Dr Mercola comments on new research showing a link between food and immune health:
- Researchers have discovered that a gene that is essential for producing critical immune cells in your gut, responds to the food you eat—specifically leafy green vegetables
- Vegetables contain an array of antioxidants and other disease-fighting compounds. Some plant chemicals can reduce inflammation and eliminate carcinogens, while others regulate the rate at which cells reproduce, get rid of old cells and maintain DNA
- Sprouts can contain up to 100 times more enzymes than raw fruits and vegetables, allowing your body to extract more vitamins, minerals, amino acids and essential fats from the foods you eat
- The content of vitamins and essential fatty acids increase dramatically during the sprouting process. Depending on the sprout, nutrient content can increase as much as 30 times the original value within just a few days of sprouting, and minerals bind to protein during sprouting, making them more bioavailable.
- Additionally, the sprouting process deactivates many of the anti-nutrients that are in the seeds
Colleen Vanderlinden at organicgardening.about.com explaines how to sprout your own beans and seeds:
As far as varieties go, you may be surprised at how many types of veggies you can eat as sprouts. Most of us are familiar with alfalfa sprouts and bean sprouts, but consider radish sprouts, beet sprouts, pea sprouts, and sunflower. In general, any plant from which you might eat the stems and leaves is a good option for sprouting. Plants from which you only eat the fruits (such as tomatoes and peppers) won't work.
How to Grow Sprouts in a Jar
Growing sprouts in a jar is easy. Here's how to do it:
- Place one to two tablespoons of seeds in your jar, and cover with approximately two inches of warm water. Let this sit overnight.
- Drain the water, using a fine sieve or cheesecloth.
- Rinse the seeds by adding water the the jar, swishing the seeds around, and draining.
- Repeat twice a day, every day until your sprouts are the desired size. This will take anywhere from three to seven days, depending on the variety of sprout you're growing. Sprouts are best when they're still fairly small and just starting to turn green.
- Store your sprouts in a covered bowl or food storage bag with a paper towel inside to absorb excess moisture. Use the sprouts within a week.
In my next blog I will list some of the benefits of 'home sprouting'.