Sprouts are vegetables that originate as seeds and germinate into young plants when exposed to moisture and the right temperature. They are found in a variety of forms and can be consumed raw or cooked. The reason why so many people are including sprouts in their daily diet is because of the considerable amount of nutrients and vitamins that sprouts contain. Read on to know the many sprouts health benefits that will surely tempt you too into including them in your diet.
An overview of sprouts nutrition
Sprouts contain a great number of enzymes that help boost metabolism and chemical reactions in the body, particularly indigestion. Enzymes are an essential part of the digestive system – they help break down food effectively and increase nutrient absorption in the digestive tract. Moreover, the dietary fibre present in sprouts helps bulk up stool, making easier for it to pass through the rectum. Eating sprouts occasionally can reduce your chances of getting diarrhoea and constipation.
Anaemia results from having insufficient iron in the blood. If you do not consume enough iron-rich foods, your red blood cell (RBC) count will drop and eventually lead to fatigue, stomach disorders, nausea, lightheadedness and lack of concentration. Out of the many sprouts health benefits, one is their high iron content, which means eating them can help maintain an optimal RBC count and improve blood circulation.
Helps in weight loss
Sprouts are high in nutrients but low in calories. This means you can consume them without having to worry about putting on weight. In fact, certain types of sprouts such as broccoli sprouts are great for weight loss. A rich source of chlorophyll and other nutrients, broccoli sprouts effectively helps detoxify your body, thus promoting weight loss. Furthermore, fibre contained in sprouts keeps you satiated for long hours and helps curb hunger pangs, which in turn, reduces overeating and snacking between meals.
Improves heart health
Sprouts are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which helps increase good cholesterol and reduce bad cholesterol in the body. Omega-3 fatty acids are also anti-inflammatory in nature, so they reduce stress on your cardiovascular system. Potassium found in sprouts helps lower blood pressure and release tension in blood vessels and arteries. This boosts the circulation of oxygenated blood while reducing clotting, thus putting you at a lower risk of heart attacks, stroke and atherosclerosis.
Boosts your immune system
One of the primary sprouts health benefits is that their consumption increases vitamin C and antioxidants levels in your body along with chlorophyll content, which helps in detoxification and boosting the immune system.
Helps protect your eyes
Among various sprouts, Brussels sprouts, in particular, stand out when it comes to eye health. They contain zeaxanthin and lutein – two nutrients found in nature and synthesized by plants – that help protect your eyes from various harmful conditions. Adding Brussels sprouts to your daily diet can prevent dry eyes that could potentially cause irritation or damage the corneas.
Sprouts are a nutritious and delicious way to add some flavour to your regular meals and some benefits to your health. They are much more beneficial when consumed raw. However, raw sprouts may lead to breakouts of bacterial ailments and other potentially severe infections. If you are growing sprouts at home, make sure you wash them thoroughly before preparing a bowl of sprouts salad or serving it as a topping. You should purchase them from a reliable sprouts grocery store.
The most common types of sprouts
Here are some of the most popular variants of sprouts, which you can easily incorporate in your daily diet –
- Alfalfa Green Sprouts
- Broccoli Sprouts
- Clover Sprouts
- Mung Bean Sprouts
- Wheat Sprouts
- Radish Sprouts
- Soy Bean Sprouts
- Mustard Sprouts
- Green Lentil Sprouts
- Onion Sprouts
- Sunflower Sprouts
- Pea Shoots
How to make sprouts?
Sprouting legumes and seeds is easy – it does not take much time and effort. Here is how you can do it –
- Pick the variant of sprouts you want to prepare
- Soak the sprouts in a container filled with water and allow it to stay overnight
- Next morning, filter the water and wash the sprouts properly
- Keep the seeds and grains exposed to sunlight for a couple of days
After a few days, you will see new shoots growing. Rinse the sprouts well with clean water and they are ready for consumption
Sprouts are becoming increasingly popular owing to their nutritional benefits. They can easily be added to sandwiches, soups and salads, sautéed veggies, and pasta. Packed with multiple nutrients, they can help you stay fit and healthy.