Sprouts: Why They are Among the Healthiest Foods You Can Eat ... and 15 Interesting Varieties
Sprouts are tiny, baby plants that are just beginning their
journey into the familiar veggies we know. Yet, at this stage
the sprout is packed with high concentrations of vitamins,
minerals, amino acids and more, which it will need to grow
into a mature plant.
Sprouts are "living veggies" that give you
the benefits of raw food and "live" nutrition.
Eating sprouts, therefore, is said to be among the healthiest
ways to consume your vegetables, because you get higher concentrations
of nutrients, and, because the sprout is still alive and growing
when it's consumed, it is a raw
food, full of live nutrition (which cooked vegetables
do not provide).
"Sprouts are the elixir of life," says Angela Elliott,
a practitioner in holistic modalities and author of Alive
in 5: Raw Gourmet Meals in Five Minutes.
For comparison, whereas a head of broccoli from the supermarket
will degrade in nutritional quality the longer it sits in
your fridge, broccoli sprouts will continue to grow and gain
nutrients, within reason, until you eat them. Further, gram
for gram, broccoli sprouts have more nutrients than mature
broccoli, so eating a small amount of sprouts may actually
be better for you than eating a large amount of mature broccoli.
For instance, a study published in the Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences found that five grams of fresh
broccoli sprouts contain the same concentrations of the compound
glucoraphanin as 150 grams of mature broccoli.
in 5: Raw Gourmet Meals in Five Minutes is the perfect
cooking companion for anyone who wants to explore raw
foods, or simply get more fresh, healthy and great-tasting
foods into their diet -- but doesn't have a lot of time
to do it.
Glucoraphanin is a precursor to sulforaphane, which has been
shown to boost enzymes that protect against molecular damage
from cancer-causing chemicals.
Health Benefits of Sprouts: What Does the Research Say?
Much of the research related to sprouts has focused on broccoli
sprouts. Though these are far from the only healthy sprout,
they do seem to offer exceptional health benefits. Here is
a summary of what research has uncovered about a variety of
- Broccoli sprouts fight cancer and stomach ulcers. Japanese
researchers found that a diet rich in broccoli sprouts significantly
reduced H. pylori infection among a group of 20 people.
H. pylori is known to cause gastritis, peptic ulcers and
possibly stomach cancer.
- Broccoli sprout extract protects against skin cancer.
When researchers from Johns Hopkins University applied the
extract to the skin of hairless mice, it counteracted the
carcinogenic effect of ultraviolet light exposure.
Keep All of Your Veggies Fresh Longer
The MiniMate deodorizes (replacing the backing soda
boxes in the fridge), plus more importantly it also
kills potentially dangerous food-borne bacteria. This
extends the freshness and life of many foods 3 to 4
Plus, the MiniMate features:
- An activated oxygen generator to eliminate odors,
keep foods fresher longer and kill bacteria in your
- Naturally kills odors without any cover-up scents
- Reduces food spoilage and prevents cross-contamination
of food odors
- Breaks down pesticides and herbicides on produce
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- Eating just 113 grams of broccoli sprouts, radish sprouts,
alfalfa sprouts or clover sprouts each day may help to reduce
your risk of cancer by protecting your DNA from damage.
How to Eat Sprouts, and Which Varieties Can I Choose From?
You can easily grow your own sprouts at home using seeds
and an at-home kit, but they are now widely available in supermarkets
as well. Look for fresh, refrigerated sprouts without any
brown discoloration, and experiment with different varieties
to find the ones you like the most (they range in flavor from
mild to spicy). Some of the most popular varieties include:
- Mung bean
- Red clover
Adding sprouts to your salads and sandwiches is an
easy way to boost your nutrient intake.
Sprouts make an excellent addition to salads (for a tasty
and incredibly healthy treat, be sure to try out the Sprouts
n' Greens Salad in Alive in 5) and sandwiches, and you
can even eat them on their own with some olive oil and fresh
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