People are often in disbelief when they first hear about the amount of nutrients that shoots provide. Well, the rumors are true! Those who are in the know have been benefiting from shoots since the ‘70s. Here’s the scoop:
When a seed becomes a shoot the vitamin content increases exponentially. The greatest vitamin increases are often vitamins A, B-complex, C, and E. These increases can be up to 20 times the vitamin content of the seed. One example is mung bean, which has an increase in vitamin B1 by up to 28%, vitamin B2 by up to 515%, and niacin by up to 256%.
Common shoots are from the pulse, oilseed, and brassica families and include alfalfa, lentil, pea, mung bean, soy bean (bean sprouts), sesame, sunflower, broccoli, radish, and rocket (arugula).
Some shoots can contain up to 100 times the amount of enzymes as fruits and vegetables. Enzymes play a vital role in the human body from digestion to DNA synthesis. Maximizing your consumption of these crucial molecules ensures that your body is at its healthiest.
Meats and dairy products are not the only foods containing protein. Shoots are one of these exceptions and can contain up to 35% protein. Replacing meats with shoots adds the recommended protein to your diet without the fat and cholesterol that accompany animal meats. Many vegans and vegetarians are missing some nutrients thought to only be in meats but this is not always the case. For example, the important amino acid lysine, which is important for blood pressure maintenance and gastrointestinal health, is abundant in pulses (lentils, beans). For these reasons vegans and vegetarians, as well as the general population, are taking a critical health maintenance step by incorporating shoots into their diets.
The quality of the protein and fiber in beans, nuts, seeds, and grains improves when they are sprouted and reach a maximum percentage on day 7 of growth. Shoots are great for weight maintenance due to their high in fiber content and low calorie count. Eating shoots allows you to get healthy vitamins without the empty calories of unhealthy foods. They also make a great snack between meals, to avoid unhealthy snacking. For healthy weight maintenance, shoots are a great food to have on hand.
Shoots can be a sustainable food and are easily grown at home. By growing them at home, one is avoiding pesticides and food additives, as well as preventing the waste and energy that comes with industrial agriculture.
Shoots are good for acid-alkaline balance (they are alkaline). Cancer and other illnesses have been known to occur in bodies with excess acidity. A lack of oxygen in cells can lead to cancer growth and cancer cells cannot live in an environment that is alkaline and oxygen-rich. Broccoli shoots are one of the most versatile, in that they are carcinogen detoxifiers, inhibit some forms of cancer, are antibacterial, and have positive effects on cholesterol and the cardiovascular system.
There you have it. Despite their small packaging, shoots are a surprising and unbeatable asset to have in your diet. Visit us at our Saturday markets or check out the "Online Market" tab above to start enjoying shoots.