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Saturday, October 8, 2011

sprouted legumes raw or cooked?

There are so many reasons why including more raw foods are so beneficial to your body. Refining and cooking affects phytochemical contents of foods dramatically. It also reduces the activities of beneficial enzymes that have been found to be anti cancerous, anti arthritic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and lipid lowering abilities.
And of course the oxidation of foods from cooking with high heat, especially the foods with high protein and fat contents, form free radicals, which are very damaging.

There are times that cooking is beneficial. Today I want to write about sprouted legumes.
Sprouting is a great way to activate and increase vitamin and mineral contents of foods, as well as improving digestibility.
Though you need to be aware of health consequences when you are eating raw sprouted legumes.
Legumes are high in anti-nutrients. They inhibit the action of enzymes that help break down protein and starch. These anti-nutrients can be toxic to the body.

One of the anti-nutrients is hemagglutinins. It is destroyed by a conventional cooking. Germination can reduce it by 75-100 percent.
The activity of trypsin (enzymes to break down protein) is inhibited by compounds in legumes. Boiling can reduce it by 80-100 percent. Where as soaking only reduces it by 10-25percent and germination 15-65 percent (average of 30 percent). How harmful it is to your body also depends on how much of these compounds are already present in different legumes.
Soy beans are most concentrated and peas are low.
About 5-10 percent reduction of trypsin activity was reported after eating sprouted lentils and mung beans. 20-25 percent with sprouted chickpea.

It is not my intension to scare you away from sprouted legumes and seeds. Sprouts are a living, enzyme-rich food with so much energy. Their vitamin A, various B and C are higher.Their protein content becomes easily digestible, and rich new nutrients such as enzymes and phytochemicals are created. They contain significant amounts of bio-available calcium, iron and zinc, potassium.
A study found that small amounts of trypsin inhibitor and phytic acid can help to lower cholesterol and may provide some protection from cancer.

It is a good idea to make a note on which you find digest the best, or which have any side-effects. Try lightly cooking the less-digestible raw sprouts in stir-fry's; the light cooking makes them much more digestible. Keep changing which beans you use, so that your body is not exposed to using the same sprout for days or weeks at a time. I would not recommend use or raw soy beans or red kidney beans.

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