Have you heard about the simple spouting secrets and why this is important to know before eating foods made with seeds? Many people have not learned about the process of sprouting seeds for better health and nutrition. If you were not fortunate enough to have these profound principles passed down to you then read on to learn great news about soaking seeds.
Generational Secrets for Soaking and Sprouting Seeds
The basic principles of soaking and sprouting have been passed down for generations as simple parts of the food preparation practices. Over the centuries our ancestors discovered basic health and nutrition guidelines for soaking and sprouting many common foods before eating them.
Unfortunately as a consequence of busy lives and fewer people learning traditional food preparation the majority of people are unaware of the importance of soaking beans, grains, nuts and seeds. These days most people eat their food without giving much interest or thought to the procedures and preparation involved.
With the abundance of beans, grains, nuts and seeds in our diet one might assume that the food suppliers and food preparers would understand the importance of sprouting. Unfortunately many people these days are no longer aware of how or why for thousands of years foods were prepared with certain practices and traditions.
Few Commercial Products Use Sprouted Grains & Seeds
In commercials, stores and restaurants we are bombarded with messages promoting healthy whole grain breads, cereals and other bakery products. During my five decades as a consumer I have only seen a few companies mention using sprouted gains and seeds. The vast majority of food companies do not sprout the seeds prior to production. In addition they are often prepared with unhealthy additives, chemicals, flavorings, preservatives, sugar and unhealthy un-sprouted grains
It is important to understand that all beans, grains, nuts and seeds come with a natural defense and survival mechanism built in. They all have a variety of natural compounds such as protective enzymes, essential oils, tannins, phytic acid and other substances to protect the seed and insure the survival of the plant species. These complex compounds keep the seed dormant until the correct growing season as well as protect against fungus, pests and other organisms from rapidly consuming all the seeds before they can produce the next generation.
Unfortunately for us we must first neutralize or remove these compounds prior to consumption in order to protect our body and receive the maximum nutrition from our foods. These natural substances are there for the good of the plant and can actually harm you. Beans, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, are not generally ready to eat once they have developed into a mature seed.
These compounds and even the fiber from un-sprouted seeds are very tough and can actually cause digestive difficulties, especially for those who eat a Standard American Diet (SAD). This can lead to allergies, bloating, gas, irritable bowel, and many more disorders of the gastro-intestinal tract.
Not only do most companies not take the time to soak and sprout these seeds they also use high technology to process, refine, treat and heat these foods to extreme levels which strips good food value and destroys most of the good nutrients while leaving the seeds de-natured and unhealthy compounds still present. Most of these procedures are done to extend shelf life and make the product easier to produce at the minimum cost regardless of the consequences to the consumers.
How Soaking Neutralizes Non-Beneficial Substances
Remember all beans, grains, nuts and seeds must be soaked for approximately 12 – 24 hours to neutralize these substances. Soaking involves immersion in water for a period of time and sprouting refers to the process of keeping the seeds moist to induce germination.
Nuts should be drained and refrigerated after soaking and should be consumed within a few days. If they are dehydrated they will keep for several weeks to months if stored properly. Avoid roasted, salted and artificially flavored nuts and seeds.
Beans are usually soaked for 24 hours and the water replaced in order to cook them. They can also be drained and rinsed periodically and allowed to continue to sprout. This is common with mung bean sprouts and soy bean sprouts.
Seeds like flax, pumpkin, sesame and sunflower usually require less time to soak and be ready to eat .
Grains are a bit more unique and fall into two basic categories:
- Some grains such as barley, rye and wheat contain gluten. These grains should be consumed only after they have been soaked, sprouted or fermented.
- Grains such as buckwheat, millet, quinoa and rice are gluten free and more easily digested. These grains however, still contain enzymes and anti-nutrient compounds which should be soaked and neutralized.
Gluten and other proteins in grain are very difficult to digest. A diet high in these un-soaked whole grains puts quite a strain on the digestive and immune system. Over time the intestinal system reacts and begins to deteriorate and you may end up with a variety of allergies, autoimmune disorders, chronic illness, chronic indigestion and yeast and fungus overgrowth. Many different symptoms of digestive distress exist due a combination of excess refined carbohydrates (sugars) gluten intolerance, mycotoxins and chemicals (fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, insecticides, herbicides. Also many seeds are hybrids, genetically engineered or genetically modified organisms (GMO)
Gluten Intolerance & Anti-nutrients
Soaking and sprouting with water helps remove toxins and predigest gluten and other proteins into simpler components that are more easily absorbed.
Gluten intolerance affects many millions of people. The symptoms of gluten intolerance are often overlooked since it is poorly understood and the symptoms can affect every part of your body. General symptoms include: allergies, bloating, diarrhea, gas and generalized gastro-intestinal discomfort. Other symptoms reported include chronic skin problems, compromised immune system, headaches and difficulty with weight gain or loss,
Another problem with unsoaked beans, grains, nuts and seeds is the presence of substances called “anti-nutrients”. These compounds block or inhibit obtaining nutrition from seed foods. The main anti-nutrient is phytic acid which is how plants store Phosphorus. The hulls contain the highest levels. Phytates inhibit the absorption of essential minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc. Phytates bind to these minerals in the intestinal tract and are eliminated instead of absorbed and may contribute to mineral and nutrient deficiencies.
While soaking and spouting your beans, grains, nuts and seeds does take a little extra effort and planning, the reasons for doing so are very compelling. Also your seeds will taste better and be easier to chew, digest and assimilate. Whole seeds are a great natural whole food and perfect source of great nutrition. Following these simple sprouting secrets will help insure that the beans, grains, nuts and seeds you eat are a healthy and nutritious food source.
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