Sprouting Unlocks the Seed
Super Sprouting Facts
Sprouted Chia Seed
Sprouted Brown Rice
NUTRIENTS AND ANTI-NUTRIENTS
We usually notice malnutrition when nutrient-poor food is consumed. Yet, it’s still possible to consume foods rich in nutrients that cannot be utilized by the body due to anti-nutrients.
Anti-nutrients make nutrients less bioavailable, and sprouting can disable them. Anti-nutrients serve to protect a food, but can be problematic once we consume them. Still, not all anti-nutrients are problematic; some may help protect us from disease.
Once anti-nutrients are degraded with proper pre-treatment of food, legumes and grains become excellent sources of nutrients that we can utilize.
Various pre-treatment methods exist and can be used to enhance the bioavailability of nutrients, including soaking, fermentation and sprouting. Combining strategies is effective too.
Sprouting enhances the bioavailability of zinc, iron and calcium. Sprouting also reduces the phenol and tannin content in some foods.
The amount of change depends on water pH, length of soaking, and length of sprouting. However, in general, basic methods can reduce anti-nutrient levels by 50%.
When we simply heat food, not all anti-nutrients are disabled and the potential for nutrient loss increases (due to water and heat). Many vitamins can be lost with cooking, including A, D, E, B1, B5, C, B12 and folate. But remember, the bioavailability of some minerals and phytochemicals is enhanced with cooking.
While anti-nutrients aren’t helpful for nutrient absorption, they may help to prevent cancers by binding to minerals in the GI tract, hindering oxidative stress and suppressing tumor growth.
More on the inhibitor "phytate" found in legumes, grains, nuts & seeds.
- Phytate is the salt of phytic acid and is a storage form of phosphorus in grains, legumes and nuts/seeds – minimal amounts are found in roots, tubers and veggies.
- Phytate is a plant’s basic self-defense mechanism, located in the outer aleurone layer or in the germ (depending on the food).
- Phytate binds with zinc, iron, and calcium (but not copper) in the GI tract, making them inaccessible.
- Diets high in phytate can stunt growth.
- Cooking, soaking, and sprouting can reduce phytate.