Five thousand years ago Chinese nobles ate sprouted
seeds for rejuvenation and healing. Today, research seems to be confirming that sprouts
are the food of the future, as well as a food of the past.
During WWII, 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. Today, the
increasing tendency to avoid eating meat means that sprouts are taking a serious place in
modern culinary approach.
The value of sprouts is becoming more and more accepted among many
in the scientific community today. Sprouts are found to be a complete protein. Untampered
natural sprouts assist in the building of nerves, tissue, bones and blood.
Dr. Ann Wigmore, founder of the Ann Wigmore Foundation in Torreon,
New Mexico, has dedicated her life to confirming the healing properties of sprouts. For
the past 30 years, the foundation and four related institutes have treated people for
different disorders. Sprouts were found to contribute extensively to the immune system,
and were shown to be excellent detoxificants.
Studies at Washington University have shown that a shortage of
metabolic enzymes can jeopardize our health. Apparently, if we get digestive enzymes from
our food, more metabolic enzyme is freed to prevent disease and maintain health.
Unfortunately, all processed food has been heated by one of more means, and thus, all
natural enzymes have been destroyed. It seems that eating raw foods is the answer.
The work of researchers such as Dr. Edward Howell, author of the
book "Enzyme Nutrition," has shown that we literally wear out our enzyme making
machinery by forcing our bodies to produce such a concentrated flow of digestive enzymes
all of our lives. By squandering our enzyme making capacity on digestive enzymes, our body
has less capacity to create and preserve the thousands of other enzymes in other systems
in our body. As a consequence, enzyme activity throughout the entire body declines rapidly
and the aging process accelerates at a much faster rate than it should.
Research, such as that done by the Wigmore Foundation, has shown
that there are 10 to 100 times more enzymes in sprouted seeds than in vegetables or
fruits, depending on the enzyme and the seed being sprouted. Sprouted seeds are also a
great source of vitamin C, carotenoid A, B vitamins, and minerals.
There are a variety of sprouted seeds which can be added to one's
diet. Some of the most nutritious are rye, fenugreek, wheat, mung bean, lentils, and
alfalfa. The increase of vitamins in sprouts is tremendous during the sprouting period,
compared to the unsprouted seed. Studies from India and Asia show increases in carotene
and vitamin A, Dr. C.W. Bailey of the University of Minnesota showed, in a study
attempting to establish the importance of enzymes in the human body, that vitamin C value
increased by 600 percent in sprouted wheatgrass.
All that's needed is a container of clean water and seeds from your
local health food store to get a fully grown, crispy, tasty vegetable. In addition, there
are some automatic sprouters available for individuals who do not have the time to soak
and rinse their sprouts a few times a day. Adding sprouts to your favorite salads, soups,
sandwiches, etc., will make a world of difference to your health. I believe that a few
cups of sprouts daily as a supplement to your food can make a world of difference to your
Sol Azulay is researcher of sprout cultivating products from
Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is also the president of Season Grain Technologies.