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General Nutritional Information

Although the use of sprouts as a food source for man is as old as mans' use of seeds, it is only in recent times that science has begun to unravel the chemistry of a sprouting seed, and its potential significance in both human and animal nutrition. Although a dry seed is characterized by a remarkably low metabolic rate, just moistening of the seed can trigger tremendous and complex changes which consist of three main types: the breakdown of certain materials in the seed (i.e., breakdown of complex fats, starch conversion into simple sugars, breakdown of protein into amino acids), the transport of materials from one part of the seed to another, and the synthesis of new materials from the breakdown products formed. The only substances normally taken up by the germinating seeds are water and oxygen. (Research by Embry and Wang [Analysis of Some Chinese Foods, China Medical Journal 35: 247-257. 1921] revealed the total protein content of Mung bean seed rose 48%, from 25% in dry seed to 37% in dry sprout, with similar increases in soybean.)

Sprouts are known for their high enzyme activity never to be surpassed at later stages of maturity. The importance of enzymes in ones diet has been emphasized by a number of researchers. According to Tom Spies, M.D. (reported by Garfield G. Duncan in Diseases of Metabolism), "the respiration and growth of cells involve the synthesis of complex substances from simpler chemical compounds, By means of substances called enzymes, the cells are able to perform these functions without increased temperature and pressure. Enzymes are catalysts produced by living cells from combinations of organic substances, including the vitamins. These enzymes retain activity even when separated from the living cell."

The nutritional effect of enzymes in animal experimentation was recounted by Brown Landone in his article "Make Cells Grow Younger" (quoted in Nautilus Mag., 1947, pg. 232) - "More than twenty years ago, experiments were made on old decrepit rats. Their age corresponded to that of a man of ninety years. They were fed with "immature food", that is, food which had not finished growth, sprouting new stems, young leaves. The results were amazing. The old decrepit rats were transformed, and their bodies began to grow younger. Twenty years later the factor recognized to produce this effect was anxinon (enzymes).

According to medical experts and nutritional researchers, sprouts come as close to being a "perfect food" as anything available.

 

Sprouts Have the Highest Concentration of Nutrition per Calorie of Any Food

Sprouts are rich sources of vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, chlorophyll and protein. They are low calorie and contain little or no fat. The fat they do contain is the healthy fat that your body needs. As some of the most nutritious foods that exist, they are great in salads, on sandwiches, added to soups, stir fried with vegetables or oven roasted. Enjoy these nutrient-packed delicacies as a snack all by themselves or added as a garnish to a main dish. Eat them raw or cooked. Of course, as with all food, the nutritional value is greater when they are eaten raw, but eating them cooked is better than not eating them at all.

Sprouting magnifies the nutritional value of the seed. It boosts the B-vitamin content, triples the amount of vitamin A and increases vitamin C by a factor of 5 to 6 times. Starches are converted to simple sugars, making sprouts very easily digestible. You can have them fresh all year round, even when fresh vegetables are hard to find. It's easier than planting a garden outside and they're ready much quicker. You can even grow them when the ground outside is frozen solid. And the best part is that you can grow the freshest, tastiest sprouts right in the comfort of your own kitchen. It takes less than 2 minutes a day and they are ready in 3 to 7 days, depending on the variety.

You can sprout seeds, beans, grains and nuts. Some of the most popular varieties are alfalfa, broccoli, Mung beans, lentils, soy, garbanzo beans and peas.

Alfalfa sprouts are what people typically think of when you mention sprouts. They are the ones you commonly see at a salad bar. Rich in phytochemicals, they protect against cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis and fibrocystic breast disease. They stimulate natural killer cell activity, which strengthens the immune system. What's more, they are beneficial in reducing symptoms of PMS and menopause, including hot flashes. Furthermore, they contain high concentrations of antioxidants, the body's defense against the destruction of DNA which is the cause of aging. Alfalfa sprouts are abundant sources of vitamins A, B, C, E and K, the minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. Also carotene, chlorophyll, amino acids and trace elements. They contain 35% protein. One pound of alfalfa seed produces 10-14 pounds of sprouts. Alfalfa is one of the most complete and rich of all foods. In addition to its high content of vitamins and minerals, it is also high in proteins. Furthermore, it also contains every essential amino acid. Its detoxification surpasses most of other food tested. Higher resistance to disease and prevention of exhaustion were also reported in tests. Another study showed that Alfalfa contains eight essential enzymes that are important for food digestion. Being more technical, Alfalfa contains vitamin A, D, E, K, U, C, B1, B2, B6, B12, Niacin, Panthothanic acid, Inocitole, Biotin, and Folic acid. In the mineral range, it contains Phosphorus, Calcium, Potassium, Sodium, Chlorine, Sulfur, Magnesium, Copper, Manganese, Iron, Cobalt, Boron, and Molybdenum. It also contains fiber, Proteins, and trace elements such as Nickel, Lead, Strontium and Palladium. Therefore, it can be safely assumed that with few daily cups of combined Mung Beans and Alfalfa, as a supplement to your food; can make a world of difference.

 

Fountain of Youth

"The Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon searched off the Florida coast for a marvelous fountain he had heard could restore youth. He never found this legendary fountain, but you can. It is the eating of sprouted seeds that have not been heated over 118 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature at which enzyme destruction begins. Sprouts are freshly germinated edible seeds such as beans and grains. In fact, all you need is a Kitchen counter and five minutes a day. Even if you're in an apartment in the middle of a city, you can sprout!

The rejuvenating and life-giving properties of sprouts may be one of the great health secrets of our time. Sprouts provide two important things in our diet - a steady year-round source of vitamins and a high concentration of food enzymes. Both keep the body's enzyme activity high. Enzymes, which are made out of vitamins and minerals, are the most vital factor that sustains our body's life processes. Without enzymes, we would be dead. And it is that very thing, enzyme depletion that is a fundamental cause of aging. It is the loss of the body's enzymes which decreases the life processes in the cells. As the cell's life processes decrease, they are not able to replace themselves as quickly. At the same time, as enzyme activity decreases, the cells become more susceptible to damage by free radicals and other toxic substances, which further hinders cell reproduction. It is the body's inability to replace old cells with healthy new ones at a fast enough rate and the concurrent loss in the body's enzymes that is precisely responsible for aging and increased susceptibility to disease as we get older. This is why immunity tends to decrease with age - immune cells aren't being replaced at a fast enough rate to protect the body adequately from disease. Staying biologically young and healthy is a matter of keeping enzyme activity in our bodies at a maximum. That is exactly what sprouts do, which is why they can be called the fountain of youth.
(By Dr. William S. Peavy and Warren Peary , from the book 'Super Nutrition Gardening' available from Avery Publishing Co. 1 800 548 5757) Reprinted with the permission of the author.

Sprouts Save Our Enzymes

Sprouts preserve our body's enzymes, which is extremely important. How do they do this? First of all, sprouted beans, grains, nuts, and seeds are extremely easy to digest. Sprouting essentially pre-digests the food for us by breaking down the concentrated starch into simpler carbohydrates and the protein into free amino acids, so our own enzymes don't have to work so hard. If you've ever had trouble digesting beans properly, just sprout them and you'll have no trouble at all. Sprouting also removes anti-nutrients such as enzyme inhibitors, and that makes sprouts even easier to digest, further sparing enzymes. Another anti-nutrient is phytates, which is what stops some people from enjoying grains such as wheat. Many people who can't eat unsprouted wheat find they can eat all the sprouted wheat they want with no problem.

The Magic of Food Enzymes

Perhaps the greatest thing sprouts provide is enzymes. The enzymes in sprouts are a special protein that helps our body digest the nutrients in our food and boosts the life-giving enzyme activity in our body. Food enzymes are only found in raw foods. Cooking destroys them. While all raw foods contain enzymes, the most powerful enzyme-rich food are sprouted seeds, grains, and legumes. Sprouting increases the enzyme content in these foods enormously, to as much as forty-three times more than non-sprouted foods.

Sprouting greatly increases the content of all enzymes, including proteolytic and amylolytic enzymes. These enzymes digest proteins and carbohydrates (starches). They are normally produced inside the body but are also found in great concentration in raw sprouted foods. Researchers such as Dr. Edward Howell have shown how food enzymes aid us in the digestion of all the proteins, starches, and fats eaten in the same meal through their action in both saliva and the upper part of the stomach. These food enzymes can take the place of some of our body's own enzymes, and this is very significant.

The digestion of food takes a high priority and forces the body to produce a copious flow of concentrated digestive enzymes when there are no enzymes in our food. All of us loose our ability to produce concentrated digestive enzymes as we grow older. As this happens, we are less able to use the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in our food, and we lose the ability to produce adequate amounts of all the other enzymes we need.

Dr. David G. Williams explains some of the consequences of inadequate enzyme production:

"As we age, our digestive system becomes less efficient. This should be obvious when you consider that anywhere from 60 to 75 percent of all hospitalizations are related to problems concerning the digestive system...ulcer and indigestion medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, are among the top sellers of any class of drugs; as we age, our stomach's ability to produce hydrochloric acid lessens (New England Journal of Medicine 85; 313: 70 - 74); and by age 65, almost 35 percent of us don't produce any hydrochloric acid at all."

Researchers such as Dr. Edward Howell have shown that much of this breakdown in the body's ability to produce enough enzymes is due to the overproduction of concentrated digestive enzymes over many years. It should be obvious from all this that our bodies were made to eat far more raw food than we currently eat. The body has only a limited capacity to make enzymes, and this overproduction of digestive enzymes over many years is directly responsible for the body's loss of all the other enzymes.

By squandering our enzyme-making capacity on digestive enzymes, the production and activity of all the other enzymes needed in our body is reduced. This is one reason why enzymes are depleted from our cells as we age. As enzyme activity is diminished in the cells, there is an acceleration of the aging process caused by free radical damage and other things that make us increasingly susceptible to disease.

When we get enzymes from our food, it spares our body from having to make such concentrated digestive enzymes. This sparing effect increases the activity of all the other enzymes in our body. Eating enzyme-rich foods such as sprouts allows our body to maximize its production of non-digestive enzymes, and that helps us produce an adequate level of enzymes all our life. And the higher the level of enzyme activity, the healthier and biologically younger we are going to be.

Since aging is, to a large extent, caused by enzyme depletion, slowing the aging process might be a matter of eating lots of enzyme-rich food every day along with an adequate intake of vitamins and minerals. Sprouted seeds, grains, and legumes are the most powerful enzyme-rich foods that exist.

SPROUTS AND NUTRITION

Doctors today are telling us to eat less meat and dairy. What other ways can we get our protein? We can't eat fish all the time.

Beans and grains are a time-honored way to get plenty of protein with low fat, high fiber and no cholesterol. Sprouts: Alfalfa, Mung Bean, and Bean Mix, are beans that have been sprouted and are a wonderful option for a variety of vegetarian meals.

Grown locally year round, sprouts are a good source of protein and vitamin C. 3 ounces of Mung Bean sprouts contain 30 calories.

 

Nutritional Value of Different Sprouts

Natural foods are accompanied with enzymes, minerals, amino acids, and others. Many researchers believe that natural vitamin complexes contain valuable food components not found in synthetic vitamins. Experiments confirmed that processed food lead to degenerative diseases and breakdown in reproductive capacity by third generation.

The increase of vitamins in sprouts is tremendous during the sprouting period. A clear increase in vitamin content was confirmed by many studies, when compared to the unsprouted seed. Germinated peas and buckwheat showed a gain of 3 to 10 fold of pyridoxine and folic acid.
Studies in India showed that eight legumes and two grains all had significant increase in carotene and vitamin A. Studies of Asiatic origin shows that soybeans grown under steady temperature of 28 C doubled the carotene content in 48 hours, increase 2.8 times in 54 hours, 3.4 times in 72 hours. Riboflavin and Nicotinic acid increased by 100% in less then 4 days. Dr. C.W. Bailey of the University of Minnesota disclosed that vitamin C value increased by 600 % in wheat grass. Similar increases in Thiamin and Biotin were reported in other studies. Vitamin B2 in wheat increased 400% and in Oat B-2 increased by 1400%! All as a result of the germination process.

Traditionally, B-12 Vitamin was believed to be absent in vegetarians meals. Critics overlooked the fact that B-12 is heat sensitive and over 80% of its effectiveness is destroyed under normal cooking conditions. No one eats raw meat and the claim made that animal protein being the main source of B-12 has no leg to stand on. Studies show that B-12 is also supplied by the intestinal tract bacteria. Therefore, keeping the intestinal tract free of mucus, overheating, bad mixture of foods, and excess of sugar among other factors can all contribute to the mall absorption of vitamins. The 'sprout-a-holics' are guaranteed an adequate supply of B-12 by having daily 2 to 3 cups of Mung Bean and Chick Pea sprouts which have been proved as rich in Vitamin B-12.

To give the readers an indication only, 1oz of Mung Bean (dried) will supply you with 1.2mg of Thiamin, 2.4mg of Riboflavin and 4oz of Sesame can supply ample proteins. Viktoras Kulvinskas, author of "Sprout for the Love of Every body," found that carbohydrates in Mung Bean sprouts are equivalent to melon. Proteins equivalent to dry figs, calories are slightly less than papaya. Vitamin A in Mung Bean is equivalent to a lemon, Thiamin to an avocado, Riboflavin to a dry apple, Niacin to a banana, and Ascorbic acid to a pineapple.

Metabolic, Digestive, and Food Enzymes

A cooked or heated grain will fail to sprout. Heat destroys enzymes. Enzymes emit a particular radiation (life energy) immeasurable by conventional means. But Kirlian's electro-magnetic photography proves the existence of the energy in question. Therefore, enzymes are protein carriers containing a factor of "life energy". Since they are exhaustible, special attention to enzyme nutrition is called for.

Humanity has created hundreds of ailments through its living habits. But our fellow wild animals are almost disease proof (not including the animal that feeds on the garbage we consume). We can also learn to consume raw unprocessed food, too, such as fresh vegetables, fruits and sprouted seeds.

Enzymes can be categorized in three classes: Metabolic, Digestive, and Food Enzymes. The first runs our body taking fat, proteins, and carbohydrates and continuously repairs our body. A shortage of metabolic enzymes could jeopardize our health. Experiments were performed at Washington University on dogs equipped with tubes that drain all of the pancreatic juice enzymes out of their body. The animals were fed the usual food and water -- All dogs participating in this experiment died within a week -- a serious indication of the importance of natural enzymes.
Digestive enzymes help the digestive process to assimilate proteins, carbohydrates and fat. Only 80 enzymes were identified in 1930, in 1970 science counted over 1300 enzymes. By now, over four thousand have been found - and counting. It is clear that if we do not get enzymes with our daily food to aid our digestion, our body's digestive enzymes will carry the complete load, depleting the limited resources of enzymes. Enzymes have a vital activity factor that is exhaustible! Our capacity to make enzymes is limited. If we would, under laboratory conditions, mix all of the components of a seed, the various chemical reactions needed to start LIFE fail to occur without enzymes. Enzymes are biological rather than chemical.

If we get external digestive enzymes from our food, as they appear in nature, more metabolic enzyme is freed to prevent disease and maintain health. All processed food has been heated by one or more means and its natural enzymes were destroyed. Since heat destroys enzymes, eating raw foods is the answer.

Seeds and grains have enzyme inhibitors. They protect the active enzymes by keeping them dormant. When the seed meets favorable conditions for germination, enzymes neutralize the inhibitors. When people eat seeds, the pancreas secretes more enzymes than required in order to first neutralize the inhibitors, according to Dr. Edward Howell in his book "Enzyme Nutrition." Therefore even raw nuts, seeds, and grains have limitations.

It appears that the safest answer is to sprout all your intake of seeds and grains. In this process the inhibitors are neutralized and life process commences with enzymes that are alive and active.

There are more reasons why sprouts are the ideal life food. In addition to their nutritional advantages, the following sterling attributes make them an excellent addition to your present diet. Sprouts are pure, natural, and organic and therefore toxin-free.

Sprouts are also economical; one ounce of seeds may supply you with more than a pound of fresh vitamins. Sprouts are very low in fat. One cup of sprouts has only 20-70 calories (depending on the variety you use). Since sprouts produce a single sugar, it supplies quick energy. Sprouts provide essential fatty acids but no cholesterol. Some sprouts are excellent detoxifiers and provide a perfect weight-loss food. When eaten raw, their proteins, minerals and vitamins are preserved, as well as the Chlorophyll in its miniature leaves.

Sprouts are not only a culinary decoration
-- they are real life food!

Did You Know?

· The nutritional content of sprouts is many times greater than the original food value of the seeds and beans from which they sprout.

· Pound for pound, a salad made from a variety of sprouts, compared with the traditional lettuce salad, would cost less than half as much yet provide five times as much protein, six times as much Vitamin C and seven times as much of the B Complex Vitamins.

· Whole dried peas have no Vitamin C, yet when sprouted for 48 hours, provide more Vitamin C (ounce per ounce) than fresh oranges.

· Sprouts save food preparation time since they require no cleaning, peeling or chopping, and can be cooked (if desired) in a mere fraction of the time required for most foods.

· Sprouts have the highest concentration of nutrition per calorie of any food.

· Broccoli sprouts carry potent anti-cancer agents.

· Sprouts are actually freshly germinated edible seeds such as beans, grains and nuts.

· As a 'living' food, Sprouts continue to grow vitamins after being harvested.

· Captain James Cook had his sailors eat sprouts, limes and lemons for their Vitamin C content to aid in curing scurvy.

· During WW11 when the United States was concerned about a possible meat shortage, the scientific community advised the government that the consumption of germinated seeds was the best and the cheapest alternative to proteins in meat.

· Sprouts contain an abundance of highly active anti-oxidants that prevent DNA destruction and protect us from the ongoing effects of aging.

· The most powerful enzyme-rich foods are sprouted seeds, grains and legumes. Sprouting increases their enzyme content as much as 43 times more than non-sprouted foods. The enzymes in Sprouts help our body digest the nutrients in our food and boost the life-giving activity in our body.

· Sprouts save food preparation time since they require no cleaning, peeling or chopping, and can be cooked (if desired) in a mere fraction of the time required for most foods.

 

Sprouts: Year-Round Vitamins

Sprouts are one of the most complete and nutritional of all foods tested. Sprouts are real 'Life Vitamins, Minerals, Proteins, and Enzymes. Their nutritional value was discovered by the Chinese thousands of years ago. Recently, in the USA, numerous scientific studies suggest the importance of sprouts in a healthy diet.

As an example, a sprouted Mung Bean has a carbohydrate content of a melon, vitamin A of a lemon, thiamin of an avocado, riboflavin of a dry apple, niacin of a banana, and ascorbic acid of a loganberry.

Because sprouts are predigested food, they have a higher biological efficiency value then whole seeds, raw or cooked. Less food is required, yet more nutrients reach the blood and cells. The sprouting process under the action of light creates chlorophyll. Chlorophyll has been shown to be effective in overcoming protein deficiency anemia.

Sprouts also have a regenerating effect on the human body because of their high concentration of RNA, DNA, protein and essential nutrients which can be found only in living cells. (Synthetic supplements are not life food.)

The chemical changes that occur in the sprouting seed activate a powerful enzyme factory, never to be surpassed in later stage growth of any legumes (see article by Dr. Peavy). The rich enzyme concentration can lead heightened enzyme activity in your metabolism, leading to regeneration of the bloodstream. Sprouted grain appears to prevent depletion and earlier disappearance of youth due to sexual practice (vitamin E). Some vitamins increase during sprouting by 500%! In wheat, vitamin B-12 quadruples, other B vitamins increase 3 to 12 times, vitamin E content triples. Fibber content increases three to four times that of whole wheat bread.

To begin with, sprouts are the most reliable year-round source of vitamin C, carotenoid A, and many B vitamins (such as folacin), all of which are usually in short supply in our diet. Sprouting seeds, grains, and legumes greatly increases their content of those vitamins. For example, the vitamin A content (per calorie) of sprouted Mung beans is two-and-a-half times higher than the dry bean, and some beans have more than eight times more vitamin A after being sprouted.

Dry seeds, grains, and legumes, while rich in protein and complex carbohydrates, contain no vitamin C. But after sprouting, they contain around 20 milligrams per 3.5 ounces, a tremendous increase. Also, if grown in decent soil or taken from your own garden, seeds, grains, and legumes will be high in organic minerals - so your sprouts will be an excellent source of minerals as well as vitamins.

The great advantage in getting vitamins from sprouts you grow yourself is that you get a consistently high vitamin content without losses. In the dead of winter, when you can't grow anything or get fresh produce anywhere, sprouts will provide a consistently reliable source of fresh, high-nutrient vegetables rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, and B vitamins. This will keep your immune system strong and your health in top condition when almost everyone else is getting sick. Why do you think so many people come down with colds and flu in the winter more than any other time? Because they're not getting the vegetables and fruits that would keep their immune systems strong.

Have you ever heard of a vegetable that continues to gain vitamins after you harvest it? Sprouts do! Sprouts are living foods. Even after you harvest your sprouts and refrigerate them, they will continue to grow slowly, and their vitamin content will actually increase. Contrast that with store-bought fruits and vegetables, which start losing their vitamins as soon as they're picked and often have to be shipped a thousand miles or more in the winter.

Make Your Own Sprouts Year-Round

While fresh fruits and vegetables provide enzymes, sprouts are far more concentrated and should be eaten in the summer with every large meal even when you have your own vegetables and fruits. In the winter and spring, when your own vegetable and fruits are not available, sprouts are doubly important. Sprouts should become an integral part of your diet year-round.

But you need to make your own sprouts for highest food value. Sprouts are living food. They need to be fresh. Freshly picked from your own sprout garden, they contain the highest level of enzymes and vitamins. If they are immediately refrigerated, the "life force" will stay in the seed as they remain fresh and slowly continue to grow.

If they are not immediately refrigerated after harvest, they will stop growing and the enzymes and vitamins will start decomposing. As that happens, the enzyme and vitamin content will decline rapidly. When you buy sprouts at the supermarket, there's no telling how long they've been out on the shelves and exposed to room temperature. Even several hours of sitting in room temperature will cause a rapid loss of enzymes and vitamins. But what's even worse is that some sprouts are treated with mold inhibitors to keep them fresh looking as they sit at room temperature. Those long, white, Mung bean sprouts seen in the store or at the salad bar have probably been treated with inhibitors so they could be grown to that length and preserved at room temperature. To really get the rejuvenating value of sprouts, you need to grow your own and eat them fresh".

(By Dr. William S. Peavy and Warren Peary , from the book 'Super Nutrition Gardening' available from Avery Publishing Co. 1 800 548 5757) Reprinted with the permission of the author.

Sprout History

Medicinally and nutritionally, sprouts have a long history. It has been written that the Ancient Chinese physicians recognized and prescribed sprouts for curing many disorders over 5,000 years ago. Sprouts have continued to be a main staple in the diets of Americans of Oriental descent. Although accounts of sprouting appear in the Bible in the Book of Daniel, it took centuries for the West to fully realize its nutrition merits.

In the 1700's, sailors were riddled by scurvy (lack of Vitamin C) and suffered heavy casualties during their two to three year voyages. From 1772-1775, Captain James Cook had his sailors eat limes, lemons and varieties of sprouts; all abundant holders of Vitamin C. These plus other fresh fruits and vegetables and a continuous program of growing and eating sprouts were credited with the breakthrough, thus solving the mariners' greatest casualty problem.

Nutritional Advantages of Sprouts

It is really only in the past thirty years that "westerners" have become interested in sprouts and sprouting. During World War II considerable interest in sprouts was sparked in the United States by an article written by Dr. Clive M. McKay, Professor of Nutrition at Cornell University. Dr. McKay led off with this dramatic announcement: "Wanted! A vegetable that will grow in any climate, will rival meat in nutritive value, will mature in 3 to 5 days, may be planted any day of the year, will require neither soil nor sunshine, will rival tomatoes in Vitamin C, will be free of waste in preparation and can be cooked with little fuel and as quickly as a ... chop."

Dr. McKay was talking about soybean sprouts. He and a team of nutritionists had spent years researching the amazing properties of sprouted soybeans. They and other researchers at the universities of Pennsylvania and Minnesota, Yale and McGill have found that sprouts retain the B-complex vitamins present in the original seed, and show a big jump in Vitamin A and an almost unbelievable amount of Vitamin C over that present in unsprouted seeds. While some nutritionists point out that this high vitamin content is gained at the expense of some protein loss, the figures are impressive: an average 300 percent increase in Vitamin A and a 500 to 600 percent increase in Vitamin C. In addition, in the sprouting process starches are converted to simple sugars, thus making sprouts easily digested.

An Overview of Sprouts and Nutrition

Extensive research proved beyond a doubt that sprouts are the food of the future. The Chinese nobles, 5000 years ago were consuming sprouts for healing and rejuvenation.

During WW2, the US president was concerned about a possible meat shortage in the USA. The scientific community then, after careful consideration, advised the president to promote the consumption of sprouts as the best and cheapest alternative to proteins in meat. There was no shortage of meat - the project was filed. Today, there is an increasing tendency to avoid consumption of animals, our fellow planetary habitants. This approach and the well known healing implications are taking a serious place in modern culinary approach.

The grandma way of growing sprouts by means of jars and trays was very efficient as grandma was always at home. Today, most people are pursuing a career and little or no time is available for additional tasks. The problems encountered are mainly around the amount of daily handling. First, you need to soak them for long hours, then to remember rinsing them 3 to 4 times a day (during hot summer days more often). If you choose to grow a variety of sprouts, they may need different treatments. Over-watering may result in molding and rotting of your crop. The "easy" work of growing sprouts becomes cumbersome and needs considerable attendance.

Healing

The founder of the Hypocrites Health institute, Ann Wigmore, dedicated her life to rediscover the healing and culinary properties of sprouts. For the past 30 years, the institute treated people for different disorders. Sprouts were found to contribute extensively to the immune system, as excellent detoxificants. Being Biogenic, sprouts are attributed rejuvenation qualities (creative life force). This contributes to the vitality and stamina experienced by thousands. Sprouts are rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins, and relevant enzymes to assist its digestion. Commercially available supplements synthetically prepared have no 'life force', therefore are not really natural, not to mention the price of the commercial vitamins compared to homegrown sprouts. Part of the 'magic' of sprouts is that they are 100% organic! Only clean water is needed to get a fully-grown, crispy, tasty sprout. Germination of sprouts does not require soil, pesticides, fungicides, not even light. What a contribution to our sensitive environment!

Dr.Clive McCay of Cornell University composed a perplexing ad. "Wanted: A live vegetable that will grow in any climate, rival meat in nutritional value (and tomatoes in Vitamin C), matures in 3 to 5 days, requires neither soil nor sunshine, has no waste and can be eaten raw!"

Adding to your favorite diet 3 to 4 glasses of sprouts daily will make a world of difference in your general state of health. Sprouts are also a tasty addition to salads, soups, homemade bread, sandwiches -- you name it. "My personal experience," says Sol, president of Seed and Grain technologies (a registered New Mexico company), "is that by developing a daily habit of consuming 4 glasses of sprouts; I have given up all supplements! I feel more energetic at 47 than 37! I have lost 20 Lb. in 18 month with no (conventional) dieting whatsoever."

 

This Winter and This Millennium, Don't Forget The Sprouts
by Steve Meyerowitz *

The National Cancer institute and the National Institute of Health both recommend eating 5 fresh fruits and vegetables every day. A great way to help reach that goal is to include sprouts.

Sprouts are the only form of agriculture that can be locally grown and available in all four seasons. These "baby" vegetables are grown from seed to salad in only week. That makes them great Y2K food. In fact, one pound of alfalfa seed will yield 10-14 pounds of fresh mini-salad greens. Whether you are on top of a mountain or in a bunker with artificial light, you can still grow this fast, organic food.
Yes, it is fast food, but you won't be sacrificing any nutrition. Alfalfa sprouts have more chlorophyll than spinach, kale, cabbage or parsley. Alfalfa, sunflower, clover and radish sprouts are all 4% Protein. Compare that to spinach - 3%, Romaine lettuce -1.5% and Iceberg lettuce- 0.8%, and milk -3.3%. These foods all have about 90% water. But meat and eggs are the protein foods for Americans. Meat is 19% and eggs are 13% protein (and 11% fat). But Soybean sprouts have 28% protein, and lentil and pea sprouts are 26%. Soybeans sprouts have twice the protein of eggs and only 1/10 fat the fat.

Grain and nut sprouts, such as wheat and sunflower, are rich in fats. While fats in flour and wheat germ have a reputation for going rancid quickly (stores should refrigerate them), fats in sprouts last for weeks. The valuable wheat germ oil in wheat sprouts is broken down into its essential fatty acid fractions over 50% of which is the valuable Omega 6. While sunflower oil is our finest source of omega 6, germination of the sunflower sprout micellizes the fatty acids into an easily digestible, water soluble form saving our body the trouble of breaking it down and simultaneously protecting us against the perils of rancidity. This is a great bonus for a sprout that is already popular for its crispness and nutty flavor.

Radish sprouts have 29 times more Vitamin C than milk (29mg vs 1mg) and 4 times the Vitamin A (391 IU vs 126). These spicy sprouts have 10 times more calcium than a potato (51mg vs 5mg) and contain more vitamin C than pineapple. If you examine what is happening during germination, it looks like a vitamin factory. While mature radishes contain 10 IU/100g of provitamin, the radish sprouts contain 391 IU - 39 times more! No wonder, sprout lovers say you can feel the vitamins!

Phytochemical Factory

Alfalfa, radish, broccoli, clover and soybean contain concentrated amounts of phytochemicals (plant compounds) that can protect us against disease. Canavanine, an amino acid analog present in alfalfa, demonstrates resistance to pancreatic, colon and leukemia cancers. Plant estrogens in these sprouts function similarly to human estrogen but without the side effects. They increase bone formation and density and prevent bone breakdown (osteoporosis). They are helpful in controlling hot flashes, menopause, PMS and fibrocystic breasts tumors.

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine researchers found substantial amounts of glucosinolates and isothiocyanates in broccoli sprouts which are very potent inducers of phase 2 enzymes that protect cells from going malignant. The sprouts contain 10-100 times higher levels of these enzymes than do the corresponding mature plants.
Alfalfa sprouts are one of our finest food sources of saponins. Saponins lower the bad cholesterol and fat but not the good HDL fats. Animal studies prove their benefit in arteriosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. Saponins also stimulate the immune system by increasing the activity of natural killer cells such as T- lymphocytes and interferon. The saponin content of alfalfa sprouts multiplies 450% over that of the unsprouted seed. Sprouts also contain an abundance of highly active antioxidants that prevent DNA destruction and protect us from the ongoing effects of aging. It wouldn't be inconceivable to find a fountain of youth here, after all, sprouts represent the miracle of birth.
* Steve Meyerowitz is a member of ISGA and an author, educator, and speaker on health and diet. He is the author of numerous books including

SPROUTS THE MIRACLE FOOD The Complete Guide to Sprouting. 1999. 216pg, ppbk. $12.95 ISBN #1-878736-04-3, and

SPROUTMAN'S KITCHEN GARDEN COOKBOOK Sprout Breads, Cookies, Soups, Salads & 250 other Low Fat, Dairy Free Vegetarian Recipes 1999. 336 pgs. ppbk. $14.95. ISBN 1-878736-86-8.

Do Sprouts Need Nutritional Labeling?
SproutNet - September 2, 2002

Mike Lalley, of Living Foods, contacted the FDA to find out if sprouts need to have nutritional labeling. This is the reply he received from Beatrice Greenberg of the FDA.

"This is in reply to your facsimile submitted on August 14, 2002 concerning the labeling of sprouts. You asked if nutrition information has to be provided on the label of packaged raw sprouts, i.e., bean, alfalfa, radish, garlic, clover, onion, etc., that are rinsed with 50 ppm of water and calcium hypochlorite. You also stated that it was your understanding that these products are covered under the voluntary nutrition labeling program.

Vegetables that are washed in the manner you described are considered to have received little processing and are subject to the voluntary nutrition labeling program described in 21 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 101.45.

Therefore, packaged raw spouts are not required to provide nutrition information if the label does not include any nutrient content claims, health claims, or other nutrition information. Nutrition labeling should be provided if the label includes a nutrient content claim, health claim, or other nutrition information. This requirement may be satisfied by placing the nutrition information on the package or by posting the nutrition information at the point of sale in accordance with 21 CFR 101.45."

· The nutritional content of sprouts is many times greater than the original food value of the seeds and beans from which they sprout.

· Pound for pound, a salad made from a variety of sprouts, compared with the traditional lettuce salad, would cost less than half as much yet provide five times as much protein, six times as much Vitamin C and seven times as much of the B Complex Vitamins.

· Whole dried peas have no Vitamin C, yet when sprouted for 48 hours, provide more Vitamin C (ounce per ounce) than fresh oranges.

· Sprouts save food preparation time since they require no cleaning, peeling or chopping, and can be cooked (if desired) in a mere fraction of the time required for most foods.

· Sprouts have the highest concentration of nutrition per calorie of any food.

· Broccoli sprouts carry potent anti-cancer agents.

· Sprouts are actually freshly germinated edible seeds such as beans, grains and nuts.

· As a 'living' food, Sprouts continue to grow vitamins after being harvested.

· Captain James Cook had his sailors eat sprouts, limes and lemons for their Vitamin C content to aid in curing scurvy.

· During WW11 when the United States was concerned about a possible meat shortage, the scientific community advised the government that the consumption of germinated seeds was the best and the cheapest alternative to proteins in meat.

· Sprouts contain an abundance of highly active anti-oxidants that prevent DNA destruction and protect us from the ongoing effects of aging.

· The most powerful enzyme-rich foods are sprouted seeds, grains and legumes. Sprouting increases their enzyme content as much as 43 times more than non-sprouted foods. The enzymes in Sprouts help our body digest the nutrients in our food and boost the life-giving activity in our body.

· Sprouts save food preparation time since they require no cleaning, peeling or chopping, and can be cooked (if desired) in a mere fraction of the time required for most foods.


Sprouts: Year-Round Vitamins

Sprouts are one of the most complete and nutritional of all foods tested. Sprouts are real 'Life Vitamins, Minerals, Proteins, and Enzymes. Their nutritional value was discovered by the Chinese thousands of years ago. Recently, in the USA, numerous scientific studies suggest the importance of sprouts in a healthy diet.

As an example, a sprouted Mung Bean has a carbohydrate content of a melon, vitamin A of a lemon, thiamin of an avocado, riboflavin of a dry apple, niacin of a banana, and ascorbic acid of a loganberry.

Because sprouts are predigested food, they have a higher biological efficiency value then whole seeds, raw or cooked. Less food is required, yet more nutrients reach the blood and cells. The sprouting process under the action of light creates chlorophyll. Chlorophyll has been shown to be effective in overcoming protein deficiency anemia.

Sprouts also have a regenerating effect on the human body because of their high concentration of RNA, DNA, protein and essential nutrients which can be found only in living cells. (Synthetic supplements are not life food.)

The chemical changes that occur in the sprouting seed activate a powerful enzyme factory, never to be surpassed in later stage growth of any legumes (see article by Dr. Peavy). The rich enzyme concentration can lead heightened enzyme activity in your metabolism, leading to regeneration of the bloodstream. Sprouted grain appears to prevent depletion and earlier disappearance of youth due to sexual practice (vitamin E). Some vitamins increase during sprouting by 500%! In wheat, vitamin B-12 quadruples, other B vitamins increase 3 to 12 times, vitamin E content triples. Fibber content increases three to four times that of whole wheat bread.

To begin with, sprouts are the most reliable year-round source of vitamin C, carotenoid A, and many B vitamins (such as folacin), all of which are usually in short supply in our diet. Sprouting seeds, grains, and legumes greatly increases their content of those vitamins. For example, the vitamin A content (per calorie) of sprouted Mung beans is two-and-a-half times higher than the dry bean, and some beans have more than eight times more vitamin A after being sprouted.

Dry seeds, grains, and legumes, while rich in protein and complex carbohydrates, contain no vitamin C. But after sprouting, they contain around 20 milligrams per 3.5 ounces, a tremendous increase. Also, if grown in decent soil or taken from your own garden, seeds, grains, and legumes will be high in organic minerals - so your sprouts will be an excellent source of minerals as well as vitamins.

The great advantage in getting vitamins from sprouts you grow yourself is that you get a consistently high vitamin content without losses. In the dead of winter, when you can't grow anything or get fresh produce anywhere, sprouts will provide a consistently reliable source of fresh, high-nutrient vegetables rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, and B vitamins. This will keep your immune system strong and your health in top condition when almost everyone else is getting sick. Why do you think so many people come down with colds and flu in the winter more than any other time? Because they're not getting the vegetables and fruits that would keep their immune systems strong.

Have you ever heard of a vegetable that continues to gain vitamins after you harvest it? Sprouts do! Sprouts are living foods. Even after you harvest your sprouts and refrigerate them, they will continue to grow slowly, and their vitamin content will actually increase. Contrast that with store-bought fruits and vegetables, which start losing their vitamins as soon as they're picked and often have to be shipped a thousand miles or more in the winter.

Make Your Own Sprouts Year-Round

While fresh fruits and vegetables provide enzymes, sprouts are far more concentrated and should be eaten in the summer with every large meal even when you have your own vegetables and fruits. In the winter and spring, when your own vegetable and fruits are not available, sprouts are doubly important. Sprouts should become an integral part of your diet year-round.

But you need to make your own sprouts for highest food value. Sprouts are living food. They need to be fresh. Freshly picked from your own sprout garden, they contain the highest level of enzymes and vitamins. If they are immediately refrigerated, the "life force" will stay in the seed as they remain fresh and slowly continue to grow.

If they are not immediately refrigerated after harvest, they will stop growing and the enzymes and vitamins will start decomposing. As that happens, the enzyme and vitamin content will decline rapidly. When you buy sprouts at the supermarket, there's no telling how long they've been out on the shelves and exposed to room temperature. Even several hours of sitting in room temperature will cause a rapid loss of enzymes and vitamins. But what's even worse is that some sprouts are treated with mold inhibitors to keep them fresh looking as they sit at room temperature. Those long, white, Mung bean sprouts seen in the store or at the salad bar have probably been treated with inhibitors so they could be grown to that length and preserved at room temperature. To really get the rejuvenating value of sprouts, you need to grow your own and eat them fresh".

(By Dr. William S. Peavy and Warren Peary , from the book 'Super Nutrition Gardening' available from Avery Publishing Co. 1 800 548 5757) Reprinted with the permission of the author.

Sprout History

Medicinally and nutritionally, sprouts have a long history. It has been written that the Ancient Chinese physicians recognized and prescribed sprouts for curing many disorders over 5,000 years ago. Sprouts have continued to be a main staple in the diets of Americans of Oriental descent. Although accounts of sprouting appear in the Bible in the Book of Daniel, it took centuries for the West to fully realize its nutrition merits.

In the 1700's, sailors were riddled by scurvy (lack of Vitamin C) and suffered heavy casualties during their two to three year voyages. From 1772-1775, Captain James Cook had his sailors eat limes, lemons and varieties of sprouts; all abundant holders of Vitamin C. These plus other fresh fruits and vegetables and a continuous program of growing and eating sprouts were credited with the breakthrough, thus solving the mariners' greatest casualty problem.

Nutritional Advantages of Sprouts

It is really only in the past thirty years that "westerners" have become interested in sprouts and sprouting. During World War II considerable interest in sprouts was sparked in the United States by an article written by Dr. Clive M. McKay, Professor of Nutrition at Cornell University. Dr. McKay led off with this dramatic announcement: "Wanted! A vegetable that will grow in any climate, will rival meat in nutritive value, will mature in 3 to 5 days, may be planted any day of the year, will require neither soil nor sunshine, will rival tomatoes in Vitamin C, will be free of waste in preparation and can be cooked with little fuel and as quickly as a ... chop."

Dr. McKay was talking about soybean sprouts. He and a team of nutritionists had spent years researching the amazing properties of sprouted soybeans. They and other researchers at the universities of Pennsylvania and Minnesota, Yale and McGill have found that sprouts retain the B-complex vitamins present in the original seed, and show a big jump in Vitamin A and an almost unbelievable amount of Vitamin C over that present in unsprouted seeds. While some nutritionists point out that this high vitamin content is gained at the expense of some protein loss, the figures are impressive: an average 300 percent increase in Vitamin A and a 500 to 600 percent increase in Vitamin C. In addition, in the sprouting process starches are converted to simple sugars, thus making sprouts easily digested.

An Overview of Sprouts and Nutrition

Extensive research proved beyond a doubt that sprouts are the food of the future. The Chinese nobles, 5000 years ago were consuming sprouts for healing and rejuvenation.

During WW2, the US president was concerned about a possible meat shortage in the USA. The scientific community then, after careful consideration, advised the president to promote the consumption of sprouts as the best and cheapest alternative to proteins in meat. There was no shortage of meat - the project was filed. Today, there is an increasing tendency to avoid consumption of animals, our fellow planetary habitants. This approach and the well known healing implications are taking a serious place in modern culinary approach.

The grandma way of growing sprouts by means of jars and trays was very efficient as grandma was always at home. Today, most people are pursuing a career and little or no time is available for additional tasks. The problems encountered are mainly around the amount of daily handling. First, you need to soak them for long hours, then to remember rinsing them 3 to 4 times a day (during hot summer days more often). If you choose to grow a variety of sprouts, they may need different treatments. Over-watering may result in molding and rotting of your crop. The "easy" work of growing sprouts becomes cumbersome and needs considerable attendance.

Healing

The founder of the Hypocrites Health institute, Ann Wigmore, dedicated her life to rediscover the healing and culinary properties of sprouts. For the past 30 years, the institute treated people for different disorders. Sprouts were found to contribute extensively to the immune system, as excellent detoxificants. Being Biogenic, sprouts are attributed rejuvenation qualities (creative life force). This contributes to the vitality and stamina experienced by thousands. Sprouts are rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins, and relevant enzymes to assist its digestion. Commercially available supplements synthetically prepared have no 'life force', therefore are not really natural, not to mention the price of the commercial vitamins compared to homegrown sprouts. Part of the 'magic' of sprouts is that they are 100% organic! Only clean water is needed to get a fully-grown, crispy, tasty sprout. Germination of sprouts does not require soil, pesticides, fungicides, not even light. What a contribution to our sensitive environment!

Dr.Clive McCay of Cornell University composed a perplexing ad. "Wanted: A live vegetable that will grow in any climate, rival meat in nutritional value (and tomatoes in Vitamin C), matures in 3 to 5 days, requires neither soil nor sunshine, has no waste and can be eaten raw!"

Adding to your favorite diet 3 to 4 glasses of sprouts daily will make a world of difference in your general state of health. Sprouts are also a tasty addition to salads, soups, homemade bread, sandwiches -- you name it. "My personal experience," says Sol, president of Seed and Grain technologies (a registered New Mexico company), "is that by developing a daily habit of consuming 4 glasses of sprouts; I have given up all supplements! I feel more energetic at 47 than 37! I have lost 20 Lb. in 18 month with no (conventional) dieting whatsoever."

 

This Winter and This Millennium, Don't Forget The Sprouts
by Steve Meyerowitz *

The National Cancer institute and the National Institute of Health both recommend eating 5 fresh fruits and vegetables every day. A great way to help reach that goal is to include sprouts.

Sprouts are the only form of agriculture that can be locally grown and available in all four seasons. These "baby" vegetables are grown from seed to salad in only week. That makes them great Y2K food. In fact, one pound of alfalfa seed will yield 10-14 pounds of fresh mini-salad greens. Whether you are on top of a mountain or in a bunker with artificial light, you can still grow this fast, organic food.
Yes, it is fast food, but you won't be sacrificing any nutrition. Alfalfa sprouts have more chlorophyll than spinach, kale, cabbage or parsley. Alfalfa, sunflower, clover and radish sprouts are all 4% Protein. Compare that to spinach - 3%, Romaine lettuce -1.5% and Iceberg lettuce- 0.8%, and milk -3.3%. These foods all have about 90% water. But meat and eggs are the protein foods for Americans. Meat is 19% and eggs are 13% protein (and 11% fat). But Soybean sprouts have 28% protein, and lentil and pea sprouts are 26%. Soybeans sprouts have twice the protein of eggs and only 1/10 fat the fat.

Grain and nut sprouts, such as wheat and sunflower, are rich in fats. While fats in flour and wheat germ have a reputation for going rancid quickly (stores should refrigerate them), fats in sprouts last for weeks. The valuable wheat germ oil in wheat sprouts is broken down into its essential fatty acid fractions over 50% of which is the valuable Omega 6. While sunflower oil is our finest source of omega 6, germination of the sunflower sprout micellizes the fatty acids into an easily digestible, water soluble form saving our body the trouble of breaking it down and simultaneously protecting us against the perils of rancidity. This is a great bonus for a sprout that is already popular for its crispness and nutty flavor.

Radish sprouts have 29 times more Vitamin C than milk (29mg vs 1mg) and 4 times the Vitamin A (391 IU vs 126). These spicy sprouts have 10 times more calcium than a potato (51mg vs 5mg) and contain more vitamin C than pineapple. If you examine what is happening during germination, it looks like a vitamin factory. While mature radishes contain 10 IU/100g of provitamin, the radish sprouts contain 391 IU - 39 times more! No wonder, sprout lovers say you can feel the vitamins!

Phytochemical Factory

Alfalfa, radish, broccoli, clover and soybean contain concentrated amounts of phytochemicals (plant compounds) that can protect us against disease. Canavanine, an amino acid analog present in alfalfa, demonstrates resistance to pancreatic, colon and leukemia cancers. Plant estrogens in these sprouts function similarly to human estrogen but without the side effects. They increase bone formation and density and prevent bone breakdown (osteoporosis). They are helpful in controlling hot flashes, menopause, PMS and fibrocystic breasts tumors.

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine researchers found substantial amounts of glucosinolates and isothiocyanates in broccoli sprouts which are very potent inducers of phase 2 enzymes that protect cells from going malignant. The sprouts contain 10-100 times higher levels of these enzymes than do the corresponding mature plants.
Alfalfa sprouts are one of our finest food sources of saponins. Saponins lower the bad cholesterol and fat but not the good HDL fats. Animal studies prove their benefit in arteriosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. Saponins also stimulate the immune system by increasing the activity of natural killer cells such as T- lymphocytes and interferon. The saponin content of alfalfa sprouts multiplies 450% over that of the unsprouted seed. Sprouts also contain an abundance of highly active antioxidants that prevent DNA destruction and protect us from the ongoing effects of aging. It wouldn't be inconceivable to find a fountain of youth here, after all, sprouts represent the miracle of birth.
* Steve Meyerowitz is a member of ISGA and an author, educator, and speaker on health and diet. He is the author of numerous books including

SPROUTS THE MIRACLE FOOD The Complete Guide to Sprouting. 1999. 216pg, ppbk. $12.95 ISBN #1-878736-04-3, and

SPROUTMAN'S KITCHEN GARDEN COOKBOOK Sprout Breads, Cookies, Soups, Salads & 250 other Low Fat, Dairy Free Vegetarian Recipes 1999. 336 pgs. ppbk. $14.95. ISBN 1-878736-86-8.

Do Sprouts Need Nutritional Labeling?
SproutNet - September 2, 2002

Mike Lalley, of Living Foods, contacted the FDA to find out if sprouts need to have nutritional labeling. This is the reply he received from Beatrice Greenberg of the FDA.

"This is in reply to your facsimile submitted on August 14, 2002 concerning the labeling of sprouts. You asked if nutrition information has to be provided on the label of packaged raw sprouts, i.e., bean, alfalfa, radish, garlic, clover, onion, etc., that are rinsed with 50 ppm of water and calcium hypochlorite. You also stated that it was your understanding that these products are covered under the voluntary nutrition labeling program.

Vegetables that are washed in the manner you described are considered to have received little processing and are subject to the voluntary nutrition labeling program described in 21 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 101.45.

Therefore, packaged raw spouts are not required to provide nutrition information if the label does not include any nutrient content claims, health claims, or other nutrition information. Nutrition labeling should be provided if the label includes a nutrient content claim, health claim, or other nutrition information. This requirement may be satisfied by placing the nutrition information on the package or by posting the nutrition information at the point of sale in accordance with 21 CFR 101.45."