Are Sprouted Grains Healthier?
By Sara Butler
You've likely seen them advertised in stores or on your favorite foods -- sprouted grains. But what's the deal? Are sprouted grains any better for your health? Here's the lowdown on sprouted grains and if you need to make them a part of your diet.
Sprouted Grains: What Are They?
Sprouted grains are whole grains. This means that they have the entire grain kernel intact. The kernel is then sprouted under controlled conditions that help to regulate the moisture, light, and temperature as it's sprouted.
What's So Special About Them?
Whole grains are really good for you and since sprouted grains are whole grains, they're good for you too. But what makes sprouted grains a good choice is that the sprouting can help your body to digest them more easily.
It's also thought that as the grains sprout the nutrients stored in the kernel to help the plant grow are released too. This makes it easier for your body to absorb the nutrients that are normally locked down tight in whole grains. Sprouted grains can help your body to better absorb the folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and potassium in them -- better than from unsprouted whole grains.
Basically, sprouting the grain unlocks a nutritional treasure trove that your body can take full advantage of.
Another thing that makes sprouted grains so special is that the longer they're sprouted, the easier they are to cook. Brown rice is a great example since sprouted brown rice has a far shorter cooking time than it's unsprouted version.
Where to Find Them
You can find many products made from sprouted grains at the store. These grains have a very early and nutty flavor, which means they can be used easily in bread, cereals, and granola bars. You can also find them in baking mixes and specialized sprouted grain flours.
Keep in mind that simply having sprouted grains added to something doesn't make it inherently healthier. It's important to always read the nutrition information found on any packaging to understand exactly what food is offering.
It's also important to never eat raw sprouted grains. The way they're sprouted can lead to bacterial growth. So, it's possible that sprouted grains can make you sick if you eat them without cooking first.
Go ahead and try some sprouted grains. They can add nutrition and flavor to your life!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Greenwood Village, Colo.