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The most common sprouts that people regularly use in cooking are alfalfa, soy, and mung bean sprouts, as well as various other types of bean sprouts. Typically, a week after sprouting, the sprouts have the highest concentration and bioavailability of nutrients. They are an important source of nutrients and beneficial health boosts, but should always be used in their raw form to derive maximum benefit. Some of the many health benefits of sprouts are discussed below.
One of the best things about sprouts is that they contain an unusually high number of enzymes. They are an important part of the digestive process, and they help to break down food effectively and increase the absorption of nutrients by the digestive tract. Furthermore, the dietary fiber found in sprouts makes it a very important boost for digestive functions. Dietary fiber stimulates gastric juices, which aid the enzymes already found in sprouts in breaking down food effectively and efficiently.
As was already mentioned, sprouts contain a wealth of enzymes that usually aren’t available through food. This major influx represents a kick start for the body, and can seriously impact the metabolic activity of your body. Beyond that, sprouts also contain a significant amount of protein, which is the essential part of food that allows our body to perform all of its chemical functions. Protein is necessary for almost all bodily processes, particularly the creation and maintenance of cells, organ repair, skin regeneration, bone growth, muscle development, and a number of other very important aspects of health.
Anemia is the technical word for an iron deficiency. This can result in fatigue, lack of concentration, nausea, light-headedness, and stomach disorders. By maintaining your red blood cell count with proper amounts of iron (and copper, which is also found in sprouts), you can improve the circulation of blood in your body, thereby increasing the oxygenation of organ systems and cells to optimize their performance.
Sprouts are one of those super foods that are very high in nutrients but very low in calories. This means that you can eat sprouts without worrying about compromising your diet. Furthermore, the fiber in sprouts helps to make you feel full, both by adding bulk to your bowels, but also by inhibiting the release of ghrelin, which is the hunger hormone that tells our mind that we are ready to eat something. This can reduce overeating and snacking, two of the biggest problems for someone suffering through the problems of obesity.
Sprouts are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, the ‘good’ cholesterol (HDL cholesterol) and can actually reduce the amount of harmful cholesterol in your blood vessels and arteries. Omega-3 fatty acids are also anti-inflammatory in nature, so they reduce the stress on your cardiovascular system in that was as well. The potassium content of sprouts also helps to reduce blood pressure, since potassium is a vasodilator, and can release the tension in arteries and blood vessels.
The are a number of factors that make sprouts a powerful booster for the immune system. Its vitamin-C content alone makes it a powerful stimulant for the white blood cells in the body to fight off infection and disease. Furthermore, as a sprout continues to develop, vitamin A can multiply almost ten times its original content. Vitamin A has a number of antioxidant properties that make a great source of immune system strength.
The antioxidant activity of the organic compounds found in sprouts make it a very good anti-cancer choice for your diet. The vitamin C, vitamin A, as well as amino acids and proteins (including the huge amount of enzymes) can also impact the free radical content in the body. Free radicals are the natural, dangerous by products of cellular metabolism that can cause healthy cells to mutate into cancerous cells.
Some varieties of sprouts, like broccoli sprouts, have been linked to reducing allergic reactions, including asthma, which is an inflammatory condition of the respiratory system. Although the exact chemical pathway is not fully understood, additional research is being done on this topic all the time.
Sprouts are a delicious and nutritious way to add some green to your meal and some benefits to your health.
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