Should you sprout your beans?


Let us tell u right away – we are not going to take sides and glorify one is better than the other. Both sprouted and un-sprouted beans have their benefits and we are going to tell you the difference between these two, so that you are aware and can make an educated choice!

  • 100 gms of sprouts have roughly 30 calories with nearly 4 gms of protein, 3 gms of carbs, less than one gm of fat and everything remaining – fiber & water!
  • 100 gms of un-sprouted beans, however, have much higher calories, amounting a massive – 350 calories!

Of course – 100 gms of sprouted beans may be nearly 200 gms after sprouting, as it puffs up with water intake! Even then, if we compare 50 gms un-sprouted vs 100 gms of sprouted beans, the calorie content is much lesser in sprouted beans. However, so is the protein content too!

Structure of a seed

Any seed is basically 3 layers – the carb-rich endosperm, the nutrient-rich germ and fiber-rich outer covering called bran. The outer covering is basically enzyme inhibitors such as phytic acid that prevents the seed from germinating unless the conditions are conducive (moisture, sunlight etc).

What happens when you soak them in the water?

When beans is soaked in water, the outer layer (bran) is cracked open after releasing the enzyme inhibitors into the water and the seed pushes out small roots outside. It uses most of the starch stored in the endosperm during the process. This is why the sprouted beans have lesser carb and calorie content.

Since the plant is germinating, it also breaks down most of those packed protein in the seed to the more fundamental amino-acids which can be easily absorbed.

The enzyme inhibitor phytic acid (also known as an anti-nutrient) is released into the water in the process of sprouting. These enzyme inhibitors when eaten, can limit the absorption of vitamins and minerals in the human body. Sprouted beans is also a rich source of B-vitamin folate, iron, vitamin C, zinc, magnesium.

Is sprouting better?

It is wrong to say sprouting is better than un-sprouted beans. Both have its own benefits. While sprouted bean is lesser in calories, it is also lesser in protein content as compared to raw beans. However, they are in a more easier form for our body to absorb and digest.

The potential risk of sprouting is its bacteria content! The soaked beans is an ideal environment for harmful bacterial growth. Hence, many a time, sprouted beans can cause diarrhoea and stomach pain. It is safe to eat them cooked, as baking or cooking the sprouted beans can kill these bacteria!


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