Have you seen those tiny little shoots jutting out from a seed or legume?
Those are nothing, but sprouts. Sprouting is a process in which seeds are soaked in water for a long time, leading to their germination. It causes the outer skin of the seeds to break and a young shoot to grow. 
“Sprouting is the process of enhancing many nutrients in the food. Sprouting should be done after soaking the seeds or plants for 3-4 hours,” explains celebrated lifestyle physician, Dr Anjali Nakra.
Eating these raw sprouts is a very popular means of nutrition. However, according to Ayurveda, if not eaten properly, it may not be as effective as you may think. Ayurveda says that sprouts may be hard to digest, especially if you have Vata Dosha.
Therefore, eating them the right way is important to yield their health benefits. This article will focus on and reveal facts about how to eat sprouts. Before going into the details of how to eat sprouts, we must know what are the nutrients in sprouts and what are the benefits of eating sprouts.
Nutritional Facts about sprouts
100 grams of sprouts will have the following nutrients in them
|Vitamin B6||0.1 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.1 mg|
|Vitamin K||34.3 mcg|
|Vitamin C||13.7 mg|
Benefits of Eating Sprouts
How to eat sprouts is all about eating sprouts the right way so that one can reap the several benefits of sprouts. The various benefits of sprouts are listed below:
1. Sprouts have antioxidant properties
Sprouts are rich in antioxidants and help to boost the immune system. Certain minerals in sprouts, such as copper, selenium, and manganese play a pivotal role in controlling the damage caused by free radicals. Furthermore, the bioactive compounds in sprouts can reduce oxidative stress due to their powerful antioxidant properties. 
2. Aids in weight loss
Sprouts are nutrient-rich and are significantly low in calories. Also, sprouts have a high content of fibre, which makes them a great appetite suppressant. All these factors contribute to making sprouts one of the best candidates for an ideal Weight Loss Diet. 
3. Strengthens the Immune system
The rich nutritional profile of sprouts makes them tiny nutritional powerhouses. The essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in sprouts play a vital role in strengthening your immune system. 
4. Improves eyesight
The high vitamin A content of sprouts supports improved vision. Age-related weakening of vision could be delayed if you consume sprouts. 
5. Supports heart health
Omega-3 fatty acids in sprouts can prevent the clogging of arteries by bringing down the levels of bad cholesterol or LDL and improving the levels of good cholesterol or HDL. This brings down the risk of heart attacks. 
6. Has antidiabetic effect
By preventing the production of advanced glycation end products, sprouts can help manage high levels of blood glucose in patients with diabetes. Therefore, eating sprouts is helpful for patients with diabetes mellitus. This holds especially true for Broccoli sprouts. 
7. Antiviral potential
Certain sprouts like bean sprouts have shown remarkable antiviral potential. Therefore, it can be expected that consumption of sprouts can defend your body against drug-resistant viruses. 
Eating Sprouts Based on Your Dosha
According to Ayurveda, your Dosha imbalance determines how you should eat any food. Therefore, the best way to eat sprouts depends on your body’s constitution or Dosha imbalance.
1. Vata Dosha
Sprouts have an astringent taste or Kashya Rasa, which tends to aggravate Vata Dosha. Therefore, they are not usually recommended for people with Vata Dosha. However, if you still want to reap the benefits of sprouts, you may eat them after boiling and sautéing them with some rock salt, sesame oil, and spices. 
2. Pitta Dosha
People who have Pitta Dosha can eat sprouts anytime during the day. They may eat it raw or as a salad.
3. Kapha Dosha
People who have Kapha imbalance should eat sprouts after boiling and adding spices, such as black pepper, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, etc.
Other Tips To Remember While Eating Sprouts
- Do not eat sprouts every day. Otherwise, it may lead to indigestion and constipation. You may eat sprouts once or twice a week.
- If you have digestive problems such as bloating, flatulence, etc., you should avoid eating sprouts as it may further increase your problems.
- Even though people with Pitta and Kapha Dosha can eat raw or boiled sprouts, it is recommended to eat them only after cooking, as it will help keep Vata in control.
Raw sprouts vs cooked sprouts: Learn about the comparison
Raw sprouts versus Cooked Sprouts is a common topic of debate among fitness freaks, The key differences between raw sprouts and cooked sprouts are as follows:
Raw sprouts are less digestible as compared to cooked sprouts.
The nutrients in sprouts become more accessible to the body when cooked. In other words, cooked sprouts are more beneficial for the body as compared to raw sprouts.
In this context, well-known nutritionist Munmum Ganeriwal comments, “If you are eating sprouts, have them cooked not raw.”
Raw sprouts may have certain harmful bacteria in them. When you cook the sprouts, bacteria get destroyed and the chances of food poisoning are reduced.
1. What is the best time to eat sprouts according to Ayurveda?
According to Ayurveda, it is best to consume sprouts as a midday snack or at lunch. Fiber in sprouts can keep you satiated, and curb untimely hunger pangs. At night one should never consume sprouts as the fibre present in sprouts may interfere with the digestion process. At night your metabolic rate is low as you do not move much, and go to sleep. In such a situation you must avoid all types of foods high in fibre.
“The best time to eat sprout salad is during the day, either during lunch or as a mid-day snack. This is because sprouts are high in fiber, and consuming them during the day can help keep you feeling full and satisfied for longer periods of time, which can prevent overeating and promote weight management.”
-Dr. V.C. Ajith Kumar, Ayurveda Doctor; BAMS from Coimbatore Ayurvedic College
2. Can sprouts and fruits be taken together according to Ayurveda?
Sprouts and fruits together with ayurveda are a healthy combination, as both sprouts and fruits are loaded with nutrients. This combination is ideal for people with special nutritional needs, such as pregnant women, lactating mothers, patients, bodybuilders, and Weight Watchers.
“Add vegetables and even some fruit – to make a sumptuous salad,” says Dr. Anjali Nakra (Lifestyle Physician)
3. How do you know a bowl of sprouts has gone rotten?
If sprouts turn slimy, they are not fresh and are probably rotten.
4. What are the different ways in which sprouts may be eaten?
You may consume sprouts as a standalone snack or as a side dish. In India, sprout salads, sabzis, or curries made of sprouts, sprouts-stuffed parathas, sprout-filled sandwiches, and sprout chaats are becoming increasingly popular.
5. Which are the sprouts commonly used in India?
Sprouts, which are popular among the Indians are moong sprouts, kala chana sprouts, wheat sprouts, black-eyed bean sprouts, masoor sprouts, rajma sprouts, fenugreek seeds sprouts, and moth bean sprouts.
Sprouts offer many health benefits to the body. However, according to Ayurveda, you should not eat sprouts every day as they may be difficult to digest. In addition, Ayurveda also recommends eating sprouts only after cooking. You can also add spices to aid in digestion. If you want to include sprouts in your diet, the best way is to add them as a small part of your meal, rather than making them your whole meal.
This article is written from a health and wellness perspective and is not medical advice. Kindly seek the help of a certified medical practitioner before initiating any treatment.