have high amounts of beta-carotene converted into retinol helps with the production of collagen that has anti-aging properties. This is the reason we find retinol as an integral part of anti-aging skin products. Therefore by including sprouts like brussels sprouts, you can remain wrinkle-free for longer.
13. Keeps Dandruff at Bay:
An unhealthy scalp can be the breeding area for fungal growth that can result in dandruff, itchy and scaly scalp. This can result in hair loss because it removes healthy hair follicles. The antifungal properties of selenium present in sprouts avert itchy scalp and keep dandruff at bay.
14. Keeps Scalp and Hair Hydrated:
The minerals present in sprouts help maintain the natural moisture balance of the scalp and helps cure a whole lot of hair issues. It helps carry the oxygen from your bloodstream to the hair roots and scalp precisely because of the iron present in the sprouts. There are also high zinc levels in sprouts necessary to produce sebum and cell replenishment, keeping your hair and scalp hydrated.
15. Enhances the Skin Texture:
The health of our digestive system reflects on our skin. Therefore to make your skin more beautiful and radiant, you need to start eating healthy foods. The consumption of sprouts has fewer calories and is a rich source of nutrients that nourishes your body healthily, making the effect visible on your surface.
16. Reduces Inflammation:
Mung bean sprouts and Brussels sprouts have anti-inflammatory compounds that reduce the risk of chronic diseases. In addition, consuming sprouts regularly will help reduce the cholesterol levels in your body with the vital antioxidants called isoflavones. They also help reduce muscle cramps and lower blood pressure because of the significant amounts of bioavailable potassium.
How to Eat Sprouts:
Preparing a dish with sprouts is cost-effective and relatively simple. Although the preparation takes not more than two minutes, you will have to presoak the seeds a day before.
- Please choose your favorite grains or legumes and place a cup of them in a bowl.
- Pour water in the bowl until seeds are thoroughly soaked in.
- Cover the bowl and leave them soaked overnight.
- The next day morning, drain the water and cover the bowl with a thin cotton cloth.
- Rinse and drain the water from the legumes or grains again in the evening.
- Repeat the same process for another day.
- You will find whitetails coming out of the seeds or legumes. This means your sprouts are ready.
- You can use these sprouts in your salads, a curry, soups, omelet, etc.
Side Effects of Sprouts:
We have gone through all the benefits of consuming sprouts in the above section. But what about the side effects?
- The possibility of food poisoning is the only known side effect of sprouts. Therefore before you eat them, make sure you cook your sprouts properly.
- There is a chance of people experiencing acidity after consuming raw sprouts. If that is the case, boil them and add them to your food.
Sprouts are nutritious, powerful yet simple foods that offer benefits that require a little patience. Although the benefits are pretty high, keep an eye on the bacterial growth that can cause food poisoning. While taking the proper measures, you can reap all the benefits without dealing with the ill effects. Don’t forget to let us know if the article was helpful!
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is based on research and not a replacement for professional advice. It is advisable to consult a dietician before you start making changes in your diet.
1. Is it safe to consume raw sprouts?
Ans: Sprouts can carry a risk of foodborne illnesses, which are likely to be found in any raw or lightly cooked foods. This is because the moist, warm growth conditions of sprouts can be a place for the growth of bacteria.
2. How can you include sprouts into your diet?
Ans: Adding sprouts to your diet is very simple and quick. First, you can sprinkle some of them in your omelet for your breakfast. Then, you can prepare a nutritious smoothie by blending some sprouts.
3. Are boiling sprouts necessary, and when can you eat them?
Ans: Boiling sprouts prevents the possibility of food poisoning by killing harmful bacteria. You can consume sprouts any time of the day, either for breakfast or as snacks.