This weekend, we attended an interesting lecture given by Dr. Brian R. Clement from the Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach, FL. Hippocrates is a well-regarded holistic center where people from all over the world go to heal themselves from a number of ailments. This place is like my dream destination. A typical day would consist of yoga, delicious plant-based foods, fresh organic juices, lectures, massages, healing circles, etc. But their main focus is on food, specifically the health benefits of Living Foods.
What Are Living Foods?
Living foods are foods that are still growing at the time you bite into it such as sprouted beans, grains, nuts and seeds. According to the Hippocrates Health Institute, "sprouts are 10 to 30 times more nutritious than the best vegetables because they are baby plants in their prime. At this stage of their growth they have the greatest concentration of nutrients than at any other point in their life. Sprouts are highly digestible and release their nutrients easily due to their delicate cell walls and abundance of enzymes." They are packed with chlorophyll which detoxifies and rejuvenates the blood and enzymes which help to take the burden off of our already overloaded digestive system.
What is sprouting?
You can sprout just about anything...seeds, beans, nuts, grains. Sprouting is basically soaking seeds in water, draining, rinsing and then repeating the process until the seed starts to sprout or germinate. There are some kits you can buy to help you or you could use mason jars. I accidentally sprouted some mung beans the other day when I was soaking them overnight to make a soup. When I checked them the next day, they had already developed tails.
Watch this quick video to see what I mean.
I'm no stranger to sprouts. There is such a variety of them: broccoli sprouts, sunflower seed sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, etc. I actually enjoy eating them whenever I've had them on a hummus sandwich or a salad. I just have never given them the attention they deserve. Who knew that these tiny little plants pack such a nutritional punch?
In the YumUniverse cookbook, Heather Crosby offers up a number of reasons why we should sprout before eating or even cooking our beans, nuts, etc. Read her full sprouting guide here.
The lecture definitely piqued our interest to investigate the topic further and to incorporate more sprouts into our diet. From some of the literature they passed out, I found out that there are people who classify themselves as sproutarians. They only eat sprouts and maybe some fruit. I'm not sure I'm ready for that yet ;)