Let’s get our sprouts right!
We hear a lot about sprouted grains and seeds these days, so what is up with that? Why should you choose sprouted over regular ones? How does sprouting work?
Grains are essentially seeds of plants. Historically they naturally sprouted before they were used but industrial production methods put an end to that a long time ago.
Recently, it has been discovered that sprouted grains actually provided more health benefits and nutrients which is the reason we are seeing a myriad of health food products containing sprouted grains today, using new techniques of controlled sprouting.
But of course it’s not just grains that can be sprouted! We see many products with sprouted seeds and even legumes such as chickpeas, beans and lentils!
Sprouted grains and seeds look to same as non-sprouted one to the naked eye – but they are very different.
How does it work?
All seeds contain natural growth inhibitors that stop the seeds from sprouting, until the moisture and temperature conditions are just right. Once this happens, the natural enzyme activity deactivates the growth inhibitors so a new plant can develop from the seed.
Fortunately, companies that use sprouted grains in their products don’t rely on the natural process and hope for the best! They set up carefully controlled conditions to create the perfect temperature and moisture and use the grains when the all important enzyme process has reached its peak.
Sprouted grains are no longer grains in their true form but not yet plants. Eating sprouted grains has many claimed health benefits including:
- Easier to digest: They are easier to digest because during the sprouting process the enzymes break down the natural protein found in the grain. They are less likely to cause stomach upsets, bloating or other digestive issues and overall take less energy for your body to process leaving you feeling great instead of sluggish.
- More nutritious: Sprouted wholegrains provide more bio-available nutrients including vitamins and minerals which your body can easily absorb. Sprouted grains can be a powerhouse of nutrients including vitamin C, B, folate, iron, fibre and amino acids.
- Lower in carbs and low GI: They are lower GI and starch. The enzymes help break down some of the carbohydrates in the grain, making it a lower GI product which is great to control insulin response, so you don’t get a such as spike in blood glucose as you would eating regular grains. Good news if you are trying to loose weight or if you have diabetes.
Important: If you are coeliac or suffer with gluten sensitivity, wheat allergy or gluten intolerance you cannot eat the sprouted versions of glutenous grains – they still contain gluten just the same. However, choosing sprouted gluten free grains such as brown rice, gluten free oats, buckwheat or millet is a great option and they are easier to digest for a damaged gut. You can find these in flour form, in cereals and breads.