SOYBEAN SPROUTS

Doctors today are telling us to eat less meat and dairy.  What other ways can we get our protein?  We can't eat fish all the time.  Beans and grains are a time-honored way to get plenty of protein with low fat, high fiber and no cholesterol.  Sprouts: Alfalfa, Mung Bean, and Bean Mix, are beans that have been sprouted and are a wonderful option for a variety of vegetarian meals.  Grown locally year round, sprouts are a good source of protein and Vitamin C.

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New Year's resolutions abound, many are old standbys like losing weight and eating better, but few of us know how a simple addition to our diets can go a long way to a healthier life - adding Sprouts to our meals. What many people don't realize is how simple it is to add proteins, important nutrients and anti-oxidant properties to our diets by eating Sprouts. Yes, Sprouts. Those simple little things we sometimes add on our salads are actually incredibly nutritious and good for us.

Sprouts come in a variety of flavors to accent almost any meal, and in most cases have more nutritional value than the full size vegetables, often several times as much. This amazing food is so easy to incorporate into a well-balanced diet. The simplest way is to add them to sandwiches and salads, but you can also add the great taste, texture and variety of Sprouts to soups, pizza, stir-fry dishes and omelets. There are many tasty ways to eat healthier.

Although Alfalfa and Bean Sprouts are the most familiar varieties, many other kinds of Sprouts are readily available, including Broccoli and Radish Sprouts, Garlic and Onion Sprouts, Lentil, Clover, Sunflower, Pea Shoots and Soybean. All of these individual varieties have their own unique flavors, textures and nutritional benefits.  

In addition to adding protein and other nutrients to your diet, many varieties of Sprouts contain plant chemicals that some studies indicate may protect against the onset of heart disease and cancer. Alfalfa Sprouts contain high levels of Saponins, which have been shown in studies to reduce cholesterol. Much has been written about the cancer-inhibiting properties of Broccoli; but very few people know that Broccoli 

Basic Nutrition

The caloric value of the three types ranges from mung sprouts with only 30 calories to lentil sprouts with 106 and soybean sprouts with 122. Their protein values range from 3 grams (mung sprouts) to 13 grams (soybean sprouts). This makes them a good source of protein because three grams represents 6 percent and 13 grams equals 26 percent of the recommended daily value (DV). They're all low in total fat and carbohydrates. Of the three, soybeans produce the only sprouts that have enough dietary fiber to be significant, providing 4 percent of DV.

Vitamins

Bean sprouts are a great source of vitamin C, providing 22 percent to 28 percent of the daily value. They're also good sources of six of the eight B vitamins. They're especially high in folate, with mung beans providing 15 percent, lentils 25 percent and soybeans 43 percent of the daily value. Lentil and soybean sprouts are a good source of thiamine (15 and 23 percent of DV, respectively), with mung sprouts containing 6 percent of DV. They provide 4 percent to 9 percent of the daily value of riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid and B6.

Minerals

Lentil and soybean sprouts provide higher amounts of most minerals: iron (18 and 12 percent DV), magnesium (9 and 18 percent DV), phosphorus (17 and 16 percent DV), potassium, (9 and 14 percent DV), zinc (10 and 8 percent DV) and copper (18 and 21 percent DV). Both are also a great source of manganese, with lentil sprouts having 25 percent and soybean sprouts providing 35 percent DV. All three contain small amounts of calcium. Mung sprouts provide all the same minerals in a range of 3 to 9 percent DV.

Essential Fatty Acids

Bean sprouts are rich sources of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Mung sprouts provide 16 mg, lentil sprouts 38 mg and soybean sprouts 445 mg of omega-3 fatty acids. While mung sprouts have 42 mg and lentils have 181 mg of omega-6 fatty acids, soybean sprouts provide a huge 3,338 mg.