Monday, March 26, 2012

The Benefits of Sprouting Grains

Sprouting your grains is a forgotten art. Did you know that EVERY single culture in the world used to soak or sprout their grains? When I read that I was like KA-ZA-WAH?? (I know, don't you love my proper English?) It was just shocking to me to once again find that our culture has been so diluted with the need for "fast" or "convenient" food that we have forgotten how to use our ingredients that can be truly healthful.  

When you soak or sprout grains you activate food enzymes that are normally dormant in a grain that is actually a seed, the same goes for nuts. And since it is a seed, there are nutritional inhibitors and toxins that prevent the seed from germinating. However, when there is enough moisture those inhibitors and toxins are removed and what is left is enough nutrition to sustain the seed to grow. So when we soak our grains we are in essence copying nature and leaving behind a nutrient dense grain that can be consumed without worry.

Some of these inhibitors and toxins found in unsoaked/unsprouted grains are: {1} enzyme inhibitors, phytates (phytic acid), polyphenols (tannins), and goitrogens.

One of the big things that concerns me the most is the phytic acid. Phytic acid is an antinutrient, yes, you read that correctly. In fact Microsoft Word did not even recognize antinutrient as a word. An antinutrient is just that, not nutritious. The way phytic acid works is that it brings minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and copper together and binds them so that they cannot fully be absorbed by your body.

So in reality, all these whole grain diets are creating more problems in the long run because people become deficient in most of the nutrients they are consuming. Studies have also shown that consuming grains this way can increase risks of bone loss.

{2}“This process allows enzymes, lactobacilli and other helpful organisms to not only neutralize the phytic acid, but also to break down complex starches, irritating tannins and difficult-to-digest proteins, including gluten. For many, this may lessen their sensitivity or allergic reactions to particular grains. Everyone will benefit, nevertheless, from the release of nutrients and greater ease of digestion.

Sprouted wheat has four times that amount of niacin than unsprouted, twice as much vitamin B6, almost twice as much folate, less starch, and it is also lower on the glycemic index.

All these benefits make sprouting on top on my list for lifestyle change. It is really easy to do and you don’t necessarily have to invest in any sprouting equipment. Make sure to plan ahead, and you can have delicious sprouted grains for you and your family that are packed full of good nutrients and can help you to have great success with healthy traditional foods.

Happy Feasting!

{1} The Benefits of Soaking Nuts and Seeds- By Delicia Beaty and Sharon Fouch

No comments:

Post a Comment