Sprouts the nutritional powerhouses
Flaxseed is a small seed that is a nutritional powerhouse–a rich source of phytoestrogens(female sex hormones), essential fatty acids, enzymes, protein, lignans, vitamins and minerals. Protein found in flaxseed is similar in composition to the protein found in soybeans. For vegetarians natural sprouted golden flaxseeds are an excellent plant protein almost equivalent to meat. The world is facing an increase in degenerative disease which is the accumulated toxicity in the body resulting into deficient immune system. Flaxseed is very alkaline and it helps to prevent heartburn and detoxification process to restore the body’s proper alkaline balance.
But the most important point in this article is the use of sprouted versus unsprouted flax seed or for that matter any sprouts like mung seeds, chick peas,green peas etc. Sprouted seeds and beans are the most complete and nutritional food tested. So what happens during the sprouting process.Sprouting starts with germination. Again there is difference in the sprouts purchased from the grocery store and those grown at home. Those grown at home are without any contamination, insecticides, pesticides or any harmful chemicals. Sprouting is a very easy process and a great fun. It can be done in a simple glass bottle or a conventional inexpensive sprouter. I have a 3-tier plastic sprouter which has grooves that prevents the seed from overlapping and crowding. The temperature and moisture are the most important factors in getting good long and crispy sprouts. If you think that the temperature has gone down such in winters you can wrap a small blanket around the sprouter. The most beautiful thing about home-grown sprouts is that we can grow them indoors. This way you can have the year-long continuous supply of sprouts. Another important parameter for sprout growth is the amount of light required for the process. If they are grown in a darker area, they are long and crispy that those grown in full sunlight. Another trick in getting long crispy sprouts just like those from the grocery store is to cover them with some heavy object once they start germinating i.e. second or third day.
What happens during sprouting:
A seed uses its stored proteins and carbohydrates during the germination process. From germination to sprouting these complex proteins and carbohydrates are broken down to simple amino acids and simple sugars. Sugar here is not the table sugar or the cane sugar. It is the simple, easily digestible constituents of carbohydrates. So one thing is for sure that sprouting makes seeds and grains more digestible and more nutritious. This process takes place in the presence of light and enzymes. Enzymes are biological catalysts which means they help in regulating the process. Enzymes aid in the elimination of toxins, construction of new tissue, muscle, nerve cells, bone, skin and glandular tissue. Every single system of our body from the brain, to muscles, nervous system, vascular system, cell reproduction, growth, immunity, antioxidant defense depends on a variety of enzymes. We have a limited capability of synthesize enzymes in our body. So as we age the production of enzymes decreases. Here comes the sprouts to our rescue. It is quite easy to understand that if the required enzymes are not present in our food they will have to be extracted from our body system which means our body will have to do a lot more work than usual leading to so many ailments. Sprouted seeds and beans have 10 to 100 times more enzymes than fruits and vegetables depending on the seeds. There is no food on the planet that has more enzymes than the sprouts.
Sprouting produces vitamin C and increases the vitamin B content, especially B2, B5 and B6. Carotene increases dramatically, up to eight times the seed, grain or legume’s original levels. The sprouting process increases all nutrients, including enzymes and trace minerals, from 300 to 1,200 percent! Is it not surprising and unbelievable ? Yes it is but it is true and tested. Another advantage of sprouts is they are “Predigested Foods”.
Hemp which belongs to the cannabis family is another excellent source of nutrition and is full of exceptionally good fat in the form of essential fatty acids as well as Vitamin E. A tablespoon contains 5g which is about the same as what we get in an egg and about the same as flax when we consider only the weights.But there is lot of difference in regard to omega fatty acids.Hemp has a lower Omega 3:Omega 6 ratio (about 1 : 2.5), flax has the reverse ratio (3:1 Omega 3:Omega6). Generally we are deficient in Omega 3 so flax offers more of the 3′s but the ratio of 3 to 6 in hemp is still in good balance as our bodies require more 6′s than 3′s overall. Both hemp and flax provide almost the same nutrition as the fish oil. So for those people who do not like the smell of fish oil hemp and flax can be a good substitute. Sprouted hemp has exceptionally high nutritional value than the dry unsprouted seeds.