The Healthy Side of Sprouting Grains
There are three main differences between sprouted grain and whole grain: 1) sprouting grains activate food enzymes; 2) sprouting gtains increases vitamin content, and 3) sprouting grains neutralizes anti-nutrients like phytic acid which bind up your ability to fully absorb minerals.
When examining the nutrient density of sprouted wheat to un-sprouted wheat on a calorie-per-calorie basis, youíll find that sprouted wheat contains four times the amount of niacin and nearly twice the amount of vitamin B6 and folate as un-sprouted wheat. Moreover, it contains more protein and fewer starches than non-sprouted grain. Another plus, it is lower on the glycemic index making it more suitable for those suffering from blood sugar issues and diabetes.
When grains, seeds and nuts are germinated, their nutritional content changes and, if they are kept un-cooked, they retain their natural plant enzymes. This in turn boosts metabolism and gives the body a much needed increase in vitamins and minerals. The enzymes present are beneficial for helping aid in the digestion of the seeds and nuts in the digestive tract. As well as retaining the enzymes, they also retain the nutrients that would otherwise be destroyed by cooking. Sprouted grains, seeds and nuts also encourage the growth of good bacteria, known as pro-biotics, which help to keep the colon clean. They are also high in protective antioxidants.
Sprouts, as well as being very digestible, are a good source of fiber and protein. Sprouting grains are high in vitamins and minerals. As an example, sunflower sprouts are high in vitamins A and C, while mung bean sprouts are high in vitamin C, iron, and potassium. Most seeds are high in phosphorus, which is important for alertness, increased mental abilities, and healthy bones and teeth.
When cooked, wheat can cause mucus buildup, allergic reactions and even constipate the digestive tract, reducing the ability for the body to absorb the nutrients. In its sprouted form, the starch is converted to simple sugars, easier to for the body to break down into energy, meaning that many wheat intolerant people are able to eat sprouted wheat bread without any problems.
Flourless bread is made with grains and legumes that are sprouted before grinding into flour. Sprouted grains have increased vitamin and nutrient content because the seed is first sprouted, making it alive and active in its growth process, allowing the ground meal to retain those nutrients.
Some of these sprouted grain breads take on a very sweet taste because sprouting changes some starches in grains to sugars. In addition, the bread is moist and is made without yeast. The bread can also be made with no or low salt, and it is sometimes flavored with raisin and cinnamon to make the bread almost dessert-like. Sprouted breads are generally denser, allowing the fruits to evenly spread throughout instead of sinking to the bottom.
Sprouted grain breads incorporate ingredients in the most unrefined stage possible. This is why these sprouted grain breads are often referred to as live food. They do not contain highly processed flours and the nutrients have not been stripped from the grain and then added back into the product later on.