Sprouts: Power Foods for Health at Every Stage of Life
Good health of people at large has always been a favorite subject and passion. And it has been our endeavor to humbly contribute albeit in a small way to facilitate holistic healing and natural living with the help of yoga, rhythmic breathing, meditation, holistic food habits and use of herbs for physical health. In addition, my efforts are on for promotion of Good Mastermind as a way of inculcating purity of thoughts in the mind of people of this world. It is a part of establishing positive mental health.
For fulfillment of my objectives of natural good health for all, use and consumption of sprouts has been promoted by me for quite some time. During this period, we realized that mostly people are ignorant about usefulness and health benefits of sprouts and several persons are anxious to know more about sprouts. For benefit of my readers, here are some questions, which are frequently asked by people to know about sprouts and my attempt to give reasonable answers to these questions.
Please read them and commence use of sprouts for good health. In case you have any more questions or doubt, feel free to contact me.
1. What are sprouts?
Ans. During germination stage, seeds, grains and legumes start growing to plants. At this stage, these are termed as sprouts. Sprouts are eaten for various benefits.
2. Why sprouts are called Power foods or Super foods?
Ans. Sprouts are power house of nutrition. These are one of the richest sources of minerals, vitamins, enzymes, essential fatty acids, amino acids phytochemicals and natural antioxidants. These make sprouts highly nutritious and life generating bio foods. Therefore sprouts are popularly known as power foods or super foods.
3. What are the main healthy constituents present in sprouts?
Ans. Sprouts have greater concentration of Vitamins- A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C and E; Minerals like Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and trace minerals such as Chromium, Cobalt, Copper, Iodine, Manganese, Selenium, Silicon, Zinc and many more. All types of Enzymes, such as Protolytic, Amylolytic and Lipolytic enzymes which include Pepsin, Tripsin, Erepsin, SOD and ATP etc. and Phytochemicals like Glucosinolates, Isothiocynates and Glucoraphanins are also present in higher concentrations. Sulphoraphan, abundantly available in Broccoli sprouts is an important phytochemical, which acts as a natural antibiotic. In addition, sprouts are also a good source of Fibers, Antioxidants, Amino acids and essential fatty acids. Vitamin content is increased manifold during sprouting. All these constituents are highly beneficial for human body.
4. What are the health benefits of eating sprouts?
Ans. Eating sprouts are considered infinitely healthful. To give detail account of health benefits of sprouts we need an hour or more to explain. In short, sprouts are extremely beneficial for preventive and curative health. Details are given separately. Please read, Health Benefits of eating sprouts.
5. What is nutritional value of sprouts?
Ans. At sprouting stage, nutritional value is at its highest level. A sprout possesses all that energy, nutrients and power that enables it to be transformed from a small seed into a strong plant. Sprouts are thus tremendous source of nutrition.
6. How sprouts protect against diseases?
Ans. Sprouts contain concentrated amount of nutritional substances. In so many sprouts, you are eating the equivalent of hundreds of fully grown plants, all at once. It means, you are getting goodness of hundreds mature plants in one meal, which you will not get in any other food. All these protect you against various diseases.
7. How are Vitamins helpful in sprouts?
Ans. Supply of Vitamins A, Vitamin B complex and Vitamin C existing in seeds is increased during sprouting by one hundred to two thousand percent and even more.
Q 8. And how are minerals helpful in sprouts?
Ans. Minerals present in seeds are converted to chelated form during process of sprouting, which are more easily assimilated in body giving benefits.
9. What is the role of enzymes present in sprouts?
Ans. Sprouts contain several times more enzymes than in fruits, vegetables and other foods. There are even hundreds times more enzymes present in sprouts. These are highly beneficial for various functions of body including digestion.
10. Do sprouts contain adequate proteins?
Ans. Proteins present in seeds are denatured during sprouting and are converted to their basic units of amino acids. These are building blocks of body. These help building and repair of tissues. Proteins of sprouts are digested much easily than the cooked food. Sprouts are healthy substitute to meat and other non vegetarian foods.
11 Do sprouts help gain weight?
Ans. Sprouts are low in calorie. These are helpful in regularizing your metabolism. They also help in cutting back on your calories yet providing adequate nutrition. These provide you combination of healthy carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Hence overweight persons can safely use sprouts to reduce their weight. However, those they are underweight shall also be benefited because improved metabolism shall help them gaining weight.
12. Can we prevent and cure diseases by consuming sprouts?
Ans. Sprouts are not medicines. These are nutritional food. Due to their highly nutritious value, sprouts are reported to prevent several diseases. In addition, those they are regularly consuming sprouts in adequate quantity have reported that these are helpful in controlling various diseases. But for specific diseases, you must consult your medical practitioners and doctors specializing in related fields.
13. How sprouts help in ageing process?
Ans. Antioxidant property of sprouts is reported to protect body against damaging effect of free-radicals. These free radicals are continuously created in body by some foods, cooking oils, preservatives, artificial colors, flavors, additives, trans-fats and other harmful substances and pollutants in our environment. Free radicals steal electrons from healthy cells and damage them. They cause tremendous damage in body and have ability to alter structures of DNA and RNA. They also accelerate ageing process. Regular consumption of sprouts helps controlling menace of free radicals in body and thus prevent ageing process
14. What is role of sprouts in women’s health?
Ans. Sprouts contain large amount of plant estrogens. They help increasing bone formation and bone density and also prevent bone breakdown and osteoporosis. Daily consumption of this super food gives relief to from hot flushes, menopause, PMS, fibrocystic breast tumors and many other diseases to women by supporting hormonal function.
15. Do sprouts lose vitamins after harvesting?
Ans. Sprouts are living food. They continue to grow and gain vitamins after harvesting. During storage of sprouts in refrigerator, vitamins and enzymes content keeps increasing. On the contrary, all other foods including fruits and vegetables begin to lose their nutrients after harvesting and during storage.
16. For how many days we can consume sprouts after harvesting?
Ans. If refrigerated properly, you can consume sprouts for five to seven days after harvesting depending on season and weather conditions. You must consume sprouts before it becomes rancid.
17. Can we cook sprouts by boiling, steaming, frying or heating?
Ans. Sprouts give best results when eaten raw. Cooking always destroys large part of nutritional content. Commercially produced sprouts have been associated with a number of outbreaks of Salmonella and E. coli. Home grown sprouts can also be a risk. Government food safety recommendations on sprouts are that “Children, the elderly, pregnant women, and persons with weakened immune systems should avoid eating raw sprouts of any kind (including alfalfa, clover, radish, and mung bean sprouts).”
However, if you wish to cook, you can steam or semi-boil. You must always keep in mind that cooking is reducing its nutritional value. Heating sprouts above 48°C (118°F) destroys its valuable enzymes. And you are deprived of some benefits of sprouts.
18. Can we mix or blend sprouts with other foods?
Ans. Sprouts are excellent additions to your diet. Sprouts are good eaten by themselves. But you can add sprouts to salads, sandwiches, soups, dhal, sambhar, curries, yogurt and many other foods. They can also be blended for baby food, sauces and dressings. Sprouts can be eaten in several ways. You can decide how you wish to eat. You can also share with us your recipe using sprouts.
19. What seeds and grains can be used for making sprouts?
Ans. There are several grains, seeds, legumes used for making sprouts. Every seed requires different time for making sprouts and has different benefits. Some popular items for making sprouts are as follows.
Grains include wheat, maize, ragi (finger millet), bajra (pearl millet), barley, rye, millet and brown rice etc.
Legumes include lentils (masoor), mung beans, moth, Bengal gram and peas etc.
Seeds include alfalfa seeds, radish seeds, fenugreek seeds, celery, clover, oats, carrot seeds, coriander seeds, pumpkin seeds and muskmelon seeds etc.
Oilseeds include soy beans, peanuts, mustard. sesame, sunflower seed etc.
20. Do I need to eat sprouts regularly?
Ans. You can reap several health benefits of sprouts by regularly eating them. Sprouts are a kind of food that is full of nutritious substances that keep you healthy. And it meets your physical requirements. Hence you must eat sprouts regularly.
21. How much sprouts I can eat everyday?
Ans. Doctors recommend that minimum 25 percent of your daily intake of food must consist of raw sprouts and baby greens, to reap their full benefits. In case you are cooking sprouts, you must increase its share to 50 percent or even more.
22. What are these baby greens? Can we also consume baby greens?
Ans. Baby greens are sprouts grown further to chlorophyll rich two tiny leaves. These have additional benefits of having chlorophyll in sprouts and are more beneficial. Hence baby greens can be consumed the same way as you consume sprouts.
23. What are the benefits of taking baby greens?
Ans. Baby greens effectively overcome anemia, which is common in teenage, grown up, pregnant, lactating, and old age women. All others can also take baby greens for their numerous benefits same as that of eating sprouts.
24. At what age a person can eat sprouts and baby greens?
Ans. Sprouts and baby greens are predigested food and are easy to digest. Therefore these can be eaten by all age group persons from childhood to old age.
25. Can I grow sprouts at home?
Ans. Sprouts can be grown at home. All that you need is storage of quality raw materials preferably organic grade seeds and a sprout maker. You must ensure to hydrate them regularly during sprouting.
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Wishing you all, good health, longevity and happiness.
This information is solely for informational purposes. It is not intended to provide medical advice. Neither the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this article. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.
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