Sprouts are considered a healthy addition to our diet! Typically grown from seeds and beans under warm and humid conditions, the consumption of sprouts is often caught in the debate of raw versus cooked. Several diet-conscious people, in a bid to have a high-protein, plant-based diet, tend to go for sprouts. But is eating sprouts daily a healthy idea? Come, let us find out!
According to Delhi-based lifestyle medicine physician Dr Anjali Nakra, sprouts are excellent addition to our meal plans. Sprouts can not just be made with only lentils such as moong and moth, but even chana, broccoli, alfalfa, methi and more.
What are sprouts?
Sprouts are germinated seeds which are considered low in calories, sodium and fat. They are packed with nutrients.
“Sprouting is the process of enhancing many nutrients in the food. Sprouting should be done after soaking the seeds or plants for 3-4 hours,” explains Dr Nakra.
How do they help?
- It increases the protein content, thereby increasing its digestibility.
- It increases the content and availability of calcium, vitamins like vitamin c and many phytonutrients like sulforaphanes in broccoli sprouts.
- It decreases the phytate content, and the percentage of carbohydrates and fats.
Is it right to eat sprouts daily?
Well, haven’t we been told that excess of everything is bad? The same applies to sprouts.
“Do not eat the same sprouts every day. Vary what sprout you are taking to ensure that you are getting variety of nutrients. Sprouts are high in proteins and fibre. This may make it difficult to digest for some people and may cause flatulence,” warns Dr Nakra.
The International Journal of Ayurveda and Pharmaceutical Chemistry indicates that eating raw sprouts can lead to a disturbance in Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Ayurveda finds sprouts to be heavy to digest, cause burning sensation, stomach pain and more.
Ayurveda coach Dimple Jangda says the ancient science does not encourage heavy consumption of raw foods or cold foods.
“Sprouts are one of these foods which are considered healthy but Ayurveda has a different view regarding the same,” she wrote in an Instagram post.
Effects of consuming sprouts:
1. They are extremely hard to digest especially for people having vata dosha. Sprouting increases the concentration of protein, fibre and other nutrients and usually higher protein and fibre is considered hard to digest.
2. Regular consumption of sprouts can lead to diarrhea.
3. Sprouts are cold when raw or uncooked, which make it prone to bacterias and Infections like E-coli.
4. Excess consumption of sprouted corns and pulses can lead to increase in Apana vata which in long run can lead to hemorrhoids.
Therefore, it is better to boil and cook sprouts with some spices such as black pepper, cinnamon, garam masala. It makes it easier for digestion and for absorption of nutrients.
Keep these things in mind before eating sprouts
As Dr Nakra points out, we must ensure that sprouts are not slimy. If they are, it means they are spoilt.
Besides, sprouts must always be consumed as a combination with other foods. “Add vegetables and even some fruit – to make a sumptuous salad,” the expert adds.