Amazing Health Food Sprouts
Sprouts are instant food and can be produced fresh on our own at home. It gives us joy and satisfaction to create something for the health of our family. At the same time it is not very expensive. Sprouts are germinated seeds of grains that have in the process of germination acquired the properties of preserving and growing a life of the particular plant of the seed. That is why it is believed that they have rejuvenating and health-promoting qualities.
Sprouts are treated as living food. Being alkaline in nature sprouts help in improving health by purifying the body, make it immune to disease and enhances the nutritional value of our daily diet. People especially living in cities are being attracted to junk food and fast food which lead to obesity and other health problems. Most of the diseases are caused due to the wrong eating habits. If sprouts are introduced as part of the daily food, they balance the ratio of acidic and alkaline food requirements which is important in maintaining good health.
One can add green chilies, tomatoes, cucumber, coriander leaves and lemon etc. in the sprouts to enhance its taste. By adding these, the dish becomes more nutritious. They give strength and energy to the body. A sick person can recover very fast by taking sprouts in his diet. Young and old everybody can take sprouts but in the beginning the quantity should be very small and increase it gradually.
■ Sprouts are natural, fresh and completely living food. They are more easily digestible, less fattening, more palatable and nutritious.
■ For vegetarians sprouts are a good protein alternative to meat.
■ They are excellent source of vitamins and minerals. Vitamin C, iron, riboflavin, niacin and phosphorus increase after sprouting certain seeds.
■ As they are low in calories one can have generous amount without the fear of gaining weight.
■ The starch present in these convert into glucose, fructose and maltose. They improve the taste as well as increase the power of digestion. The process of the conversion appears gradually in pulses and quickly in grains.
■ They contain a number of oxygen molecules which is necessary for healthy cells. They ward off viruses and kill bacteria. That is why they are called living food.
■ Sprouts are quickly and easliy assimilated by the body and provide quick energy.
■ They are easy to prepare and cost effective, therefore, may suit to every budget.
■ They give natural taste to your meal.
■ They are complete and rejuvenating food without any contamination. The seeds should be thoroughly cleaned and washed at home by removing the broken seeds, soak them in water overnight and in the morning keep in a clean cotton cloth. In summers moisture should be maintained by sprinkling water many times. Within 24 hours sprouts appear. It takes less time in summers than in winters. Eating sprouts kept for long time is not advisable. They should be consumed as soon as the sprouts appear and should be thoroughly cleaned with water before eating.
■ Generally taken uncooked saves fuel. Cooking reduces the amount of nutritional value. So cooking, roasting frying is not advisable. However one can have them steam cooked. Those who cannot chew can have them in the form of semi-liquid by grinding in a mixer without losing the nutritional value. Un-sprouted seeds should be picked up and removed.
■ They fulfil the requirements of the body for preserving life and hence crave for several types of health harming foods are reduced. They also help get rid of drug and alcoholic addictions.
■ Some commonly used sprouts are whole green gram (sabut moong) which are rich in Vitamin A, E and C and are easily sprouted. Alfalfa, fenugreek, peas, lentils, radish seeds can also be included for sprouting. Germinated wheat contain B-12.
■ Germinated fenugreek seeds (methi dana) though little bitter in taste have the power to cure diabetic and rheumatoid arthritis.
■ Chana sprouts provide vitamins and minerals to the body and increases vigour and vitality, especially black chana, which have good iron content.
■ Utmost care should be taken while selecting the seeds. They should be fresh, clean, disease free and without any chemical usage. The seeds should be free of mud etc. Washing thoroughly helps remove the pesticide and chemical residue and other pollutants from the seeds.
By Nibhanapudi Suguna