Your Facebook questioned answered: Sprouted grains/breads – Part 2

Sprouted quinoa/spelt bread  Naoto Sato

Sprouted quinoa/spelt bread
Naoto Sato

In my last post, sprouted grains were on the menu- what they are and their nutrient content. But there’s much more to these grains of goodness. Over the past few years, there has been increasing interest by scientists in the health benefits sprouted grains may offer.

Here’s a sampling of some of the studies conducted that will make you want to put sprouted grains on your table. The info is from the recent Whole Grains: Breaking Barriers conference sponsored by Oldways and the Whole Grains Council and the Whole Grains Council website – a great resource on all things whole grain, from around up of various grains to recipes and the latest research.

But as you read through some of the advantages, keep in mind that they are linked to grains that have been sprouted under controlled conditions – temperatures and length of time – to yield the maximum benefit. Simply sprouting them on your own may not provide the same advantages and could yield moldy grains which are linked to ill health.

Sprouted Rice Reduces Common Allergens
Though rice allergies are uncommon, they do occur due to certain proteins in the grain. Japanese researchers found that sprouted brown rice contained lower levels of two of these allergens or proteins compared to non-sprouted brown rice.

Sprouted Brown Rice Fights Diabetes
In a small Japanese study, subjects with pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes fed both white rice or sprouted brown rice 3 times a day had better blood sugar and blood cholesterol readings during the sprouted brown rice phases of the investigation.

Sprouted Buckwheat Extract Decreases Blood Pressure
In animal research, Korean scientists fed raw buckwheat extract and sprouted buckwheat extract to hypertensive rats for five weeks then compared the results. The rats fed the germinated buckwheat had lower systolic blood pressure, while both groups exhibited significantly reduced oxidative damage in the lining of the arteries in the heart.

A key point here is that whole grains, sprouted or not, provide health perks.

Sprouting Grains may both increases and protect nutrients during processing
Research shows that sprouting increases the nutrient content of some grains. For example, in Finnish research sprouting rye increases its B vitamin folate content by around 2 to 4 times, depending on temperature used to sprout or germinate the grain. The scientists also found that various heat processes grains may be subjected to such as puffing, and toasting led to significant folate losses. But when the rye was sprouted first and then heat-processed, these losses were lessened significantly.

Sprouted wheat has higher antioxidant count
Research from the Canadian Grain Commission, which assessed the antioxidant levels (amount of phenolic compounds) in both sprouted and unsprouted wheat, found the sprouted grains came out on top.

As sprouted grain products increase in popularity, the amount of research conducted is sure to increase so stay tuned.

In the meantime, here’s some info from the conference about incorporating sprouted grain products into your menu. Keep in mind that their shelf life may vary according to what kind of sprouts are used. For example, sprouted grain flour may be more stable than regular whole grain flour. Some products, though, may not be dried before being incorporated ( a wet mash is used) and so their shelf life will be much shorter. As a result, they’ll be sold from the freezer section of the store.

According to To Your Health Sprouted Flour Co., when using sprouted grain flour, you can substitute it for non-sprouted flour in most recipes. But it tends to have a higher absorption rate than regular conventional flour so if your recipe calls for very little or no fat (butter, oil, buttermilk, etc.), or if you are working with yeast, it’s recommended that you add one tablespoon of liquid per cup of sprouted flour (called for in your recipe).

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Have you used sprouted grain flours? Please share your experiences in the comment section below.

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Categories: Food Trends, Research Roundup, Whole Foods, Your Questions Answered

Author:Rosie Schwartz

Rosie Schwartz is a Toronto-based consulting dietitian and writer.

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2 Comments on “Your Facebook questioned answered: Sprouted grains/breads – Part 2”

  1. sharon pullam
    December 9, 2014 at 8:38 am #

    Thanks for all the great information!

  2. December 9, 2014 at 8:57 am #

    My pleasure, Sharon! I appreciate your taking the time to post your feedback!

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