Have you heard of sprouted grains? Perhaps you’ve considered adding them to your diet to take advantage of their claimed considerable health benefits? In this article we’ll take a look at sprouted grains; find out what they are and how they may benefit us.
Sprouted grains are, as the name suggests, grains such as buckwheat or brown rice (to take two examples) which have been sprouted, usually by soaking in water. These grains have commenced the sprouting process only to have the shoots from the seed stopped in the process of fully growing.
They have been touted amongst their fans as being nutritionally superior to whole grains and there are a number of scientific studies which appear to back up these claims. However to back up a little, why eat sprouted grains over traditional whole grains?
Nutritionists have advised us to eat whole grain bread that has been processed as little as possible for a number of years now. Science has also pointed out that white bread is not only detrimental to our health but also may be a factor in a number of health scourges of recent years such as Type 2 Diabetes and obesity. This is due to the fact that white bread is usually highly processed and contains excessive amounts of sugar.
Health conscious people everywhere have stuck to the advice to favour wholegrain over white bread. I know our family has! However according to latest research, the bar has been raised with sprouted grains offering extra health benefits that exceed wholegrains.
Proponents point to growing evidence of the benefits of a diet rich in sprouted grain showing they are:
- Easily digestible and promote good digestion.
- Encourage the growth of good gut bacteria.
- An excellent source of vitamins, fibre and protein.
- Will help control blood sugar as they are very low in the glycemic index
Sounds great? It should be pointed out though that the jury’s still out on exactly how healthy sprouted grains are for us. Many experts claim that the benefits are lost if the grains are cooked. There appears to be some agreement over this point although fans of sprouted grains claim cooking has only minimal impact on the nutrition level.
Perhaps the answer may be to eat sprouted grains raw as part of a salad or side dish?
Are sprouted grains the next superfood? As always we recommend an all round healthy diet full of the nutrients of whole grains. But switching to wholegrain or multigrain may not be enough in some circumstances. In these cases the evidence appears to suggest the health benefits of incorporating more sprouting grains in our diet.
Have you tried sprouted grains? If so, what has been your experience? We’d love to hear your recipes as well.