Sprouts are the germinated seeds of legumes or grains, and have a high nutritional value, which makes them a valuable addition to a healthy diet.
When the seedlings sprout, they contain the highest amount of nutrition, with concentrated values of vitamin E, potassium, iron, phytochemicals, antioxidants, bioflavonoids, chemoprotectants and protein.
Types of Sprouts
Mung bean – this is the easiest bean to sprout, with a distinct flavor. It is used a lot in Chinese cooking. Fenugreek – these sprouts have a spicy and slightly bitter taste, and are known for their restorative properties Gram – gram sprouts are helpful for enhancing vitality and vigor. Brussels sprouts – these green, strong-tasting sprouts are generally only eaten in the UK as part of Christmas dinner, and most people either love them or dislike them intensely.
Why Sprouts Benefit Hair
1. Hair Growth
Sprouts contain a fair amount of vitamin C, which helps with hair growth. It also destroys harmful free radicals in the body, which can make hair brittle and weak.
2. Boosts Blood Supply to the Scalp
Sprouts help to improve blood circulation, and helps to generate new blood vessels. A healthy supply of blood to the scalp helps promote hair growth.
3. High in Vitamin A
The large amounts of vitamin A in sprouts helps to stimulate the hair follicles and encourages hair growth. A deficiency of this vitamin can lead to dry scalp, hair roots and strands.
4. Good Source of Antioxidants
Greying hair can be caused by oxidation of the tissues, as well as advancing age. The antioxidants in sprouts can help your hair to stay more youthful for longer.
5. Vitamin K
Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin that builds protein in the scalp to maintain hair health.
Sprouts are full of iron, which is needed in the blood to carry oxygen to the scalp and roots. Iron deficiency may lead to hair loss.
Zinc is a nutrient needed to create sebum in the scalp, which helps to keep the scalp, roots and hair strands hydrated, as well as helping regenerate the scalp skin cells.
8. Anti-Dandruff Properties
The selenium in sprouts helps to kill a fungus called Malassezia, which causes the scalp to shed dry flakes. It also helps prevent an itchy scalp because of its antifungal properties.
9. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Sprouts contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are necessary for the proper nourishment of hair follicles. It prevents dry and brittle hair, and can help slow down hair loss.
10. Corrects Hormonal Imbalances
Sprouts help to achieve a proper hormonal balance. Imbalanced hormones are one of the biggest causes of hair loss in women.
11. Prevents Biotin Deficiency
Biotin deficiency can result in brittle, damaged hair. Sprouts will increase the levels of biotin in your body, and help heal your hair.
Sprouts for Healthy Skin
12. Glowing Skin
The nutritional makeup of sprouts can help maintain the health and natural glow of the skin.
13. May Prevent Skin Cancer
Exposure to a lot of sunlight causes skin damage from free radicals. Sprouts are full of antioxidants which kill these nasties, and help to protect the skin from further sun damage, and possibly skin cancers.
14. Skin Hydration
Pea sprouts are full of vitamin B, which keeps skin healthy and regulates sebum production. Try drinking a glass of pea sprout juice every day to help hydrate and moisturize your skin from the inside out. You can also make a facial mask of pressed pea sprouts to rejuvenate and smooth your skin.
15. Cell Regeneration
Sprouts can help with the healing and rejuvenation of the skin. Damaged tissue and minor wounds can also heal quicker.
16. Collagen Production
The vitamin C in sprouts helps the skin to produce collagen, which is vital for skin elasticity and a more youthful look. Collagen supports and holds the body tissues together, and rejuvenates the skin from within.
17. Acne Treatment
Sprouts contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation and help to minimize acne breakouts. It can also help with other skin issues, such as eczema, pruritus and psoriasis.
Sprouts contain silica, which is a nutrient required to rebuild and regenerate the skin’s connective tissues. Silica also helps to remove toxins from the body.
General Health Benefits of Sprouts
19. Prevent Premature Aging
The concentration of antioxidants in sprouts can help prevent the destruction of DNA, and reduce the effects of aging on the skin.
20. Protein During Pregnancy
Sprouts are a good plant-based protein, but pregnant women shouldn’t eat them raw because of the potential dangers of salmonella and E. coli. Cooked sprouts are perfectly safe to eat.
How to Use Sprouts
Wash them before eating to remove any fungus or residue. The leaves should be discarded. If the sprouts look stale, dull or smell funny, do not eat them. Try baking with sprout flour. It has a good texture, and a sweeter taste than ordinary whole wheat flour. The nutritional value of a salad can be greatly increased by adding a handful of sprouts. Brussels sprouts are best sautéed in butter, and pair well with crisp bacon pieces. Sprouts can also be tossed with sliced apples, thyme, olive oil and a dash of lime for a salad. You can also add them to an omelette or a sandwich. By steaming sprouts quickly in a small amount of water, you minimize the nutrient loss. Add sprouts to an inch of already boiled water, or place in a vegetable steamer. Uncover the pot after 2 minutes to release the strong-tasting sulfur compounds, then cover again and cook the sprouts for 15 minutes or until tender.