Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sprouting for Beginners - Day 2

Well the biggest change since the beans began to soak several hours ago is the size of the beans -- they've about doubled in size. After about 12 hours of soaking, directions say to drain and rinse with lukewarm water. We did this. Then we placed the jar on its side, to maximize the surface area of the beans to allow more room to sprout.

Also, I found out that shaking the beans may disrupt them, rendering them unsproutable, so gentleness is important.

You'll read lots of claims about the health benefits of sprouts, and it may be difficult to determine which are actually factual. I did a short review of the scientific literature, and here's my take on the nutritional facts about sprouts:

Sprouting increases enzyme activity, which renders the nutrients more digestible. This means that sprouted grains and legumes may offer a nutrition advantage with regard to total usable amounts of certain vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. For example, phytate, found in whole grains, is a powerful inhibitor of iron absorption. However, when the grains are sprouted, phytase (the enzyme that degrades phytate) is activated, breaking down the phytate and allowing for improved iron absorption.

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