Devoted member of the Quinoa Appreciation Society? Great news: a simple tweak can boost the health points of this already nutritious pseudo-grain. Mates, it’s time to get sprouting.
Just ask Jayta Szpitalak, psychologist, nutritional health coach and founder of Fermentanicals. New to the Aussie scene, the superfood brand focuses on – you guessed it – fermenting, activating and now sprouting. The aim: to give our guts some TLC, make foods easier to digest and their nutritional goodness more available to us.
Fermentanicals’ latest offering is a range of sprouted grains/seeds, including chia, quinoa, flax and buckwheat flour. The sprouting process boosts the vitamin, mineral and antioxidant content of the foods, while also cutting the kilojoules. Intrigued yet? We caught up with Szpitalak to find out why we should all be making the switch.
What’s the difference between sprouted and non-sprouted grains?
"Sprouted grains differ from regular ones in that they’ve been germinated. They’re also long soaked, which means digestive barriers that generally coat seeds such as phytic acid, gluten and lectin are broken down and neutralised."
So, what are the benefits?
"Sprouting stimulates the production of enzymes that essentially pre-digest the grain, so it breaks down complex sugar molecules, making it more bioavailable. According to a paper in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, sprouting increases the micronutrient elements of the grains, often doubling the antioxidants, amino acids, proteins and vitamins. One example? Sprouted chia seeds contain three times the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants of the non-sprouted kind – plus, it doesn’t have the acidic coating that prevents digestion. Lastly, sprouted grains also improve the microflora in our gut."
Our gut health is a huge deal, right?
"According to Hippocrates, 'all disease begins in the gut' – and modern science is beginning to reveal just how true this is. The trillions of bacteria found there affect our digestion, immunity, mental health and and even our weight. Our gut’s now referred to as our ‘second brain’ and it’s so important to try and nurture it, because sub-par gut health can have negative effects on our entire system."