The reason sprouts are a main focus of the Hippocrates program is because they contain a high level of nutrients and enzymes, which make them easy to assimilate by the body. This allows the body to direct newly discovered energy toward cleansing, regulating and building the immune system as well as creating healthy cells.
Through chromatography and Kirlian photography, modern science can demonstrate the immeasurable properties of life force energy (chi) existing within these sprouts. The increased enzymatic activity gives someone eating these living foods a greater sense of vitality and energy which far surpass even what is gained from eating solely raw foods.
On a personal note, my wife Pam and I have found that when we go to raw restaurants, which rarely serve sprouts, we do not feel as good as when we adorn our plates with the array of sprouts offered on the buffet at Hippocrates. This is why we say we enjoy a living foods diet as opposed to a raw foods diet. At Hippocrates, we take this process one step further by serving green juice made from sprouts and vegetables every day. We regard this as an important component of the Hippocrates lifestyle as well.
As far back as 5,000 years ago, ancient Chinese physicians were prescribing sprouts for curing disorders. They, like Hippocrates, realized the importance of nutrition in bringing vitality to the body.
Let’s explore the sprout and discover some of its many attributes. It all begins with the seed, which contains within it both nutrients and enzymes. The enzymes are considered the life-force of food and assist in both the digestion and absorption of nutrients. They are the catalyst for all activities which take place within the body. When the seed gets air, water, and temperature to its liking, it germinates. It begins to sprout and a flow of energy or life-force is released.
So when you hear the statement "It’s not the food in your life, it’s the life in your food", you can think of the sprout. It is essentially a baby plant which is bursting forth with new life. The concentration of proteins, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, RNA & DNA is greater than at any other point in that plant’s development.
There are a variety of sprouts to choose from, each offering different benefits and tastes. Here's a great line up with which to become familiar.
Sunflower — 3,000 years old and named after its golden rayed flower, which are reminiscent of the sun, it is a rich source of protein (up to 30%), lecithin, and Vitamin D (rarely found in vegetables). It is high in trace minerals which make it beneficial for bones, muscle and tissue tone and healthy red blood corpuscles.
Sweet Pea — It is rich in protease inhibitors that prevent certain viruses and chemicals that promote cancer, and it is useful in reducing LDL (bad cholesterol) in the blood.
Buckwheat — It promotes proper circulation, digestion and elimination with its anti plaque properties and it helps neutralizes the effects of radiation. (Secondary sources of nutrition)
Cover — It is known as a blood purifier, it is high in calcium content which relaxes the central nervous system. It contains plant estrogens which balance hormones and it also contains isoflavones, which are anti cancerous.
Broccoli — It contains sulfophane which protects cells from becoming malignant. It occurs 10-100 times greater in sprouts than in broccoli as a vegetable. It also causes the body to release glutathiones, a natural body enzyme, which neutralize or detoxify carcinogens, before they damage the DNA.
Radish —It is an expectorant which clears mucous from the respiratory tract, expels worms and benefits the intestinal flora.
Mung, Lentil. & Adzuki — They contain soluble fiber and help lower cholesterol by clearing out dangerous LDL cholesterol in the blood. They also help regulate insulin and thus blood sugar.
Fenugreek — It is soothing to mucous membranes which also is cleansing and nourishing to the digestive system, reduces inflammation and contains chorine (a fat controller) which helps with weight loss.
Some other great secondary sources of nutrition include alfalfa, mustard, garlic, cabbage and onion. The germinating and sprouting process is also used with nuts, seeds and grains increasing their nutritional value up to eight times removing toxins and enzyme inhibitors allowing for easier digestion.
Combining all of the components listed above make this the most nutritious way of eating on the planet. It provides our body with all essential amino acids, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals.
Not only are sprouts a powerhouse of life force energy, they are economically and environmentally friendly as well. Sprouts can be grown anywhere in the world all year round. At a time when people are concerned about cost of living and food shortages, it is less than half of a dollar to grow a pound of fresh green organic sprouts. It requires only minutes of your time per day This also relieves a burden on the earth, which some modern agricultural practices as well as animal and fish farming have created.
The resources that provided a great deal of information for this article are "Sprouts The Miracle Food" by Steve Meyerowitz (www.sproutman), the International Sprout Growers Association (www.isga-sprouts.org), and Sprout People (www.sproutpeaople.com).
Ken Blue is a graduate of the Hippocrates Health Educator Program and is the Executive Chef at Hippocrates. Previously Ken owned and operated his own vegetarian restaurant in Baltimore, Maryland which earned "The Best Restaurant for Vegetarians” award. In addition to his food preparation and kitchen management responsibilities, Ken finds time to teach tai chi and qigong classes at the institute.