- Aging & Longevity
Grow Your Own Anti-Aging Food at Home and Eat Healthy on Budget: Benefits of Sprouts
What you eat makes a big difference in the way you look and feel. A healthy diet gives you energy to get through your busy day, supports your mood, helps you maintain your weight, and keeps you looking your best. Your food choices can help reduce PMS, combat stress, and ease the symptoms of menopause.
There are tremendous health benefits of eating raw, fresh vegetables and organic foods on a regular basis.
Sprouts have long been famous as "health food" but recent research shows that in addition to being a superb source of nutrients, they also have important curative and anti-aging ability.
Growing your own sprouts offers you versatility. You can have more varieties of salad greens than on the grocery store shelves. Alongside with the the nutritional value, your salads will come alive.
I grow and eat sprouts on daily basis.My favorite are mung beans and lentil sprouts.I consider sprouts a very important part of my healthy eating plan for stress management and longevity.
What are sprouts?
Sprouts are edible seeds that are germinated. Sprouts are highly nutritious, easily used, easily digested, and inexpensive foods.
Most seeds, nuts, pulses, legumes and grains can be sprouted. Sprouted alfalfa, chickpeas, adzuki, mung beans, lentils, wheat, mustard, millet and barley are popular for their medicinal and nutritional properties.
Sprouts are rich with vitamins, minerals, proteins, and enzymes. Their nutritional value was discovered by the Chinese thousands of years ago.
Over the past several years, numerous scientific studies have shown the importance of sprouts in a healthy diet.
Sprouts indeed are one of the healthiest food choices because sprouting transforms the nutrients of seeds, grains, and beans into easily digested, high- energy foods similar to vegetables, but much more concentrated in easily absorbed nutrients.
When seeds are sprouted:
· the starch converts to simple sugars
· the protein provides amino acids
· the fats break down into essential fatty acids
· and minerals chelate or merge with protein in a way that increases their function.
All these actions increase the nutrient value, and enhance digestion and assimilation. Due to these dynamic influences, sprouts are considered predigested food.
Sprouts are living foods. Even after you harvest your sprouts and refrigerate them, they will continue to grow slowly and their vitamin content will actually increase.
Compare this with store-bought vegetables and fruits, which start losing their vitamin content as soon as they’re picked and often have to be shipped a thousand miles or more in the winter.
By growing your own sprouts you can have a year-round supply of fresh living food for only pennies per serving.
The Health Benefits Of Sprouts
Why Eat Sprouts?
Sprouting can be considered a natural form of “cooking” which maintain the nutrients that are lost in the refining or cooking processes. Therefore, sprouts are packed with essential nutrients: high protein and low fat, vitamins and minerals.
Sprouts are nutritious. They have a superior concentration of vitamins and minerals, proteins, enzymes, anti-oxidants, phytochemicals, bioflavinoids, nitrosamines, trace minerals, and chemo-protectants such as sulphoraphane and isoflavone which work against toxins, resist cell mutation and strengthen the body's immune system than the mature vegetable.
Sprouts are easily digestible. Sprouting transforms the nutrients into easily digested and easily absorbed nutrients. The delicate cell walls of sprouts easily release fundamental nutrients. Abundant enzymes make them easy to digest even for those with a weak digestion. In fact, sprouts improve the efficiency of digestion. Sprouts are also deliciously fresh and colourful.
Sprouts provide a good source of vegetable protein, and can support your healthy diet. They can be a healthy alternative to meat, so if you’re vegetarian, sprouts should be a part of your daily or weekly diet!
Sprouts are natural sources of fiber. Fiber helps keep your digestive system healthy, and helps you feel fuller between meals. Eating more fiber can support your healthy diet and reduce the risk of constipation. Loading up your sandwich or a meal with sprouts can give your daily fiber counts a boost, and help you digest your meal easily.
Sprouts contain healthy fats. Sprouts contain EFAs, the essential fatty acids your body needs to perform basic body functions. You need a certain level of fat in your diet in order to ward off infections and strengthen your immune system. Sprouts are rich in EFAs, so they can support a healthy diet and keep your metabolism functioning at its optimal level.
Sprouts have an alkalizing affect on the body. Your body needs to be alkaline in order to be healthy, and there are several foods and toxins that can offset this balance. Sprouts help to alkalise the body, clear acid, toxic wastes and enable the body to heal itself and build a stronger immune system.
Sprouts are cheap and easy way of increasing your intake of vitamins and minerals. Germinating seeds and grains increase their nutritional value. The vitamin C content of wheat increases sixty percent during sprouting.
Sprouts have an abundance of living enzymes, which, natural researchers say, help to slow down the aging process.
Slow Premature Aging with Sprouts
Recent publications about longevity and nutrition indicate that sprouts can slow down or even reverse aging.
Sprouts contain such anti-aging nutrients as
- Antioxidants (vitamins C, A, and E)
- Broad range of exogenous enzymes (enzymes that come from a source outside the body)
Antioxidants such as vitamins C, A, and E prevent the oxidation of fats in the body, thus inhibiting the formation of free radicals in the body (as you may know free radical theory is one of the leading aging theories). Sprouts are an excellent source of antioxidants.
Sprouts are a good source of important food enzymes that aid in the digestion of starch, protein, and fat.
A balanced living foods diet, with plenty of fresh sprouts, offers a completely safe source of potential anti-aging nutrients.
How to Grow Your Own Sprouts?
With the current economic situation, not to mention the fact that so much of our food supply is contaminated with pesticides and pollutants, it's great to know you can grow your own sprouts at your home and become not only healthier and younger but also be more self- sufficient.
Sprouting at home takes only a few moments a day and can produce a good portion of your daily requirements of the nutrients you need from fresh produce. Sprouts you grow yourself in your own home are organic. No pesticides, fumigants or synthetic fertilizers. No chemicals. Only fresh, living, nutrient dense food.
Sprouting is a very effective way to add raw organic foods to your diet.
Growing your own sprouts in your home is easy and takes only a few minutes of care per day.
All you need is a jar, some screen or netting, and organic seeds.
Place the seeds you wish to sprout in a jar with lukewarm water and leave overnight. The next day drain and rinse them and the jar and then put them back in the jar, covered with cheese cloth and secure with a rubber band. No special lights are required. The seeds should be rinsed twice a day.
You can grow delicious organic sprouts in 4 to 6 days, even less time depending on your needs.
Recommended Seeds for Sprouting:best seeds for sprouting
Almost any kind of seed can be sprouted and eaten.
Some of the most common seeds to sprout are alfalfa, mung and adzuki beans, oats, chick peas, radish, broccoli, sunflower and lentil.
Use only organic, non-genetically modified seed for sprouting.
How To Eat Sprouts?
Sprouts can be eaten plain, or add them to any of these favorites:
- Stir fry
- Potato salad
- Egg salad
- Soups and stews
- Vegetable casseroles
About the Author
Dr.Inese Millere , M.D. is lifestyle coach in holistic stress management and mindful eating for busy women after 40 who want to be Fit, Balanced and Ageless: to manage stress, stress eating, have a healthy and joyful relationship with food and enjoy healthy living and longevity.
Join her 8-week Stop Stress Eating Blueprint -- a comprehensive and sustainable healthy lifestyle program that guides you to eat instinctively, end mindless and emotional eating without deprivation and guilt, live a more active lifestyle, and balance eating for enjoyment with eating for health.