It’s a one word post, right? Which is best?
I should just go right to "answer" and sign off for the night.
As with most nutritional questions, there are approximately 5,390 sides to this question, many of which are individual to each person, which multiplies that number by 7 billion.
Let’s amble through a little pro/con list, and then I’ll do the evil ending of letting you decide for yourself. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Why Sprout Grains (and Legumes and Stuff)?
- Decreases carbs (because the plant itself consumes some of the starch in the seed)
- Increases Vitamins C and A a great deal (although C is very heat sensitive, so I don’t know if that matters once in a baked good)
- Enzyme inhibitors neutralized, therefore easier to digest
- Phytic acid bond broken, releasing minerals like calcium, phosphorus and iron so that our bodies can use them
- Destroys lectins, which trigger inflammation and related problems
- May increase B Vitamins
- Decreases overall calories
- May increase beneficial enzyme activity
Disadvantages to Sprouting
- Some sources say the phytate content is not affected as much with sprouting as soaking
- It takes more pre-planning and a smidge more time than soaking
- If you don’t have at least a grain grinder and preferably a dehydrator, you can’t sprout your own grains for baking
- Sprouted flour, when purchased, is very expensive – so if soaking works for flour, it may feel like a better option
Why Soak Grains?
- Also neutralizes enzyme inhibitors
- May reduce phytic acid’s effect on bonded minerals, more so percentage-wise than sprouting, but still less than sourdough and far less than 100%
- Although using the accelerated fermentation for brown rice can reduce phytic acid by a whopping 96%
- May begin to break down the gluten proteins, helping some people tolerate gluten better
- Some individuals find that soaking really makes a difference in their tolerance and digestion of grains. Some also find that sprouting is the only thing that works! (Perhaps the difference is whether the original problem with grains for that person is phytates, gluten, or lectins.)
Why Not Soak Grains?
- Some sources say phytic acid is actually helpful to our systems
- May break down fiber, which may or may not be healthy (talk about confusing!)
- Doesn’t touch lectins
- May not be as effective when already flour, especially if not freshly ground
The information for this post pretty much comes from my own former posts on the subjects as found in the exploration of soaking grains series. They’re all cited well within those individual posts.
So now what? My mom wondered after reading the post on lectins if we should then be sprouting because of that, since there’s no evidence that soaking damages lectins. At least, none that I found this week.
I still remain convinced that sourdough is the best way to go for healthy grains, but there’s a big commitment to sourdough, and although the teachers at GNOWFGLINS eCourse can show you how to make (seriously) just about everything with sourdough, there are still some grains (oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa) that you’d eat differently, without sourdough.
So. Maybe a mixture of both is the way to go. Look for lots of recipe resources here tomorrow, as well as some new research on the soaking issue in the dénouement of the series!
Quick Sale Note
I just saw that for 3 days only drugstore.com has 25% off all vitamins – I’m thinking of stocking up on those Garden of Life prenatals! There’s also a current code for $20 off $50 + free shipping (that one might be for new customers only but worth a try if you’re not): "TWENTYTNS".
Whoa. I feel like a deal blogger. Ha!
Disclosure: I work with GNOWFGLINS eCourses, and their success is my success! I also earn some commission on drugstore.com purchases that start here, but it doesn’t cost you any more. Thanks! See my full disclosure statement here.