Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Importance of Soaking and Sprouting

Fun Fact…Did you know that squirrels instinctively know to bury their acorns deep in the moist soil and let sit for at least 1 daysquirrel-nuts.jpgThey know that the raw nuts need the soaking, or germination process, to occur before consuming. This allows the squirrels to obtain the most protein, nutrients and enzymes from the nut and digestion will be much easier. Soaked and sprouted nuts, seeds, legumes and grains are at their most nutritious state, full of live enzymes, and easily digested and absorbed. Enzymes are the key to digestion and digestion is the key to health. 

All raw nuts, seeds, grains and legumes naturally have enzyme inhibitors, making them difficult to digest. These enzyme inhibitors simply make it difficult for the food to release the enzymes needed for proper digestion in our body. Through the process of soaking these foods in water, the enzyme  inhibitors are released, and the enzymes increase making it extremely easy for the body to break them down. After a food is soaked approximately 6-12 hours in water, the enzyme inhibitors that prevent it from digesting well are washed away and it is able to release the enzymes, proteins and carbohydrates that are vital to our survival. Another beneficial reason for soaking your grains, nuts, seeds and legumes, is that the food absorbs the water and the higher the water content in a food, the better it is for us. Soaking nuts and seeds also reduces the fat content about 40-50 percent, increasing the protein and mineral content, and are therefore preferred over just raw nuts and seeds. When a food is changed from a dried, dormant state by soaking, it becomes a live, easier to digest plant.

Now that we understand soaking the food, why sprout? Soaking brings the plant to life; sprouting completes the cycle. Sprouting creates an enzymatic transformation; the plant actually goes through a chemical metamorphosis. The plant becomes a concentrated form of nutrients, which becomes the most “alive” source of food available. Sprouting causes the plant to develop its full enzyme capacity that enables the plant to pre-digest itself. Any nut, seed, grain, or legume that you are going to soak and/or sprout should be organic, without preservatives or additives and raw and whole.

To make life easier and save time I buy whatever I can already soaked and sprouted, it might be a little more expensive but in my opinion it's worth it.

I love the company truRoots, I buy their Quinoa, Lentils and Brown Rice. Everything is organic and already soaked and sprouted and can be cooked in under 25 minutes!

Another company I love is Go Raw. They have delicious granola, nuts, bars, crackers, cookies (not your average cookie more like crackers but are sweet) and even dark chocolate! Here is what I happen to have of theirs at the moment

I always keep a small baggy of a mixture of the pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds in my bag for when I'm out and about and get hungry. These seeds have essential fats and substantial amounts of iron and zinc. Raw, unprocessed, unheated omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids may be two of the most powerful tools in the anti-wrinkle arsenal. Fat preserves your skin's suppleness and youthful sheen. Raw fats also have potent anti-inflammatory properties, promoting heart health and relief of pain.

The bag of pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are about $10 each but they are big and will lost a long time, you don't have to keep in the fridge but if you do they will last longer!

Last but not least.....SPROUTS (a SuperFood)

Here I have a mix of Alfalfa/Clover Sprouts and Sunflower Sprouts. I always add some to my salads!

My 4 favs....

Alfalfa sprouts contain significant dietary sources of phytoestrogens—known to have preventive elements for cancer, heart diseases, menopausal symptoms, and osteoporosis.
Sunflower sprouts are rich in lecithin and vitamin D. Sunflower sprouts have the power to break fatty acids and lead to easy digestion.
Broccoli sprouts are known to have anti-cancer properties. Peppery flavor makes good taste for salad.
Clover sprouts are known as an anti-cancer herb. It have significant source of isoflavones.

Peace and Love,

Jamie xx

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