Sprouted Grain Benefits
Perhaps you have encountered “sprouted” grain products before at the local health food store or farmer’s market. These products are becoming easier to find and are popular with health food consumers. What’s the deal? Are sprouted grains really better than un-sprouted products? Is there a difference?
As their name implies, sprouted grains have been allowed to sprout but have been stopped from growing while still germinating. These sprouts can be used to make products such as flour, bread, and cereals, or can be included in everyday cooking.
Sprouting can be done at home, however, it is recommended to cook or bake the sprouts instead of eating them raw. The high temperature from cooking and baking kills bacteria that may have been cultured in the sprouting process. Individuals with a high risk of infection like children, pregnant women, and the immunosuppressed should be especially careful with sprouted grains and products.
Sprouting can be done with glass jars or with special equipment sold in stores and online. The process mimics the environment that makes grains to germinate. Since this environment also nurtures bacteria, one must be very careful with cleaning equipment and the process itself.
During germination, starches and phytic acid (phytate) are broken down, which increases the sprout’s nutrient content. Sprouted grains also have more fiber and less starch than un-sprouted grains, which makes them easier to digest.
There is still much debate on whether sprouted products are better than un-sprouted grain products. This is because while some nutrients are made during germination others are used up. The most quantifiable benefit of sprouted grains is the higher fiber to starch ratio. Fiber (depending on the type) is known to help with digestion and even circulation.
Should I Try Sprouted Grains?
Sure, check out sprouted grain products and see how you like them. Some say that they are more flavorful than un-sprouted grains and are easier on the stomach. Do your homework and see what type of nutrients are more abundant in sprouted grains versus un-sprouted to help you decide.
Overall, your best bet for what is best for your body and diet should come from your doctor or a nutritionist. Schedule an appointment with one of our CORE nutritionists to get a customized analysis of foods you should increase or avoid to reach your optimal health!
- Godman, Heidi. “Are Sprouted Grains More Nutritious than Regular Whole Grains?” Harvard Health Blog, 3 Nov. 2017, www.health.harvard.edu/blog/sprouted-grains-nutritious-regular-whole-grains-2017110612692.
- Reed, Stacy, et al. “Sprouting the Truth About Sprouted Grains.” Penn State Extension, 13 July 2019, extension.psu.edu/sprouting-the-truth-about-sprouted-grains.