Raw sprouts are considered a healthy food as they are low in calories, high in nutrients, and may offer various health benefits.
What are sprouts?
Sprouts are young, tender plants that are harvested just as they begin to sprout from seeds. They are generally ready to eat once they have germinated and developed small, tender shoots that are about an inch or two in length.
Sprouts are a nutrient-dense food that is low in calories and high in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein. They are also a good source of antioxidants and enzymes.
In addition to the high concentration of nutrients, sprouts can present a reduction of anti-nutritional factors such as phytates, tannins, and oxalates, which increases the bioaccessibility of minerals. However, their nutritional composition depends on several factors, such as the type of sprout and the germination conditions. (1)
Health benefits of eating raw sprouts
Sprouts have been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine to treat a variety of health conditions, such as digestive issues, asthma, and urinary tract infections.
They have also been used in Ayurvedic medicine as a natural remedy for respiratory and digestive problems.
Sprouting seeds can increase the availability of some nutrients, such as vitamin C, iron, and calcium, making them easier for our bodies to absorb.
Did you know that sprouts contain significantly higher levels of some nutrients compared to their mature counterparts?
For example, broccoli sprouts have been found to contain up to 50 times more of the antioxidant sulforaphane than mature broccoli.
Sulforaphane may protect against various types of cancer, may also decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease, and help in autism and osteoporosis. (2)
Similarly, alfalfa sprouts have been found to contain higher levels of vitamin C, carotenes, and chlorophyll than mature alfalfa plants.
This means that incorporating sprouts into your diet can provide a concentrated source of certain nutrients that may not be as readily available in other foods.
Alfalfa sprouts are known for their bitter taste and are often used as a natural remedy to reduce the symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes.
Some studies have suggested that sprouts may have anti-cancer properties due to their high levels of antioxidants and other beneficial compounds.
Sprouts are a popular ingredient in many raw food diets as they are a great source of raw, living enzymes, which can help with digestion and metabolism.
Plant sprout foods exhibit a lot of biological activities including anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, anticancer, antidiabetes, anti-infection, and antiviral activities. (3)
How to incorporate raw sprouts into your diet?
Sprouts are a common ingredient in many cuisines and can be enjoyed raw or cooked. However, they lose their nutrient content when they are cooked.
Sprouts are often used as a garnish to add color and crunchy texture to dishes, such as sushi, sandwiches, salads, wraps, soups and smoothies.
Different types of sprouts have different flavors and textures. For example, mung bean sprouts are crunchy and have a mild flavor, while radish sprouts have a spicy, peppery taste.
They are low in calories and fat and can be a great addition to a healthy diet.
The information here is provided for informational purposes only. It is not presented with the intention of diagnosing or treating any disease or condition. It is in no way intended to substitute for the advice provided by your doctor or other health care professional. No responsibility is assumed by the author for the use of this information and no guarantees of any kind are made for the performance or effectiveness of the recommendations provide. By using this site you agree to these terms. (Read more)
- https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33719022/ – The Use of Sprouts to Improve the Nutritional Value of Food Products: A Brief Review
- https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30372361/ – Isothiocyanate from Broccoli, Sulforaphane, and Its Properties
- https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34050545/ – Plant sprout foods: Biological activities, health benefits, and bioavailability
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