Sprouting 101

mung bean sprouts written by Nicole Boyd

Enzymes are critically important for every cell of your body. Most of us know of the digestive enzymes that help break down food, but did you know that there are thousands of enzymes that have been identified?

Enzymes are the catalysts that speed up reactions in the body. Without them, biochemical reactions would be too slow for us to benefit and we most likely wouldn’t be alive. They help with many bodily functions. To name a few, enzymes are required for:

Breaking down food into usable molecules Energy production Healing wounds Absorbing oxygen Reducing inflammation Regulating hormones Getting nutrients into your cells

Raw Food?

Before I studied nutrition I often wondered-- why is there so much hype around eating raw food?

I learned that raw foods are enzyme-rich, and consuming raw food decreases your body's load to produce its own enzymes. The enzymes in food are very sensitive to temperature and pH (measure of acidity or alkalinity) and most enzymes are lost or destroyed when foods are:

Cooked over 116 degrees F Processed High in added sugar or salt

Aging and Enzymes

Did you know that as we age our body’s ability to make enzymes decreases as each decade passes?  There are two major things that we can do to decrease the load on our body to produce enzymes.

 

1) We can eat less. A lot of people in our society over eat. The more we eat, the more our body has to keep up with enzyme production to digest all of our food.

 

2) We can eat more raw food ( As long as our digestive system can handle raw food.  Some people are more sensitive and have difficulty digesting raw food).

 

What is the connection between enzymes and sprouts?

Sprouted seeds and legumes are powerful, super enzyme-rich foods. By sprouting, the enzyme content actually increases. When I first started sprouting, I was surprised at how easy it is. You can sprout practically any seed or legume to increase the enzyme value and improve digestibility.  Add to salad, hummus, cereals, sandwiches, spreads, smoothies.

What is your favourite food to sprout ?

Sprouting 101 - Mung Beans

What you will need:

1 large mason jar Cheese cloth Elastic band ½ c mung beans Water Strainer

Directions:

  1. Put mung beans in the strainer and rinse.
  2. Put in the jar, cover with 2 cups water and let soak overnight (or 8 hours).
  3. In the morning drain the water and rinse the beans.
  4. Put the beans back in the jar and place cheese cloth over lid and secure with elastic.
  5. Turn jar upside down and leave on the counter (I usually put it in my dish rack to catch the extra water).
  6. Rinse the beans every 12 hours to avoid bacterial growth.
  7. Mung beans will sprout in 1-5 days depending on the temperature. The warmer it is inside, the quicker they sprout.
  8. You can eat them when they are small (after 1-2 days) or wait until the roots grow big (2-5 days). Rinse before eating and be sure to store in the fridge.  Eat within 1 week.