For years you have been eating pulses such as moong, chowli, channa, masur, etc. You probably soak them overnight in water before cooking them the next day. It is a good practice because soaking them in water makes them less gaseous. Interestingly, we Indians have always followed such healthy practices without really knowing why except that we learnt them from our parents. The west has discovered these means only recently!
Soaking is only the beginning. You can take it one step farther once you realise what the mighty pulse contains. It is literally pulsing with energy! It is Nature’s energy treasure chest packed with proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. And the best way to free this healthy treasury is to sprout the pulse. You are already aware that your body needs glucose to make it energetic. When you sprout a pulse, you help it to break down all the treasures it contains into easier-to-digest components. Thus, starch turns into glucose, proteins into amino acids, And since you have already done half the work of breaking it down for your body, it sings with instant energy when fed with this digestible fuel. It’s like the process of refining crude oil into petrol to be used as fuelenergy for your car.
Sprouting enhances the pulsing-with-life-quality of the moong, for example. It destroys or neutralises potentially hazardous acids-e.g. phytic acid – that may otherwise retard the release of vital minerals for your body; it breaks down saturated fats into free-flowing fatty acids; it converts proteins into amino acids that generate hormones and build up your muscle tissues; and facilitate easy bowel movements. Sprouting is a predigestive process. By giving your body pre-digested, food, you help it to use its energy in absorbing all the nutrients, including vitamins instead of using that same energy in breaking down the ‘crude’ pulse and refining it.
When you eat sprouts, you are easing your body’s functions, just as a busy cook may find it quicker to use pre-cooked food.
What can you sprount? Almost any pulse, grain or seed.
Pulses: moong, channa, peas, soyabeans, chowli, masur, matki, etc.
Grains: wheat, maize, ragi, bajra, barley, etc.
Seeds: methi, coriander, pumpkin, mustard, til, etc.
Easy sprouting: If you need a measure of how much you should sprout, calculate approximately one-fourth cup of pulses per person. Wash thoroughly to remove any chemicals, and then soak them overnight in water in a large vessel so that they have ample scope to expand. The next morning, drain the water and rinse them in a large strainer – the kind you use for your tea. Keep them moist in the vessel. Rinse them this way every day. They will begin sprouting on the third day. Now, you can even store them in the refrigerator, but continue rinsing them daily in the strainer. Some pulses like channa may take longer to sprout than say, moong. So as to ensure that you always have them handy, you can turn a comer of your kitchen into a mini-sprout farm. The best way to eat them is in their raw sprouted form. You can have them in salads, as garnish over soups and sabzis, with parathas. Or you can make your own special bhel by adding to them, boiled potatoes, raw onions, tomatoes, coriander leaves and herbal chutney.
By now, you must be enchantingly bewildered! Here you were thinking that we would finally lead you to a diet. When, going by what we’ve written before, we seem to be encouraging you to eat more often! You are dam right, we are! It is healthier to eat more meals of the right kind than to leave long gaps. This way you are encouraging your body to become more energetic and ensuring that it has plenty of the right fuel to help you exercise and bum excess fat. You are also ensuring that fat never creeps back – because where all along you had helped fat to reach victorious heights, now you are stopping it from invading your muscle-tissue country! Now, you are an ally of your body’s smart cells and, believe us, they are great friends!