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Health benefits of sprouts

You might be familiar with nutrient-packed powerhouse ingredients like spinach, kale, and cauliflower. But sprouts and microgreens are also known to pack a nutritional punch. Here’s why the health benefits of sprouts shouldn’t be overlooked.

health benefits of sprouts

What are the potential health benefits of sprouts?

Sprouts come in all kinds of varieties such as bean, broccoli, beets, chickpea, alfalfa, and pea sprouts. The nutritional value and health benefits of sprouts vary depending on each variety, however, they all tend to be dense with vitamins, minerals, and essential amino acids while also containing minerals like zinc, calcium, manganese, and copper. Sprouts are also packed with plant protein and are very low in calories, containing no saturated fat and no cholesterol. 

As a result, sprouts and microgreens offer a host of endless benefits. Some of which include:

  • Boosting blood circulation
  • Aiding digestion
  • Building the immune system
  • Lowering acidity
  • Supporting healthy hair and nails
  • Improving eyesight
  • Maintaining heart health

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Good for the gut

Among the health benefits of sprouts is their potential for supporting a healthy gut microbiome.

Incorporating sprouts into your diet can be a healthy first step toward building a strong gut microbiome. By opting for sprouts instead of whole wheat for example, you can help to lower gluten intake while making any grains that you do eat more digestible. 

Broccoli sprouts in particular have been noted for supporting a healthy gut. This is due to their antioxidant and antibacterial properties and the presence of a sulfur-rich compound called sulforaphane that is thought to help to promote gut health.

High in Fiber

Sprouts are also thought to contribute to healthy lifestyles by helping to maintain a healthy weight. This is due to the fact that they contain a high volume of fiber. A diet high in fiber can help you to stay full throughout the day, allowing you to snack less, and remain more energetic and alert for a sustained amount of time. Fiber is also known to slow the absorption of food in the digestive system, helping your cells get a gradual intake of calories from the foods you eat. This prevents the sugar highs (insulin spikes) that contribute to weight gain.

A study from the International Food Research Journal also revealed another additional health benefit of sprouts. It claimed that sprouting increased the  presence of both soluble and insoluble fiber in the food we eat. While our body breaks down soluble fiber, insoluble fiber adds the roughage necessary for food to slow down digestion and help us to feel full for longer.
Because insoluble fiber does not dissolve in our stomach, it acts as a prebiotic and supports the healthy bacteria found in our intestines. These healthy bacteria are essential for sustaining a stable and healthy digestive environment, and can also help to reduce symptoms like bloating and flatulence.

Sprout benefits

Lower blood sugar

Those with diabetes may find that consuming sprouts can help them to control their blood sugar levels. This is because studies have suggested that sprouts can lower blood glucose levels. In contrast to un-sprouted seeds and grains, sprouts contain lower levels of carbohydrates, which may help to control insulin levels. This is also the result of a combination with the presence of enzymes in the sprouts, which affects how the body breaks down carbohydrates. However, more studies still need to be completed to fully define the true cause of this effect.

How to add sprouts to a healthy diet

There are lots of ways to introduce sprouts to your diet. Sprouts make a wonderful addition to stir-fries, tofu scrambles, sandwiches, and salads. Their crunchy texture also means they are an ideal topping for soups, stews, tacos, wraps, and quinoa dishes.
Sprouts can be eaten sprouts raw or lightly cooked. However, as with most legumes, the health benefits of sprouts and their nutritional content are reduced once they are cooked. While sprouts are incredibly healthy, raw sprouts may not suit not everyone’s digestive system. Raw sprouts also should be washed thoroughly to lower the risk of contamination such as salmonella and E. coli

What seeds can you sprout?

You can sprout just about any edible grain, bean, and legume, even chia and chickpeas can be sprouted! Enjoy the various health benefits of sprouts from your own home by sprouting your own in the kitchen. One kind of legume that should be avoided in home sprouting, however, is the kidney bean. Kidney beans contain toxins that can make you feel ill when consumed raw. Here are some of our favorite sprouts to experiment with for beginners.

  • Alfalfa sprouts are one of the most popular varieties of sprouts as their mild taste means they pair well with just about everything! Packed with vitamins and minerals and are low in calories, and versatile, these sprouts are an excellent addition to a healthy or plant-based diet.
  • Mung bean yields juicy sprouts that feature white stems and a mild taste. Their crunchy texture helps them to absorb the flavor of whatever seasoning or sauce they are combined with. You can often spot them in tasty stir frys.
  • Broccoli sprouts produce thicker, robust sprouts with a nutty, peppery flavor similar to radish. Strangely, they don’t taste like broccoli. This sprout is great for adding flavor and body to dishes and salads and is high in antioxidants.

Radish sprouts these slender sprouts boast red-tipped leaves and look beautiful as a garnish. They taste similar to mature radishes but are less peppery or spicy.

Sprout benefits

Contamination

In order to avoid any cross-contamination when sprouting at home, ensure that your hands, jars, and kitchen are clean. It’s also advisable to purchase organic seeds, nuts, grains, and legumes for sprouting at home. It is recommended to consume your sprouts within 3 to 4 days before repeating the process for a new and fresh batch of sprouts. 

Because sprouts may be vulnerable to contamination with bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella. Children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with weak immune systems may need to consider avoiding raw sprouts.

Sprouting at home

Our Luna Mesh sprouting jar is ideal for those interested in sprouting seeds at home. The mesh disk and all components are easily detachable by pressing them slightly out of the steel ring. Both the Mesh disk and the steel ring are made of stainless steel preventing the onset of rust. You can use the Luna Mesh for sprouting your favorite seeds or straining foods straight from the mason jar.

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 Shop your Luna Mesh Sprouting Jar here!