- July 5, 2015
- Posted by: Melissa Albers
- Category: Articles, Fruit and Vegetables
Sprouts are healthy, but why? What are sprouts and what are the sprouts health benefits? How to make sprouts? And what are, next to soybean sprouts, the most common used sprouts?
Seed, bean, grain and plant sprouting
Sprouts grow from seeds and are the first young plants that sprout from seed. Sprouts come in various forms such as seeds and crops, beans, seeds, legumes, grains and some grasses such as wheatgrass. The young plants are known as “sprouts”.
Bean sprouts nutrition facts
During the sprouting process, the small plant contains of lots of energy, which is necessary for the plant to grow. During sprouting, where various processes occur, there are released numerous enzymes that increase the nutritional value of as well as the seed itself and the plant. As a result, the nuclei (also called seed vegetables) contain plenty of healthy nutrients such as proteins, dietary fibers, vitamins (vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, folic acid, B12, C, E and K), and iron, magnesium and selenium in a highly concentrated form. The concentrations and types of nutrients vary per sprout, but bean sprouts are one of the types that have a very high nutritional value.
In addition to the high nutritional value of bean sprouts and other varieties, most sprouts are also rich in antioxidants that can provide (cell) protective effects. For example, researchers demonstrated that broccoli sprouts can reduce oxidative stress and have a positive effect on cholesterol levels. They also seem to be able to protect the gastric mucosa against harmful bacteria such as Helicobacter pylori, which is responsible for the appearance of gastritis (inflammation of the gastric mucosa).
Soybean sprouts, alfalfa sprouts and more…
Sprouts that almost everyone knows are soy bean sprouts and alfalfa sprouts. These types are produced on a big scale and can be found in almost every supermarket. But als cress is well-known.
Less known species are broccoli cress, mustard cress, radish cress, rocket cress, Chinese chives, adzuki-, lentil, chickpeas-, wheat, rettich-, fennel, asparagus, red cabbage and red beet sprouts and sunflower sprouts. All species have its own distinctive flavor ranging from nutty to soft sweet, from spicy to earthy, garlic-like or neutral.
How to use sprouts?
Sprouts are not only delicious in a salad or as a garnish in a wide variety of hot and cold dishes, but can also be added to wok dishes. In all cases, sprouts provide a fresh, crunchy bite. But not only as part of a meal, even if as stand alone vegetable sprouts are very tasty.
How to make sprouts?
Sprouting mung beans, alfalfa, and mustard cress or growing soy bean sprouts is very easy. Of course you can buy sprouts in the supermarket or local markets, but self-cultivated sprouts are cheaper, fun to do and often the result is fresher and tastier. Moreover, your harvest often contains more nutrients than the packs you buy in the store.
Within a few days, your homegrown sprouts are ready to eat. Just experiment with different blends of seeds or make your own mix. You can grow in various ways. Regardless of how you grow them, it is important to pay attention to a few things. The sprouts need lots of daylight and plenty water, at least twice a day. Plenty of watering is needed in order to prevent mold. The best temperature is between 18 and 22˚C. The room must be adequately ventilated.
The two most common methods are special devices and or jars. Both forms are okay, but please be aware that not all types of sprouts can grow in a jar. On the Internet you can find out how sprouting works.
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