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suzana naturallifestyle 120Oftentimes I ask myself what would be my food of choice in the direst survival scenario. What could we grow and use to nourish life by relying only on Nature’s wisdom?  Sprouts would be my first pick! Here is some well researched information, insights, and possible inspiration to find an affordable and mega nourishing source of well-being in the pure potency of germination.

Every living organism on this planet owns a starting kit of genetic information in a simple or more complex form. Seeds, grains, and beans are treasured depository for the majority of the plant kingdom. From ancient civilizations to modern times they have been valued, used, and oftentimes misused when serving humanity. Ecosystems have been seriously altered by them as they traveled from continent to continent to fight hunger, cure disease, develop blooming agricultures, support scientific advancements, or to simply satisfy the vanity of decadent gardeners. All because of their capacity to unfold life.

With the help of water, air and sunlight these seeds, grains and beans will become the sprouting potential of a grown plant. Younglings require a lot of energy on that journey.  Therefore they are packed with nutrients and well supplied with chlorophyll. No wonder they are good for us.

Most of them are an excellent source of vitamins C, A, K, B6, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, and pantothenic acid. Minerals such as manganese, copper, iron, magnesium, and potassium as well as proteins and fiber benefit almost every aspect of the body. Another valuable reason for eating sprouted food on a regular basis is that they dramatically aid digestion. Sprouts induce the production of enzymes responsible for the breakdown of carbohydrates and proteins -- what a blessing to health and wellbeing!

In Chinese herbal medicine sprouts were used to aid digestion for more than a thousand years. Radish sprouts were used in formulas to help with the digestion of meat and dairy products, whereas barley sprouts would be added to aid the digestion of grains.

Pea and sunflower shoots have the greatest amount of proteins and are 30 times more nutritious then most garden vegetables. Broccoli and Brussel Sprout shoots harbor the possible capacities to prevent the formation of cancer cells. Red clover sprouts contain isoflavones which act as phyto estrogens in mammals.

suzana sprouts

You can find them in most grocery and health food stores, farmer’s markets, but ultimately the best resource for adding sprouts to your diet is your kitchen garden. Even if you live in the tiniest studio on the 15th floor of the busiest metropolitan area, if there is window there is potential for a garden. All you need are seeds, grains or beans, a jar, water, air, and sunlight. Nothing fancy -- and it's affordable.

Soak your seeds, grains, or beans in the water overnight, drain them and put them in a horizontally placed jar on your window bank. Be sure to cover the opening of the jar with a gauze or thin piece of cloth to allow air to circulate. Rinse them 2-3 times a day to moisten them and to prevent mold from growing. As soon as they start sprouting you can toss them in your salads, garnish sandwiches, and omelets or juice them. In a couple of days the jar will be packed with green goodness, so make sure that you don’t use too many seeds when you start the process. I’ve been enjoying sprouting on and off for more than twenty years, and as with anything else, it takes a little practice to master. Luckily, these days the media offers many tips on how to grow your sprouts, so you’ll always be able to find support or additional information.

Lastly, as a naturalist and practitioner of Chinese medicine I warmly encourage everybody to give a try to sprouting at least once. You can ignore all of the health benefits, the information about nutrients, and worries about having a super healthy diet. Just allow yourself to witness the wonders of Nature. In today’s take-all society, give your attention and love back to these tiny seeds which will in return nourish your life.


Suzana Jelovecki, MS, Licensed Acupuncturist, is the owner of Roots and Branches Acupuncture and Nature Bound Woman
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