Updated: Jun 28, 2021
Sprouted foods, what are they?
Well, they can be any grains that have been sprouted, meaning that they are whole-grain seeds that have just begun to sprout. To catch them when they begin to sprout, these grains are often nurtured in environments with controlled amounts of warmth and moisture. This new moist environment can promote good bacterial growth, as this sprouting process allows the breakdown of some starches, making the percent of nutrients higher. It also breaks down phytate, a form of phytic acid that normally decreases the body's absorption of vitamins and minerals. Hence, eating sprouted grains may allow more nutrients and less starch to be ingested.
The decrease in starch content also makes it easier for the stomach to digest these grains, which is extremely beneficial for those with a hard time digesting grains but still desires to eat them. Sprouting also decreases the antinutrients such as bind nutrients that cause problems with digestion and others that inhibit digestive enzymes and reduce nutrient absorption. For example, phytic acid is one of the main antinutrients that block calcium, iron, and zinc absorption. However, it sprouted grains legumes, their phytic acid content significantly decreased, which improved their iron absorption by up to 50%.
Sprouted grains have a low glycemic index -- an index that measures how fast the food will spike your blood sugar -- compared to 11-grain, 12-grain, sourdough or white bread. Therefore, sprouted grains and bread are more suitable for those with diabetes or high blood sugar.
The increase in nutrients is especially prevalent in folate, iron, vitamin C, zinc, magnesium, and protein. For example, Ezekiel 4:9® Sprouted Whole Grain Bread is made from sprouted wheat, barley, lentils, soybeans, and spelt. This type of bread contains more protein and nutrients than regular white bread. Furthermore, combining grains with legumes makes the protein in sprouted grain bread complete, meaning that it contains all nine essential amino acids, which your body can digest and absorb easier. It contains approximately 15 grams of protein in sprouted grain bread, compared to 11 grams in 12-grain bread.
Additionally, sprouting increases the fibre content as one study found that sprouting brown rice for 48 hours increased its fibre content by 6.1%. Sprouting it for 96 hours increased fibre by 13.3%. Another study found that using 50% sprouted wheat flour in pita bread can cause its folate content to go up by over 160%.
In general, sprouted goods can be easily incorporated into your diet nowadays with bread made with sprouted grains, sprouted brown rice for a curry, or delicious baked goods made with sprouted ingredients to boost healthy nutrients. First, though, be check the ingredients list for any non-essential additives that can harm your health, including excess cane sugar, large portions of blanched white flour, or artificial additives to make the product more flavourful.
If interested in making your own sprouted bread, here is a recipe. Some bread with great sprouted ingredients is from the brand "Silver Hills" or Ezekiel bread (found at most grocery stores in the frozen aisle).