Sprouting is a technique of germinating seeds which can be consumed raw or cooked. The process is easy and improves the digestibility of various nutrients present in cereals and legumes. You must have often heard or been suggested to have sprouted moong dal as a snacking option in between meals. However, you should also know that sprouting is not restricted to moong dal only. Other pulses and cereals can also be sprouted to include in your diet and receive a plethora of benefits such as:
1. Reduced Anti-Nutrition Factors: Some plant based foods contain anti-nutrition factors which are actually produced by plants to protect them from pest and insects by making them sick when ingested. These anti-nutrition factors also interfere with the absorption of other nutrients and the factors include phytic acid, enzyme inhibitors, tannins, lectin and saponins. But sprouting reduces the activity of these anti-nutrition factors and improves absorption.
2. Increased Nutrient Bioavailability: Sprouting increases the bioavailability of many nutrients such as calcium, iron, zinc and vitamin B. For example, studies have shown that sprouting can increase folate by almost 3.8 folds. Another study has shown an increase of vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene on sprouting. This improves the availability and absorption of many nutrients.
3. Improved Digestion: Some people experience bloating and gas after eating pulses and legumes because of the presence of many different enzymes. This can be a reason of colon inflammation as well. Sprouting improves the digestion by breaking down complex sugar and starch molecules that are better for digestion and absorption.
4. Increased Fibre Content: Sprouting increases the weight of seeds by holding water, which also increases the total fibre content in them. The dietary fibre helps in improving digestion and gut health that further prevent the chances of any colon related diseases. The major form of fibre present is insoluble fibre, which improves the transit time and bowel movement essential for a healthy gut. You can also experience the feeling of fullness for longer and can include them as a perfect in-between meal option.
5. Increased Protein Availability: Depending upon the total protein content, sprouting improves the concentration absorption of the amino acids present. Sprouting even breaks the gluten molecule, which can improve the allergic reaction and hence improve the protein availability.
Don’t limit sprouting to your favourite moong dal but other pulses can also be sprouted like black chickpeas (kala chana), soybean, peas, chickpeas, oats, wheat grain, quinoa and much more.