Our skin reflects what is happening in the digestive system. Therefore, it is important to “plant” lots of good bacteria to help digest food, and to add lots of high-quality fiber, just as our ancestors did.
Sprouts are a great food for good digestion or for people who have a weak digestion. Sprouted foods have easy to absorb vitamins, minerals, proteins, and enzymes to break down food.
Eating Sprouts = Flawless Skin
Broccoli/cabbage/radish/cress/kale (Brassicaceae family plants) sprouts have a cellular detoxifying substance called sulforaphane in them, which can prevent cancer cells from proliferating. Sulforaphane is being researched as an anti-aging medicine. All sprouts also stimulate the natural cell detox process, which helps with oxidation damage (from environmental toxins & sun damage). So, cellular detox foods = clear, gorgeous young skin.
When you germinate a seed, it increases the antioxidants dramatically. Antioxidants help with free-radical damage on a cellular level, allowing our body to age slower. So, antioxidants = reduction in lines on our face + beautiful skin.
Sprouts have the highest amount of phytonutrients per calorie of any food. Phytonutrients are important for preventing almost all diseases.
Why Grow Your Own Sprouts?
Fresh sprouts at home have all of the available nutrients fresh and alive, whereas; sprouts from the store have traveled long distances. They might be over a week old! 80% of the beneficial vitamins, minerals, and enzymes will have disappeared after the sprouts sit for that long.
Growing your own sprouts is so easy and is much cheaper than buying. Plus, the added risk of bacterial contamination from store-bought is not worth it in my opinion. In 2004, 50% of sprout producers in California were discovered to be operating under unsanitary conditions. You can still have mold and contamination happen at home, but you have a lot of control over that happening. I have some No-Fail Tips for keeping your sprouts fresh and mold-free. See my video for more tips.
Some tasty options for sprouts
- Sunflower seeds – they really bulk up a salad and taste great!
- A Sandwich Booster-type mix (alfalfa, clover, mustard, radish) – tasty and easy, they only take 3 days to sprout.
- A Broccoli/Radish mix – spicy & delicious, high in antioxidants, and are ready in 2-3 days!
- Pea seeds – sweet and full of protein.
- Mung beans, Lentils
- Chickpea/Garbanzo Bean, Adzuki Bean, Fava Bean – Fava bean sprouts could be used in Parkinson’s Disease treatment due to their high antioxidant and phenolic content. See my sources for more information.
- Greens: Beets, Chard, Lettuce, Cabbage, Kale, Kohlrabi, Mustard greens
- Fenugreek seeds – more bitter but have an interesting taste.
- Barley, Wheat
- Sesame seeds
- These seeds will need to be sprouted in dirt or on a un-glazed clay surface with a paper towel: Onion, Arugula, Cress, Chia, Pea (but can also do a jar)
Can I just use garden seeds to make sprouts?
Yes, you can, but it will be more expensive than buying “sprouting seeds.” Sprouting seeds come in bigger packages and are reasonably priced for the amount you get. You can even order larger bulk bags for cheaper. Sprouting seeds will have instructions on the bag for that particular type of seed. Make sure to find certified organic seeds to ensure that pesticides/herbicides haven’t been applied to them. Otherwise, you are basically poisoning yourself.
What Sprouting Method to Use
Use wide mouth mason jars with plastic or stainless steel mesh lids. Some people buy window screen to cut to size, but I would be concerned about the sealant they spray on it, and the paint, which can leach into your sprouts. I use a set of plastic lids that are green, red, and yellow with different size holes. The lid with smaller holes is for tiny seeds (any greens or herb seeds), and the lid with large holes is for large beans, peas, sunflower seeds. The lid with medium sized holes is for starting smaller beans (adzuki, sunflower seeds, mung beans, lentils), and then you can switch to the largest holed lid once they’ve grown big enough.
If you want to keep it really simple for large seeds (mung bean, chickpea, and sunflower, etc.) you can use a strainer/colander. When using a colander, don’t clump them up in a pile, but spread them with your (clean) hands to get it, so there is only one layer of seeds in the bottom. Otherwise, they don’t get enough air and will mold. Keep the large seeds out of sunlight by putting a very damp clean kitchen towel on top of them.
- Step 1: Add 4 Tablespoons of big Seeds/Beans (chickpea, sunflower, etc.) to a 1 Quart Mason jar, or 2 Tablespoons of small seeds (like greens, sesame, fenugreek, broccoli, kale, etc.) in a 1 Quart Mason jar.
- Step 2: Rinse your seeds every 12 hours with clean, filtered water. For most seeds, you can first soak them for 6-12 hours, which will help with faster germination. After that, you can rinse them every 12 hours until they are the size that you like. Make sure you rinse them 2X/day; otherwise they will get too warm and mold very fast.
- Step 3: After 2-5 days, when they are the right size, rinse them (with clean hands) one last time in a clean colander and let them drain well. Then put them in a Tupperware or Mason jar of your choice (making sure that it’s clean).
- Step 4: Clean your sprouting container with water + a splash of apple cider vinegar. Let it soak for a few hours, then rinse it out. Clean the sprouting lids the same, as bacteria and mold can grow in the crevices of the lids.
Sprouts can last up to 2-4 days in the refrigerator. Always check how they smell the second you open the lid. They should smell fresh. If they don’t smell fresh, throw them out. Use your sprouts in sandwiches, wraps, salads, or blend them into a smoothie! Don’t heat your sprouts up in a stir-fry, it will destroy any vitamins and enzymes present in them.
With these tips, you will have total success with sprouting + beautiful, flawless skin!