Farmers and gardeners are raving about how easy one can make their own food in the comfort of their own home without even stepping out of their door. And sprouts are the latest food trend to rock the world. Sprouts are nutritional and can grow on your window sill or just about anywhere in your house where there is a little sunlight.
Don’t believe us! Just ask home gardener Ayanda Siphosothando Satula (30) from Gompo town in East London, who was introduced to sprouts a year ago when she started growing her home garden.
“My garden is always filled with spring onion, spinach and a variety of herbs that I can use in my daily cooking. But I needed something that I could use in my salads to give them that extra yummy flavour,” she tells Health For Mzansi.
Sprouting is basically a process where seeds and legumes are germinated and eventually eaten raw. When seeds are soaked in water for a certain period of time, they germinate (sprout), causing their outer layers to tear open and allowing a young shoot to blossom, which can provide essential vitamins and nutrients to the body when eaten raw.
Sprouts are not only delicious, but they can help you fight illness and have cancer-fighting properties.
They grow like magic
After noticing how quickly they sprouted, curiosity kicked in as Satula wondered if these tails were edible. Turning to a variety of vegetarian cookbooks for research, she was stunned to find out that they were a nutrient powerhouse.
“From then on, I’ve used sunflower sprouts as my special ingredient to add a delicious, nutty, and scrumptious flavour to my salads. Not only do they elevate the taste, but they are super healthy and super easy to grow” she says.
Fortunate Tibe, a health enthusiast from Matatiele, Eastern Cape says she incorporates sprouts in her daily meals because they are easily digestible, which improves her gut health. They are an affordable source of protein as she can easily grow them in the comfort of her home without spending money on animal protein, she adds.
What are the health benefits?
Registered dietitian, holistic health, and wellness coach Danielle Oldfield based in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal says that sprouts support healthy digestion as they are high in fibre, and they can even improve insulin resistance, reduce heart disease and fight cancer.
“Raw sprouts, especially broccoli sprouts, are full of a compound, called *sulforaphane, that can help upregulate your antioxidant system creating a powerful immune system,” Oldfield explains.
According to Oldfield sprouts are highly nutritious carrying concentrated amounts of B vitamins, magnesium and vitamin K.
While you have a variety of legumes to choose from, there is a technique to get it right. Sprouting may look like an easy process, but it needs the right technique and precision to extract all the goodness.
Health For Mzansi word of the day:
Sulforaphane: Sulforaphane is a natural plant compound found in many cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and kale.