We have heard of many types of vegetarian diets like vegan, raw and pesco-vegetarian, but did you know that sproutarianism is also a thing? A person whose diet consists mainly of sprouted seeds, fruits and raw vegetables is called a sproutarian. Though sproutarianism is quite radical, we cannot ignore the curative properties of sprouts in itself. This mighty food choice is extremely versatile as sprouts can be added to just about anything – salads, cereals, soups, raw smoothies and meals-in-a-bowl. The comfort in consuming sprouts extends to the way they can be cooked too – parboiled, lightly toasted or well-done. Raw vegans and vegetarians eat them raw, though sprouts can get contaminated with mould if not grown with utmost hygiene at the correct temperature and moisture.
In Indian cuisine, sprouts hold an almost revered place on the plate. Our ancestors understood the raw might of this tiny sprout and its curative properties, and now many studies and research prove their hypothesis. There is no doubt that a seed contains mega doses of nutrients to feed the seedling, but these nutrients in a dry seed are not as bioavailable to the human body as the nutrients in a germinated seed.
So, let us get down to hailing the health benefits of sprouting seeds, beans and grains.
Helps maintain weight
The fibre content in sprouts makes them a filling food. It reduces the craving for other foods for a longer time and thus helps maintain weight while ensuring enough nutrition in smaller quantities. Fibre is excellent for weight loss as it binds to fats as soon as they metabolise and removes those fats from the body at a greater speed.
A mega dose of enzymes
Plant enzymes are protein catalysts, meaning, they make the nutrition in the food bioavailable by extracting more protein, vitamins and minerals from the food to nurture the body. According to research, these enzymes are found to be 100 times more in sprouted seeds, nuts and grains than in the same raw foods.
Helps treat anaemia
Some sprouts are touted to be rich in folate, and some may increase the haemoglobin in the blood. There are promising studies that show the benefits of sprouts to treat anaemic disorders. They are thus also a superfood for pregnant women, as they need a whole lot more folate during pregnancy to avoid structural deformities in the fetus.
Great for male health
Sprouts are an excellent source of vitamin C which is responsible for healthy blood circulation to sex organs which could help erectile dysfunction in men.
The selenium in sprouts is also known to help sperm production and motility, making it an excellent food for men.
Sprouts being rich in antioxidants makes it a super anti-ageing food. It combats free radicals that lead to premature ageing of the cells. The consumption of sprouts expedites the process of cell regeneration. They keep the skin hydrated and produce collagen, which reduces wrinkles and acne, thus keeping us more youthful.
The insoluble fibre load in sprouts makes them easily digestible. Some enzymes in sprouts ease constipation and help keep the bowels clean. A clean digestive system is responsible for absorbing more nutrients into the body.
Sprouts are a wonderful plant-based omega-3 source that helps increase the good cholesterol. High potassium levels in sprouts keep the blood pressure in a healthy range and reduce the chances of strokes due to its vitamin C content responsible for good blood circulation and levels of oxygen. This makes it an amazing heart-healthy food.
How to sprout Mung beans:
- Rinse the mung thoroughly under running water.
- After the wash, add potable water to it and cover to soak for 8-10 hours.
- Once they are well soaked, remove the water and rinse again thoroughly.
- Drain all the water and transfer them into a container or a clean muslin cloth.
- If you have used a container, cover it and keep for about 24 hours. If you are using a muslin cloth, tie a knot on top so that they are appropriately covered.
- Leave the mung to sprout for about 24 hours, depending on the room temperature.
- Once the mung has sprouted, wash them once again in potable water and use within a few days of refrigeration. You can also freeze them for later use.
Let us make this mighty little food a part of our daily diet and make the most of its impressive nutritional benefits.
Article by – Payal Kurian