Sprouts are known to be one of the most easily available and cheapest source of overall nutrition. These are also called a superfood, owing to their mix of various important nutrients such as proteins, minerals, vitamins and amino acids.Sprouts are not the only powerhouse of nutrition, but are also extremely easy to prepare. All you have to do is to wait for 3 to 5 days, depending on your climate, to grow sprouts out of your grain. However, owing to lack of commercial involvement in the preparation of sprouts, not much attention has been given to popularizing this simple yet nutritious food.
7 Health Benefits of Sprouts for Kids
Sprouts are not only beneficial for adults but are good for children as well. These are easy to digest, making them suitable for consumption by children. Here are the top benefits of sprouts for children.
Fun Activity: Before we delve into the nutritional benefits of sprouts for children, it is important to note that the process of preparing sprouts can be a fun and knowledgeable activity for children. You can engage children in growing sprouts and it will teach them about the nutritional makeup of beans, measuring practices and maintaining hygiene while preparing food. Apart from this, kids will also enjoy fun bonding time with you, their siblings and friends.
Easy to Digest Nutrition: One of the biggest benefits of sprouts is that the nutrition provided by them is easily digestible. While there are many Superfoods which are chock full of valuable vitamins and minerals, but are tough on the digestive system. This means that all the nutrients provided by those foods are not absorbed by the body, leading to wastage. However, this is not the case with sprouts. This is due to the changes which occur during the process of sprouting. If you are sprouting your beans through the process of soaking, then vegetable proteins are converted into amino acids. These amino acids are far more digestion friendly than their earlier form of vegetable proteins. Overall, the process makes the sprouts more kid-friendly.
Sprouting also converts complex sugars into simple ones. This ensures that children do not suffer from intestinal gas when you consume sprouts. Sprouting also neutralizes certain enzyme inhibitors present in seeds and beans. This again makes it easier for children to digest and process sprouts.
Takes Care of Acidity: some foods are acidic in nature while others are alkaline. It is important to strike the right balance between these foods. However, a large portion of our diets tends to be acidic. Grains and legumes are generally acidic, but by sprouting them, you can increase their alkaline level. This will ensure that your child’s diet is well balanced in both the forms. Your child’s overall health will benefit from a well-balanced diet which contains optimal levels of acid and alkali.
SuperFood: sprouts are also known as Superfoods due to high concentration of nutrients. It is claimed that sprouts may contain up to 100 times more enzymes than raw vegetables and fruits. Enzymes are specialized kind of proteins and aid various vital processes in the body. Sprouting also improves the quality of nutrients available in legumes and beans. It enhances the quality and quantity of lysine, which is an amino acid required for healthy immune system,
Enhanced Fiber and Vitamin Content: It is not only the amino acids which undergo transformation during the sprouting process, but various other nutrients are also affected. Your child’s health would be greatly enhanced with the use of sprouts, as these contain fiber content in abundance. Fiber helps in proper weight management. It attaches itself to toxins and fats and help them flushing out of the body. Similarly, vitamins are also in abundance in sprouts. These vitamins are important to ensure the overall growth of your child. Sprouts are considered to be an excellent source of various vitamins such as A, B Complex, Vitamin C and Vitamin E. Various studies have shown that the vitamin content of beans and nuts may increase by up to 20 times by sprouting. So, if you want to give the proper dosage of vitamins to your kids, it is better to rely upon natural sprouts, than on artificial vitamin supplements.
Ideal Source of Minerals and Fatty Acids: there are plenty of reasons why sprouts are considered to be superfoods. The process of sprouting adheres minerals to protein available in nuts, legumes and grains. This makes mineral more readily absorbable by the body. Similarly, the process of sprouting also increases the amount of essential fatty acids. These fatty acids are responsible for burning extra fats in the body. Sprouts are an important way to ensure that your child gets all the essential nutrients without extra calories. Sprouts are also helpful in lowering the level of cholesterol in the body. You can ensure lower levels of bad cholesterol or LDLs while enhancing the levels of HDL or good cholesterol in your body.Broccoli and Alfalfa sprouts are considered especially good for this purpose.
Anti-Carcinogenic: Sprouts are also a good source of anti-carcinogenic elements. Sulforaphane, a well-known natural anti-carcinogenic compound, is available in abundance in Brussel Sprouts. These sprouts are also a good source of indole, a phytochemical which may reduce the chances of occurrence of cancer. Similarly, broccoli sprouts are known to contain more anti carcinogenic elements than mature broccoli. Young sprouts may have 20 to 50 times higher concentrations of cancer fighting elements.
As seen above, it is easy to see how sprouts can help you in providing high quality nutrition to child. Apart from being nutrition dense, sprouts also have the benefits of being relatively inexpensive and easily available. You can grow sprouts in your own house. However, there are certain points you need to keep in mind. Raw sprouts may pose a little digestion in children. Therefore, it is advisable to lightly steam the sprouts or add them to soup or stew. This not only makes sprouts easier to digest, but also increases their nutritional value. You can season sprouts to match your child’s taste requirements.