Many of my clients feel bloated after eating legumes like beans and lentils. But it’s essential to include legumes into your daily diet because they’re packed with protein and fiber, especially if you’re vegetarian or vegan. So, what is the answer? Sprouting!
Sprouting is one of my favorite ways to increase the nutrient value of grains, nuts, and legumes. I often have difficulty digesting certain legumes and grains, so sprouting is a practice I use regularly because it makes these foods easier on the digestive tract. My clients have also eliminated bloating by sprouting their nuts, grains, and beans. It’s a total game changer!
Sprouting is very simple to do yourself, too. I can always be found in my kitchen, soaking my grains, nuts, and legumes to boost vitamin C, B, and fiber levels. When I soak these foods, they turn into powerful, nutrient dense sources of fiber and protein. You can easily complete this process at home so you can enjoy them every day with little hassle!
The Health Benefits of Sprouting
It can be challenging for the digestive system to break down legumes because of how much fiber they contain – especially for those who aren’t accustomed to eating them often. When legumes sprout, phytic acid is removed. Phytic acid is found in raw legumes and makes them hard on the digestive system. Sprouting also converts some of the dense protein found in beans and legumes into simpler amino acids, so the digestive system doesn’t have to work so hard. Complex sugars are also broken down during sprouting, which aids the digestive system. Basically, sprouting starts breaking down food, so the digestive system doesn’t need to do all the work alone. I’ve noticed my digestion is optimal after consuming sprouted beans.
Sprouted beans are the perfect ingredient to use for a hearty meal. Try out my delicious Chickpea-Crusted Eggplant Parmesan recipe using sprouted chickpeas for an easy-to-digest dinner.
Aids Weight Loss
You all know I sing the praises of fiber, so it’s excellent that sprouted legumes, grains, and nuts contain a high amount of fiber. Fiber feeds healthy gut flora, keeps you regular while detoxing your body, and fills you up, so you are less likely to snack on refined, ‘empty-calorie’ foods. Fiber also keeps your energy levels steady, so you don’t have to deal with blood sugar spikes and drops that make you feel unbalanced and lethargic.
I like to get 35-40 grams of fiber daily, so adding sprouted beans to my meals is a great way to achieve my goal! My Butter Lettuce Wraps with Lemony White Bean Salad is a great, high-fiber lunch recipe that will keep you full and satisfied.
To read more about why fiber is so important, read my blog on How Fiber Helps Keep You Healthy.
Did you know not all grains, legumes, and nuts are created equally? Sprouting reduces the number of antinutrients in grains, legumes, and nuts. Antinutrients prevent the body from absorbing essential minerals like zinc, magnesium, iron, and calcium in these foods. The antinutrient, phytic acid, binds with these minerals in unsprouted grains, legumes, and nuts, making it challenging to absorb fully. When these foods go through the sprouting process, the antinutrients are reduced, so the body absorbs these minerals better.
To learn more about beans, read my blog on The Truth About Lectins and Beans.
How to Sprout
Sprouting is simple! Buy a bag of dry beans, whole grains like quinoa, or unsalted nuts at the grocery store, rinse them in water and let them sit in water for at least 8 hours. To cook the beans, add 3 cups of water for every one cup of soaked beans and simmer until tender. After the grains sprout, you can enjoy them raw or lightly cooked. Sprouted nuts are delicious on their own, in nut milks, or in smoothies.
If you’re looking for a sprouted bean recipe to satisfy your sweet tooth, try my recipe for Black Bean Mocha Torte. It’s delicious and filled with healthy fiber and protein.
Sprouting is a terrific and nutritious way to enjoy legumes, grains, and nuts without feeling bloated. If you want to learn more about sprouting and how I incorporate sprouted foods into my diet, book a one-on-one with me today!