Why Sprouting is Good for the Gut
Joy McCarthy, CNP Holisitic Nutritionist, is proof that healthy eating can change your life. After healing her own body through holistic nutrition, Joy launced her popular blog, Joyous Health, where she shares her infectious enthusiasm for living and eating well without dieting. We love her passion for living well and her insight in this article on why sprouting is so good for your gut.
Years ago, I used to avoid anything with wheat, such as bread and pasta because it made my eczema worse and caused digestive problems for me. At the time, when I cut out wheat, what I missed most was eating toast with almond butter. That was until I discovered bread that had been sprouted – Silver Hills! It’s never caused an eczema flare up and I’ve always found it very easy to digest – thank goodness. You see, sprouted grains are simply better for the gut and the whole body because they are easier to digest.
Sprouting is Magical
Sprouted grains have been soaked in water until they begin to germinate. It takes the grain and turns it into a small sprout, releasing vital enzymes in the process. Sprouting is magical because it helps to unlock valuable nutrients making them much easier for our bodies to absorb and digest1. It also helps to break down some of the starch in the seed2. Compared to white bread and whole wheat bread, which are made from ground flours, much of the nutrition is lost in the refinement process. Whereas sprouted grain bread is gently mashed to form a dough and the vitamins and minerals are preserved.
So Why is Sprouting Good for the Gut?
Improved Nutrient Absorption
The absorption of nutrients in sprouted grains is greatly enhanced because sprouted grains disable anti-nutrients like phytic acid1. Phytic acid is a naturally occurring substance in seeds and grains that binds to minerals including zinc, iron and calcium and prevents their absorption in the small intestine. Sprouted grains provide more bioavailable nutrients compared to other refined flours.3
Sprouted grains also contain more nutrients like protein and less carbohydrates and less fat compared to whole grains.
Easier to Digest
Sprouting a grain makes it easier to digest because the starches are broken down2. The process of sprouting grains neutralizes enzyme inhibitors as well as the sugars that can cause fermentation and gas in the gut. Many people who experience gas and bloating from regular bread do not have this same reaction eating sprouted bread, myself included! Gluten is also pre-digested making it easier on the gut3,4. It is for this reason that sprouted grains may be easier to eat for those who are slightly gluten-sensitive, however it’s not recommended for someone with a true gluten allergy.
High in Gut Loving Fibre
When a grain is sprouted, the concentration of fibre is increased3. Fibre is important for gut health including elimination and detoxification of the colon. Fibre helps to regulate bowel movements and it’s essential to reduce the risk of colon cancer5.
And finally, fibre feeds your gut microbiome6. The microbiome is made of trillions of bacteria that are essential to a healthy immune system and much more. Consuming a diet high in fibre feeds the friendly bacteria found in your gut.
I’ve been enjoying my almond butter toast on sprouted bread for years with no negative symptoms. Thank goodness for sprouted bread!
learn more about sprouted whole grains
Why does sprouted bread make the best grilled sandwiches? Explore the science and art of sprouting to learn why sprouted whole grain bread is a better-for-you choice for your family. Get recipes, tips—and a sprouting STEM activity for kids, too! Get your FREE Why Sprouted Handbook today.
1 Gupta, R. K., Gangoliya, S. S., & Singh, N. K., Reduction of Phytic Acid and Enhancement of Bioavailable Micronutrients in Food Grains. Journal of food science and technology, vol. 52, no. 2, 24 Apr. 2013, pp. 676–684. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4325021/, accessed December 4, 2019.
2 Benincasa P., Falcinelli B., Lutts S., Stagnari F., Galieni A.. Sprouted Grains: A Comprehensive Review. Nutrients. 2019; 11(2):421.. Available from: https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/11/2/421/htm, accessed December 4, 2019.
3 Lemmens, E., Moroni, A., Pagand, J., Heiraut, P., Ritala, A., Karlen, Y., Le, K.A., Van den Broeck, H., Brouns, F., De Brier, N., Delcour, J., Impact of Cereal Seed Sprouting on Its Nutritional and Technological Properties: A Critical Review. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, 12 Dec. 2018.Available from: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1541-4337.12414, accessed December 4, 2019.
4 Kucek, L.K., Veenstra, L.D., Amnuaycheewa, P. and Sorrells, M.E., A Grounded Guide to Gluten: How Modern Genotypes and Processing Impact Wheat Sensitivity. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, 14: 285-302, 2015. Available from: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1541-4337.12129, accessed August 11, 2020.
5 Health Canada. Fibre – Canada. 2019. Available from: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/nutrients/fibre.html, accessed August 7, 2020.
6 Jribi, S., Antal, O.T., Fustos, Z., Papai, G., Naar, Z., Kheriji, O, Debbabi, H., Influence Of Sprouting Bioprocess On Durum Wheat (Triticum Durum) Prebiotic Properties. Options Méditerranéennes, A 124, 2020 – Research and innovation as tools for sustainable agriculture, food and nutrition security. MEDFORUM 2018. Bari, Italy, September 18-20 2018, Extended abstracts and papers. Available from: https://om.ciheam.org/om/pdf/a124/00007806.pdf, accessed August 11, 2020.