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Sprouting Brown Rice Can Increase Fiber

Brown rice is a reliable healthy option, but by sprouting it, you might get even more health benefits. In a study in Ecuador, researchers compared different levels of nutrients in six varieties of brown rice when it was raw, soaked, and sprouted. The researchers found that dietary fiber content increased (6.1-13.6%) with sprouting time and temperature in all varieties of brown rice, and that phytic acid content decreased noticeably. The effect of sprouting on other nutrients, such as peptide content and protein hydrolysis, varied across the different varieties of brown rice.
Plant Foods For Human Nutrition. 2014 Sep;69(3):261-7. (Caceres PJ et al.)

Sprouting Amaranth Can Increase Antioxidants

In a study in Mexico, researchers sprouted amaranth at different conditions to see which would maximize antioxidant activity. The scientists found that sprouting was able to increase antioxidant activity (300-470%), total phenolic content (829%), and flavonoid content (213%), and that the ideal time and temperature for sprouting amaranth was 30 degrees C for 78 hours. Additionally, protein and fiber content also showed increases from sprouting.
Plant Foods For Human Nutrition. 2014 Sep;69(3):196-202 (Perales-Sanchez JX et al.)

Sprouting Increases Antioxidant Activity in Millet

Research shows that millet, a nutritious staple crop in many developing countries, can be made even more nutritious when the grains are sprouted. In a study in India, scientists measured the phenolic composition, antioxidant activity, and inhibitory properties against alpha-glucosidase and alpha-amylase (a mechanism that helps prevent spikes in blood sugar) of raw millet, germinated (sprouted) millet, and microwaved and steamed millet. The researchers found that “germinated millets showed highest phenolic content as well as superior antioxidant and enzyme inhibitory activities. These results suggest that germinated millet grains are a potential source of phenolic antioxidants and also great sources of strong natural inhibitors for α-amylase and α-glucosidase.”
Food Chemistry. 2014 Aug 13;169:455-63. (Pradeep PM et al.)

Antioxidant Activity Highest in Sprouted Brown Rice

In an animal study in Malaysia, scientists compared the antioxidant activity in white rice, brown rice and sprouted brown rice. While brown rice fared better than white rice, it was the sprouted brown rice that was found to have the highest antioxidant activity. Additionally, researchers found that sprouted brown rice lowered the level of liver enzymes associated with liver toxicity (a side effect of some cholesterol lowering medications).
Food Chemistry. 2013 November 15;141(2):1306-12. (Mohd Esa N et al.)

Sprouted and Sourdough Breads Reduce Glycemic Impact

Researchers at the University of Guelph in Canada examined the glycemic impact of different commercial breads on twelve overweight and obese men at risk for diabetes. They fed the men five kinds of bread on different occasions — sprouted grain bread, 11-grain bread, 12-grain bread, sourdough bread and white bread — then measured glucose response. Sourdough bread and sprouted grain bread outperformed the other three breads in different measures of glycemic and metabolic response.
Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism. 2012; 2012:184710. Mofidi et al.

Sprouting Enhances Folate in Pita Bread

Folate, found in foods such as spinach, is an important vitamin necessary to prevent neural tube defects (birth defects of the brain, spine, and spinal cord). In a study in Egypt, researchers found that sprouting wheat increased folate levels 3- to 4-fold depending on temperature. The scientists concluded that making pita bread with just 50% sprouted wheat flour is enough to increase the daily folate intake by 75 micrograms, or almost 20% of the adult recommended intake.
Food and Nutrition Research. 2012 April 2;56 (Hefni et al.)

Sprouted Wheat Higher in Nutrients

We all know that whole grains are more nutritious than their refined counterparts. But increasingly, research is showing that sprouted whole grains can offer even greater benefits. In a recent study, Vietnamese researchers sprouted wheat for 48 hours, and found it was higher in dietary fiber, free amino acids and antioxidant activity than unsprouted wheat.
Journal of the Science of Food & Agriculture. 2011 September 14 [Epub ahead of print] (Hung et al)

Sprouting (Malting) Millet Makes Some Minerals More Bioavailable

In India and some other countries, sprouted (malted) grains are commonly used as weaning foods for infants and as easily-digested foods for the elderly and infirm.  A study at the Central Food Technological Research Institute in Mysore, India, measured the changes caused by malting finger millet, wheat and barley. They found that malting millet increased the bioaccessibility of iron (> 300%) and manganese (17%), and calcium (“marginally”), while reducing bioaccessibility of zinc and making no difference in copper. The effects of malting on different minerals varied widely by grain.
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 14 July 2010; 58(13):8100-3.

Sprouted Buckwheat Extract Decreases Blood Pressure

Korean researchers fed raw buckwheat extract and germinated 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 aortic endothelial cells. The scientists concluded that “these results suggest that germinated buckwheat extra has an atihypertensive effect and may protect arterial endothelial cells from oxidative stress.”
Phytotherapy Research, July 2009; 23(7):993-8.

Sprouted Brown Rice Fights Diabetes

In Japan, six men and five women with impaired fasting glucose (pre-diabetes) or type 2 diabetes were randomly assigned to eat either white rice or sprouted brown rice three times a day. After a two-week washout, subjects switched groups. Researchers reported that “blood concentrations of fasting blood glucose, fructosamine, serum total cholesterol and traicylglycerol were favorably improved on the sprouted brown rice diet but not on the white rice diet” suggesting that diets including sprouted brown rice may help control blood sugar.
Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology, April 2008; 54(2):163-8.

Cardiovascular Risk Reduced by Sprouted Rice

In a Korean study, rats on a high-cholesterol diet were divided into four groups, a control group and three experimental groups which were fed (1) sprouted giant embryonic rice, (2) giant embryonic rice, or (3) conventional brown rice.  (Giant embryonic rice is rice with a larger germ than normal.)  Rats fed the sprouted rice saw a rise in their plasma HDL-cholesterol (“good cholesterol”) and other markers that led researchers to conclude that “consumption of germinated giant embryonic rice is effective in lowering atherosclerosis cardiovascular disease risk.”
Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, 2007; 51(6):519-26. Epub 2007 Dec 20.

Better Health for Nursing Mothers, with Sprouted Brown Rice

Forty-one breast-feeding Japanese mothers were randomly divided into two groups, one eating white rice and the other sprouted brown rice, for two weeks.  When psychological and immune tests were administered to both groups, the sprouted brown rice group was found to have decreased scores of depression, anger-hostility, and fatigue, and a significant increase in s-igA levels, indicating better immune system function.
European Journal of Nutrition, October 2007; 46(7):391-6. Epub 2007 Sep 20.

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