Beyond the Sprout-Unearthing the Grain

 

To sprout or not to sprout, that is the question! The recent buzz around the health benefits of eating sprouted grains, seeds and legumes has many of us asking, what is all the fuss about, and will it make us healthier? Initially sold in Health Food Stores,  sprouted grains have now made their way into our favorite Supermarket chains, most often nestled in the Natural or Specialty Foods section. Peruse the snack and cereal aisles and you may notice products such as sprouted pumpkin,sunflower and chia seeds.  While we are on the subject of chia seeds, who can forget the Chia Pet?

I for one, can admit to watering mine daily and waiting patiently for the seeds to sprout into a full grown coat of greenery!  Who knew back then, that the Ancient Grain Chia Seed is a superfood, bursting with antioxidants, fiber, minerals, healthy fats and protein. Try adding a tablespoon or two in a smoothie, mixed into your morning oatmeal or added to your baked goods.

Many other types of grains are sprouted and ground to be used in breads and various products. Food for Life puts out a  product line of breads, English muffins and wraps which some of you know as the Ezekiel brand. Sprouted grains are considered far superior to white and other refined flours and are also now being compared to other non-sprouted whole grains. The reasoning behind this  involves the sprouting process, which is believed to release vital nutrients and become a living food. The biochemical changes during germination makes these nutrients more readily available to be used by the body. There exists some studies that suggest certain minerals, such as iron and zinc are more easily absorbed after the sprouting process, which could be very beneficial to vegans and vegetarians alike.  in addition, sprouted whole grains may possibly be better tolerated by
individuals who have a hard time digesting foods high in fiber or foods in their raw state.

My belief is that  you need to consider the actual nutritional value of the food itself and not make the choice by being swayed by marketing hype.  Many food claims exist out there so be wise and weed out the ones that seem too far fetched to consider. Since sprouted grains are still fairly “new” to the mainstream the jury is still out as to how much better they are from regular non-sprouted whole grains.  I myself love my Ezekiel Bread with a thin layer Raw Almond Butter with a few slices of Banana. I eat it not only because it is made with organic whole grain, but because I know it is a better choice than some of the other packaged breads, made with refined flours, chemicals and a ton of preservatives.

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