If you have ever eaten Asian food of any kind, whether it be from Japan, Korea, China or others, there’s a good chance that bean sprouts have come in your meal. More specifically, it’s the mung bean sprout that you’re likely to see, though many around the world just call them sprouts for short. These are very healthy little vegetables that often get thrown into unhealthier fried foods, though sprouts themselves are typically just boiled.
You can eat them raw, but sprouts are more commonly enjoyed when cooked. Instead of mixing them with fried foods, sprouts can be used in some very healthy meals for well balanced nutrition. Sprouts are renowned for being very low in calories while also adding a bit of flavor and texture to foods. Let’s take a glance at the nutritional breakdown of sprouts on their own, and what type of proven health benefits that you can see from eating more of them in your diet.
Nutrition of Bean Sprouts
One positive that you can point out right away when it comes to sprouts is the low calorie content, which is just around 30 calories for an entire cup of raw sprouts. You’ll be adding around seven percent of your daily recommendation in both the protein in fiber departments to go along with it. As for the vitamins, vitamin K is the big one here with nearly half of your recommended value, while there’s a quarter of daily vitamin C.
Sprouts are also a significant source of folate (16 percent), while others that come in under 10 percent include thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin B6. There is no cholesterol in sprouts and very little sugar, all while bringing about 10 percent of your needed manganese and copper. The other significant minerals in sprouts are iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. All around, sprouts bring a lot of nutrition without many of the calories.
A Clean Tract
The first benefit that you’ll see from eating more sprouts is an improvement to your digestive system. Not many foods contain the amount of enzymes that sprouts do, which really kickstarts the efficiency of your digestion. All in all, sprouts have hundreds of times more enzymes than a lot of other vegetables. While your entire body feels the benefit of these enzymes, it really starts in the digestive system.
Sprouts do also contain some helpful fiber that’s beneficial for digestion. The more fiber that you’re eating on a consistent basis, the less likely you are to suffer from problems that range from diarrhea to constipation. We’re seeing a big uptick in fiber education, which is a good thing considering all of the processed fiber-less foods that are so common these days.
You probably already know that adding more vegetables to your diet is a great way to get any weight loss plan to succeed. Sprouts are no exception, especially since they have many of the nutrients that your body needs without many of the calories. The benefits that we talked about with the digestive system also carry over to weight loss, as improved digestion also means a faster metabolism and feeling more full throughout the day.
Your metabolism will also get a boost thanks to the protein content found in sprouts. If you are more concerned about overall appearance and burning fat, you want to add more protein to your diet to build muscle. Having more muscle burns more calories throughout the day, helping you to get rid of fat in stubborn places such as your midsection.
Good For the Heart
One of biggest nutrients that you’ll find in sprouts is iron, which is more important for your blood than you might know. Iron increases the amount of red blood cells in your body, and more red blood cells means that you’ll feel less fatigued throughout the day. A low count of red blood cells is also known as anemia. Overall, the iron content helps blood flow, which translates into a healthier heart.
Sprouts also contain some helpful omega-3 fatty acids that will stimulate overall heart health by decreasing your LDL (bad) cholesterol while raising the HDL (good) levels. Other essential nutrients in sprouts that help your heart include potassium and magnesium, which not many people get enough of. Adding more sprouts to your diet decreases your chances of many different heart diseases, and even stroke.
Sprouts are great at helping you to prevent diseases that range from minor to chronic thanks to its key nutrients. Sprouts have plenty of vitamin C and iron, which alone can either help you stop a disease from starting or making it easier to get through. As may already know, vitamin C gives your immune system a big boost, which is why you’re supposed to get as much as you can when carrying a common cold.
These vitamins (and the antioxidants in sprouts) have also been shown to have the ability to lower chances of cancer. With free radicals in your body that are waiting to attack at a moment’s notice, you’ll want these vitamins to stop them from carrying out their plans. While sprouts aren’t the cure for cancer, eating more will lower your chances of disease.
Vitamins C and E are essential if you want to have healthier looking skin that doesn’t age as quickly. Sprouts, thankfully, have both of those vitamins. Starting with vitamin C, this vitamin produces collagen that allows your skin to have more elasticity, preventing aging down the road such as wrinkles. Vitamin E gives your skin a natural glow, while iron helps to increase the blood flow to give you a healthier overall look. These vitamins even help out your eyes and your hair, making sure that you always look and see your best.
Summing it Up
There are a couple of things to keep in mind when it comes to eating sprouts. You can eat them raw if you choose to do so, but it’s advised that you cook them in order to remain perfectly safe. Sprouts can be prone to infection such as salmonella. Even if it doesn’t happen all too often (especially here in the United States with FDA regulations), it’s better to play it cautiously and at least microwave your sprouts.
Other than the preparation, are there any other negatives to eating sprouts? Fortunately, the answer for that is no. When cooked, scientists and researchers have given no warnings regarding sprouts or any side effects. That’s good news for those of us that enjoy adding sprouts to our meals whenever we can. With the knowledge you have now, getting sprouts into your diet is going to be more important, which is good considering the wonderful health benefits!