Sprout to Life and Better Nutrition
Have you ever noticed small plastic boxes with green baby sprouts at Whole Foods Market? Or maybe you've seen sprouted nuts or sunflower seeds at your local health store? Have you tried them or have you brushed off the idea of sprouting as another hippie craze?
Well, if the later is true, it might be time to change your sprouting stance as you are missing out on a whole load of hidden benefits!
Let’s look at why sprouted is better for you and what Ayurveda has to say about sprouting:
Ayurveda is built around maintaining healthy digestion, which is a cornerstone of health according to this ancient health science. According to Ayurveda the best foods are the ones that are easy to digest and provide a high quality nutrition. This combination became very rare in our fast-food world where some survive on chips and sandwiches for months at a time. Ideally, every meal should give you a lot of energy without making you feel heavy and sleepy right after the meal. A few examples of perfect foods are sprouted grains, beans, and seeds that are both highly nutritious and easily digestible. Sprouting turns regular grains and seeds into a super-food for several reasons:
- Sprouting makes grains and seeds easier to digest. Because sprouts are living, growing food sources, they have a rich supply of enzymes. This quality makes sprouts easily assimilated and metabolized by the body. Sprouts are a powerhouse of nutrition that your body can easily utilize. If you ever had problems with legumes causing intestinal gas, sprouting will help you avoid it. Complex sugars responsible for creating gas are broken down during sprouting process making legumes easier to digest.
- Sprouting neutralizes enzyme inhibitors. Enzyme inhibitors are those chemicals in nuts and seeds designed to preserve the life force within. Enzyme inhibitors keep the seed or nut in a dormant state until it is ready to bring forth the plant or tree within. Sally Fallon gives us one more reason to sprout our grains as well, saying that “sprouting inactivates aflotoxins, potent carcinogens found in grains”.
- Sprouting magnifies the nutritional value of grains and seeds. During the sprouting process new and higher quality proteins and other nutrients are produced. Research has shown that the nutrients in seeds and nuts are anywhere from 50% to 400% greater after sprouting or soaking. Sprouting increases phosphorus, calcium, iron, and other good minerals inside the seed.
- Sprouting cuts sugars. Sprouting changes a seed full of starch into a baby plant, which begins to consume that starch and total carbs decrease as a result. This may make sprouted beans a better option for diabetics.
- Sprouting creates more Life-force in the grains and seeds. Have you heard about Prana or energy-rich food? Well, sprouting is the best way to increase Prana in any meal. One can interpret sprouting as awakening of the seeds as they prepare to turn from a dormant state to life. As a result life force of a sprouted seeds will be higher and more available.
- Sprouts are sattvic. Sattvic means pure essence. Foods have to be whole, light, easy to break down, abundant in Prana, and be as close as possible as they are in their natural fresh state to be considered sattvic according to Ayurveda. Sattvic diet is the purest diet for a consciously spiritual and healthy life. It nourishes the body and maintains the mind in a peaceful state. Sattvic foods help create physically strong body, calm and purify the mind, and nourish on a deep emotional level
Some seeds, nuts and grains that contain complete proteins and are improved by sprouting include lentils, beans, soy, millet, pumpkin seed, buckwheat, quinoa, sunflower seed, pumpkin seeds, almonds, and alfalfa. During my stay at Somatheeram, an Ayurvedic resort in Kerala, India, I discovered my new sprout love -- Mung bean or green gram sprout. It is so rich in nutrition that Indian Ayurvedic doctors prescribe it to the top professional athletes!
At Somatheeram, Mung bean sprouts were served in fruit salad with pineapple and coconut. Easy and yummy!
Sprouted Mung Bean and Pineapple Salad
1.5 cups of Sprouted Mung Beans (I used ShaSha & Co Bio-Bud)
1 cup sliced juicy pineapple
½ cup grated coconut
½ apple cubed
Optional: ½ cup fresh pineapple juice
Soak sprouted dry Mung beans overnight or at least 8 hours in warm water. Drain.
Add fruits, walnuts and coconut to the beans and mix together. Add pineapple juice if the mixture is too dry. I add hot water and it works just fine. Let it sit for 1-2 hours and enjoy!
For more info on sprouting wonders and recipes, please check out my blog.