Bean Sprouts

Eating on the run is the norm these days, especially when you’ve got a full on work and home life. And as much as I try to make every meal a nutritious culinary experience packed full with goodness it is often a complete FAIL. So make the meals you do have time to prepare count with the help of bean sprouts.

Bean sprout aficionados can harp on and on about the health benefits of sprouts, and while they may seem overly enthusiastic much of what they say is true. A study conducted at Yale University by Dr Paul Barkholden found that B vitamins increased in sprouts by as much as 2000 per cent. Another study, at the University of Pennsylvania by Dr Barry Mack reported a general overall average vitamin increase of more than 500 per cent when seeds are sprouted”. Bean sprouts are also highly praised as a superfood in Ayuvedic health science. The guiding principle around the ancient health science is maintaining healthy digestion. According to Ayurveda the most nutritious foods are the ones we can easily digest (like bean sprouts). Sprouts are the very young shoots of germinated edible seeds from vegetables, beans or grains.

Here’s a few reasons why I love sprouts:

•    Sprouts are easy to digest. Sprouts are a rich source of nutrition that your body can easily utilize. If you ever had problems with legumes causing intestinal gas, sprouting will help you avoid it. Complex sugars responsible for creating gas are broken down during sprouting process making legumes easier to digest.

•    Sprouting magnifies the nutritional value of grains and seeds. During the sprouting process new and higher quality proteins and other nutrients are produced. Research has shown that the nutrients in seeds and nuts are anywhere from 50% to 400% greater after sprouting or soaking. Sprouting increases phosphorus, calcium, iron, and other good minerals inside the seed.

•    Sprouts improve your immune system. Bean sprouts contain around 14mg of vitamin C per 1-cup serving. Vitamin C helps your immune system fight off bacteria and viruses. In addition, vitamin C acts as an antioxidant and fights free radicals that damage your cells, reports the Office of Dietary Supplements. Damage from free radicals can lead to chronic diseases, such as cancer.

•    Sprouts are rich in amino acids, vitamins and minerals. Bean sprouts have the richest source of amino acids (for protein), vitamins and minerals, and also contain a good amount of fiber. They contain all types of vitamins (A, B, C, D, E and K), folic acid and are an excellent source of iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and zinc.

•    Sprouts are easy to grow yourself. Here’s how:

- Place two tablespoons of seeds (mung, soy, broccoli, alfalfa, radish) in a wide mouth jar and fill with two inches of warm water. Let jar sit overnight.
- The next day drain the water using a fine sieve or muslin cloth. Rinse the seeds.
- Repeat twice daily, every day until your sprouts are the desired size. This will take anywhere from three to seven days. Sprouts are best when they’re still fairly small and just starting to turn green.
- Store your sprouts in a covered bowl or food storage bag with a paper towel inside to absorb excess moisture. Use the sprouts within a week.

Make a nutritious salad by adding your bean sprouts and making your own dressing with olive oil, garlic, lemon and sea salt. Bean sprouts can add flavour, interest and rich nutrients to your meal. Add them to your stir-fry or use them in sandwiches or wraps.

fold-left fold-right
About the author
New Zealand based Nature Bee was born in 1997 when Jeff and Ben Cook joined forces. The father / son team discovered a special process developed by Canterbury University, still considered to be ground breaking today, that unlocks the nutrients of bee pollen, making it far more digestible than normal bee pollen. This proprietary process was later to be named the ‘potentiation process' and is continually used only by Nature Bee on their New Zealand bee pollen. Nature Bee is now available in almost every country in the world.

Leave a Reply