Young green plants germinated from the seeds of almost any living vegetation which may include, but are not limited to nuts, seeds, grains, beans, legumes.
Sprouts can also come in the forms of various grasses such as barley grass or wheat grass. Some of the most common sprouts are alfalfa, mung, radish, clover, aduki, garbanzo (chickpea), lentil, soybean, sunflower, millet, quinoa, buckwheat, fenugreek, wheat, barley, soy, corn, oats, green peas and lima, just to name a few! Essentially any seed or bean equipped with the genetic fabric potential to reproduce the next generation of plant life is sproutable.
The superstar nutritional status of sprouts
Sprouts are nutritional superstars. They contain a high concentrate of antioxidant nutrients that fight against the damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are substances produced within our bodies that cause damage to cell tissue and accelerate the ageing process. Sprouts are also packed with vitamins, minerals, protein, enzymes and fibre as well as two anti-ageing constituents - RNA and DNA (nucleic acid) - that are only found in living cells.
But what does sprouting mean?
Sprouting is the process of soaking, then germinating the seed, and finally eating the growing live sprouts. Each sprouting seed is packed with the nutritional energy needed to create a full grown healthy plant.
Once the seed is soaked in water, a process necessary for sprouting, loads of enzymes are released. Upon germination, the seed rapidly absorbs water (from soaking) and swells to at least twice its original size. Simultaneously, the nutrient content swells too. Finally, the germination process effectively pre-digests the seed, making digestion and assimilation of its nutrients easy so there is less likelihood of food allergies. The end result is a superfood with enormous levels of proteins, vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, fibre and enzymes in the most easily digestible form. By sprouting, you not only gain the benefits of the raw food, but also dramatically increase the nutrient content of these seeds and grains.
A key to your health
Eating sprouting foods regularly can result in dramatic improvements to digestion, immunity and your general health and well-being. Not only will your digestion be healthy and your body more alkaline when you include sprouted foods in your diet on a regular basis, but you'll be better equipped to prevent and combat common colds and flu, illnesses, even dreaded diseases. Research has shown that sprouts help to keep the immune system strong. When the immune system is fortified, you are far less likely to be stricken - or to succumb to common or degenerative health ailments.
Consider the following study conducted by a team of researchers at the University of Texas Cancer Center. They found that the cancer cells were 99 per cent inhibited by the mix of live (sprouted) sprouts, mainly sprouted broccoli seeds. Statistically speaking, this would suggest that live sprouts may, in some cases, have the ability to inhibit cancer cells, full stop. WOW! Sprouted broccoli seeds have been good for people suffering from immune dysfunction. So if you are the type of person who is always catching the next cold or flu, then be sure to add lots of raw sprouts, especially sprouted broccoli seeds, to your daily regimen.
You can literally sprout any seed, grain or legume for food in your own kitchen. The greatest health benefits come from sprouted millet and quinoa, as well as sprouted daikon and broccoli seeds.
The easiest sprouts to seed are: