The most common bean sprouts are the mung bean sprouts, butthere is a large variety of other beans and seeds that can be sprouted likealfalfa and sunflower seeds, white beans, peas and so on.
Bean sprouts are the edible shoots of certain kinds of beanplants, and since they are the product of the process of germination, theirnutritive ingredients are pretty much modified. They can be eaten raw, lightlycooked or they can be even juiced. Flavor ranges include everything from sweetand delicate all the way to sharp and intense.
Bean sprouts are an enormous source of energy and theirnutritional value does not decrease with the harvest as is the case with ripevegetables. They are very rich in amino acids, all types of vitamins andminerals, fiber and folic acid. Bean sprouts are an excellent source of iron,calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc and phosphorous.
Bean sprouts are rich in iron and that is the key ingredientfor the synthesis of hemoglobin, and when combined with large amounts of vitaminC, which is also present, it makes for a splendid combo for the prevention andtreatment of anemia. They also significantly reduce levels of bad cholesterol,thus preventing the development of many heart diseases. A fairly high contentof fiber improves intestinal motility and helps in relieving constipation.
High amount of proteins, vitamins and zinc help prevent andtreat all different hair and nail problems usually caused by nutritionaldeficiencies. Lecithin, which is most commonly found in bean sprouts, helps inkeeping the cholesterol levels low, reduces liver fat, and prevents liverdysfunction. Mung bean sprouts are also very helpful in relieving many symptomsassociated with menopause due to the activity of phytoestrogens. These alsoinfluence the synthesis of certain substances that keep the skin from aging andhelp it stay elastic. Bean sprouts are great when it comes to relievingmental and physical stress and tiredness.
Most sprouts can be eaten raw, but if one opts for cookingthey should not be overcooked. They can be used in a very wide variety of dishesthat includes salads, snacks and appetizers. If juiced, they usually get addedto juices made from other vegetables. One should mix it with other vegetablesin order to get used to their taste.
Due to the sprouting process, sprouts can be exposed tobacteria, so they should be kept in a refrigerator and rinsed carefully before consumption.Some people may be allergic to proteins commonly found in bean sprouts, however.