Digestive Benefits of Sprouted Grains, Beans, Nuts and Seeds

We’ve talked about the health benefits of sprouted vegetables, but you’ve probably heard more about sprouted nuts, seeds, beans and grains lately. What’s the big deal? Why have them sprouted?

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Phytic Acid
Grains, beans, seeds and nuts all contain phytic acid, the storage form of phosphorus in many plant tissues. Parts of the phytic acid molecules in grains and nuts actually bind to other important minerals like calcium, iron and zinc. The phosphorus is not actually available.

Enzyme Inhibitors
Phytic acid also inhibits the enzymes that assist us in digesting our food, like pepsin and amylase. This is why a diet heavy in grains can be very harmful to a person’s health. If you are unable to digest your food, then you are unable to extract the nutrients necessary to thrive. The consumption of too many foods high in phytic acid can be especially detrimental to our bones because calcium binds to phytic acids and becomes insoluble.

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Why sprouted?
During the sprouting process, enzymes are released and they break down protein and carbohydrates. This process makes the food easier to digest, which is especially helpful for those with a weak digestive system. Since all of the nutrients are broken down, the body can absorb them more easily and they are not lost in the digestive process.

Are you ready to try sprouting?

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Get to Sprouting for Extra Nutrition

When most people think of sprouts, they think of those long stringy things that they may or may not enjoy on a sandwich. Those are often alfalfa sprouts, but other vegetables can be sprouted as well. Best of all, they provide extra nutrition and flavor.

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What is a sprout?
Sprouts are essentially the first tender stems of a plant. Once a seed has been germinated, it begins to push out tiny leaves. Once they begin to sprout, they produce new enzymes that help them stay alive above the ground.
Benefits of sprouts
Sprouts are packed with nutritional benefits, but they all vary depending on the type of sprout. They may contain everything from vitamins A, B, C, E and K, to magnesium, calcium, amino acids and antioxidants. As sprouts grow, they actually convert some of their sugar to vitamin C, a great immune booster!

Save with sprouts
Sprouts are an affordable way to get additional nutrition. Just 1 pound of seeds can yield up to 8 pounds of sprouts! You’ll often find them at farmer’s markets and health food stores, but if you really love sprouts, don’t be afraid to grow them yourself. The possibilities are endless.

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Which seeds can you sprout?
Here are a few to get you started. Remember that each will provide a different flavor.

  • Mustard
  • Radish
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Onion
  • Chive
How to eat sprouts
Add them to a sandwich, wrap or pita
Top off a salad
Add them to hummus or other dips
Top off a bowl of soup
Have you ever tried sprouting before? What kind of sprouts do you enjoy?
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21 Days to Break a Habit

We’ve all got bad habits- some worse than others. When it comes to health, you’ll likely need to break a few bad ones to make room for some better ones. Perhaps you drink too much soda or eat out too much. Maybe you don’t exercise because you don’t make time for yourself. Whatever it is, today we’re going to look at why it takes 21 days to break a habit. This should help put you on the right path to breaking bad habits and making better ones.

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Mindset
Your mindset is important and it can change rather quickly. Before even attempting to break a bad habit, you need to be in the right mindset. If you tell yourself you have to exercise five days a week for the rest of your life, you’re going to psych yourself out immediately. If you tell yourself you’ll need to do the same thing, but only for three weeks, you’re much more likely to succeed. Once your three weeks are up, try another three weeks. Don’t rush to jump into a new mindset. Give yourself at least 21 days for it to really sink in.

Daily Habits
If you’re going to try and break a habit in 21 days, it needs to be a daily habit. For example, do you have a 16 oz Coke every single morning? Do you stay up until 2am and wake up to go to work at 6am every on a regular basis? These are problems that 21 days can really help with. If you’re engaging in a bad habit less frequently, you have less opportunities to turn things around. Again, you have to give yourself time.

Patience
You have to practice patience with yourself if you want to see change. If you give yourself 21 days, you’ve got time to hit some roadblocks and recover. Breaking a habit is likely to get harder as you go along, so expect some bumps towards the end. Remember that you’ve got 21 days and that’s it (remember what I said about mindset). Make them count, but give yourself room to breathe.

Placeholders
21 days is enough time to try out new placeholders. When you recognize something that triggers a bad habit, you can try new ways to handle that trigger. Remove triggers like candy from the house, or turn off the TV by a certain time. By understanding the root of the problem, you can replace your triggers and learn how to move forward. It takes time to find out what works best for you though, and that’s why 21 days is important.

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