The Powerful Anti-Aging Benefits of Sprouts




Sprouts are a powerhouse of nutrition. They have been grown by many civilizations over the past 5,000 years.

Research shows that sprouts are a veritable fountain of youth. They rate as the freshest and most nutritious of all vegetables available to the human diet. Sprouts abound with antioxidants, they are full of protein, chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Broccoli sprouts have been found to contain 50 times as much of the antioxidant sulfurophane as mature broccoli. Wheatgrass is the closest substance to hemoglobin known and is therefore a phenomenal blood purifier and detoxifier.

The main benefit of sprouting is that it takes a seed or nut in the dormant state and brings it to life. During the sprouting process new and higher quality proteins and other nutrients are produced. Tests have shown that the nutrients in seeds and nuts are anywhere from 50% to 400% greater after sprouting or soaking. 

Another benefit to sprouting seeds and nuts is that it removes the enzyme inhibitors. Enzyme inhibitors are those chemicals in nuts and seeds designed to preserve the life force within. Enzyme inhibitors are what keep the seed or nut in a dormant state until it is ready to bring forth the plant or tree within.

Research has discovered that ingesting seeds and nuts with the enzyme inhibitors intact can actually be harmful, resulting in gastrointestinal problems, enlarged pancreas and a condition that leads to the excretion and therefore loss of needed enzymes. Therefore seeds and nuts need to be soaked or sprouted before eating to offer maximum benefits.

Sprouting (and soaking) also deactivates phytic acid (a powerful 
anti-nutrient found in grains and seeds) which blocks the absorption of minerals including copper, calcium, magnesium and zinc. Sprouting neutralize tannins and lectins which are gut irritants and it begins the breakdown of gluten which is a non-digestible protein and toxin which is plentiful in the unsprouted grain.

Other benefits to sprouting include:

Energizing the body
Regeneration of cells
Supplying oxygen to the body
Highly alkaline
Low glycemic
Anti-aging 


A great advantage to sprouts are that they can be locally grown and made available in all four seasons. These “wonder” vegetables are grown from seed to salad in only one week. They are the best natural health food available. One pound of alfalfa seeds can yield 10-14 pounds of fresh mini-salad greens. It is amazing to note that this food can be grown whether you are on top of a mountain or in a war area bunker with artificial light.

Medicinally and nutritionally, sprouts have a long history. It has been documented that the Ancient Chinese physicians recognized and prescribed sprouts for curing many disorders more than 5,000 years ago. Although accounts of sprouting appear in the Bible, it took centuries for the West to realize its nutrition merits. It is really only in the past three decades that the “western world” has woken up to be interested in sprouts and sprouting. Back in the 1920's, an American Professor named Edmond Szekely put forward the concept and way of life of Bio-genic Nutrition. He classified sprouted seeds and baby greens as the most beneficial foods and recommended that they make up 25% of our daily food intake, calling them life-generating Bio-genic foods which he claimed offer the strongest support for cell regeneration. 

During World War II considerable interest in sprouts was sparked in the United States by an article written by Dr. Clive M. McKay, Professor of Nutrition at Cornell University, wherein he made a dramatic announcement which said: “Wanted! A vegetable that will grow in any climate, will rival meat in nutritive value, will mature in 3 to 5 days, may be planted any day of the year, will require neither soil nor sunshine, will rival tomatoes in Vitamin C, will be free of waste in preparation and can be cooked with little fuel and as quickly as a … chop.” Dr. McKay was talking about soybean sprouts. He and a team of nutritionists spent years researching the amazing properties of sprouted soybeans.


Powerhouse of Nutrition!

As some of the most nutritious foods that exist, sprouts are extremely rich sources of vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, chlorophyll and protein. They are low calorie and contain little or no fat. The fat they do contain is the healthy fat that your body needs. Of course, as with all food, the nutritional value is greater when they are eaten raw. But eating them cooked is better than not eating them at all.

Alfalfa sprouts have more chlorophyll than spinach, kale, cabbage or parsley. Alfalfa, sunflower, clover and radish sprouts are all 4% Protein. Compare that to spinach - 3%, Romaine lettuce -1.5% and Iceberg lettuce- 0.8%, and milk -3.3%. These foods all have about 90% water. Soybean sprouts have 28% protein, and lentil and pea sprouts are 26% compared to meat which is 19% and eggs which are 13% protein.

Dr. Mckay and other researchers at the universities of Pennsylvania and Minnesota, Yale and McGill found that sprouts retain the B-complex vitamins present in the original seed, and show a big jump in Vitamin A and an almost unbelievable amount of Vitamin C over that present in unsprouted seeds. The figures are impressive: an average 300 percent increase in Vitamin A and a 500 to 600 percent increase in Vitamin C. In addition, in the sprouting process starches are converted to simple sugars, thus making sprouts easily digested.


When mung beans are sprouted, their water content increases by 8.3 percent, carbohydrates decrease 15 percent, protein increases 30 percent, calcium increases 34 percent, potassium increases 80 percent, sodium increases 690 percent, iron increases 40 percent, phosphorous increases 56 percent, vitamin A increases 285 percent, B1 increases 208 percent, B2 increases 515 percent, B3 increases 256 percent, vitamin C is an infinite increase.

 
The increase in protein availability is of great significance. It is a valuable indicator of the enhanced nutritional value of a food when sprouted. The simultaneous reduction in carbohydrate content indicates that many carbohydrate molecules are broken down during sprouting to allow an absorption of atmospheric nitrogen and reforming into amino-acids. The resultant protein is the most easily digestible of all proteins available in foods.

The remarkable increase in sodium content supports the view that sprouted foods offer nutritional qualities. Sodium is essential to the digestive process within the gastro-intestinal tract and also to the elimination of carbon dioxide. Together with the remarkable increase in vitamins, sodium materially contributes to the easy digestibility of sprouts.

Dried seeds, grains and legumes do not contain discernible traces of ascorbic acid, yet when sprouted, they reveal quite significant quantities which are important in the body’s ability to metabolize proteins. The infinite increase in ascorbic acid derives from their absorption of atmospheric elements during growth.




















 


THIS IS ONLY A SMALL LIST OF SOME OF THE FOODS THAT YOU CAN SPROUT. THERE ARE TONS MORE. YOU CAN SPROUT GRAINS, LEGUMES, SEEDS AND NUTS.


ALFALFA
Alfalfa sprouts are what people typically think of when you mention sprouts. Rich in phytochemicals, they protect against cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis and fibrocystic breast disease. They stimulate natural killer cell activity, which strengthens the immune system. What's more, they are beneficial in reducing symptoms of PMS and menopause, including hot flashes. Furthermore, they contain high concentrations of antioxidants, the body's defense against the destruction of DNA which is the cause of aging. Alfalfa sprouts are abundant sources of vitamins A, B, C, E and K, the minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. Also carotene, chlorophyll, amino acids and trace elements. They contain 35% protein. They are one of the finest food sources of saponins. Saponins lower the bad cholesterol and fat but not the good HDL fats. Animal studies have proved their benefit in arteriosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. The saponin content of alfalfa sprouts multiplies 450% over that of the unsprouted seed.

BROCCOLI
Broccoli sprouts have a mild peppery flavor. They have just recently become popular after it was discovered that they abound with the amazing cancer-fighting phytochemical, sulforaphane. Research studies have shown that they contain 50 times more sulforpohane than fresh broccoli. What's more, they contain glucosinolates and isothiocyanates, substances that protect cells from becoming malignant, at 10-100 times greater levels than in fresh broccoli. Compounds in broccoli sprouts have been shown to reduce the risk of getting breast and colon cancer and to act as an anti-bacterial agent against Helicobacter pylori, an organism associated with causing stomach ulcers. 

Broccoli sprouts rich in these compounds, through raising the antioxidant and thereby the anti-inflammatory capacities of cells, can correct major dysfunctions such as hypertension. In addition, broccoli sprouts are sources of plant estrogens, similar to human estrogen, and so are helpful in cases of PMS, menopause, hot flashes and fibrocystic disease. Nutrient dense, they are rich sources of vitamins A, B, C, E and K, anti-oxidants, the minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. Also carotene, chlorophyll, amino acids, trace elements and antioxidants. Broccoli sprouts contain as much as 35% protein. 

GARBANZO BEANS
Garbanzo beans also known as chickpeas, can be sprouted to make delightfully delicious hummus. It is much richer in nutrients than hummus typically made from unsprouted chickpeas. They can also be used in salads, burgers, soups, or stir fried or steamed with other bean sprouts and vegetables. These sprouts are a plentiful source of vitamins A, C and E, the minerals iron, calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc and amino acids. They contain 20% protein. 

PEA
Pea sprouts (also called shoots) are delicious raw or cooked. They can be sprinkled on salads and added to soups. In addition, they can be steamed or stir fried with other bean sprouts and vegetables. They are rich sources of vitamins A, B, C and E, amino acids, the minerals calcium, iron and phosphorus. Pea sprouts have seven times more vitamin C than blueberries, eight times more folic acids than mung bean sprouts and four times more vitamin A than tomatoes. They contain 26% protein.
Juice pressed from fresh pea sprout is used in different cultures by women as a natural facial mask for beautiful skin.

LENTIL
Lentil sprouts, like pea sprouts, are very tasty and can be eaten raw or cooked. Add them to salads, soups, casseroles or steam or stir fry them with other vegetables. Lentil sprouts are a complete protein, unlike cooked lentils. Eating them raw preserves the amino acid lysine. They are rich in A, B, C, K and E, choline, boron, copper, iron, calcium and phosphorus. They also contain coenzymeQ10, SOD and lignans. They contain 26% protein. Lentil sprouts have been used to cleanse and stimulate the kidneys and adrenal system, strengthen the heart and circulation, and increase energy and vitality. Soluble fibre, of sprouts, increases 300% in 3-4 days in sprouted seeds, compared to the dried seed. Eating lentils, regularly, gives the benefits of soluble fibre, which helps lower LDL cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and regulates insulin levels.

MUNG BEAN
Mung bean sprouts (also called bean sprouts) are the ones you typically see in Oriental cooking. The Chinese have been growing mung bean sprouts for 3,000 years. Mung beans should be sprouted in the dark to avoid a bitter flavor. They are ready when they are 1.5 to 2 inches long. Abundant in vitamins A, B, C and E, the minerals iron, potassium, calcium and magnesium, and amino acids, they contain 20% protein. Excellent for anemia, cardiovascular health, constipation, hair and nail health, liver health, menopause, stress and tiredness, and has an anti-aging skin effect. It has been shown that phytoestrogens found in mung bean sprouts act on certain estrogen-receptors found in the skin, stimulating the synthesis of hyaluronic acid, collagen and elastin, which are vital components of the skin’s structure. Therefore, the regular consumption of mung bean sprouts can help prevent many age-related skin changes, including elasticity and moisture loss. 

RADISH
Radish sprouts taste just like radishes. They are a dark green leaf with a touch of red. They are great on sandwiches or in salads. Their high concentrations of phytochemicals help protect against disease. And because of their naturally occurring plant estrogens, similar to human estrogen, they are helpful with PMS, menopause, hot flashes and fibrocystic disease. These baby green vegetables are rich sources of vitamins A, B, C, E and K, the minerals potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc. In addition, they also contain carotene, chlorophyll, amino acids, trace elements, and antioxidants. A 100 g serving of radish sprouts offers about a third the minimum daily amount of vitamin C required for an adult man, and about 13 percent of the daily allowance of vitamin A. 

RED CLOVER
Red clover sprouts look like alfalfa sprouts and have a mild, sweet flavor. Rich in phytochemicals, in particular genistein, which is known to prevent the formation of new blood vessels inside a tumor, in essence starving the tumor, it is protective against diseases like cancer. In fact, it is one of the world's oldest and most common natural cancer remedies. Red clover contains naturally occurring plant estrogens, similar to human estrogen, so they are helpful with PMS, menopause, hot flashes and fibrocystic disease. Red clover is equally famous as a liver-assisting "blood purifier." Many blood purifiers, red clover included, effectively treat skin complaints, such as eczema, psoriasis, acne, and skin rash. They contain vitamins A, B, C, E and K, the minerals calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, phosphorus and zinc, trace minerals, carotene, chlorophyll and amino acids. They contain 26% protein.

SUNFLOWER
Sunflower sprouts (also called sunflower greens) are grown with the unhulled (with shell) seed. The hulled seeds can be soaked overnight before eating. Sunflower sprouts/greens are considered the most delicious sprouts by many. They are rich sources of lecithin and vitamins D, A, E, B-complex, potassium, calcium, selenium, magnesium, essential fatty acids and iron. The sunflower sprouts are known for their crispness and nutty flavor. They break down fatty acids into easily digestible water soluble form. They are 25% protein. As a medicinal food, sunflower seeds are considered antioxidant, diuretic, expectorant, nutritive and warming. They have been used for thousands of years as a tonic for eyes, helping to decrease light sensitivity, improving energy and fertility.

WHEAT
Sprouted wheat has become a favorite with many who try to follow a natural diet. These sprouts contain vitamins C, E, B complex, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, sodium, potassium, protein, enzymes, chlorophyll, and possibly B-17. In its cooked form, wheat is unacceptable to some individuals, causing mucus congestion, allergic reaction, and constipation. In its sprouted form, a large portion of starch is converted to simple sugars, making it a wholesome food acceptable to many who would otherwise need to eliminate wheat as a food source.

WHEATGRASS
Wheatgrass is the young grass grown from wheat and then juiced. It's use dates back to biblical times and is mentioned often in the "Dead Sea Scrolls". One of the best sources of chlorophyll and it's pure sunlight energy. Wheatgrass is grown on soil in trays, cut and juiced when mature. It is one of the greatest known sprouts for detoxing the body and purifying the liver. Wheatgrass juice contains most of the vitamins and minerals needed for human maintenance. It is a complete protein with about 30 enzymes and is approximately 70% crude chlorophyll. Wheatgrass is also an excellent source of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, sulphur, cobalt, and zinc. Wheatgrass juice has been proven to build red blood cells quickly after ingestion. It normalizes high blood pressure and stimulates healthy tissue cell growth.

FENUGREEK
Fenugreek is a wonderful aromatic sprout, which has the scent similar to that of maple syrup. It's seeds are used as a popular spice in Indian food. Fenugreek aids in digestion and is noted for it's lymph cleansing qualities and benefits to female breast health. It is 30% protein. It contains vitamins A, B, C, E, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium and phosphorous. It also contains phyto-nutrients which are considered healthy for women.

Consumption Tips

Most sprouts can be eaten raw; if cooking them, sauté very lightly or just a quick blanch or light steam.  Do not overcook.  Whether raw or cooked, sprouts can be used in a variety of dishes, including appetizers, salads, side dishes and snacks.

They can be juiced, as well but usually added to other vegetable juices. To get used to their flavor, it is better to start with a handful of sprouts added to other green juices and then increase the amount depending on your taste.

Beans that can be sprouted for nutrition, but should be cooked before they are eaten: kidney beans, pinto, black beans and soybeans.

LIST OF RESEARCH ON SPROUTS
HOW TO SPROUT & HERE-Articles
HOW TO SPROUT-Video

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