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The Secrets of Sprouts: A Nutritional Powerhouse

Doug Evans, author of The Sprout Bookdiscusses the ways in which sprouts are a plant-based, low cost nutritional ultrafood—for health, weight loss, and optimum nutrition. 

By
Doug Evans
2-minute read
the sprout book

What makes sprouts a nutritional powerhouse?

Sprouts are vegetables that have recently been transformed from dormant seeds to active and living plants. The seeds themselves are pre-packed with the elements that the need to grow into a full-grown vegetables. That being said, they have highly concentrated levels of micronutrients in them. There are other positive surprises like when you sprout beans or lentils, they actually develop Vitamin C and when you cook them you don't. Vitamin C alone is a powerful antioxidant that protects cells from free radicals.

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Are sprouts something you can add to your existing diet, or do you have to make a major lifestyle change to benefit from them?

The US Dietary Guidelines recommend 7-13 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Sprouts can very easily be added to your diet. What I have seen is that once people start eating sprouts and learning about sprouts, they eat more and more of them.

What's the definition of a "plant-based diet?" Is it vegetarian? Do you have to give up meat to get into sprouting?

The definition of "plant-based diet" is when someone gets the majority of their calories from plants. Being plant-based generally doesn't include dairy products that are part of the vegetarian diet.

Sprouts are for everybody and can be added to almost anything.

Will eating sprouts help you lose weight?

Sprouts contain a lot of fiber and nutrients and, to the extent that you are eating more sprouts and less other foods, they could help you lose weight. If you ate a lot of sprouts or exclusively sprouts for certain periods of time, you would most likely lose weight.

Sprouts contain a lot of fiber and nutrients and, to the extent that you are eating more sprouts and less other foods, they could help you lose weight.

Diets need to be sustainable to work. Is it hard to make sprouts part of your diet?

Because sprouts are so inexpensive and simple to grow, it's easy to make them a consistent part of your diet.

How accessible are sprouts? Where would someone start looking for them at supermarkets? at a restaurant?

Sprouts are very accessible and sold in most major supermarkets and health food stores. They are almost always in the refrigerated section of the produce department. Many restaurants use sprouts as a garnish for appetizers, sandwiches and entrees.

Sprouts are for everybody and can be added to almost anything.

Do you have any tips on growing sprouts yourself? Is it worth adding them to a springtime garden?

The easiest way to start growing sprouts is with a mason jar and a special screen lid or a piece of cheesecloth. Broccoli sprouts are definitely a nutritional powerhouse and can be sprouted by soaking them in the jar for about five hours and then rinsing them of twice a day. They will be ready to eat in as little as 3 days.

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