Sprouts are nutritional power houses. They can also be regarded as “King of All Foods” given the amount of nutritional value they contain. There is no other wholesome food as sprouts.
However, sprouts are linked with two health risks, which make the people give a second thought about including them in their meal 1. Food Poisoning 2. Gastric Problem
Let’s weigh the advantages over risks associated in eating sprouts, to help you understand if they are worth including in your meal. Also find out the ways to avoid the problems given the value they offer for our health.
Sprouts are germinated seeds. The process of germination begins with soaking the seeds for 10-12 hours based on the type of seeds chosen for sprouting. Then they are exposed to optimal temperature and moisture conditions for 48-72 hours. Once they are about 1.8-2.5 inches, they are ready to consume.
What to Sprout: There are variety of seeds, grains, nuts and legumes available for sprouting. But only few of them are ideal for consumption. Find the list below
- chick peas
- Finger Millet
- Alfa Alfa
- Mustard Seeds
- Radish Seed
Sprouts are rich in Protein, Fibre, Antioxidants, Folate, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate, Phosphorus, Magnesium and Manganese. The process of sprouting decreases the amount of carbohydrates as carbs will be utilized in the process of germination. Sprouting reduces the amount of anti-nutrients, compounds that reduce the ability to absorb plant based nutrients by body. Hence the body can absorb all the nutrients that sprouts contain comparing with their raw forms.
Risks Associated with Sprouts
Knowing the value addition of Sprouts, People started including sprouts in their meal. However, there are two risks associated with consuming Sprouts.
1. Food Poisoning
One issues is often linked with Food Poisoning. There are chances of sprouts being contaminated with Salmonella and E coli bacteria, if proper hygiene is not maintained during their preparation. Salmonella and E Coli bacterial infections may cause stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. Though these symptoms are not life-threatening, still a cause for concern.
Don’t give up eating sprouts as the problems associated can be rectified. By Following simple tips, we can reduce the risk of contamination
- Prepare At Home: It is always good to prepare your sprouts at home. It is cost-effective and hygienic. For some simple tips and techniques, Read: The Right Way Of Sprouting
- Storing: Refrigerate the sprouts below 8°C/48°F. You can use the refrigerated sprouts for about a week.
- If Bought From Market: Check for smell and appearance. Always buy fresh and chilled sprouts
- Consider Washing with Boiled Water: It is not mandatory to wash sprouts with boiling water. If you have fear of contamination, Boil the water —–> switch off the stove —–> Add sprouts —–> Strain and Consume
(Note: Cooking reduces the amount of nutrients in the sprouts)
2. Gastric problem
70% of the people complain gastric problem during their initial days of Sprouts consumption and eventually give-up eating. Sprouts are rich in protein. Proteins are building blocks of human body. Adults need 1gram protein/1kg body weight where as Children need 2grams protein/ 1kg body weight considering their growth. Hence giving up on protein rich diet rather deprive your body from essential proteins than doing any good.
People generally complain about Bloating stomach, Feeling of fulness, Loss of Appetite, Burping, Farting etc. Symptoms range from mild to moderate depending on their protein tolerance levels. Generally speaking foods Rich in Protein cause mild gastric problems. Sprouts are very rich in plant based protein hence mild gastric problem is not a wonder.
Let’s have a look at the problems and their solutions
What Causes Gastric trouble ?
- Oligosaccharides and some plant fibers – Oligosaccharides are complex sugar compounds. Our body doesn’t have enough enzymes to digest them. The same goes with some plant fibers that are present in Sprouts.
- Foods that are not chewed properly – Eating too fast, gulping food and water together creates air in the stomach and causes bloating problem
- Foods that are incompletely absorbed – If Unabsorbed food goes into the intestines, the bacteria in the large intestines reacts with it and breaks it down, resulting in Gas production
- Constipation – Accumulation of fecal matter in the intestine for longtime creates bad gases resulting in flatulence. Bacteria in the Intestines is a major reason for flatulence.
- Eating Cooked & uncooked food together: Cooked food is soft and easier to chew, digest and absorb while uncooked/raw food needs good efforts to chew, digest and get absorbed. Hence eating them together confuses the system and uncooked food reaches intestines undigested, leading bacterial reaction and then Flatulence
How To Avoid Gastric Trouble?
Having mentioned the reasons for gas production, do’s & don’ts you might have understood by now what you should do to avoid Gas production. To summarize;
- Chew Properly – Sprouts are considered as Raw food. Hence, you need to put twice the efforts in chewing. Chew as much as possible as it reduces the stress on stomach in grinding and eases the digestion process. And also reduces gas production as during the process of chewing it mixes with essential enzymes that are present in saliva and makes the digestion process much smoother.
- The Length of the Sprout – The more the length, the lesser the gas production. When you are growing sprouts at home, make sure they are at least 1.8-2.5 inch long.
- Constipation – Let’s talk about it. The accumulated fecal matter in the large intestines is a major underlying cause for gastric problem and many other colon related chronic disorders. As it a topic people hesitate to talk about or discuss in public, though it is a problem that can be rectified easily; becoming a chronic illness infecting colon.
Defecating twice a day is a healthy practice. We assume that if we defecate once in a day our colon is clean, which is not true. Not digging deeper about the reasons (which may make you feel uncomfortable reading), I am presenting you with a simple remedy to avoid constipation.
Start a Good Practice today
- Start your day drinking 1250ml of Luke warm water. If you have a habit of defecating once in a day, as a natural course, your colon gets cleaned 10-15mins after consuming warm water
- Do Exercise for about 30 mins to 1 hour. If you don’t have a habit, start today with just walking. Physical exercise is always needed and helpful in many ways. Lack of physical activity is one of the reasons for constipation
- After 2 hours, now drink another 800-1000ml of water. Defecate one more time now. Defecating twice a day will clean your colon completely and you no longer face gastric problem.
(Note: Drinking 2 ltrs of water in the morning may be difficult in the initial days. But the after effects will amaze you. You feel more clean and active)
- Mixing Uncooked & Cooked Food Together- Don’t eat Sprouts along with your regular cooked breakfast or meal. Give a gap of at least 3 hours to ease the digestion process. 30% of sprouts go undigested and unabsorbed if raw & cooked food eaten together. Hence flatulence forms in colon large amounts.
Sprouts come with variety of health benefits includes, providing good protein and fiber to the body, maintaining blood sugar levels, reduces cholesterol levels thus maintaining healthy heart, levels hormone balance correcting illnesses like Thyroid, PCOS etc. Having known the health benefits of sprouts, it is highly recommended to include sprouts in your meal. The risks associated with eating sprouts can be overruled by switching to a healthy Eating-Style, including chewing well, not mixing cooked food with sprouts, defecating twice a day, prefer eating well grown sprouts. Knowing both the benefits and the ways to overcome risks associated in eating sprouts, we can conclude that Sprouts should make their appearance in our meal plate for a healthy life.
I Am “The KING” of All Foods, Says SPROUTS