Raw Or Cooked; Let’s Find Out The Right Way To Eat Sprouts
Sprouts are derived from the germination process of various foods such as beans, peas, whole grains, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Dr. Eileen Canday, Head of Nutrition and Dietetics at Sir H N Reliance Foundation Hospital in Mumbai, emphasizes that sprouts are rich in vitamins and minerals, thanks to the increased bioavailability and digestibility achieved through the sprouting process.
One of the benefits of sprouts is their high fiber content, which helps regulate post-meal blood sugar levels. Dr. Canday refers to research suggesting that sprouts can also boost levels of “good cholesterol” known as HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein), promoting heart health and regulating blood pressure.
So, what’s the best way to consume sprouts? According to Dr. Canday, it is advisable to cook or steam them before eating. There are several reasons for this recommendation. Firstly, sprouts may be contaminated with microbes such as Salmonella and E.Coli due to the moist and humid conditions in which they are germinated. Consuming raw sprouts could potentially lead to food poisoning.
Cooking sprouts improves their digestibility, as raw sprouts can be difficult for the body to process and absorb efficiently. Individuals with sensitive or weak digestive systems may experience bloating, abdominal pain, or diarrhea when consuming raw sprouts. Dr. Canday explains that cooking sprouts helps prevent food poisoning and enhances digestibility, but it may result in some nutrient loss, particularly vitamin C, due to heat exposure.
Dr. Canday highlights the importance of pregnant women, children, and the elderly being cautious when consuming raw sprouts. The symptoms of food poisoning, including vomiting and diarrhea, can cause multiple health problems in these vulnerable populations.