Different Sprouts: Benefits, Risks and Preparation

Sprouts contain a high nutritional density with a lower amount of anti-nutrients, which facilitates the absorption of the compounds they provide. We'll show you just how to grow them.
Different Sprouts: Benefits, Risks and Preparation

Last update: 30 June, 2021

Sprouts are vegetables that stand out for how small they are. They can be grown at home and provide essential nutrients to promote good health. That’s why we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about this ingredient today.

Before we begin, we must emphasize the importance of including vegetables in your regular diet. These products must be the basis of the diet, as doctors associate their intake with proven benefits. Doctors suggest eating at least 5 servings of them a day.

How can I make different sprouts at home?

To make homemade sprouts, suitable to eat, you’ll have to proceed as follows.

Materials

  • Sprouting bag
  • Seeds
A handful of seeds
You must hydrate the seeds for the sprouts and they must receive sunlight to activate the chlorophyll.

Step by step

It’s important to be very hygienic during the whole process in order to avoid the proliferation of harmful bacteria. For this reason, we recommend disinfecting the germination bags prior to use.

The first step is to soak the seeds or grains, washing them well to remove any residue they may have on the outside. Then, place them in a bowl with fresh mineral water to generate hydration. They must remain soaking for at least 12 hours.

Once the time is over, they’re drained and placed in a glass container covered with a cloth or gauze. You shouldn’t completely close it to assure the gas exchange. It’s only optimal to tilt it slightly.

Once you get to this point, you’ll have to wait between 3 and 5 days to obtain the germination, and keep the container in a warm place at around 35 degrees centigrade. When the germination process begins, the container should be exposed to sunlight to activate the chlorophyll in the vegetables, thus increasing their green color.

For conservation, it’s best to store them in a closed and airtight container in a cold place. Before consumption, you should soak them in water.

Which plants can I germinate?

It’s possible to germinate any seed suitable for human consumption. The most common plan is to carry out the process with legumes, such as lentils, beans and peas. These elements are the ones that taste the best.

In fact, it’s very common to germinate soybeans, red cabbage, lentils, broccoli and watercress. You just need to get the seeds of the vegetables and follow, step by step, the aforementioned process.

Advantages and benefits of different sprouts

Making homemade sprouts has a number of advantages. Firstly, they’re easy to obtain and promote self-sufficiency, thus reducing the ecological footprint. On the other hand, it’s much cheaper than buying the same products on the market.

From a nutritional point of view, consuming sprouts is associated with better health, due to the concentration of antioxidants. According to a study published in Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, a regular intake of these elements reduces the production of free radicals, preventing health issues.

On the other hand, we must highlight the presence of vitamin C in many sprouts. This is a nutrient that has been shown to be able to improve immune function, so doctors recommend its daily consumption to prevent the development of infectious diseases.

Lastly, keep in mind that sprouts have a lower amount of anti-nutrients, so the absorption of the elements that make them up is more efficient. This reduces the risk of iron malabsorption, for example. According to research published in The Medical Clinics of North America, if the nutrient’s needs aren’t met, anemia may occur.

Possible risks

The main risks regarding the consumption of different sprouts have to do with the methods used to obtain them. If the person doesn’t carry out hygienic and disinfection processes, bacteria such as Salmonella, dangerous to health, can proliferate.

In fact, the health issues associated with the consumption of sprouts, when they’re homemade, are gastrointestinal. It’s advisable to maximize precautions in this respect.

A woman with stomach pain
The hygiene of sprouts is essential to avoid vomiting and diarrhea affecting intestinal health.

How to use different sprouts in cooking?

You can consume sprouts raw or cooked. In the first case, you can add them to salads or cold dishes. If they’re cooked, you can use them in stir-fries, vegetarian dishes or even vegetable soups and creams.

They’re also an excellent complementary garnish to rice or quinoa.

Sprouts: a healthy option

As you’ve been able to see, sprouts are an excellent option to include more vegetables in the diet. Of course, they aren’t free of risks, so it’s best to take extreme precautions if they’re homemade.

You can also buy them as such in the supermarket, although this isn’t good for its ecological footprint and the cost is higher.

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  • Carr AC, Maggini S. Vitamin C and Immune Function. Nutrients. 2017 Nov 3;9(11):1211. doi: 10.3390/nu9111211. PMID: 29099763; PMCID: PMC5707683.
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