Written by Desireeh Chevere | Reviewed by Alyssa Tucci MS, RDN, CDN
You may have noticed a sudden rise in sprouted-grain products in supermarkets, such as breads, pastas, cereals, or even the grain itself. But what are sprouted grains anyways? Sprouted grains are made from whole grains, which have an inner germ that is packed with nutrients. These whole grain kernels are soaked, which allows the inner germ to start to sprout into a new plant.
This soaking process also helps make certain nutrients more available to our bodies and make grain products easier for us to digest. However, sprouted grains do not provide different nutrients than their regular counterparts. These sprouted grains have been considered a healthier choice than regular grains because of the fact that they provide nutrients that improve digestibility. For instance, a few of the nutrients it provides are carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants, B vitamins, vitamin C, and folate. These nutrients are also more bio-accessible, which means they’re easier for our bodies to absorb and use. These sprouted grains are a good source for providing the nutrients that we need on a daily basis, so adding them to your diet can be quite beneficial and an easier way to obtain those essential nutrients.
Sprouted-grain products are good for most people but especially for people with certain health issues. For instance, these products are good for people with digestive issues and people who want to lose weight. These groups of people would benefit most from these products because sprouted grains are digested more slowly and easily, which also helps keep blood sugar levels stable for a longer period of time. If you’re someone with digestive issues and have a hard time finding foods that are easily digestible and not upset your stomach so much, this would be a great new food to try out! Sprouted grains not only are easily digestible, they are also known for making people more satisfied after eating them, which is great if you are trying to lose weight. Feeling satisfied from these grains is a good indicator that you have eaten the right amount of it and essentially not having to eat more or as much as you might usually do.
However, just because something is made with sprouted grains is not an automatic stamp of approval. While something sprouted might be a better choice for some people (because of the benefits you discuss earlier), sprouted rice or cereal or bread is still rice, cereal, bread. For example, you'll still want to watch your portion of something like rice or pasta even if it's sprouted. If you want to try these new grains out, you can play around with it and add them to all kinds of foods. For instance, they have a slightly sweet, nutty taste, so they would go great in salads, sandwiches, soups, or even just as a little snack. There are so many ways you can play around with this interesting new food!