The Power Of Sprouts And Live Food

Sprouts have been a medicinal and food staple for thousands of years across many cultures. Sprouts while inexpensive and easy to grow, afford one of the most concentrated but truly natural sources of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and amino acids known. The are alive (biogenic), able to grow into a mature plant or transfer their life energy to your body. All raw, unsprouted seeds, beans, grains and nuts are biogenic. When they are sprouted and eaten they provide the body with a form of living energy. Fresh raw fruits and vegetables are considered bioactive – rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins, enzymes and other valuable phytochemicals they contribute to well being but do not create new life in and of them selves.

Living foods revolve around the seed. Filled with nutrients for the growing plant with all the vital enzymes required, the right environment stimulates the miracle sprout. Minutes after raw unsprouted seeds are placed in water to soak, enzymes turn the sprouts into easy to digest food for humans. Natural chemical changes occur which transform the stored starches, fats and proteins via enzymatic action into more simple (predigested) amino acids, fatty acids and sugars. The vitamins C, B complex and others, found only in trace amounts in the seed are produced in much higher amounts as the seed germinates. Seeds also absorb minerals from the water used to grow them, these are naturally chelated, which is a form easily assimilated by the human body. The enzymes active in the seed also assist in the digestion of the sprout in the digestive system, taking pressure off the organs of digestion. Enzymes and many of the vitamins are destroyed by heating foods past 41 degrees Celsius, and the minerals are no longer chelated and so not as available to the body.

Beyond the physical nutritional value of sprouts there is also the immeasurable quality of life force present in live food, which is not present in old, cooked or processed foods. Sprouts provide the body with the capacity for regeneration of cells and tissues, stimulating self cleansing and self healing abilities. Chlorophyll, the green pigment in plants is also fantastic for regenerating blood and a great source of magnesium.

Sprouting is also a fantastic way of involving children in the food growing process and getting excited about eating green living foods. Alfalfa is one of the simplest and easy to grow, but you can also sprout just about any untreated seed, nut, legume, grain. Consider: wheat, rye, spelt, oats – common grain allergens in our diets, once sprouted they do not evoke allergic symptoms, the protein gluten is broken down into amino acids by the sprouting process, leaving them healthy and nutritious. Soaking seeds such as almonds, sunflowers, pumpkin, walnut, makes them much sweeter and easier to digest. Spouting legumes like adzuki, mung, chickpea, lentils – often difficult to digest unsprouted, causing bloating and gas, - makes them highly digestible and a great source of vegetarian protein.

For sprouting, soak seed over night (ensure to get organic, unheated or treated seeds form a good supplier) rinse and drain. Keep in a wide mouth jar, cover the opening with muslin and leave draining on an angle on the sink/bench. Rinse 2-3 time per day, do not let get soggy. Most will germinate within 1 to 3 days, when they have reached the desired length, rinse and store in the fridge. Ready to eat in salads, as a snack, thrown into the morning juice or lightly cooked in stirfrys and soups. Enjoy!

Samantha Warner Naturopath

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