What Makes Sprouts A Super Vegetable?
Sprouts are returning to the menu! For a while they were either reserved as garnish for fancy chef-y meals or they were the random box that sat in the corner of the supermarket, without anyone realising how good they actually are (sometimes even better than your standard vegetables).
Well that’s changing… Fast.
And this is why.
What are sprouts?
Sprouts are seeds that have germinated, which is simply the process that kicks off the growing of a plant from a dormant seed.
Every vegetable is at some stage a sprout in its journey from seed to plant. However not all sprouts are edible or palatable.
Edible sprouts grow only from the nourishment that is stored in the seed! Pretty powerful right?
What this looks like is often a little tail, which is actually a stem that develops and shoots out of the seed. This is essentially a very young plant.
Why eat sprouts?
Sprouts harbour a powerful nutrient punch, and while I’m a fan of including a variety of all plants in the diet, there is something special about sprouts that make them a wonderful addition to your daily meals.
You can never go wrong with adding more plants to your day.
It is said that the sprouting process increases the availability of nutrients in the seed, because in order for germination to occur, nutrients are required!
This is in comparison to when the seed is lying dormant and those nutrients aren’t required, where they may be “locked up” by anti-nutrients such as phytic acid. When consumed by humans, such as in some non-sprouted seeds, this phytic acid can prevent the digestive absorption of minerals present in the plant.
So a sprouted seed is going to provide your digestion with greater access to the nutrients, and more effective absorption. And sprouts are rich in iron, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate and more… Win!
For the health nuts…
If you’re really into the health world, you may have heard about the proposed powerful benefits of sulforaphane, a compound which is being studied with promising research for its effects on cancer, mortality, brain, behaviour, heart disease and more.
And interestingly, broccoli sprouts are one of the few concentrated sources of sulforaphane!
Additionally, sprouts have also been used for centuries as a powerful superfood in Ayurvedic practices, which is one of the oldest holistic health practices, originating in India.
According to Ayurvedic medicine, sprouts aid in digestion and help lower blood sugar levels, among many other benefits. They are said to balance the kapha dosha, represented by earth, as sprouts themselves represent the counteracting air element, helping to lighten up and cleanse the body.
How do I eat them?
Sprouts are best eaten raw and can be added to almost any meal! If you’re looking for ideas check out my Aussie Breakfast Tacos and Crunchy Noodle Salad.
Here are the sprouts you want to look for:
- Pea shoots
- Alfalfa sprouts
- Broccoli sprouts
- Bean sprouts
- Crunchy combo
Where do I get them?
Aussie Sprouts are available at leading supermarkets for just $2.20!