Already sprouted today? Okay, okay. We admit: Sprouting doesn't exactly have the coolest image. However, if you have oats, nuts or flaxseed in your breakfast bowl regularly , it's worth taking a closer look at sprouting.
Because sprouting makes all the difference. Only sprouted grains and seeds can develop their full nutritional power.
Whether it's oats, millet or spelt: Sprouting gets the best out of our (pseudo) favorite whole grains. But why actually? And what exactly happens during sprouting?
What is Sprouting?
Sprouting, or germination, refers to the beginning of a seed's development and includes the growth process from the embryo in the seed to the seedling. What sounds complicated is actually super simple: anyone who has ever had to grow a box of cress on the windowsill in science class has grown sprouts themselves.
Whole grains in particular are considered a healthy source of energy, which saturates for a long time thanks to fiber and also provides proteins, vitamins and minerals. And it's true: Spelt, oats, millet and other whole-grain cereals are rich in high-quality plant protein, health-promoting fiber, complex carbohydrates and packed with B vitamins, iron, magnesium, zinc and other trace elements. All of these good nutrients are necessary for plant growth. They are, in effect, the food that the grain needs until it can take root as a sprout and feed itself autotrophically. Grains are therefore small nutrient bombs.
However, in order to mobilize these nutrients and come to life, the grains need a little help. Only when they come into contact with water the grain begins to germinate.
When a grain sprouts, certain enzymes are activated that convert the nutrients stored in the seed into more usable forms. This process increases the availability of nutrients - and the plant grows and thrives.
Why is Sprouting important?
What applies to plants also helps us humans to utilize the valuable nutrients from oats, corn, spelt or millet: Only when germinated the body can absorb the nutrients contained really well.
Mother nature has equipped cereal and nut seeds with certain defense mechanisms to ensure that they can survive - or at least some of them. We are talking about defense substances. These so-called antinutrients prevent the healthy nutrients in grains from being freely accessible and limit the utilization of nutrients ingested with food. They are difficult to digest and can even be toxic in high doses. They include lectins and phytic acid.
Attention, nutrient explosion
Sprouting breaks down these antinutrients in whole grain products, increasing the bioavailability of vitamins and minerals such as zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and B vitamins. This means that the body can absorb and metabolize them better.
For years, scientific literature has also addressed the phenomenon of sprouting and its impact on our food.
According to a study, sprouting oats for 24 hours reduces the content of the antinutrient phytic acid by 13 to 20 percent..
A study on the germination of millet showed that the antinutrients tannins and phytates were no longer detectable after 96 hours of germination. The digestibility of the proteins contained, on the other hand, increased significantly.
Sprouting, a nutrient miracle
Another study focused on the antioxidant content of wheat - before and after germination. It showed that after 48 h of germination, ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) levels were significantly higher than in non-germinated wheat samples (ORAC before: 28.2 μmol TE/g, ORAC after: 32.6 μmol TE/g). The longer the germination time was, the higher the antioxidant capacity was.
Notice Which vitamins, minerals and antioxidants increase and how much they do depends strongly on the grain variety and the germination period. Some nutrients increase more the longer a grain germinates, while others increase with shorter germination time and then decrease significantly after a certain point.
Easier to digest
Germination activates certain enzymes that ungerminated grains and seeds contain. Once activated, they change the structure of the grains. One of these enzymes is amylase, whose task is to break down starch. Studies show that germination converts starch molecules in germinated wheat into simple sugars such as oligosaccharides. The activated protease converts proteins and breaks them down into their individual parts, including gluten.
As a result, germinated grains and seeds are easier to digest. Say goodbye to bloating and food coma: A study shows that in vitro starch digestibility improves by about 15% in germinated wheat - while in vitro protein digestibility improves by about 10%.
Germinated whole grains also retain their valuable dietary fiber. Their prebiotic properties support our good intestinal bacteria.
In addition, dietary fiber ensures a long feeling of satiety and a slow rise in blood sugar after eating.
Nice side effect: Sprouted grains taste better. Because sprouting reduces the content of bitter-tasting antinutrients and promotes the breakdown of starch, sprouted grains naturally taste somewhat sweeter and not as bitter. Grains, nuts and seeds also become softer and more tender as a result of the sprouting process.
Back to the roots – back to the sprouts
By the way, our ancestors were already diligently sprouting their food. Nowadays, however, hardly anyone has the time and leisure to do so, although theoretically you can sprout half the contents of your kitchen cupboard: Nuts, seeds, legumes, grains and some vegetables.
From whole grain oats to spelt, golden millet to rice, Sprouting makes all whole grain products better.
No time to sprout?
We got you. Wholey Super Porridge is an easy way to get all the certified organic Sprout goodness into your bowl first thing in the morning.
Our Super Porridge is made with a sprouted grain mix plus sprouted millet and sprouted flaxseed - and all you have to do is boil it briefly and dump it into your breakfast bowl. Easy, right?
We have three different variants:
Original: Base mixture of germinated naked whole oats, golden millet and flaxseed
Apple Cinnamon: with cinnamon and dried apple pieces.
Cocoa Tigernut: with almost 10% cocoa powder and crunchy tiger nut flakes
Our tip: Add fresh fruit to your Super Porridge, so that micronutrients can be absorbed even better. The vitamin C from the fruit helps with the absorption of iron.
Profit from the power of sprouting and start your morning smart, strong and with a good belly feeling. 😎
Lemmens, Elien & Moroni, Alice & Pagand, Jennifer & Heirbaut, Pieter & Ritala, Anneli & Karlen, Yann & Lê, Kim‐Anne & Van den Broeck, Hetty & Brouns, Fred & Brier, Niels & Delcour, Jan. (2018). Impact of Cereal Seed Sprouting on Its Nutritional and Technological Properties: A Critical Review. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety. 18. 10.1111/1541-4337.12414.
Kucek, Lisa & Veenstra, Lynn & Amnuaycheewa, Plaimein & Sorrells, Mark. (2015). A Grounded Guide to Gluten: How Modern Genotypes and Processing Impact Wheat Sensitivity. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety. 14. 10.1111/1541-4337.12129. https://ift.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1541-4337.12129
Singh, Arashdeep & Bobade, Hanuman & Sharma, Savita & Singh, Baljit & Gupta, Antima. (2021). Enhancement of Digestibility of Nutrients (In vitro), Antioxidant Potential and Functional Attributes of Wheat Flour Through Grain Germination. Plant Foods for Human Nutrition. 76. 10.1007/s11130-021-00881-z. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s11130-021-00881-z.pdf
Jribi, Sarra & Antal, Otilia & Füstös, Zoltán & Pápai, Gréta & Naar, Zoltan & Kheriji, Oussema & Debbabi, Hajer. (2020). Influence of sprouting bioprocess on durum wheat (Triticum durum) prebiotic properties. https://om.ciheam.org/om/pdf/a124/00007806.pdf