Sprouted Grains are Changing HOW to Eat Healthy

Whole grains are an important staple of our modern diet. Not only do they provide a hefty dose of dietary fiber, but they’re also rich in minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants our bodies need to function. They even contain special enzymes that aid in digestion and help our gastrointestinal tract break down the food more easily. Now that’s a complete food!

But there’s a new type of grain on trend: sprouted grains.

What does sprouted grain mean?
Let's start with the seed that all grains come from. These seeds contain all the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, but in a dormant state ready to be activated. There is a special part of the seed called the “germ” that contains the enzymes that sprout (activate) the seeds.

This germination (the sprouting) of the seed ignites the beginning stages of growth. The enzyme (amylase) activity in the sprouting grain triggers plant growth, and the plant changes from a seed to a sprout to a fully grown plant over time.

Simply put, sprouted grains are grains harvested during the sprout stage of growth. The seeds have been germinated, the nutrients activated, and the enzymatic activity kicking in, but the plant is still in a very young stage–sort of midway between seed and plant.

During this stage, the sprouts offer the high nutrient content of whole grains, yet the easily-digestible nature of sprouts. The enzymes present in the sprouts make them easier for our bodies to break down, absorb, and utilize. Not only that, but the sprouting process increases the presence of certain minerals and vitamins (like Vitamin C, for example) in the grain. Sprouting also makes the nutrients more bioavailable, so your body can utilize the nutrients more easily.

Key Benefits:

*They provide more nutrients

*Easier on the digestive system

*Less likely to raise your blood glucose level (due to the fact they haven’t yet developed complex or simple carbohydrates yet).


More benefits of Sprouted Grains documented with clinical studies

  • More antioxidants. Millet that was sprouted had a higher phenolic acid content. Sprouted brown rice had a higher antioxidant content than white or regular brown rice.

  • More fiber. Fiber can increase by as much as 13% thanks to the sprouting process.

  • Fewer blood glucose problems. One study found that sprouted millet led to fewer blood sugar spikes. Another study found that sourdough and sprouted bread had a lower glycemic impact than whole grain breads. Sprouted brown rice led to better blood sugar control and fasting blood glucose levels.

  • Higher folate content. An Egyptian study discovered that sprouted wheat had a higher folate content—as much to 300 to 400% higher—than regular wheat.

  • More nutrients. One Vietnamese study involved wheat sprouted for 48 hours, and it was discovered that the nutritional quality of the wheat was much higher than unsprouted wheat. A study with sprouted millet found that the minerals were more bioavailable (easier for the body to use) as well.

  • Lower blood pressure. Sprouted buckwheat was fed to hypertensive rats for five weeks, and ultimately helped to lower their systolic blood pressure. High cholesterol was also counteracted by sprouted rice.

As you can see, there are a lot of reasons you should consider adding sprouted grains to your diet!

One thing you need to know is that sprouted grain will affect the way you cook and prepare your food. For example, thanks to the enzymes in the sprouted grains, you won’t have to knead sprouted bread dough as much as you would regular bread dough. The flavor will also be stronger and the bread more likely to spoil.

However, as you can see by the benefits above, sprouted grains are absolutely worth trying. You can make them at home or buy them pre-sprouted. With a bit of creative cooking, you can replace any regular grains with these healthier, more beneficial sprouted grain alternatives!

Here are a few ideas!

  • Sprouted Grain Salad: Toss together sprouted grains with your favorite veggies (like cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers), some fresh herbs (like parsley or basil), and a simple vinaigrette made with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

  • Sprouted Grain Breakfast Bowl: Cook sprouted grains according to package instructions and top with Greek yogurt, almond or coconut milk, sliced fruits (such as bananas, berries, or peaches), a drizzle of honey or maple syrup, and a sprinkle of nuts or seeds.

  • Sprouted Grain Stir-Fry: Stir-fry sprouted grains with your choice of protein (like tofu, chicken, or shrimp), mixed vegetables (such as broccoli, carrots, and snap peas), and a flavorful sauce (try a mix of soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and a dash of sesame oil).

  • Sprouted Grain Buddha Bowl: Arrange cooked sprouted grains in a bowl with roasted vegetables (like sweet potatoes, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts), avocado slices, a handful of greens (such as spinach or kale), and a dollop of hummus or tahini dressing.

  • Sprouted Grain Soup: Add cooked sprouted grains to your favorite soup recipes for added texture and nutrition. They work well in hearty soups like minestrone, vegetable barley, or lentil soup.

  • Sprouted Grain Pilaf: Cook sprouted grains with aromatics like onions and garlic, then add broth and simmer until tender. Stir in your favorite herbs and spices, and finish with a squeeze of lemon juice or a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese.

  • Sprouted Grain Breakfast Cookies: Mix sprouted grains with mashed bananas, oats, nuts, seeds, and a touch of honey or maple syrup. Form into cookies and bake until golden brown for a nutritious breakfast or snack on the go

 

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