Superfoods are living foods which can boost your vitality, strengthen your blood, strengthen your immune system, help you to lose unwanted fat, detoxify your system, nourish your organs and revitalise your cells.
Living foods are literally foods that are still alive i.e they have not been cooked, processed, pasteurised, dehydrated, microwaved or stored for weeks before you eat them.
Living foods are low in fat, high in complex carbohydrates, rich in fibre, bursting with vitamins and minerals, enzymes and essential amino acids.
Studies have shown that sprouted beans provide more concentrated protein than a beef steak, in a form that your body can easily digest and absorb. You may have heard the adage “you are what you eat”, but it would be more correct to say “you are what you eat, digest and absorb”.
Living foods come complete with enzymes which actually help your body to digest them. These enzymes are found in raw fruit and vegetables, raw seeds and nuts and especially live sprouts. (Not to be confused with that much maligned vegetable, the brussel sprout!)
If your diet is lacking in enzymes then food moves too slowly through your digestive system and can literally rot, putrefy and ferment in your intestines. This results in toxins circulating throughout your body, literally poisoning your system. It takes a lot of your resources to neutralise and remove these toxins. Using large amounts of energy to de-tox your body can lead to lethargy, exhaustion, chronic fatigue and a compromised immune system.
If you experience digestive problems such as indigestion, burping, flatulence, bloating, cramps and chronic fatigue then you may be lacking in food enzymes.
If your diet relies heavily on processed foods, meat, alcohol, coffee, tea, sugary foods, mainly cooked food and is low in raw fruit and vegetables, then it is highly likely that you are deficient in food enzymes. It is also likely that you are deficient in vitamins and minerals and that your system is acidic and ageing faster than it should.
As soon as you cook food it becomes “dead” food. Cooking, canning and freezing food destroys the living enzymes which are essential for digesting food, extracting nutrients from food, dissolving fat and removing free radicals from your system.
Cooking food also depletes the vitamin and mineral content, in some cases destroying it completely.
Fresh organic raw foods such as fruit, vegetables, seeds and nuts can help your body enormously. I’m a great fan of juicing and making your own smoothies.
However, sprouting seeds and beans produces a veritable power house of nutrition for your body. Remember that every tiny seed is like a little energy dynamo that has the ability to grow into a large plant or vegetable. When you soak a bean or seed and let it begin to sprout you are releasing an amazing energy potential for your body.
Eating sprouted seeds raw or just warmed can give you the following nutrients:-
- Antioxidant nutrients such as Vitamins A, C, B and E.
- All the trace minerals including selenium and zinc.
- Bioflavonoids which are powerful anti-oxidants, helping protect your body against toxins.
- Amino acids which are the building blocks of protein.
- Antioxidant enzymes.
- RNA and DNA which are anti-ageing.
Sprouted beans and seeds can be added to salads, stir frys, soups, casseroles or eaten on their own. If you are adding them to cooked food, add them for no more than 1 minute at the end just to warm them through. If you cook sprouts to a high temperature you will simply destroy all of the wonderful nutrients they contain.
Sprouting is easy
The easiest way to grow your own sprouts is to use a “bean sprouter”. This is an arrangement of 3 clear plastic trays with drain holes in, which sit on top of each other and have a drip tray at the bottom.
- To start off your sprouts soak them in water according to the table below.
- Spread the beans or seeds onto a tray of the sprouter, cover with cheesecloth, a clean teatowel or foil and place the sprouter in a warm, dark place.
- Rinse the seeds twice daily until they start to sprout.
- Place the bean sprouter on a sunny windowsill and continue twice daily rinsing until the seeds are ready to harvest.
Some seeds may be ready to harvest in 24 hours. Others will take 3 to 5 days. Don’t let the sprouts get too big, if the roots grow too long they become bitter in taste and they begin to lose their nutritional value.
Harvested sprouts will keep in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.
Rinse your sprouts before you eat them and dry in a salad spinner.
When beans and seeds are sprouted they will swell and yield a large crop. Experiment with small amounts of seeds so that you can start some off every day and have a constant fresh supply of sprouts.