Just like the vegetables they would become if they grew to full size, sprouts and microgreens are packed with nutrients like vitamin A, B vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, disease-reversing compounds, and other phytochemicals. When we eat greens in this early phase of life, though, the digestion process is a fraction of what it would otherwise be to assimilate their powers. The most important role that sprouts and microgreens play is to bring back vitality to people who are always exhausting themselves for others. When you put your heart and soul into everything you do, whether at home or work, sprouts have the unique ability to support you. Sprouts and microgreens are wonderful reproductive foods. They are one of the ultimate tools for renewing an exhausted reproductive system and revitalizing a new mom who hasn’t been getting much sleep while caring for her baby. Sprouts and microgreens are phytoestrogenic and critical for rebalancing and restoring hormones such as progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone, and for regenerating hormone production of the adrenal glands, thyroid, and the rest of the endocrine system after a woman has given birth.
High in mineral salts that are involved with neurotransmitter chemical production, sprouts and microgreens also support the brain with amino acids and enzymes, pull toxic heavy metals from the brain, and help rejuvenate and strengthen neurons—which ultimately helps the body in reversing Alzheimer’s, dementia, brain fog, and memory loss. Sprouts and microgreens are wonderful for skin repair, and they’re also high in more than 60 trace minerals, including iron, iodine, selenium, zinc, copper, manganese, sulfur, magnesium, chromium, and molybdenum. As antiproliferatives, sprouts and microgreens stave off infection and unwanted cell growth (such as cancer). Further, they are the best possible source of the elevated biotics critical to your body’s production of vitamin B12. And in this early stage of growth, sprouts and microgreens hold thousands of phytochemicals to supercharge your body.
Choosing sprouts is like choosing friends; they all have different personalities. Do you have that friend who you know is a great person, and yet is a little edgy—you can only handle him in small doses? That describes the broccoli sprout. Strong in flavor with a bit of bite, broccoli sprouts are wonderful to strengthen digestion by raising hydrochloric acid levels. And do you have a friend whom you sometimes hold back from sharing everything with, because you know that her fiery, explosive disposition will mean she’ll leap to your defense before you’re even finished speaking? That’s the radish sprout, which is remarkable for its ability to purge the liver (an organ that’s fiery in its own right in so many of us). What about the friend who’s very gentle and laid-back, who listens to everything you say and offers words of comfort? This describes the red clover sprout, which is very soothing as it gently cleanses our lymph and blood, removing toxins and purifying our bodies. Then there’s the friend who’s very emotional and cries very easily, whether happy or sad tears.
The fenugreek sprout is all heart and soul, perfect for supporting our emotions and the endocrine system, both of which are tied up in the heart, soul, and brain. Fenugreek sprouts are especially helpful for balancing the adrenals’ cortisol production and regulating thyroid hormone production. And we can’t forget about that friend with the muscle, the person you call to show up with a pickup truck and help move you out of your house. This is the lentil sprout. Very dense energetically, high in fortifying protein that your body can assimilate with ease, lentil sprouts also give you a carbohydrate base to help propel you through whatever needs to get done. Lentil sprouts love to pass their brute strength on to you. Eating them is like getting the fortification of a Thanksgiving dinner—and yet having tremendous energy afterward, rather than wanting to fall asleep on the couch. On and on the list goes. Also keep your eye out for mung bean sprouts, sunflower greens, pea shoots, and micro-kale, among other advocates. Just like the people who support you in life, all the different sprouts and microgreen varieties have special qualities that you’ll discover as you get to know them.
If you have any of the following conditions, try bringing sprouts and microgreens into your life:
Human papilloma virus (HPV), fibroids, all types of cancer, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), low reproductive system battery, depression (including postpartum), jaundice, anxiety, anemia, infertility, miscarriage, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)/mononucleosis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, diabetes, hypoglycemia, adrenal fatigue, Graves’ disease, eczema, psoriasis, food allergies, attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, nutrient absorption issues, insomnia, herpes simplex 1 (HSV-1), herpes simplex 2 (HSV-2), HHV-6, HHV-7, thyroid disease, celiac disease, Lyme disease, strep throat
If you have any of the following symptoms, try bringing sprouts and microgreens into your life:
Abnormal Pap smear results, fatigue, lack of energy, weight gain, tooth decay, enamel loss, gum recession, hot flashes, night sweats, blurry eyes, bruising, pelvic pain, iron deficiency, memory loss, brain fog, sleep disturbances, acid reflux, all neurological symptoms (including tingles, numbness, spasms, twitches, nerve pain, and tightness of the chest), blood sugar imbalances, belching, bone loss, bruising, brittle nails, cravings, fluid retention, gastritis, leg cramps, listlessness, stagnant liver, mucus in the stool, muscle spasms, sweets cravings, sore throat, hyperthyroid, hypothyroid
When you’re feeling a sense of loss, whether grieving for a career, friendship, or an object you’ve lost, sprouts and microgreens are exceptionally helpful. These tiny messengers of hope help you get out of a mindset of mourning and plant the seeds for new life and new opportunities.
Sprouts and microgreens are highly adaptogenic. They don’t demand the perfect environment. Even though in other circumstances these seeds would be given ample soil, space, sunlight, rain, and fresh air to take root and rise up to their fullest, when they’re cultivated in countertop gardens, they manage to grow crowded together in a jar or tray with just enough light and water to survive. All it takes is a little routine (sprouts need regular rinsing, and microgreens need regular misting), for these shoots to adapt to their circumstances. And they do so happily—if sprouts and microgreens had faces, you’d see a smile on each one. This cheerful adaptability transfers to us when we eat them. As long as we have the absolute necessities and give ourselves a bit of routine to normalize life, then even in the most difficult situations, we can take strength from our little friends and find a way to thrive.
* For noticeable benefits, eat two cups of sprouts per day.
* When growing your own sprouts, think of them like little pets: they feed off of companionship, and they pick up on the energy of their environment and whatever is said around them. Always try to approach your sprouts with happiness. Talk to them, offer encouragement, and run your fingers over their tops as you pass by. As I wrote about in the chapter “Food for the Soul,” growing your own food means that that food picks up on your individual needs and adjusts its nutrition so it will feed you in the best way possible. Sprouts and microgreens are especially adept at aligning with your specific health requirements, because they’re so adaptogenic.
* Don’t cook your sprouts if you want maximum benefit. Sprouts and microgreens are an amazing source of elevated biotics, those microorganisms so critical to gut health and production of vitamin B12. Elevated biotics only remain intact when sprouts and microgreens are eaten raw. (And when those elevated biotics are on sprouts and microgreens you’ve grown yourself, they’re geared to benefit your own flora.)
* Spraying liquid sea minerals mixed with water on your home-grown sprouts and microgreens daily mineralizes them as they develop, supercharging them for your health.
* Sprouts and microgreens such as radish, broccoli, fenugreek, kale, and sunflower should be eaten at lunchtime, because they support your energy levels during the day. Bean and lentil sprouts should be eaten at dinnertime, because they help calm and relax your nervous system in the evening.
* A juice made from cucumber, pea shoots, and sunflower greens can over time amplify a person’s ability to see at night.
SPROUT-FILLED COLLARD WRAPS WITH MANGO-TOMATO DIPPING SAUCE
These fresh, colorful collard wraps are a great way to fill your day with veggies. It’s a fun lunch option to set out a tray of sliced veggies and let people build their own. Plus, you can make a variety of dipping sauces using some of the other recipes in the book—try the cilantro pesto (page 190), the garlic tahini salad dressing (page 194), or the nori rolls’ avocado dip (page 228).
6 large collard leaves
1 bell pepper, any color
1/4 red cabbage
2 medjool dates, pitted
2 cups sprouts
2 cups microgreens
1 cup diced mango
1 cup diced tomato
1 quarter-size slice ginger
1/4 inch slice of jalapeno (optional)
Rinse the collard leaves and trim off their stems. Set aside for later use in a soup or smoothie. Slice the bell pepper, avocado, and cabbage into thin strips. Finely chop and mash the dates to form a paste. With the stem side facing you, start at the right side of the collard leaf and fill with the sliced veggies, sprouts, and microgreens. Roll toward the left like a burrito, folding the top of the leaf in as you go. Use the date paste along the left edge of the collard green to seal. Repeat with the remaining collard leaves, filling, and paste. For the dipping sauce, blend the mango, tomato, ginger, and jalapeno, if using, until smooth.
Makes 1 to 2 servings
Learn more about the hidden healing powers of fruits & vegetables in the #1 New York Times Bestselling book Life-Changing Foods
This item posted: 28-May-2017
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