What are Bean Sprouts?
Bean sprouts are the sprouts produced by different types of bean seeds, but the two prime varieties of bean sprouts come from the mung beans and the soybeans. The scientific name of mung beans and soybeans are Vigna radiata and Glycine max respectively. Mung beans sprouts are generally smaller than the soybean sprouts and may also have a green edge to their color. Mung bean sprouts should be consumed within one week of sprouting to enjoy the nutrients provided by them.
In India and many East Asian nations, it is a common practice to eat a handful of bean sprouts every day. It is a healthy snack which provides a number of nutritional compounds and is much better than the processed food items such as biscuits and bread, and other junk food items like chips and fries etc. on which we are becoming dependent day by day. Now, bean sprouts are also gaining popularity in the United States and other countries and they are also becoming familiar with the advantages provided by these wonderful sprouts.
Bean Sprouts Nutrition Facts
Bean sprouts are very beneficial for our health because of the presence of various nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, polyphenols, dietary fibers etc. in them. They are an excellent source of high-quality protein and on an average, you get around 5 grams of protein by consuming one cup of bean sprouts. The dietary fibers present in the bean sprouts improves our digestive health and also helps with the weight loss. They are also low in calories and doesn’t contain any fat which is an added advantage when it comes to weight loss and improving cardiovascular health.
Some other compounds present in the bean sprouts are vitamin C, vitamin B6, iron, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, niacin, thiamin, zinc, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and copper etc. and presence of these compounds make them very beneficial for us, and provides a number of benefits like improving metabolism, making our vision better, managing cholesterol level, providing antioxidantal benefits, improving cardiovascular health and so on.
They also contain a proteolytic enzyme that aids our body to digest proteins and carbohydrates in an efficient manner. These enzymes are produced by our body so that it can help with the digestion of protein and carbohydrates. However, when they are readily available in the food itself ( like bean sprouts) then our body doesn’t need to produce them separately and it can work on producing other essential enzymes like those that help our body to fight off the diseases.
In this article, we will know about the major health benefits provided by the bean sprouts, but first, let’s take a look at how to sprouts mung beans at home in an easy manner.
How to Prepare Mung Bean Sprouts?
Mung bean sprouts are one of the healthy snacks that you can make part of your life and are much better than the processed food and the junk food which is dominating our food patterns these days. To enjoy the awesomeness of the mung beans you will have to sprout them, and sprouting mung beans is a very simple task that can easily be done at home without the need of any fancy equipment. So, let’s dive into the process of sprouting mung beans.
- Take the required amount of mung beans ( that you need to sprout) and add them to a container. It could be a glass jar, glass bowl, and even a steel jar but a glass jar with the drainable cap is preferred as it will allow you to take a look at the ongoing process of the sprouting.
- Add cold water to the glass jar and make sure that the mung beans get fully submerged in the water. Tighten the cap of the glass jar and let the mung beans soak the water for 12 hours.
- Drain the water from the jar and then refill it. Repeat twice and then finally add water to the jar and leave it at room temperature and away from the sunlight.
- Now for the next week, fill and drain the jar two times a day and also ensure that the beans are not completely drowned in water, but are only moist and clean.
- Beans will start sprouting within a week. When the mung bean sprouts are at the desired length then give a final rinse and drain to them.
- Remove the lid of the container and let the air evaporate away the remaining water and moisture for the next 8 to 10 hours.
- Your sprouts beans are now ready and you can place them in the refrigerator and can enjoy them over the next 7 days.
- Remember to keep them in the refrigerator and not at the room temperature as they may get spoiled at room temperature and there are also high chances of bacterial growth.
Health Benefits of Mung Bean sprouts
(1) Provides Relief From Stress And Anxiety
Consuming bean sprouts on a regular and moderate basis is very beneficial for providing relief from the stress and anxiety, two big issues that are becoming an integral part of our life and are damaging our physiological health and as well as general health and the wellness.
As per Good Therapy, stress can also give rise to depression and anxiety, and also weakens our immune system. The weakening of the immune system hits our health in a negative manner as our immune system is the main defense system of our body that keeps us free of the diseases and infections.
It can also give rise to other discomforts such as a headache, upset stomach, muscle tension, insomnia, loss of sexual desire, nervousness, dry mouth etc. and in the long run it can lead to serious health and neurological health problems such as personality disorders, cardiovascular problems such as heart attack and heart stroke, high blood pressure, obesity and eating disorders, sexual dysfunction such as impotence and premature ejaculation and gastrointestinal issues etc. ( As per WebMD)
Eliminating stress completely from our life is a difficult task but we should do our best to minimize it as much as possible and bean sprouts can help in doing the same.
This advantage of bean sprouts is mainly due to the presence of essential nutrients such as vitamin C, zinc and magnesium etc. in them. These compounds play an important role in balancing our mood and promotes sound sleep. Getting a quality sleep is one of the best ways to beat stress as sleep reduces the level of cortisol in our body which is the prime hormone responsible for the stress.
In addition to this, the flavonoids present in the bean sprouts also plays a significant role in reducing anxiety.
(2) Make Our Immune System Stronger
Our immune system plays an important role in keeping us healthy as it is the defense mechanism of our body that prevents the disease-causing pathogens like bacteria, virus, and fungi etc. from entering our body, and even if they manage to enter our body and make us sick, it is the immune system that fights against them and makes us healthy again.
To enjoy a healthy life, it is important to take good care of our immune system and bean sprouts can help in doing the same.
Eating bean sprouts on a regular and moderate basis is very beneficial for making our immune system stronger and when our immune system is stronger, we are less likely to be infected from the disease-causing pathogens and our risk of being infected by cold, cough, fever and flu etc. diminishes automatically.
This benefit of bean sprouts is mainly because of the presence of vitamin C in it. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that fights with the free radicals in our body, stabilizes them and prevents them from causing oxidative damage to our cells including the white blood cells that are considered as the backbone of the immune system.
By protecting our white blood cells from the oxidative damage, it strengthens our immune system and improves our overall health.
Vitamin C also increases the production of white blood cells in our body and thus strengthens our immune system.
Bean sprouts also contain iron that also plays a significant role in making our immune system stronger.
Additionally, other nutrients like vitamins and minerals etc. also plays a significant role in keeping our immune system stronger.
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(3) Promotes Cardiovascular Health
Regular and moderate consumption of mung bean sprouts is very beneficial for our heart and improves our cardiovascular health.
This benefit of bean sprouts is mainly because of the presence of essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, bioflavonoids, and dietary fibers etc. in them.
The antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A and other antioxidantal compounds such as polyphenols, phytonutrients and bioflavonoids etc. present in the bean sprouts combats with the free radicals in our body, stabilizes them and prevents them from causing oxidative damage to our cardiovascular health, and minimizes the risk of cardiovascular problems such as heart attack, heart stroke and irregular heartbeat etc.
The dietary fibers present in the bean sprouts reduces the level of bad LDL cholesterol and increases the level of good HDL cholesterol and thus reduces the risk of atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a condition that leads to thickening and hardening of the arteries due to the accumulation of plaque and fat deposits in them. When our arteries get clogged up by the fat deposits then our heart has to put on extra pressure for the blood circulation which increases the risk of blockage of arteries, and other cardiovascular problems.
Bean sprouts also contain potassium which is a vital mineral that acts as a natural vasodilator which means it relaxes our blood vessels, improves blood circulation and provides relief from the high blood pressure or hypertension which is a leading cause of various cardiovascular problems such as heart attack and heart stroke etc.
It is also rich in Vitamin K, a fat-soluble vitamin that helps with the blood clotting and controls the accumulation of calcium in the blood vessels and thus reduces the risk of coronary artery calcification which could increase the risk of various cardiovascular issues.
(4) Aids In Weight Loss
Eating bean sprouts on a regular and moderate basis is very beneficial for the people who are on weight loss journey and would like to get rid of some extra pounds.
This weight loss advantage of bean sprouts is mainly because of its low caloric value. Eating 100 grams of bean sprouts provides around 31 calories of energy which means one can enjoy bean sprouts without worrying about the excessive calorie gain.
The low caloric value of the bean sprouts along with its nutritional benefits makes it a great snack that you can enjoy anytime and anywhere.
In addition to this, bean sprouts are also a good source of dietary fibers that keep our stomach fuller for longer duration and decreases our urge to eat again and again and thus helps in controlling overeating. As overeating is a major reason for the weight gain, so by controlling overeating it helps in controlling obesity.
(5) Improves Digestive Health
Eating bean sprouts on a regular and moderate basis is good for our stomach and improves our digestive health.
This benefit of bean sprouts is mainly because of the presence of dietary fibers in them. The dietary fibers present in the bean sprouts acts as a natural laxative which means it improves our bowel movement and ensures smooth elimination of stool from our system. This reduces the risk of constipation and other gastrointestinal issues such as abdominal pain, irritable bowel syndrome, gas, bloating and flatulence etc.
The dietary fibers in the bean sprouts absorb excess fluid from our body and thus reduces the risk of diarrhea.
In addition to this, the antioxidants like vitamin C and other antioxidantal compounds such as bioflavonoids, phytonutrients, and polyphenols etc. protect our digestive system from the oxidative damage caused by the free radicals and thus reduces the risk of colon cancer, stomach cancer, and pancreatic cancer etc.
Other nutrients like vitamin B complex, zinc, iron, and selenium etc. also plays a significant role in improving our digestive health.
(6) Healthy Metabolism
Another reason to enjoy bean sprouts is their ability to improve our metabolism. A healthy metabolism plays an important role in maintaining our digestive health as it increases the efficiency of our body to digest nutritional compounds of the food such as proteins, carbohydrates, and fat etc.
This benefit of bean sprouts is mainly due to the presence of vitamin B complex and digestive enzymes in them.
Other nutrients like riboflavin, pantothenic acid, folate, niacin, and thiamine etc. also plays a significant role in improving our metabolism.
(7) Improves Blood Circulation
Consuming bean sprouts on a regular and moderate basis is good for our circulatory system as it enhances blood circulation in our body.
This benefit of bean sprouts is mainly due to the presence of iron in it. Iron is a vital mineral that increases the production of hemoglobin in the red blood cells of our body. Hemoglobin is a type of protein that carries oxygenated blood throughout the body and keeps them healthy.
This also minimizes the risk of iron-induced anemia, which is a condition caused by the deficiency if iron in our system and can be easily characterized by the symptoms such as fatigue, paleness, shortness of breath, headache and dizziness, heart palpitations, swelling and soreness of the tongue and mouth, and restless legs.
Additionally, the antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin A and other antioxidantal compounds like phytonutrients and polyphenols etc. protect our circulatory system from the oxidative damage caused by the free radicals in our body and thus improves our circulatory health.
The dietary fibers present in the bean sprouts prevents our arteries from getting clogged up with the plaque and fat deposits and ensures a healthy blood circulation.
(8) Make Our Bones And Teeth Stronger
Eating bean sprouts on a regular and moderate basis is very beneficial for making our bones and teeth stronger.
This benefit of the bean sprouts is mainly due to the presence of calcium in it. Calcium present in the bean sprouts is a vital mineral that plays an important role in the development of the bones and also makes them stronger. This reduces the risk of osteoporosis and other bone disorders.
In addition to this, bean sprouts are also rich in vitamin K which is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays an essential role in maintaining bone mineral density and thus make our bones strong and healthy.
Other nutrients like zinc and manganese etc. also plays a significant role in maintaining our bone strength.
(9) Prevent Birth Defects
Bean sprouts are a good source of folic acid which is essential for preventing birth defects like spina bifida and neural tube defects in the fetus developing in the womb and for this reason, expecting mothers are often prescribed folic acid supplements to ensure that they get the required amount of folic acid.
Bean sprouts are rich in folic acid which not only protects against the birth defects but also helps with the formation of red blood cells in the prenatal babies.
Although bean sprouts are good for the pregnant women, it is advisable to add them to your diet only after doctor’s advice.
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(10) Increase WBC Count
Another advantage of the bean sprout is their ability to increase the level of white blood cells in our body.
This advantage of bean sprouts is mainly because of the presence of vitamin C in it.
The vitamin C present in the bean sprouts not only protects our cells and tissues from the oxidative damage caused by the free radicals in our body but also increases the production of white blood cells.
White blood cells are considered as the backbone of the immune system as they act as the first line of defense of our body and protects us from the disease-causing microbes like bacteria and virus etc.
(11) Manages Cholesterol Level
Regular and moderate consumption of bean sprouts is very beneficial for managing cholesterol level in our system.
It reduces the level of bad LDL cholesterol from our system and increases the level of good HDL cholesterol in our system.
High level of bad cholesterol can give rise to various cardiovascular problems like heart attack and heart stroke etc. so by managing cholesterol level, bean sprouts also improves our cardiovascular health.
The dietary fibers present in the bean sprouts also plays a significant role in minimizing the level of bad LDL cholesterol from our system. It prevents the clogging of our arteries due to the accumulation of plaque and fat deposits in them and thus reduces the risk of atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis is a condition in which our arteries get hardened and narrowed due to the accumulation of plaque and fat deposits in them. When our arteries get narrowed then our heart has to put on an extra pressure to manage proper blood circulation through those arteries and this gives rise to high blood pressure which is a leading cause of cardiovascular problems such as heart attack, heart stroke and blockage of arteries etc.
(12) Regulates Blood Sugar Level
Regular and moderate intake of the bean sprouts is very beneficial for people with diabetes and for those who are at the risk of developing diabetes.
This benefit of bean sprouts is mainly because of its low glycemic index.
Glycemic index is a scale that ranges from 0 to 100 and determines the rate at which a particular food item releases sugar into the bloodstream.
Being a low glycemic index means it releases sugar into the bloodstream at a slow pace and thus prevents a sudden spike in the blood glucose level, and helps in managing diabetes.
In addition to this, the dietary fibers in the bean sprouts reduce the rate at which sugar gets absorbed by the bloodstream and thus regulates our blood sugar level.
(13) Heals Wounds And Injuries Quickly
Another health advantage of bean sprouts is their ability to heal wounds and injuries quickly.
This benefit of bean sprouts is mainly because of the presence of compounds such as vitamin K and vitamin C in it.
Vitamin K plays an important role in blood clotting and thus heals our wounds quickly. This also reduces the risk of external exposures and infections.
Similarly, vitamin C present in the bean sprouts is an antioxidant that not only protects our cells and tissues from the oxidative damage caused by the free radicals but also enhances the production of collagen in our system. Collagen is an essential amino acid that makes up our cells, tissues and blood vessels etc.
When there is an adequate level of collagen in our system, then it leads to quick cell regeneration and speeds up the recovery process.
(14) Prevents Biotin Deficiency
Regular and moderate intake of the bean sprouts helps in keeping biotin deficiency at bay. Biotin or vitamin B7 is an important nutrient that improves the health of our hair and makes them long and strong.
Functions of biotin are not just limited to maintaining our hair health, but it is also useful for converting food into energy, for production of fatty acids and amino acids, and for activating amino acid metabolism in the hair and the fingernails.
The information contained in the post is for general purpose only and shouldn’t be considered as a medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice. Although I’ve tried my best to keep the information contained in this post as accurate and updated as possible, I make no guarantee of the accurateness of the same.
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