New Year’s resolutions abound, many are old standbys like losing weight and eating better, but few of us know how a simple addition to our diets can go a long way to a healthier 2013 and beyond – adding Sprouts to our meals. What many people don’t realize is how simple it is to add proteins, important nutrients and anti-oxidant properties to our diets by eating Sprouts. Yes, Sprouts. Those simple little things we sometimes add on our salads are actually incredibly nutritious and good for us.
Sprouts come in a variety of flavors to accent almost any meal, and in most cases have more nutritional value than the full size vegetables, often several times as much. This amazing food is so easy to incorporate into a well-balanced diet. The simplest way is to add them to sandwiches and salads, but you can also add the great taste, texture and variety of Sprouts to soups, pizza, stir-fry dishes and omelets. There are many tasty ways to eat healthier in 2013.
Although Alfalfa and Bean Sprouts are the most familiar varieties, many other kinds of Sprouts are readily available, including Broccoli and Radish Sprouts, Garlic and Onion Sprouts, Lentil, Clover, Sunflower, Pea Shoots and Soybean. All of these individual varieties have their own unique flavors, textures and nutritional benefits.
Sprouts can be excellent sources of protein and other essential nutrients. For example, one cup (100 grams) of Soy Sprouts contain the same amount of protein as 100 grams of Eggs, but zero cholesterol. The protein in Sprouts can be made “complete” by pairing Sprouts with garbanzo beans in a hummus sandwich. Pea Sprouts contain 3 times more phosphorus than Spinach, and over 4 times its potassium and niacin. Radish Sprouts provide 40 times more vitamin A than the mature radish vegetable.
In addition to adding protein and other nutrients to your diet, many varieties of Sprouts contain plant chemicals that some studies indicate may protect against the onset of heart disease and cancer. Alfalfa Sprouts contain high levels of Saponins, which have been shown in studies to reduce cholesterol. Much has been written about the cancer-inhibiting properties of Broccoli; but very few people know that Broccoli Sprouts actually contain 20 to 50 times the amount of the cancer-inhibiting chemicals as Broccoli.
Adding Sprouts to salads, soups, sandwiches and stir-fry dishes is a great way to bring new flavors and textures to everyday foods. If you are looking for simple ways to eat healthy in 2012, remember that Sprouts are an easy, low-fat way to add important nutrients to your diet.
The ISGA is an association of sprout growers, suppliers and educators. The goal of the ISGA is to promote information-sharing in the areas of nutrition education, good growing practices, marketing, and recipe development.