We are always told to eat sprouts as a source of protein for the vegetarians. It is considered a healthy lifestyle change for losing weight as well as a replacement meal at lunchtime for many. However, not many know about why the sprouts gain higher in the nutritional value than the same lentil or bean that has not been soaked.
All lentils, legumes and beans are seeds waiting to grow into a plant, with the seed-coat protecting the endosperm. The enzyme lectin which is a plant protein is used as means of a defensive protective cover against infections caused by insects. However this plant protein is known to disrupt human digestive system. It can easily cause nausea, indigestion and even diarrhea. In more severe cases can cause inflammation and chronic gut disorder. The enzyme, lectin is also known as an anti-nutrient, i.e.; it inhibits the absorption of other nutrients by the body by binding them to itself. The nitrogen inside can also oxidize, creating free radicals inside our body. So this particular plant protein maybe delusive to the common man due its immunity deriding attributes unless consumed differently.
So whilst beans and lentils are a good source of Vit B, magnesium, phosphorous and protein for the vegetarians, it is also important that they are consumed in the correct way.
The ill effects of lectin can be nullified by:
4. Pressure cooking
However, when we soak the beans in water to sprout, we are opening its dormancy to life and all the nutrients within it suddenly get activated. Hence the sprouts become nutrient abundant for consumption. Sprouts are known to have more benefits than one. Apart from being a major player in a weight losing food plan as a low-cal, nutri-dense meal, it may help in controlling blood sugar and reducing hypertension too. Thereby improving heart health.
There are various ways that we can consume these healthy sprouts, as salads, use them in our vegetables, in soups, even sautéed with herbs and spices. The essence is that once sprouted, the availability and digestibility of the nutrients in beans/legumes and lentils become much easier.