Sprouts are a healthy option for those intending to change their diet quality.
They are rich in nutrients as they contain all the nourishment a young plant would need to grow.
They are low in fat but rich in fibre and protein.
They are nutrient dense foods as they contain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. A number of seeds are included in the sprout family:
- Grains & Cereals
- Cabbage family
- Seeds of different vegetables and herbs
Since they are low in calories, sprouts can serve as an excellent meal replacement for those intending to lose weight without compromising on taste and nutrition.
8 Reasons how sprouts can help with weight loss
Following are the many reasons why this superfood can be your weight loss guide.
1.They demonstrate anti-obesity effect
Sprouts mediate anti-obesity effect in a number of ways.
A study was conducted wherein overweight or obese women were asked to consume capsules containing peanut sprouts extract for four weeks before meals.
Peanut sprouts extracts supplementation helped in reducing abdominal fat and blood lipid levels.
Researchers concluded that intake of peanut sprouts can serve as a healthy dietary supplement.
Experimental study proves that peanut demonstrates anti-obesity effect by influencing PPAR (a protein involved in fat and cholesterol metabolism) and increasing activity of adiponectin (a hormone that stimulates the use of fats for energy).
Regular consumption of fenugreek seeds is proven to reduce fat intake in healthy overweight individuals.
What does this mean? Sprouts, especially peanut sprouts, prevent fat depot.
2. They are a good source of protein
Dietary proteins help in weight management by promoting satiety and boosting metabolism.
A diet rich in proteins increases energy production by 20-30%.
Diets with fixed fat content but high protein content promotes better weight loss and helps preserve muscle mass compared to diets low in proteins.
Legumes and lentils are a rich source of proteins.
A study was organized where the effect of protein from different sources (legumes, fish and high protein diet) on body weight was compared.
High protein diet and legume consumption led to maximum weight loss and reduced cholesterol levels.
A review of 13 clinical trials reports that soy protein supplementation significantly reduces body weight, body fat and waist circumference in overweight or obese individuals.
Research proves that replacing meat protein with soy protein can help ameliorate symptoms of metabolic syndrome.
What does this mean? Legumes and lentils are a rich source of protein and high protein diets favour weight loss.
3. They are a rich source of fiber
Dietary fibre prevents weight gain by lowering calorie intake, promoting satiety and regulating energy metabolism.
Pulses and grains are high on fibre which promote satiety, delay gastric emptying and reduce appetite.
They also prevent the absorption of fats.
A study comparing the effect of high fibre diets from different sources (beans or fruits, vegetables, and grains) demonstrated that high fibre diets caused significant weight loss and reduced calorie intake.
Regular legume consumption is reported to induce significant weight loss.
Whole grain consumption is better than refined grain when it comes to losing body fat.
One study proves that supplementation with biscuits enriched with soy fibre over 12 weeks significantly reduces body weight, body fat, trunk fat and cholesterol in obese individuals. Yellow pea fibre supplementation is also said to cause weight loss.
What does this mean? Grains and bean sprouts can serve to be an excellent source of dietary fibre which helps in controlling hunger pangs.
4. They regulate carbohydrate metabolism
Grains are rich in healthy carbohydrates but they have a low glycemic index i.e. after consuming grains it does not lead to an abnormal elevation in blood sugar.
Low glycemic index foods reduce appetite.
Beta-glucan found in rye improves insulin activity. This leads to effective utilization of glucose and carbohydrates preventing weight gain.
Boiled buckwheat groats, owing to their low glycemic index, lead to reduced food intake.
What does this mean? Sprout consumption lowers blood glucose and insulin level which in turn helps in reducing appetite and can serve to be therapeutic in case of diabetes.
5. Sprouts lower cholesterol levels
Results of a clinical trial indicate that broccoli sprout powder can be used as a supplementary treatment in lowering cholesterol and blood lipid levels in individuals suffering from type 2 diabetes.
What does this mean? Sprouts are healthy for the heart as they help cut down bad fats like cholesterol.
6. They promote satiety and control appetite
Sprouts are low in calories but on consuming a bowl of sprouts, you tend to feel full. This controls appetite and reduces subsequent food intake.
Fibres and proteins found in sprouts promote satiety and prevent weight gain by allowing fats to pass out of the body without being absorbed from diet.
Review of clinical trials suggests that dietary pulses like chickpea, beans, peas and lentils promote short-term satiety.
A diet rich in chickpeas is proven to promote satiety and reduce further calorie intake.
Boiled barley kernels when consumed as an evening meal are found to control appetite and reduce calorie intake over two subsequent meals.
Whole grain rye products promote satiety up to 8 hours after consumption.
8g of fenugreek fiber consumed at breakfast is proven to promote satiety and reduce calorie intake at lunch.
Soy protein diet is found to be as effective as meat protein diet in controlling appetite.
What does this mean? Snacking on sprouts can help reduce hunger and subsequent food intake.
7. Sprouts are packed with antioxidants
Phenols and flavonoids present in sprouts are good antioxidants. Sprouting improves the nutritive value of antioxidants.
Soybean sprout extract has the highest amount of antioxidants followed by chickpea and mung beans.
These antioxidants boost the natural antioxidant defense of the body and prevent tissue damage and diseases caused by poor antioxidant status.
What does this mean? In addition to help lose weight; sprouts can boost your antioxidant defence.
8. Aid in digestion and prevent the absorption of fats
In this way, they prevent carbohydrate absorption and weight gain.
A research study proves that oat beta-glucan increases production of cholecystokinin which stimulates digestion of fats and proteins and also curbs hunger.
What does this mean? By influencing gut microbes and digestive enzymes, sprouts prevent absorption of fats from diet.
How to take sprouts for weight loss?
You can select your choice of seeds and soak them in water overnight or for 2 days for them to sprout.
Remember to thoroughly clean them and probably change the water at regular intervals.
You can eat them uncooked or boil them and add spices (our favourite!). You can also stir fry them with vegetables or add them to salads, sandwiches, rice dishes and dips.
Even ½ cup of legumes should be enough to get started, though we would recommend 1 cup since it is our favorite snack :).
Sprouts are very nutritious, so no precaution associated with its consumption, unless you are allergic to them.
Just remember to cleanse them thoroughly to avoid any bacterial infection.
Throughout the world, everyone has a different definition of sprouts but everyone swears by its health benefits.
So even if you don’t have a weight management goal, we recommend you to include these nutrient powerhouses for a healthier and fitter you.