Are bean sprouts good for you?
Although beans themselves are a good source of proteins, sprouting increases the amounts and bioavailability of proteins (average of 5 g a cup).
Bean sprouts or sprouted beans are good as a healthy snacking option, or you can consume them as an add-on to your regular meals. With the presence of a good amount of dietary fiber, they are especially beneficial for people with health issues, such as obesity, high cholesterol levels and diabetes. With their antioxidant potential, they can help prevent heart conditions as well.
Bean sprouts are also packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. A one-cup serving provides roughly 23 percent of the daily recommended dose of vitamin C, making bean sprouts a good source of this vitamin.
Are bean sprouts always safe to eat?
Bean sprouts have received a bad reputation over the years due to reports of bacterial contamination. However, the harmful effects are only found when they have been consumed raw or in lightly cooked form.
Raw bean sprouts are not safe for you to eat if you have a weakened immune system due to diseases, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection or cancer. Due to their water content, raw bean sprouts can harbor bacteria and cause gut infection. This can cause digestive issues, such as diarrhea, bloating, nausea and vomiting. If you have a weakened immunity due to diseases or if you think that you have weak immunity, eat them only after you cook them fully.
People with soy allergies should not consume soybean sprouts.
Even if you are healthy, wash the sprouts well under the water before eating them raw.
How to grow bean sprouts at home
Bean sprouts are easy to prepare at home. You just need the beans, a container with a lid, water and a dark place. Mung bean or green gram (Vigna radiata) and alfalfa are mostly used for sprouting, but almost any seed or legume can be used. Here are the steps.
- Rinse the beans first.
- Soak the beans in the closed container filled with water overnight in a place away from sunlight, preferably in a dark place.
- The next day, the beans swell. Remove the water and close the container to allow the beans to grow for the next two days.
- After two days, you will see the sprouts developed on the beans. Sprouted mung beans look half-white with a yellow tip.
Once the sprouts come, consume them on the same day. You can also store them in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator for a maximum of two days.
If you are looking to buy bean sprouts from the store, they are available all year. Choose the ones that are white and shiny with a bright yellow tip. To confirm if they are fresh, try breaking the sprout. If they are fresh, you will hear a sharp sound.
How to eat bean sprouts
Bean sprouts can be eaten raw and by boiling or stir-frying them. You can consume the boiled bean sprouts or add them to soups. You can also cook them in the form of a curry. You can add the boiled or the stir-fried sprouts to
- Vegetable salad
- Spring rolls
Bean sprouts can be cooked with other vegetables, such as zucchini, carrots, bell peppers, eggplants and leeks. Their crunchy and light flavor usually goes well with most food items.
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