It is more than “ok” to add sprouts to your plate every day. With benefits ranging from a healthier heart to being more satisfied with fewer calories, sprouts are a must-have for your daily dining experience.
With new “super foods” hitting diet fads each month, you may be asking if daily consumption of sprouts is the right choice. If you would like to include sprouts into your daily dietary routine the good news is that with moderation, forward planning, a few good recipes, and due caution, the answer is absolutely “yes!”
From fuel for exercise to repairing damage to your system from past food choices, sprouts run a serious gamut of bonuses to your daily intake.
This is the big one first! Daily consumption of even a comparatively small measure of sprouts of any kind is currently showing positive results in lab tests. Among both human and animal tests, the level of bad cholesterol diminishes, and level of good cholesterol rises. Dietary researchers are hesitant to confirm conclusively that the sprouts are the sole cause, but the confidence in the results is more certain with each confirmatory test.
Sprouts are incredibly high in fiber which is vital for a properly functioning digestive system. Within dietary science fiber is broken down into two varieties: soluble and insoluble. The soluble breaks down into the liquid systems in the stomach. Insoluble do not break down (think the shell of corn kernels).
Sprouts contain both soluble and insoluble and the fiber they provide keep bowel movements regular and soft. According to Dr. Mark Babyatsky, chair of the department of medicine at Mount Sinai, the benefits extend to prevent constipation, hemorrhoids, and diverticula.
Great Source of Protein
Sprouted chickpeas contain, per quarter cup, 9 grams of protein. Unsprouted chickpeas only provide 5.8 grams in the same volume! Eating the same food which is a great food unsprouted delivers only 64% of the potential benefit, which makes a big difference, especially for the vegan dieter.
Protein is a major component in muscle growth and health. There is a reason that athletes in a rush can be spotted shaking a plastic bottle filled with protein-rich shakes. Protein encourages muscle growth and stamina and acts as a fuel source for long-term exercise. It is found to be a major component in collagen production in the body, which effects skin elasticity, bone density, joint inflammation, and respiratory health.
Potential Control for Blood Sugar
A few preliminary studies show a potential for regulation of A1C, the holy grail of combating diabetes.
As with the studies on heart health more studies are required to find consistent results, but thus far diabetic test subject consuming some form of sprout on a regular basis over the course of time have shown positive A1C regulation. Theories vary on why, but enthusiasm is high for the implication of such a simple inclusion in diet to affect a decrease in diabetic symptoms.
A Few Cautions for Sprouts
As the science continues to encourage both heart health and diabetic recovery, their prevalence in common consumption will most definitely grow. That’s great news, but exercise caution that not all health food suppliers take the same precautions.
Always make certain that sprouts are fresh and supplied from responsible growers. Cutting corners with sprout production can lead to food poisoning as many sprouts are consumed raw.
If at all uncertain, cook them. Studies have shown that cooking a sprout can reduce the nutrients available. The reduction, however, is limited enough to make it negligible, especially when compared to the risk of food poisoning.
As long as you trust your supplier, or even more confidently, grow your own, raw is a great way to consume sprouts.
One Final Caution
Start slowly with your sprout inclusion. The fibrous nature of sprouts creates healthy fermentation in the gut. If your digestive system is not accustomed to high volumes of fiber rich foods, the fermentation process will cause incredibly uncomfortable bloating.
The bloating is, needless to say, followed by a great deal of gas.
Cleaning up your eating will always lead to a result of your body expelling toxins. However, too much too quickly can lead to more uncomfortable social situations.
According to Julian Alcaraz, functional fitness coach for Street Parking, sudden changes in diet can make you very uncomfortable and lead to sharing your cleanse with more people than you intend.
How To Eat Sprouts Daily
A big factor in whether or not you should eat sprouts daily is whether or not you can even incorporate them into your cooking. Variety, it is often said, is the spice of life. But when it comes to your nutrition, it is less the spice and more the necessary building block.
As beneficial as the same meal may be the first time you eat it, if it is the sole food you eat for a month, the benefits it brings fall dramatically.
Most sprouts will be a logical addition to a salad as they add a variety of crunch and flavor, especially in combination with more than simple iceberg lettuce. Varieties of spinach, kale, and chopped brussels sprouts make for a brightly flavored salad, topped off with an oil and vinegar-based dressing.
Sprouts and Good Fats
Taking your favorite sprout, once you have had the opportunity to test which ones work best for your palate, makes for a great combination with avocado toast. They mix perfectly with tuna in a tuna salad and garnish beautifully on grilled or smoked salmon. And for someone seeking to sauté would see great results cooking them in whole coconut oil with chicken thighs.
In Shakes and Smoothies
They mix almost imperceptibly into post workout shakes for someone looking to drink in the sprout instead of sautéing them. Combined with a complimentary whey protein, sugar-free nut butter, and oats or your choice of fruit will deliver a carb and protein filled post-workout meal that will help to prevent the crash that normally follows most hard workouts.