Just when you thought you’ve made a healthy lifestyle change, someone goes off and tells you it’s not all that healthy after all. Don’t you hate that? Take whole grain bread, for example. Nutrition experts have been trying to get us to switch from white bread to whole wheat bread for years now.
Many of us have been s-l-o-w-l-y making the switch. Healthy, right?
Yeah, you’d think. That is, until you talk to people who are pro-sprouted grains—The Sprouted Grain People, as I like to call them.
It seems that the Sprouted Grain People don’t want us to eat plain old whole wheat breads and pastas at all. Instead, they want all our grains to be sprouted. They say sprouted grains are the way to go. Sprouted grains all the rage. All the cool and popular people are eating sprouted grains.
If you’ve asked yourself recently if you, too, should be cool and popular and eat sprouted grains, you may find this post helpful.
What are sprouted grains?
These are grains that are literally sprouted, usually after soaking and rinsing the grains for several hours or days.
What are the nutrition benefits of sprouted grains?
Though there are a few nutritional experts who would argue eating bread made from sprouted grains is carries no nutritional benefit over traditional whole grain breads (see this article from the LA Times), the Sprouted Grain People disagree.
Here’s what they say:
- Sprouted grains are highly digestible. When grains, seeds and nuts are germinated, their nutritional content changes and, as they are generally not cooked, they retain their natural plant enzymes. The enzymes produced during a natural sprouting process, in effect, breaks down amino acid protein bonds to promote digestibility of the entire grain. They also retain the nutrients that would otherwise be destroyed by cooking. (Fitness Friday Girl Note: Yes, you have to bake [cook] the grains to make bread. And yes, this process will destroy some of the fragile nutrients of the sprouted grains. However, the Sprouted Grain People would still argue that cooked sprouted grains are more nutritionally dense than traditional whole grains.)
- Sprouted grains, seeds and nuts also encourage the growth of good bacteria, help to keep the colon clean, and are high in protective antioxidants.
- Sprouted grains are a good source of fiber and protein, and are high in vitamins and minerals
- Sprouted grains can often be eaten by people with gluten intolerance. In its cooked form, wheat can cause mucus congestion, allergic reactions and constipation. In is sprouted form, the starch is converted to simple sugars, meaning that many wheat intolerant people are able to eat sprouted wheat bread without any problems.
- Sprouted grain breads are low on the Glycemic Index so they are digested more slowly by the body, keeping the blood sugar levels stable for longer, making people feel more satisfied.
How do I eat Sprouted Grains?
If you have the time and desire, you can sprout your own grains through a fairly simple process. You can learn how in this brief overview on how to sprout. or this post from one of my favorite sites Keeper of the Home. You can then use your freshly sprouted grains on salads and sandwiches or you can dehydrated and mill them for baked goods.
For a variety of healthy recipes using sprouted grains, check out Nourished Kitchen. Jenny (the author of Nourished Kitchen) and her readers are serious about their sprouting. And I’m seriously subscribing to this site. It looks wonderful.
If you have neither time nor desire, you can purchase sprouted grain bread from the grocery store (though Jenny would argue that it’s too expensive and not nearly as tasty as sprouting and making it at home.) Food For Life’s Ezekiel 4:9 Bread is the most popular and accessible brand out there. They have a variety of products available, including breads, tortillas, pastas and English muffins. You can check Food For Life’s website for products and retailers.
In fact, in the middle of typing this very post on sprouted grains, I treated myself to an Ezekiel 4:9 sprouted grain cinnamon raisin English muffin topped with organic peanut butter and fresh apple butter. It was de-LISH! I’m not sure if this makes me a Sprouted Grain Person, but I’m certain I am now cool and popular.
Have you tried sprouted grains? What did you think?
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