Immense Health Benefits of Sprouting Grains




Deep inside a seed, there is hidden a blueprint, a genetic package sleeping, waiting to awaken.

As water is introduced, enzyme inhibitors are disabled and the seed explodes to life. Germination unfolds, and enzymes trigger elaborate biochemical changes. Proteins break into amino acids. Water-soluble vitamins such as B complex and vitamin C are created. Fats and carbohydrates are converted into simple sugars. Then the seed expends all its energy to break through the soil. Weight increases as the seed absorbs water and minerals. Finally life bursts forth from the earth thirsting for sunlight.

Grains are filled with Omega 3s and also provide a great daily amount of roughage to support intestinal health. There is another type of grain, which is becoming more popular with each passing month. Sprouted grains are starting to show up in everything from breads, to salads and even pastas. There is a vast difference between regular grain and sprouted grain for the nutritional aspect as well as taste.

Why Sprouting Grains is Healthier Than Not

When examining the nutrient density of sprouted wheat to un-sprouted wheat on a calorie-per-calorie basis, you’ll find that sprouted wheat contains four times the amount of niacin and nearly twice the amount of vitamin B6 and folate as un-sprouted wheat; moreover, it contains more protein and fewer starches than non-sprouted grain. Another plus is that it is lower on the glycemic index making it more suitable for those suffering from blood sugar issues and diabetes.
 

There are three main differences between sprouted grain and unsprouted grain: 
  • sprouting activates food enzymes;
  • sprouting increases vitamin content, and
  • sprouting neutralizes anti-nutrients like phytic acid which bind up your ability to fully absorb minerals.
When grains, seeds and nuts are germinated, their nutritional content changes and, if they are kept un-cooked, they retain their natural plant enzymes which boost metabolism and give the body a much needed increase in vitamins and minerals. The enzymes present are beneficial for helping aid in the digestion of the seeds and nuts in the digestive tract. As well as retaining the enzymes, they also retain the nutrients that would otherwise be destroyed by cooking. Sprouted grains, seeds and nuts also encourage the growth of good bacteria, known as pro-biotics, which help to keep the colon clean, and are high in protective antioxidants.

Sprouts, as well as being very digestible, are a good source of fiber and protein, and are high in vitamins and minerals. As an example, sunflower sprouts are high in vitamins A and C, while mung bean sprouts are high in vitamin C, iron, and potassium. Most seeds are high in phosphorus, which is important for alertness, increased mental abilities, and healthy bones and teeth. 

When cooked, wheat can cause mucus buildup, allergic reactions and even constipate the digestive tract, reducing the ability for the body to absorb the nutrients. In its sprouted form, the starch is converted to simple sugars, easier to for the body to break down into energy, meaning that many wheat intolerant people are able to eat sprouted wheat bread without any problems.
Flourless bread is made with grains and legumes that are sprouted before grinding into flour. Sprouted grains have increased vitamin and nutrient content because the seed is first sprouted, making it alive and active in its growth process, allowing the ground meal to retain those nutrients. 

Some of these sprouted grain breads take on a very sweet taste because sprouting changes some starches in grains to sugars. In addition, the bread is moist and is made without yeast. The bread can also be made with no or low salt, and it is sometimes flavored with raisin and cinnamon to make the bread almost dessert-like. Sprouted breads are generally denser, allowing the fruits to evenly spread throughout instead of sinking to the bottom.

Sprouted grain breads incorporate ingredients in the most unrefined state possible. This is why these sprouted grain breads are often referred to as live food. They do not contain highly processed flours and the nutrients have not been stripped from the grain and then added back into the product later on.
Sprouted grain breads are very healthy. For the most part, sprouted grain breads use organic ingredients and are grown without pesticides and herbicides. They have a low glycemic index of about 45 and are low in saturated fat. 

The sprouted grains used most often for these flourless breads include wheat, millet, and spelt. No matter if you use the sprouts on a salad, just as they are, or grind them into flour for baking purposes, having a regular diet consisting of sprouted grains is beneficial to optimal digestive health, and they taste great too.


Sprouted Wheat vs. Unsprouted

The nutritional content of the wheat berry quadruples in some of the vitamins and minerals through the sprouting process. For example, once the wheat berry is sprouted, vitamin B-12 quadruples, other B vitamins increases 3 to 12 times, vitamin E content triples, and the fiber content increases three to four times that of whole wheat bread. According to research undertaken at the University of Minnesota, sprouting increases the total nutrient density of wheat berries. Here is an example of what happens to the wheat berry once it sprouts. It’s absolutely amazing!
 


  • Vitamin B1 (thiamin) increase of 28%
  • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) increase of 315%
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin) increase of 66%
  • Vitamin B5 (pantathenic) increase of 65%
  • Biotin increase of 111%
  • Folic acid increase of 278%
  • Vitamin C increase of 300%
What Kind of Sprouts Can you Eat?

Almost any whole grain that you can eat in its dry form can also be sprouted. Cereals such as wheat and barley can be sprouted. You can also sprout grain legumes such as kidney beans, lablab beans, mung beans, cowpeas, and chickpeas.

 
How to Sprout Wheat

You do not need any special tools or skills to sprout grain. Just remember that the grain needs three things to sprout; moisture, warmth and air. Different kinds of grain take different periods to sprout. Mung beans sprout quickly in less than a day.

 
Chickpeas, wheat, and other grains with thick seed coats take two or three days. The sprouting time also depends on the weather. Grains sprout much faster in warm, humid weather than in cold weather. Usually, the sprouts are ready when they are 2 to 5 millimeters long. If you experiment a little, you'll find that sprouting grain is easy.

You will need a wide mouthed quart sized pickle jar, or other jar, and a fine mesh strainer and cheesecloth. Fill the jar half full of water, add three tablespoons wheat berries and let stand over night. The next morning strain and rinse the wheat berries using a fine mesh strainer. Cover jar with a terry cloth or mesh screen and hold it in place with a rubber band.

Place sprouts on their side facing towards a window so they receive light, but not sunlight. Rinse sprouts a couple of times a day. Within three days you will see that your sprouts have come to life. If the sprouts are not green than they need more light. It only takes a few hours for the sprouts to turn green and come alive with chlorophyll and abundant life giving nourishment. Once your berries have sprouted they should be kept in the refrigerator to retain freshness.

Save a little of the sprouted grain to eat raw, if you can. Cook the rest as you like. It cooks faster than the dry grain, so be sure you do not overcook it. Overcooking destroys some of the nutrients. If you drain off the water in which you cook the sprouts, don't throw it away! Use it in soup or for mixing dough. It is nutritious.

 
Sprouting grain is also a good way to make food stretch. One handful of dried grain will swell and become two handfuls or more when you sprout it. Because sprouted grain cooks more quickly than the dry grain, you also save on cooking time and cooking fuel. So, adding grain sprouts to your diet makes sense for your health and for your budget. Eat grain sprouts as often as you can.

MAKE SPROUTED WHEAT FLATBREAD

Food for Life sells a tasty sprouted grain bread and other sprouted products such as wraps and cereal. They are highly recommended! Check out Amazon's selection of their products. 

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