Sprouts are the freshest food possible. Produce from the stores may look fresh, but what does the science say?
* Green beans refrigerated after harvest lost more than 90% ascorbic acid following 16 days of refrigeration; broccoli lost about 50% of both ascorbic acid and beta-carotene
following 5 days of storage. (Howard LA, Wong AD, Perry AK, et al. B-carotene and ascorbic acid retention in fresh and processed vegetables. J Food Sci. 1999;64(5):929-936)
* Following cold storage for 8 days in the light, spinach lost 22% lutein; in 8 days of dark cold, spinach lost 18% beta- carotene (Kopas-Lane LM, Warthesen JJ. Carotenoid photostability in raw spinach and carrots during cold storage. J Food Sci. 1995;60(4):773-776)
* Storage of whole heads of lettuce or endive in the cold dark for 7 days resulted in total flavanol glycoside losses from 7-46% (DuPont MS, Mondin Z, Williamson G, et al. Effect of variety, processing, and storage on the flavonoid glycoside content and composition of lettuce and endive. J Agric Food Chem. 2000;48(9):3957-3964).
Here's what Steve Meyerowitz ('Sproutman') has to say about a couple sprouts in his book Sprouts, The Miracle Food:
"Medicinally, clover is known as a tonic, a nutritive and a blood purifier. Jethro Kloss, the renowned herbalist and author of Back to Eden, called it "One of God's greatest blessings to man." Clover is a wonderful source of volatile oils, carbohydrates, amino acids, flavonoids, minerals, vitamins, and saponins. It's profuse and exceedingly absorbable calcium and magnesium relaxes the nervous system and settles the stomach. This accounts for its role as a sedative and an anti-spasmodic. A tea made from the blossoms is an expectorant and has been used in the treatment of whooping cough. In the medical books of the nineteenth century, clover was a popular ingredient in body plasters. Its lime, silica and other earthly salts make it an ideal plaster. Plasters were used for sores, boils, and cancers. The Shakers used it for cancerous ulcers and burns. Plasters and compresses were also used for childhood skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis. The mineral salts also alkalinize the body and promote detoxification. It had a reputation as a remedy for cancerous growths including cancer of the throat and stomach and was also used for leprosy, pellagra and syphilis.
Red clover flowers are known to promote fertility probably due to its high mineral content. It includes virtually every trace mineral needed by the glands and and helps restore and balance hormonal functions. Its estrogenic activity has been linked to its isoflavone content. It may also balance the acid/alkaline environment of the uterus in favor of conception. The sprouts of red clover share many of the medicinal properties of the other leguminosae (alfalfa, pea, soy, lentil) with an emphasis on blood purification, increasing energy and improving weak nerves."
"Fenugreek is actually a member of the legume (leguminosae) family. It is a cousin of clover and lucerne (alfalfa). Te Pharoahs of Egypt used it in religious ceremonies. The Monks of the Middle Ages grew it to treat blood poisoning, failing eyesight, fevers, palpitations and liver and kidney troubles. It is widely cultivated in Arab countries where it was traditionally used to stimulate appetite. Its chemical composition resembles that of cod liver oil and is considered a 'sister herb' to garlic, enhancing that herbs disinfectant properties. It is a tonic because it is so rich in many minerals including iron and sulfur, and vitamin E. It 'feeds' the blood and is recommended for ailments that are associated with weakness such as anemia and infections. Both the seed and the whole plant are used.
Fenugreek is a demulcent meaning it is soothing to the mucous membranes and reduces inflammations. A tea made form the seeds is used as a gargle and for sore throats. It also acts as an expectoration, clearing the mucosa of the chest and of the respiratory system. Byzantium mothers used it to increase their milk supply. Poultices made from the stalk and leaves have been used on wounds, boils, sores and tumors. The seed contains beneficial volatile oils and steroidal saponins which may be used to regulate blood cholesterol. Fenugreek sprouts have both the properties of the seed as well as the plant. This sprout should be used to stimulate and to fortify."
Remember..."Let food be thy medicine and medicine by thy food." There's no better medicine OR food then fresh green sprouts + microgreens.
The sesame seed vitamin E misconception
I was asked by someone recently why I say that sesame sprouts are a great source of vitamin E, when all of the available nutrition information on it says that they only have around 2% of the RDA per 100-150 grams. That's around .4 mg of vitamin E, virtually nothing.
The answer is that unsprouted sesame seed has virtually no alpha-tocopherol (which is the tocopherol that they count when measuring vitamin E content because it's allegedly the most bioactive), but sprouted sesame seeds have very high levels. The study "Effects of germination on chemical composition and functional properties of sesame (Sesamum indicum L.) seeds" proves this; ungerminated sesame seeds had no measurable vitamin E content, but after 4 days of germination they had 32 mg/100 g! That's over 200% of the RDA!
Now, I don't recommend sprouting sesame for 4 days because it tends to get extremely bitter after around 2 days of germination, but the above study showed that even just 2 days of sprouting increased the vitamin E content to around 18 mg/100 g, which is still 120% of the RDA.
This example highlights the fact that you CANNOT compare the nutritional value of unsprouted seeds to that of sprouts, because there is such a huge increase in nutrients after sprouting. B vitamins will increase by a few hundred to multiple thousand percent, vitamin c increases exponentially, vitamin e can increase hundreds to thousands percent of the unsprouted seed, mineral content can increase, mineral bioavailability increases dramatically. That's why sprouting is so powerful.
Even the media is catching on: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/0...n_1846601.html
Last edited by Living Food; 02-19-2013 at 01:29 PM.
It's also very interesting to note that the study says Linolenic acid increased in germinated sesame seeds. This is an omega 3! Linoleic (omega 6) fatty acid decreased.
I wonder if omega 3s increase during sprouting. This is good news for people who are struggling to have enough omega 3s in the "proper" ratio of 1:1 to 1:4 omega 3 to 6.
edit: actually from further reading on linolenic acid, linolenic acid is classed as omega 3. Yet... the two forms of linolenic acid are the omega 3 alpha linolenic acid and gamma linolenic acid. GLA is an omega 6 so... I wonder if it's just more the GLA increased than the ALA.
Perhaps there needs to be more research on the proper amounts or ratio of omega 3 to 6s as that may be generalized.
GLA has been found to be an omega 6 that doesn't contribute to inflammation. Inflammation is one of the arguments given as to why we require a ratio of 1:1 to 1:4 omega 3 to 6. So who knows... lol.
If GLA is so good perhaps that ratio is not entirely accurate, since GLA is I think mostly found in plant sources. perhaps this ratio is considering only alpha linolenic acid to linoLEIC acid, and not altogether all omega 6s which include GLA.
Last edited by Non; 02-19-2013 at 04:06 PM.
Excess amounts of LA(linoleic) and AA are unhealthy because they promote inflammation leading to the diseases described above. However, GLA may actually reduce inflammation. Much of the GLA taken as a supplement is not converted to AA, but rather to a substance called dihomogamma-linolenic acid (DGLA).DGLA competes with AA and prevents the negative inflammatory effects that AA
would otherwise cause in the body. In addition, DGLA becomes part of prostaglandins that reduce inflammation.
Having adequate amounts of certain nutrients in the body (including magnesium, zinc, and vitamins C, B3, and B6) helps promote the conversion of GLA to DGLA rather than AA. So we see once again that over all nutrition is important.
Last edited by Non; 02-19-2013 at 04:36 PM.