Real Girl Lifestyle

Sprouts: Your shortcut to extra nutrients

Posted on: June 15, 2010

An easy peasy option to regularly enhance your health.

Real Girl will put sprouts on almost anything. Salads, sandwiches and wraps, stir-fry, even pizza. If you juice, blend ’em in. Anything you cook with veges, toss in the sprouts. If you can put sprouts on top of something, do it. Sprouts are a “bang for your buck” kind of food–they’re so densely packed with nutrients, phytochemicals, enzymes, antioxidants, and amino acids, that a little goes a long way toward enhancing your health and even fighting disease.

When you eat sprouts, you’re essentially eating the seed of a vegetable or legume–all the vitamins, minerals, and all that good stuff that will eventually spread throughout the plant are first present in that little seed, and intensified as sprouting begins. As you can read here, “Studies have shown that in comparison to dried seeds, sprouted foods contain an amazing increase in nutrients. During the sprouting process, the vitamins, minerals and protein increase substantially and the calories and carbohydrate contents decrease.” Now how’s that for a superfood–and all the effort you need is a sprinkle.

The most common sprout you’ll find is probably the alfalfa sprout. Look for it at your local salad bar and toss that baby on in. Alfalfa is a legume, actually from the pea family, and it boasts an incredible array of nutrients: calcium, folic acid, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, protein and a full range of vitamins, from A, B complex, C, E to K. Further benefits of alfalfa sprouts include amino acids that fight cancer, saponins that lower bad cholesterol, and more. Eat them fresh, eat them often, and be creative thinking of new ways to fit ’em into your favorite foods.

For health benefits, though, Real Girl’s favorite sprout might be the harder to find broccoli sprout. I usually get them at the green market near my apartment (yes, you can buy veges on the street even in Manhattan!), but the brand BroccoSprouts distributes to supermarkets nationwide, and you can check their store locator for availability near you. Broccoli itself is a remarkable vegetable health-wise, and it has been shown to even help fight cancer. Its sulfur compound sulforaphane increases enzymes that help rid the body of carcinogens and limit oxidation, the process that initiates many diseases. Broccoli’s antioxidant indoles have been shown to help inhibit breast cancer cells and tumor development. Because of the denseness of these phytochemicals in broccoli sprouts, the cancer-fighting effects can be increased from ten to a hundred times that of regular broccoli.

Broaden your sprout horizons. Mung sprouts, radish sprouts, onion sprouts, lentil sprouts, wherever you see them, give them a try. Eat raw or cooked, but as fresh as possible. You’ll be doing your body a Real load of good.

THE DETES

Sprouts offer dense nutrients, phytochemicals, amino acids, and more

Sprouts have been shown to fight cancer

Easily added to any meal to boost its health level


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