The Benefits Of Sprouts And Microgreens

Bursting with nutritional benefits and flavour, and high in antioxidants, sprouts are a great source of fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals. They can be eaten raw or added to almost anything you can eat – your salad, stir fry, omelette, sandwich, cereal, juice or smoothie! Sprouts are consumed very early in their growth cycle. Having accumulated enormous amounts of energy, in preparation for a rapid growth spurt. It is this energy that is captured in the sprouts as living phytonutrients and enzymes, proteins, vitamins and minerals.

broccoli-sprouts-growingPerhaps the biggest dietary issue we face today is the lack of living food on offer. Even ‘fresh’ fruits and vegetables may have been in cold storage for up to 7 months! Phyto-nutrients and enzymes are responsible for many of the bodily functions that we most take for granted. Such as digestion, metabolism and nutrient synthesis. Old, packaged and processed foods, lack any of these critical agents. But according to this study from the International Journal of Applied Science – sprouts have the highest phytonutrient to calorie ratio of any food! Sprouts are eaten living! And as a result, come packed full of all those living goodies – Lipase, an enzyme known to break down fats stored in the body, aiding in weight loss – Protease, essential in the economical absorption of protein – Amylase, needed for healthy and efficient digestion. Cytochrome oxidise, one of natures most powerful antioxidants –Super oxide dismutase, known to lessen the effects of slow cell aging and radiation on the body, and Transhydrogenase, an enzyme known to strengthen the musculature of the heart. In a document published by the International Sprout Grower’s Association, some of the most significant research surrounding the health benefits of sprouts, has recently come to light. Sprouts may improve cardiovascular health, prevent heart disease and stroke, improve bone mineral density, protect DNA against free radicals, and potentially help to treat diabetes, Parkinsons disease, and arthrits. The research also goes some way to explaining sprouts powerfully anti-carcinogenic properties.

Sprouts are also among the most alkalising of natures foods. Our habitual western diet, high in sugar, meat, quick release carbohydrates and dairy products, has an overwhelmingly acidic effect on the body. And this acidity is undoubtably a factor in many of the endemic health issues our society faces. Heart disease, diabetes and cancer have all been linked to acidity in the body, and likewise, can be prevented, even combated through alkalisation. Cancers can simply not thrive in high oxygen, alkaline environments! Consuming alkaline food and water can help to return your body to the ideal PH state of 7.365, necessary for its optimum health and well being.

Impact on the environment

It takes approximately 16000 litres of water to produce a single kilogram of beef – Divide that by the hundreds of millions of acres taken up by the meat industry in this country, and you have one of the most inefficient means of producing food in the world.

Compare this to the production of sprouts

Not only are sprouts arguably natures greatest superfood. Their growth also has a very low impact on the environment. Though the propagation, and consumption of sprouts is a relatively recent development in the west. During World War II Dr. Clive M. McKay, Professor of Nutrition at Cornell University kindled considerable interest in fresh sprouts through his research . Dr. McKay opened with this ‘request’: “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.” – think about it.