Benefits of Sprouting Grains
Why Sprouted grains make the most nutritious foods included in breads, cereals and grains.
1. KILLS PHYTIC ACID
Number one, if we’re comparing, let’s say, something like a whole wheat bread to an Ezekiel bread or a sourdough bread, the issue today with regular bread is that it contains phytic acid. Now, phytic acid is known as a mineral blocker or enzyme inhibitor, and it’s what binds to minerals. So, when you eat wheat bread, it may say, “contains five grams of magnesium and 10 grams of calcium,” but the truth is most of those vitamins are bound up in phytic acid, so they’re locked in together — and when you consume that wheat bread your body can’t digest it.
In fact, a study by the Weston A. Price Foundation has proven that about 80 percent of the iron and magnesium you’re getting, or would have gotten, in whole grains, you can’t digest any of it if you’re consuming regular bread that has not been sprouted. So you can think, “Hey, I’m getting all these benefits from whole grains.” You’re really not, because it’s bound up in phytic acid.
Phytic acid, also known as phytates, are found in most nuts and seeds, they’re found in grains, and they’re also found in beans. The way you eliminate phytic acid is by soaking the grains and then sprouting them. Soaking kills off phytic acid, which essentially unlocks the nutrients to where now, you can absorb iron, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus and all these nutrients you find in whole grains. That is one of the major benefits of consuming sprouted grains rather than just regular grains.
2. Makes Gluten and Proteins More Digestible
The second thing you want to consider as to why sprouted grains might be better is because gluten and proteins become more digestible. We all know and have heard that a gluten-free diet is better for you. Gluten is that sticky protein found in wheat that can cause intestinal inflammation and really lead to issues like leaky gut syndrome over time. So you really want to get gluten out of your diet.
Now, that doesn’t mean that it’s still not hard on your system compared to other proteins, but it’s definitely a major improvement, consuming sprouted grains over regular grains — and a sourdough process is actually the best.
3. Contains More Fiber and Whole Food–Based Nutrients
And last but not least, the issue with both sprouted grains and regular grains is regular grains are very high in carbohydrates, especially a type of carbohydrate called amylopectin, which can really affect blood sugar levels — plus, it makes whole grains one of those notorious metabolism death foods. It can increase your risk of diabetes and other health issues. That’s an issue with grains, and it’s also an issue with sprouted grains.
Sprouted grains, however, because they’re easier to digest and typically higher in fiber and whole food–based nutrients, sprouted grain bread is a better option — but at the same time, it’s still not perfect.
Several studies have found that when seeds are sprouted their fiber content increases and becomes more available. Reports show that sprouting increases concentrations of crude fiber, which is the fiber that makes up the cell walls of plants. When we consume plant’s crude fiber, the fiber cannot actually be absorbed within our digestive tract, and therefore it helps to push waste and toxins out of the gut and to regulate bowel movements.
HOW TO CONSUME SPROUTED GRAIN BREAD
Here’s my recommendation with grains: If you are struggling with an autoimmune disease or a severe health issue, remove grains for a time until your body heals. Once your body is healed and your digestive system has been restored, at that time you can add in sprouted grain bread or sourdough breads. But only consume it a few times a week or maximum one time a day.
You definitely don’t want to overconsume those grain products, even sprouted grain bread. Really, rather than doing grains, replacing them with more fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, sandwich substitutes, and sprouted nuts and seeds is really a good thing to consider.
So, again, my final answer to, “Are sprouted grains healthy, or is Ezekiel bread or other sprouted grain bread healthier?” — they’re healthier. I still don’t consider them to be a healing food or the best food, but they’re definitely healthier than regular grains, and in moderation or in small amounts, they can be part of a healthy diet.