Choosing to eat whole grains and seeds more often is a healthy choice, however, even whole grains have their limitations. Sprouting grains can help overcome these limitations. Sprouting is a process that involves germinating a seed until the energy peaks. Some companies will dry and dehydrate the sprouted seeds to lock in the nutrients, others will use them wet and make a mash or puree into tortillas and breads, often called flourless. Specifically, sprouting will affect 5 things:
Whole grains contain something called “antinutrients” which are substances found naturally in foods that inhibit digestion and proper absorption of nutrients. Phytic acid is an example of an antinutrient in whole grains. Sprouting grains helps to “unlock” these nutrients increasing their bioavailability. This allows your body to better digest, absorb and convert nutrients.
Antioxidants are substances in foods such as beta-carotene, lycopene, Vitamin C, E and lignans that act to neutralize free radicals and prevent oxidation which leads to cell deterioration and death. Sprouting grains and seeds such as broccoli seeds significantly increases the amount of antioxidants in the sprout making them potent sources.
Enzymes are proteins found in plant and animal cells. They are responsible for digestion, absorption, metabolism and transportation of nutrients in our bodies. Sprouting grains increases enzyme activity and creates new enzymes making them available for energy and rebuilding
Increased Amino Acids
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. When grains are sprouted the proteins break down into their individual amino acids making the grain easier to digest and the minerals more available for absorption.
Improved Omega 3 conversion
Whole grains and seeds contain omega 3 fats primarily in the form of ALA. ALA needs to be converted into EPA and DHA in order to have the health benefits of reducing the risk for heart disease, arthritis and cancer. The conversion requires zinc, calcium, copper, iron and magnesium; co-factors that are not readily bioavailable in whole grains. However, sprouting grains makes these co-factors more available and improves the conversion rate.
Increased soluble Fibre
Germination increases the amount of soluble fibre in grains which acts as a prebiotic or fuel for the good bacteria in your colon. This helps to stimulate the growth of the good bacteria and discourages the growth of pathogenic bacteria.
Sprouted grain products available on the market today
Silver Hills breads
Way Better Snacks Tortilla Chips
Ezekeil sprouted grain cereal
Blue Mountain Organics sprouted grains
Genesis sprouted breads
Sprouted Corn tortillas