Health Benefits of Sprouts: 15
Reasons You Should Be Eating Sprouts
Victor Marchione, MD - March 2, 2016
Disclaimer: Results are not
guaranteed*** and may vary from person to person***.
There’s no question about the health
benefits of sprouts. Sprouts are extremely nutritious, easy to blend into any
salad, soup or sandwich, and pack a serious nutritional punch.
Of course, when you hear the word
“sprouts” you mind might jump back to horrible memories of being a kid, faced
with a plate of steamed Brussels sprouts and your parents denying dessert until
they’re all gone. Or maybe that’s just me.
Sprouts come in all different forms,
far beyond just Brussels sprouts. They are low in calories and easily add
protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and
antioxidants to virtually any meal.
Sprouts and Nutrition
Sprouts are packed with all kinds of
nutrition in a very small serving size. This is because the concentration of
nutrients is much higher in sprout form when compared to the mature plants they
become. As a result of this concentration, you don’t have to eat a lot of them
to get the benefits—in fact, in many cases sprouts will have hundreds of times
the nutrition that you’ll get by eating a higher-calorie, fully developed
plant! Sprouts can help keep you healthy, protect you from free radical damage,
and battle nutrient deficiencies. Here are some sprouts nutrition facts:
Alfalfa sprouts: A good source of a multitude of vitamins (A–F, and K) and
Wheatgrass sprouts: Wheatgrass sprouts are high in vitamins B, C, and
E. Also high in potassium, fiber, protein,
calcium, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, and zinc, and contains
vitamins A, D, and K.
Mung bean sprouts: Contains 3 g of protein per serving, plus fiber, and
vitamins A and C.
Lentil sprouts: A good source of protein and can conveniently be eaten raw.
Brussels sprouts: One cup has just 56 calories, but more than 240 percent of
your daily requirements for vitamin K and nearly 130 percent of vitamin C. It’s
also a good source of fiber, manganese, potassium, choline, B vitamins, and
Those are just a handful of the
sprouts you can get; there are many more with just as many benefits. Let’s take
a look at some other health benefits you can get from eating sprouts.
15 Reasons You Should Be Eating More
1. They have way more
vitamins: In some varieties, vitamins are
increased by as much as 20 times during the sprouting process, while some go
even higher. Vitamin B1 in mung beans increases by 285% in sprout form; B2 goes
2. They are higher in enzyme
content: This might be surprising, but
sprouts feature an estimated 100 times more enzymes than fruits and vegetables!
So what does that mean for you? It means two things: a) your body can extract
and use a higher percentage of the nutrients supplied from sprouts, and b)
sprouts help you to better extract nutrients from other foods you eat along with them. A two-for-one
3. They have a high
bioavailability: As important as
it is to have a nutritious diet, different sources provide various levels of
bioavailability—that is, the process and ease at which your body can absorb and
use nutrients. Sprouts have very high bioavailability, meaning very little of
the nutrients in them go to waste.
4. They boost essential fatty
acids: The Standard American Diet does not
have a very good variety of essential fatty acids, and sprouts are a perfect
way to improve the balance. They are rich in a variety of fatty acids,
including omega-3 (particularly Brussels sprouts).
5. They’re an easy source of
fiber: Another nutrient many Americans are
short on is fiber. Sprouts are an easy way to add fiber to virtually any meal,
which can improve heart health and digestion.
6. They can decrease blood
pressure: In a test on rats, researchers found
spouted buckwheat extracts was able to lower systolic blood pressure and
protect endothelial cells that line your arteries and veins.
7. They can help battle
diabetes: A small study looking at men and
women affected by pre-diabetes and type-2 diabetes showed sprouted brown rice can
improve fasted glucose and cholesterol levels. These findings suggest it may
help control blood sugar.
8. They might help fight
cardiovascular disease and lower the risk of heart attack: Brown sprouted rice can help boost “good” HDL cholesterol,
lowering the risk for arterial blockages. However, the results were found using
mice, so more work needs to be completed in this area.
9. They can protect your
liver: The liver is one of the most
important organs for your overall health, and sprouted buckwheat may help it
stay on point. In mice studies, sprouted buckwheat was shown to reduce fatty
deposits on the liver. Fatty deposits on the liver can lead to a condition
called “fatty liver disease,” which is very similar to cirrhosis brought on by
heavy alcohol consumption and can bring on some serious health problems.
Buckwheat sprouted for 48 hours and taken for eight weeks substantially reduced fatty liver in
10. They can protect against
anemia: Folate is found in large amounts in
many sprout varieties. It’s a very important nutrient that helps the body
produce DNA, amino acids, and red blood cells. One cup of mung bean sprouts has
16% of the recommended daily intake of folate, while soybeans have more than
30%. A higher red blood cell count can help stave off anemia.
11. They can give you stronger,
fuller hair: Vitamins A and C both help
promote strong hair. Vitamin C can
aid in hair growth and keep it from becoming brittle. It might also help
prevent scalp conditions like alopecia. Vitamin A can stimulate follicles to
encourage them to produce more hair. Additionally, not getting enough vitamin A
can lead to dry scalp and hair loss.
12. They have anti-dandruff
properties: Selenium found in many sprout
varieties can help kill the fungus that dries the scalp and leads to dandruff.
If dandruff is already present, it can help treat the symptoms.
13. They can have an alkalizing
effect on the body: Sprouts can help
balance a diet high in acidity. High acidity can lead to inflammation, making
you more susceptible to illness and other chronic conditions.
14. They’re an easy way to add
nutrition: Aside from the specific benefits
sprouts might offer, they are an easy and accessible way to improve your
overall nutrition. They can be added to any meal to boost the nutritional value
and provide nutrients you might otherwise miss.
15. They’re super cheap: Eating healthy can be expensive, but sprouts are a definite
exception to that rule. Plus you don’t need to eat a lot of them to reap the
Take Advantage of the Health
Benefits of Sprouts
Brussels sprouts can be prepared in
delicious ways and pack a very impressive nutritional punch; however, they are
not the only show in town. Sprouts from a number of sources offer serious
nutritional value and should not be overlooked when finding ways to improve
Sources for Today’s Article:
Busch, S., “What Are the Health Benefits of Bean Sprouts?” Livestrong web site,
May 4, 2015; http://www.livestrong.com/article/390504-what-are-the-health-benefits-of-bean-sprouts/,
last accessed March 2, 2016.
“Health Benefits of Sprouted Grains,” Whole Grains Council web
last accessed March 2, 2016.
Cook, M., “10 Reasons to Eat Sprouts,” Care 2 web site, April 21,
last accessed March 2, 2016.