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Medicinal Sprouts and Microgreens

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Who else sprouts/microgreens?




I decided I needed a new healing hobby. Gardening is good but the effort involved when I'm not well and heat in summer is too much. I still appreciate being in close proximity to plant life. You get to watch the seeds spring to life magically and then without mass effort in the garden, get dense nutrition (and phytochemicals).


I took up sprouting/microgreens after having a short trial on broccoli sprout powder and thinking it could be good longer term. They're also good as they are easy behavioural activation when I'm feeling unwell and force me to keep tidy - it's something that embodies care, embraces life, encourages things like growth, self-care and cleanliness, shorter-term and longer-term goals and nurtures your health in return.


Also, after switching to a super planty diet, I noticed lentils etc don't agree with me but lentil sprouts are fine.




In general, germinated seeds, particularly microgreens, have more bioactive compounds than raw seeds [1]


"Seed sprouting is a widely used natural processing method, which not only improves nutritional properties, decreases levels of antinutritional constituents but also enhances concentrations of bioactive compounds and antioxidant activity resulting in improved nutraceutical properties of seeds and creates a functional component for healthy food production"


The concentration of proteins, fibre and bioactive compounds as well as bioactivity increased in the sequence: raw seeds-sprouted seeds-microgreens, while the content of total carbohydrates decreased.


"Iron and zinc are still the most widespread deficient micronutrients in global food systems, known as ‘hidden hunger’ and are currently of the greatest concern when considering the nutritional value of vegetarian diets: sprouted seeds and microgreens are a good source of Fe and Zn with possibly increased bioaccessibility."


"Like isoflavone concentrations, the contents of other phenolic compounds and non-phenolic metabolites as triterpene saponins increased in the following order: raw seeds < sprouted seeds < microgreens."


[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30602699


Now sprouted pretty much anything I could possibly find to sprout in the house. Soybeans, chickpeas, lentils, broccoli, mustard, radish, red clover, fenugreek etc. The works. Gut's finally coming back to some normality, contrary to simply cooked forms etc. Also set up a microgreens grow room, including wheatgrass.


Sprouts are life potential, ignited. We awaken the nutrition inside the seed...


"You’re growing a garden right in your kitchen, using your own energy to make the magic happen. It’s hyper-local food at its best! No chemicals or pesticides during the growing process, or fossil fuels for transportation. Could sprouts be the perfect food?!


The quality of protein and carbohydrates improves, as the sprouting process begins to break down the complex proteins and starches into amino acids, peptides, and simple carbohydrates needed by the seed to grow. At the same time, anti-nutrients such as phytic acid, protease and amylase inhibitors are neutralized. This makes a sprout very easy to digest with highly absorbable nutrients [not to mention the enhancement of bioactive phytochemicals]


Make sure that your jar or sprouting container is thoroughly clean, that you’re rinsing your sprouts with cool water twice daily, and that your sprouts have plenty of airflow." [1]


 I agree -  Risks and Benefits


"They are pretty energizing, and I enjoy the taste of them"


"...a good choice for someone with a sensitive gut"


"For people with problems digesting certain foods, sprouted germs might seem better for them, and they are less allergenic to people with sensitivities."

"While sprouted grains and other nutrient-blocking seeds won’t be completely free from all antinutrients after soaking and sprouting, it’s a much better option".






How to

At least nine clinical studies of neurodevelopmental conditions like autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia are promising. Preliminary evidence that sulforaphane may improve symptoms of autism spectrum disorders with improvement in social interaction, in abnormal behaviour, and verbal communication. It is promising in neurodegenerative conditions in animal models. It is "possible that dietary intake of cruciferous vegetables including glucoraphanin (or sulforaphane) may prevent depression induced by stress and/or inflammation". It has potential to improve cognitive function in patients with schizophrenia [1]


Sulforaphane may be a useful intervention for neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases because it "corrects underlying aspects of the diseases process, rather than merely alleviating symptoms".

After Nrf2 pathway activation, over two hundred genes are induced and exert detoxification and antioxidant defense.


- a naturally occurring Nrf2 activator - potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory activity.

- epigenetically enhances neuronal BDNF expression and its TrkB signaling pathways [2]

- increased blood GSH levels in healthy human subjects following 7 days of daily oral administration [3]

- prevented depression-like phenotype in mice after inflammation, or chronic social defeat stress [4]

- following oral administration, it had an effect on histone deacetylase activity following a single dose in animal models.

- improve glucose tolerance through the up-regulation of insulin signaling [5]


Tip: add some radish/mustard seeds to your sprouting mixture:


"...the addition of radish, rocket and rape sprouts to broccoli sprouts could promote the hydrolysis of the glucoraphanin to sulforaphane to 2.03, 2.32 and 1.95-fold, respectively, compared to single broccoli sprouts while the formation of non-bioactive sulforaphane nitrile in these three groups decreased greatly" [6]


There is evidence in favor of the safety of strategies that target the activation of Nrf2: Serum levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone, free thyroxine and thyroglobulin were not affected by the treatment, and neither was the thyroid autoimmunity status [7]

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30199394
[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27735126
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29888232
[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30386243
[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30091431
[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30263824
[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30735751






"Sprouting has shown to improve the nutritional profile of fenugreek seeds and decrease the fiber content such that it gets digested and absorbed in the system more easily. Also, germinated fenugreek seeds have higher antioxidant content and enhanced antidiabetic effect" [review]


 Fenugreek is known for its medicinal properties such as hypocholesterolemic, antidiabetic, anticancer and gastroprotective properties but it's healing properties extend beyond that.


Fenugreek fibre in a breakfast meal increased feelings of fullness and reduced hunger, as well as reduced energy intake. It had comparable effects to metformin. When fenugreek was incorporated into food, it reduced the glycemic index (GI) by 21%. 10 g/day significantly decreased fasting blood glucose and HbA1c, serum levels of insulin, homeostatic model assessment for insulin resistance, and total cholesterol and triglycerides, and it increased serum levels of adiponectin in type 2 diabetic patients


Clinically fenugreek seed leads to improvement in insulin sensitivity [1]. An animal study shows significant anti-anxiety effects [2] and it improves learning and memory process and has significant potential as an antiamnesic agent [3]. It has neuroprotective [4] and antidepressant activity in part by modulation of MAO-A/B [5]


It demonstrated significant anabolic and androgenic activity in human studies [6]. Improves sexual function and increases serum testosterone in healthy middle-aged and older men [7] and sexual desire and arousal in women [8]


It contains flavonoids, terpenoids, phenols, proteins/amino acids, saponins, and tannins. Galactomannan from fenugreek seeds is a prebiotic [9]


Fenugreek may help protect against liver changes induced by chronic alcohol consumption.


Health Benefits of Culinary Herbs and Spices: https://doi.org/10.5740/jaoacint.18-0418


[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29518003
[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27639708
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29681009
[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27893738
[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25176235
[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30356905
[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26791805
[8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25914334
[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29876118





Along with chlorophyll, it is a source of a large variety of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and amino acids (while being considered gluten free). In the passage from grains to sprouts to wheatgrass, the quantity of flavonoids increases being rich in flavonoids, particularly apigenin.

A source of triterpenoids, anthraquinol, alkaloids, tannins, saponins, sterols, squalene, caryophyllene and amyrins

Clinical studies show benefit as an adjunct to cancer therapy and benefit in rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, hematological diseases, diabetes, obesity, and oxidative stress.

Currently available evidence confirms the safety of wheatgrass and its products [1]

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26156538




Edited by Alchemica
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Still going with this.




I particularly enjoy a Radish and Broccoli mix.

I buy a wheatgrass/barley grass, spirulina and chlorella affordable mix (from Aldi of all places) that is much easier than doing the wheatgrass though


Sorting out the Value of Cruciferous Sprouts as Sources of Bioactive Compounds for Nutrition and Health


Edible sprouts are a valuable vehicle and opportunity to impact health, delivering beneficial bioactive compounds once incorporated in the diet on a regular basis.


Sprouts of Brassicaceae, like broccoli, radish, kale, mustards, radishes etc are noticed because of their high content of micronutrients, nitrogen–sulfur compounds (glucosinolates (GLSs) and their derivatives, isothiocyanates (ITCs), and indoles) and phenolic compounds (mainly phenolic acids, flavonols, and anthocyanins)


Apart from broccoli, red radish sprouts contain high concentrations of glucoraphasatin (4-methyl thio-3-butenyl) and glucoraphenin, which are its major GLSs. Glucoraphenin is hydrolyzed to the ITC sulphoraphene (SFE)


It is possible to get "reduction of fasting blood glucose and insulin concentration and resistance to almost [normal] physiological levels. There is notable normalisation of blood glucose levels and the lipid profile


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Sprouts featuring in recent news


Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers say they have further characterized a set of chemical imbalances in the brains of people with schizophrenia-related to the chemical glutamate. And they figured out how to tweak the level using a compound derived from broccoli sprouts.


They say the results advance the hope that supplementing with broccoli sprout extract, which contains high levels of the chemical sulforaphane, may someday provide a way to lower the doses of traditional antipsychotic medicines needed to manage schizophrenia symptoms

It’s possible that future studies could show sulforaphane to be a safe supplement to give people at risk of developing schizophrenia as a way to prevent, delay or blunt the onset of symptoms

Further research is needed to learn whether sulforaphane can safely reduce symptoms of psychosis or hallucinations in people with schizophrenia. They would need to determine an optimal dose and see how long people must take it to observe an effect.



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For rapid result tasty microgreens during the warmer weather while waiting for other plants to mature, sunflowers have become a definite favourite. A couple of dollars gets you a HUGE bag of birdseed (attract some birds while you're at it). Just wash, soak overnight, super densely plant out in soil and harvest in a couple of days... and repeat


From experience, birdseed is a little too unclean to try sprouting in a jar even after washing but is fine done as microgreens


Sunflower microgreens, contrary to many of the greens I have, have a super pleasant, mild sweetness that would be enjoyed by most


They are high in protein and minerals like calcium, magnesium, zinc and iron and a source of good fats. They demonstrate numerous beneficial effects [1] including antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antihypertensive, wound-healing and cardiovascular benefits. The antioxidant capacity of H. annuus was also much stronger than other microgreens and a proposed to be beneficial for metabolic disorders and diabetes [2].


[1] https://dx.doi.org/10.1186%2Fs13065-017-0328-7

[2] https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf300737y

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