Raw or Cooked: What is the best way to eat sprouts?

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Official Reporter
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Rep. Image | Courtesy: Milada Vigerova @ Unsplash

Sprouts are tiny powerhouses of nutrition and adding them to your diet can provide numerous health benefits. However, whether sprouts should be eaten raw or cooked has always been a burning debate among food enthusiasts.

Sprouts are simply seeds that have germinated into young plants. They are mainly obtained from the germination of foods like beans, peas, whole grains, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.

Sprouts are low in calories, and rich in protein, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and vitamins C and K. As sprouts are rich in fiber, they help in blunting post-prandial blood sugar levels.

The germination process starts when you soak the seeds in water overnight or for a few days (depending on the type of seed) at a favorable temperature and moisture. And the result is a 2 to 5 cm long sprout emerging from the seed.

The process of sprouting increases its nutritional content and so it is a highly preferred snack item among fitness enthusiasts and weight watchers. They help to improve digestion, control blood sugar levels and keep you fuller for a longer time.

Sprouts Food
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Determining the best method to eat sprouts, whether raw or boiled, largely depends on personal preference and the desired flavor and texture as well as their specific health needs. Both raw and boiled sprouts have their unique characteristics and benefits.

Raw Sprouts

Eating sprouts raw preserves their crunchy texture, vibrant taste, and maximum nutrient content. Raw sprouts are commonly enjoyed in salads, sandwiches, wraps, or as a topping for various dishes.

Sprouts are usually grown under humid conditions or soaking the seed in water. And these conditions are favorable for bacterial growth. It’s the reason raw sprouts aren’t recommended for children, pregnant women, and elderly people.

When consuming raw sprouts, it is essential to ensure they are fresh, clean, and properly rinsed to minimize the risk of bacterial contamination. However, it is remarkable that no matter how hard you wash, it’s not enough to remove or rinse all the bacteria. And this is the reason consuming raw sprouts leads to food poisoning.

Sprouts Salad
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Boiled Sprouts

Boiling sprouts offer a different culinary experience by softening their texture and mellowing their flavor. This method is especially beneficial for individuals who prefer a tender and more subdued taste. Boiled sprouts can be used in a variety of dishes such as soups, stews, stir-fries, or even mashed and incorporated into patties or spreads.

Cooking or boiling sprouts before eating not only makes the food digestible but also helps absorb all the essential nutrients. Cooking or steaming sprouts can help reduce the levels of the antinutrients, improving their digestibility and nutrient availability.

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