Happy New Year! I am very excited for a great 2015…how about you? My BIG goal this year is to share more low FODMAP and lifestyle tips to help you live your best symptom-free life! Today’s topic: sprouting! A little lesson in why sprouting grains, seeds and legumes is a good thing for your health!
First, let me tell you that I am a nutrition ambassador for Way Better Snacks. I have been fortunate to work with this company that shares my passion for healthy foods on the go. Way Better Snacks incorporates sprouted grains, seeds, and legumes into their products.
So…why sprout seeds, grains and legumes? Sprouting seeds, beans and grains delivers many healthy benefits including:
- Increased vitamin and minerals
- increased antioxidants
- increased digestibility
- increased nutrient absorption
Sounds like a good idea for those of us with digestive distress to incorporate more sprouted foods, right? I think so!
Seeds and grains have anti-nutrients such as lectin, phytic acid, and tannins. These are natural substances that inhibit digestion and proper absorption of nutrients. Sprouting reduces and eliminates these anti-nutrients. This allows your body to better absorb the healthy nutrients found in these foods.
A few words on these anti-nutrients found in some of our favorite seeds, cereal, grain, nuts and legumes:
Phytic acid is a major phosphorus storage compound of most seeds and cereal grains contributing about 1 to 7% of their dry weight. Phytic acid binds to minerals such as zinc, calcium and iron. This binding can result in insoluble salts that the body can not digest or are poorly absorbed. So the nutrients are in the foods—but your body doesn’ t have access to them. Boo 🙁
Tannins are acidic substances distributed widely in plants. Tannins can be good and bad. They can accelerate blood clotting, reduce blood pressure and lower blood fats. They also can lead to liver damage and impact the immune response.
Lectins are carbohydrate binding proteins that are associated with causing inflammation.
Sprouting enhances the antioxidants in seeds and grains too! Antioxidants help protect our cells from damage from free radicals, which can cause cell deterioration, aging and disease!
Sprouting also helps enzymes in the seeds and grains to become active. These enzymes help our body better absorb the nutrition found in the grains and seeds. When beans are sprouted there is an increase in protein, reduction in phytic acid, and a reduction of the oligosaccharides. That’s right, oligosaccharides are FODMAPs! This is explained by an increase in alpha-galactosidase (an enzyme) levels that occurr during the sprouting process and help reduce oligosaccharide content.
So…there you have it. Sprouting grains, seeds and legumes has health benefits that might be a great option for the digestively challenged!
Way Better Snacks offers snack foods made with sprouted ingredients, pure and unprocessed ingredients, delicious flavors (a few, YES, appear suitable for my FODMAPers!), Non-GMO verified, many are gluten free, Kosher, and all are made with no additives, no preservatives or no artificial ingredients!!
The give-a-way includes: 3 bags of the Way Better Snack Multi-Grain chips, a wicked (letting my Boston–come through) cute T-shirt, a sweet as can be bowl and wooden tongs for serving. Way Better Snack Multi-Grain chips are certified gluten free and contain lots of sprouted goodness: sprouted flax seed, sprouted quinoa, sprouted brown rice, sprouted daikon radish seed, sprouted chia, sprouted broccoli seed.
Want to win? Simply leave a comment and tell me “I want the chips!” and I will enter your name in for the Way Better Snack Swag Give-A-Way.
Picture above: Trunk Bay courtesy of Kevin Scarlata
Picture: Chocolate Hole Bay
I promise I will get to your questions on the blog….I am just catching up on all my emails!