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Get the Most out of Your Grains!
Monday, March 12, 2012
$0What is the key to maximizing the nutrient content in your whole grains? Soaking and sprouting!$0$0If you think about what a grain is, you will realize that grains are seeds, waiting to be buried, watered, and grow into a new plant. Seeds and legumes (beans, nuts) may also develop into a full grown plant. Â But why don't the grains start growing? What is keeping them from germinating?$0$0Water and warmth! Seeds need water and a warm climate to begin their growing process. Â Grains and seeds naturally contain anti-nutrients that prevent germination until the seed/grain falls into the right conditions before it starts growing.$0$0Water and warmÂ temperaturesÂ tell the seed that it is in a prime growing condition and biochemical processes occur in the seed to destroy the anti-nutrients and begin the growing process. Â So if you sprout your grains, not only will the grains inactivate the anti-nutrients, they will also activate enzymatic processes that will increase the nutrient content of the grains.$0$0Soaking your brown rice, amaranth, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, barley, etc...will deactivate the enzyme inhibitors (anti-nutrients) and soften the grains. Â They will be more easily digested, and the absence of the anti-nutrients will allow your intestines to absorb more of the grain's beneficial nutrients.$0$0How long should I soak the grains?$0$0Soaking your grains overnight is an easy way to prepare breakfast grains and putting them in water before you leave for work in the morning will ensure they are throughly soaked for dinner at night.$0$0How can I increase the nutrient value of my whole grains?$0$0If you want to maximize the nutrient content, you need to do more than just soaking. Â You need to sprout the grains. Â Soak the grains for 12-24 hours, changing the water at least twice, and then put the grains into a mason jar (or airtight, glass container) for another 2 days at least. Â Every 24 hours you should rinse the grains to clean them and remove any anti-nutrients or bacteria that have formed.$0$0It is up to you how long you want to sprout your grains. Each grain has a different time frame for growth. Â Rice takes a particularly long time (about 3-5 days) to grow "tails" (the root) whereas quinoa has a shorter time frame (1-2 days after soaking). Just remember, the longer the tail, the more nutritious the plant! You can sprout your grains for up to a week, but I would cook them after about 1 week to prevent mold and bacteria overgrowth.$0$0What are the benefits of soaking and sprouting whole grains?$0$0By soaking your grains, you deactivate the phytic acid and oxalates (anti-nutrients) in them, allowing for better absorption of all the nutrients by your body, especially the minerals. Â With sprouting, you are actually stimulating plant growth and therefore increasing the nutrient content of the grain. Â The B vitamins are particularly elevated with sprouting, as these vitamins are critical for energy production. Vitamin A and vitamin C are also remarkably increased through sprouting.$0$0Moreover, sprouting will decrease caloric value while increasing the values of calcium, iron, protein, potassium, sodium, and phosphorous! This is one easy way of getting more nutrients and increase the absorption of nutrients from your food!$0$0Also, when you sprout beans you decrease the level of the gas-causing chemicals in the legumes.Â Oligosaccharides, a type of sugar (carbohydrate) are responsible for creating gas during digestion in your intestine. Sprouting beans can reduce this gas-promoting nutrient by 90 percent!$0$0Will it make a difference?$0$0Of course! Sprouting soybeans for 3-5 days has resulted in a 300% increase in vitamin A and 500% increase in vitamin C. How could you deny your body those nutrients?$0$0It's really easy to begin your sprouting process, and really easy to plan ahead! You can start today by soaking a grain you already have, and cooking it tomorrow morning. Â Make a large portion, enough to last you and your family a couple of days. Â And tomorrow, you can get another bowl out and start soaking some more. This way you will have a grain to serve tomorrow, and a sprouted grain to serve in a couple of days!$0$0Even 1-2 hours can make a difference! Deactivating the enzyme inhibitors and anti-nutrients is the most important aspect of soaking you grains. Â By inactivating these chemicals, you are enabling your body to maximize the nutrients in the grains, compared to ingesting these nutrients that actually prevent digestion in your body and can even lead to digestive complaints like bloating, abdominal pain, cramps, diarrhea, constipation, and gas.$0$0If anything, buy some brown rice, through it in a bowl, add some hot water, and soak it for 8-12 hours. Â Then you can cook it. Â Beware, you won't need as much water and it will cook in less time. The grains have already absorbed some water and softened, allowing for faster cooking! How easy!$0$0Get the most out of your grains! Don't forget to buy organic, all natural grains, seeds, and legumes in order to decrease your exposure to toxins that can disrupt your natural biochemical processes (like hunger, sleep, weight, and energy)!$0
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