Sprouts for immunity: Improve your body’s defense against diseases naturally
By NCVC Staff | Published on Sep 26, 2023
No one wants to be constantly falling ill or catching a cold every time the season changes. While medications can offer some relief, they aren’t the best long-term solution for maintaining optimal health. This is why many people seek alternative options related to their lifestyle. And when it comes to finding answers to our health problems, we often turn to food. So, if you’re searching for ways to boost your immune system, don’t forget to include sprouts on your list. Sprouts are not only delicious, but they also happen to have numerous health benefits that can significantly improve your body’s defense against diseases.
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To shed light on what makes sprouts the perfect immunity booster, we reached out to Ishrat Jahan, a Senior Clinical Nutritionist at BLK Max Super Speciality Hospital in Delhi.
What are Sprouts?
Sprouts are the young plants that are harvested just a few days after they germinate. They are widely used in various dishes and come in different types, including bean sprouts, Alfalfa sprouts, lentil sprouts, and sprouted grains. According to Jahan, sprouts are rich in fiber, essential amino acids, and vitamins D, A, C, K, and E. They are also excellent sources of iron, magnesium, folate, and calcium.
Sprouts for a Stronger Immune System
Boosting the immune system is crucial, and incorporating sprouts into your diet can be a great way to achieve this goal. Here are some reasons why sprouts are considered a powerful immunity booster:
- Sprouts are packed with vitamin C, an essential nutrient for a healthy immune system.
- By soaking grains before sprouting, the tannin and phytic acid content decreases, allowing for better nutrient absorption.
- Sprouts are rich in minerals like iron, zinc, magnesium, and phosphorus. These minerals help regulate the count of red blood cells, which in turn influence the response of the immune system.
- The process of germination increases the content of antioxidants, protein, and fiber in sprouts. This strengthens your body’s defense against diseases and harmful bacteria.
Additional Health Benefits of Sprouts
While sprouts are renowned for their immune-boosting properties, they offer more than just that. They also contribute to improved digestion of carbohydrates and proteins. According to Jahan, the germination process stimulates the release of enzymes that aid in the pre-digestion of starch, promoting gut health and reducing intestinal gas.
Moreover, sprouting releases beneficial compounds in plant foods. For instance, plant foods contain phytates that bind to minerals like iron, zinc, and magnesium, preventing their absorption in the body. However, the sprouting process activates enzymes within the plant that break down these phytates, allowing for better absorption of essential minerals.
Easy Ways to Incorporate Sprouts into Your Diet
Adding sprouts to your sandwiches, salads, rice dishes, stir-fries, omelettes, and soups is an excellent way to enjoy their health benefits. They are versatile and can complement a wide range of meals. And the best part? You can easily grow sprouts at home.
How to Grow Sprouts at Home
Growing sprouts at home is a simple and rewarding process. All you need to do is follow these steps:
- Place the sprouting seeds in a jar or bowl and fill it with water. The water level should be at least two to three times higher than the amount of seeds.
- Keep the jar away from direct sunlight at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours, allowing the seeds to soak.
- After the soaking period, rinse and drain the seeds until they start sprouting.
By incorporating sprouts into your daily meals or growing them at home, you can harness their incredible nutritional benefits and strengthen your immune system naturally.
Remember, staying healthy goes beyond just taking medications. It’s about making conscious lifestyle choices that support your overall wellbeing. So, why not give sprouts a try? Your body will thank you for it.