Nutrition and its enhancement:

Germination, also known as sprouting, is an effective traditional, non-thermal process that enhances the nutritional values of cereals and legumes/pulses by increasing nutrient digestibility, minimizing the activities or levels of antinutritional substances, reducing the gluten contents, improving the contents of free amino acids and available carbohydrate, and boosting the functional properties.

The foods that can be germinated are all seeds which can be eaten raw, steamed or cooked completely.  Many kinds of seeds such as grains, beans, and grasses are used for sprouting.  As you know, the process of sprouting involves soaking the grain or pulse in water and then wrapping them in a damp paper towel or cloth.  In two or three days the grains germinate and the sprout grows.  The time and water which each pulse or grain needs for soaking and sprouting is different.  Normally 8-12 hours are needed for soaking and one to two days for sprouting.

A number of health and nutritional benefits can be obtained from this process which includes high levels of dietary fibers, proteins, B complex vitamins, and vitamin c.  Dry grains and pulses usually do not contain vitamin C, but when they are allowed to germinate, vitamin c is formed in the grain and in the growing sprout.  Sprouts are more nutritious than its older counterparts of itself i.e. the seeds.  Due to the significant outcome of germination, sprouted pulses and grains are extensively accepted as functional foods.  This is one of the best ways to extract the maximum nutrients from a food item at no additional cost.  Sprouts are really a living food and are the genuine stars of the vegetable world.

Nutrition and its enhancement:


Natural fermentation in food takes place when environmental situations permit interaction between microorganisms and the food substance.  The process of fermentation stimulates the multiplication of specific microorganisms, which are beneficial to our body, and their metabolic activity in food.  Fermentation breaks down the indigestible compounds into smaller parts, making the structures more pervious to the cooking water as well as to our digestive juices.

Fermented foods are often more nutrient-rich than the unfermented versions of themselves because the microorganisms not only break-down more complex compounds, but they also synthesize various complex vitamins such as vitamin c, vitamin b12, and riboflavin.  Along with that, fermented foods also help in keeping our guts optimally healthy as it contains beneficial probiotics.  Fermented foods, especially dairy foods, contain specific strains of bacteria that stimulate the health of your digestive tract.

Nutrition and its enhancement:

Food Synergy:

Sometimes we get so focused on the health benefits of a specific phytochemical or vitamin that we often miss that “different elements in a single food can work together to benefit our health, and so can elements in different foods that are eaten together.”  The pairing of foods from different food groups is the easiest way of getting all nutrients.  Food synergy is the concept that involves combining of foods together to increase their health effects and these healthy foods pairings help our body maximize its nutrient intake.

For good health, it’s really very important to eat a variety of foods.  So if you want to make your meal healthier, try eating whole grains, legumes, nuts, vegetables, and fruit; these are the great examples of foods in the natural form that are rich in a combination of important minerals, vitamins, proteins, fiber, antioxidants, and more.  Some of the Indian traditional dishes like khichadi, rice-dal, dal-roti/chapati, puran-poli, appe, idli-sambhar, upma-sambhar, tamarind rice, are a few examples of such nutritionally beneficial foods combinations.  The combination of a variety of foods ensures a better availability of nutrients and it is another best way to enhance maximum nutrients from a food.

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