Sprouting is the process of germinating seeds. Germination process takes a few (2-3) days and can be done manually at home. Sprouts can be eaten cooked or raw. Majority of pulses, cereals and oil-seeds can be sprouted.
Here is a list of common food sprouts-
- Pulses (lentil, pea, beans, green gram / mung seeds, fenugreek)
- Cereals (wheat, ragi, jowar, bajra)
- Oilseeds (groundnuts, soybean, almonds, sunflower seeds)
The nutritional value of a food increases substantially during the process of sprouting. Nutritional changes during sprouting are mainly due to the breakdown of complex carbohydrates in their simpler form. These changes make sprouts a preferred choice over dals and pulses.
Following are the benefits of sprouting the food-
1. Digestibility of the food increases.
2. Vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E content of the food increases drastically. (upto 20 times of the original content!)
3. Amount and quality of proteins, B-complex vitamins, fibers increases.
4. Functioning of the minerals in the food increases.
5. Level of toxins or anti-nutrient substances in the food decreases.
Considering these benefits, inclusion of raw or cooked sprouts in daily meals is good for health. Raw sprouts can be a replacement for salads.
Some people may find raw sprouts gas forming. For such people, taking cooked sprouts is a better option.
People usually use the cost, perishability or unavailability of nutritious food as an excuse for not eating healthy. But sprouts being cheap, widely available and easily storable with long shelf life; there is no more excuse for not eating healthy!!