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The Value of Sprouts
by Sol Azulay and  others

Sprouts: Year-Round Vitamins

Sprouts are one of the most complete and nutritional of all foods tested. Sprouts are real 'Life Vitamins, Minerals, Proteins, and Enzymes. Their nutritional value was discovered by the Chinese thousands of years ago. Recently, in the USA, numerous scientific studies suggest the importance of sprouts in a healthy diet.

As an example, a sprouted Mung Bean has a carbohydrate content of a melon, vitamin A of a lemon, thiamin of an avocado, riboflavin of a dry apple, niacin of a banana, and ascorbic acid of a loganberry.

Because sprouts are predigested food, they have a higher biological efficiency value then whole seeds, raw or cooked. Less food is required, yet more nutrients reach the blood and cells. The sprouting process under the action of light, creates chlorophyll. Chlorophyll has been shown to be effective in overcoming protein deficiency anemia.

Sprouts also have a regenerating effect on the human body because of their high concentration of RNA, DNA, protein and essential nutrients which can be found only in living cells. (Synthetic supplements are not life food.)

The chemical changes that occur in the sprouting seed activate a powerful enzyme factory, never to be surpassed in later stage growth of any regumes (see article by Dr. Peavy). The rich enzyma concentration can lead heightened enzyme activity in your metabolism, leading to regeneration of the bloodstream. Sprouted grain appears to prevent depletion and earlier disappearance of youth due to sexual practice (vitamin E). Some vitamins increase during sprouting by 500%! In wheat, vitamin B-12 quadruples, other B vitamins increases 3 to 12 times, vitamin E content triples. Fibber content increases three to four times that of whole wheat bread.

To begin with, sprouts are the most reliable year-round source of vitamin C, carotenoid A, and many B vitamins (such as folacin), all of which are usually in short supply in our diet. Sprouting seeds, grains, and legumes greatly increases their content of those vitamins. For example, the vitamin A content (per calorie) of sprouted Mung beans is two-and-a-half times higher than the dry bean, and some beans have more than eight times more vitamin A after being sprouted.

Dry seeds, grains, and legumes, while rich in protein and complex carbohydrates, contain no vitamin C. But after sprouting, they contain around 20 milligrams per 3.5 ounces, a tremendous increase. Also, if grown in decent soil or taken from your own garden, seeds, grains, and legumes will be high in organic minerals - so your sprouts will be an excellent source of minerals as well as vitamins.

The great advantage in getting vitamins from sprouts you grow yourself is that you get a consistently high vitamin content without losses. In the dead of winter, when you can’t grow anything or get fresh produce anywhere, sprouts will provide a consistently reliable source of fresh, high-nutrient vegetables rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, and B vitamins. This will keep your immune system strong and your health in top condition when almost everyone else is getting sick. Why do you think so many people come down with colds and flu in the winter more than any other time? Because they’re not getting the vegetables and fruits that would keep their immune systems strong.

Have you ever heard of a vegetable that continues to gain vitamins after you harvest it? Sprouts do! Sprouts are living foods. Even after you harvest your sprouts and refrigerate them, they will continue to grow slowly, and their vitamin content will actually increase. Contrast that with store-bought fruits and vegetables, which start losing their vitamins as soon as they’re picked and often have to be shipped a thousand miles or more in the winter.

Make Your Own Sprouts Year-Round

While fresh fruits and vegetables provide enzymes, sprouts are far more concentrated and should be eaten in the summer with every large meal even when you have your own vegetables and fruits. In the winter and spring, when your own vegetable and fruits are not available, sprouts are doubly important. Sprouts should become an integral part of your diet year-round.

But you need to make your own sprouts for highest food value. Sprouts are living food. They need to be fresh. Freshly picked from your own sprout garden, they contain the highest level of enzymes and vitamins. If they are immediately refrigerated, the "life force" will stay in the seed as they remain fresh and slowly continue to grow.

If they are not immediately refrigerated after harvest, they will stop growing and the enzymes and vitamins will start decomposing. As that happens, the enzyme and vitamin content will decline rapidly. When you buy sprouts at the supermarket, there’s no telling how long they’ve been out on the shelves and exposed to room temperature. Even several hours of sitting in room temperature will cause a rapid loss of enzymes and vitamins. But what’s even worse is that some sprouts are treated with mold inhibitors to keep them fresh looking as they sit at room temperature. Those long, white, Mung bean sprouts seen in the store or at the salad bar have probably been treated with inhibitors so they could be grown to that length and preserved at room temperature. To really get the rejuvenating value of sprouts, you need to grow your own and eat them fresh".

(By Dr. William S. Peavy and Warren Peary , from the book ‘Super Nutrition Gardening’ available from Avery Publishing Co. 1 800 548 5757) Reprinted with the permission of the author.

Fountain of Youth

"The Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon searched off the Florida coast for a marvelous fountain he had heard could restore youth. He never found this legendary fountain, but you can. It is the eating of sprouted seeds that have not been heated over 118 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature at which enzyme destruction begins. Sprouts are freshly germinated edible seeds such as beans and grains. In fact, all you need is a Kitchen counter and five minutes a day. Even if you’re in an apartment in the middle of a city, you can sprout!

The rejuvenating and life-giving properties of sprouts may be one of the great health secrets of our time. Sprouts provide two important things in our diet - a steady year-round source of vitamins and a high concentration of food enzymes. Both keep the body’s enzyme activity high. Enzymes, which are made out of vitamins and minerals, are the most vital factor that sustains our body’s life processes. Without enzymes, we would be dead. And it is that very thing, enzyme depletion that is a fundamental cause of aging. It is the loss of the body’s enzymes which decreases the life processes in the cells. As the cell’s life processes decrease, they are not able to replace themselves as quickly. At the same time, as enzyme activity decreases, the cells become more susceptible to damage by free radicals and other toxic substances, which further hinders cell reproduction. It is the body’s inability to replace old cells with healthy new ones at a fast enough rate and the concurrent loss in the body’s enzymes that is precisely responsible for aging and increased susceptibility to disease as we get older. This is why immunity tends to decrease with age - immune cells aren’t being replaced at a fast enough rate to protect the body adequately from disease. Staying biologically young and healthy is a matter of keeping enzyme activity in our bodies at a maximum. That is exactly what sprouts do, which is why they can be called the fountain of youth.

(By Dr. William S. Peavy and Warren Peary , from the book ‘Super Nutrition Gardening’ available from Avery Publishing Co. 1 800 548 5757) Reprinted with the permission of the author.

Sprouts Save Our Enzymes

Sprouts preserve our body’s enzymes, which is extremely important. How do they do this? First of all, sprouted beans, grains, nuts, and seeds are extremely easy to digest. Sprouting essentially pre-digests the food for us by breaking down the concentrated starch into simpler carbohydrates and the protein into free amino acids, so our own enzymes don’t have to work so hard. If you’ve ever had trouble digesting beans properly, just sprout them and you’ll have no trouble at all. Sprouting also removes anti-nutrients such as enzyme inhibitors, and that makes sprouts even easier to digest, further sparing enzymes. Another anti-nutrient is phytates, which is what stops some people from enjoying grains such as wheat. Many people who can’t eat unsprouted wheat find they can eat all the sprouted wheat they want with no problem.

The Magic of Food Enzymes

Perhaps the greatest thing sprouts provide is enzymes. The enzymes in sprouts are a special protein that helps our body digest the nutrients in our food and boosts the life-giving enzyme activity in our body. Food enzymes are only found in raw foods. Cooking destroys them. While all raw foods contain enzymes, the most powerful enzyme-rich food are sprouted seeds, grains, and legumes. Sprouting increases the enzyme content in these foods enormously, to as much as forty-three times more than non-sprouted foods.

Sprouting greatly increases the content of all enzymes, including proteolytic and amylolytic enzymes. These enzymes digest proteins and carbohydrates (starches). They are normally produced inside the body but are also found in great concentration in raw sprouted foods. Researchers such as Dr. Edward Howell have shown how food enzymes aid us in the digestion of all the proteins, starches, and fats eaten in the same meal through their action in both saliva and the upper part of the stomach. These food enzymes can take the place of some of our body’s own enzymes, and this is very significant.

The digestion of food takes a high priority and forces the body to produce a copious flow of concentrated digestive enzymes when there are no enzymes in our food. All of us loose our ability to produce concentrated digestive enzymes as we grow older. As this happens, we are less able to use the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in our food, and we lose the ability to produce adequate amounts of all the other enzymes we need.

Dr. David G. Williams explains some of the consequences of inadequate enzyme production:

"As we age, our digestive system becomes less efficient. This should be obvious when you consider that anywhere from 60 to 75 percent of all hospitalizations are related to problems concerning the digestive system...ulcer and indigestion medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, are among the top sellers of any class of drugs; as we age, our stomach’s ability to produce hydrochloric acid lessens (New England Journal of Medicine 85; 313: 70 - 74); and by age 65, almost 35 percent of us don’t produce any hydrochloric acid at all."

Researchers such as Dr. Edward Howell have shown that much of this breakdown in the body’s ability to produce enough enzymes is due to the overproduction of concentrated digestive enzymes over many years. It should be obvious from all this that our bodies were made to eat far more raw food than we currently eat. The body has only a limited capacity to make enzymes, and this overproduction of digestive enzymes over many years is directly responsible for the body’s loss of all the other enzymes.

By squandering our enzyme-making capacity on digestive enzymes, the production and activity of all the other enzymes needed in our body is reduced. This is one reason why enzymes are depleted from our cells as we age. As enzyme activity is diminished in the cells, there is an acceleration of the aging process caused by free radical damage and other things that make us increasingly susceptible to disease.

When we get enzymes from our food, it spares our body from having to make such concentrated digestive enzymes. This sparing effect increases the activity of all the other enzymes in our body. Eating enzyme-rich foods such as sprouts allows our body to maximize its production of non-digestive enzymes, and that helps us produce an adequate level of enzymes all our life. And the higher the level of enzyme activity, the healthier and biologically younger we are going to be.

Since aging is, to a large extent, caused by enzyme depletion, slowing the aging process might be a matter of eating lots of enzyme-rich food every day along with an adequate intake of vitamins and minerals. Sprouted seeds, grains, and legumes are the most powerful enzyme-rich foods that exist.


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