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The Benefits of Soaking and Sprouting and How You Can Do It at Home

Think back to your halcyon days of elementary school when one of your school day experiments was to sprout seeds. The germination process is still a part of most curriculums today, however more and more people are doing it at home too for the incredible health benefits they gain from sprouting.

Sprouted seeds from grains, beans, nuts, as well as other seeds, are all easier to digest, plus they give your body more nutrients than unsprouted seeds. That’s just one benefit. Here are some more to chew over.

It decreases anti-nutrients

Anti-nutrients are just what they sound like. These compounds are in plant seeds and they interrupt the digestive process for vitamins and minerals that occur naturally in the foods we eat. Phytic acid is the biggest problem-maker though there are quite a few more that interfere with your proper absorption of natural nutrients.

Enables nutrient absorption

By the same token, because sprouted seeds stop anti-nutrients from causing a hullabaloo in your digestive system, they help increase your nutrient absorption. So eating sprouted foods helps improve essential amino acids, B vitamins and other important vitamins too.

Reduces inflammation

Grains, nuts, seeds, and beans can cause digestive issues for many because they lead to inflammation. Sprouting helps make available beneficial enzymes so that you can digest these foods easier. Plus, it increases good gut flora to help you even more.

Maximizes protein potential

Proteins are found as amino acids in sprouted foods. These are more highly-concentrated and more easily absorbed in this form.

There’s plenty more to benefit from with sprouted seeds, grains and legumes. They can be eaten raw, but cooking them after they sprout, particularly grains, can be better for absorbing nutrients.

Want to try it yourself? It’s great for your health, plus if you have kids, you can make it a family project.

How to sprout

  1. Soak your seeds overnight in warm water, between 8 and 10 hours.
  2. Rinse the seeds 2 to 3 times a day and let them drain in a sprouting jar.
  3. In 2 to 4 days, the sprouts should be ready. They should be 1/4-inch thick.
  4. Dry your sprouts and then store them in the refrigerator for no more than 3 days.

Caution: important things to know about sprouting

You can’t sprout anything you want though. Pecans and walnuts can’t sprout but if you soak them, it does boost the nutrients. Alfalfa sprouts have been shown to cause some health problems so it’s wise to stay away. And most importantly of all, raw, sprouted kidney beans can kill you. Make sure you cook them before eating them.

When in doubt with your sprouts, simply cook them to keep them free of bacteria and enjoy the many healthy benefits they’ll bring to your table.

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Dr. Candice Seti


California-licensed Clinical Psychologist, Certified Nutrition Coach, and Certified Personal Trainer

Dr. Candice Seti

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