For centuries cultures all over the world have sprouted grains. However, some Vedic traditionalist does not promote sprouting, considering it to be inauspicious because a seed or a grain carries the potential to create thousands of seeds. Once the grain is sprouted, it loses the capacity to produce to its full potential. In her book A Life of Balance, Maya Tiwari writes, “In Vedic times spouting was not done. This practice has only gained popularity in recent times; however, since there is such a need in today’s world for high potency minerals, a minimal amount of sprouting is acceptable. In attempting to honour the ancient value of grains, I recommend sprouting only legumes such as mung or adzuki.”
However, according to modern-day dietary pundits, sprouting has many benefits. Sprouting increases the Vitamin C and B content of seeds and grains considerably and decreases and neutralizes phytic acids. These acids can restrict the absorption of calcium and essential minerals. Sprouting also neutralizes enzyme inhibitors naturally found in grains and seeds. These inhibitors can irritate the gut and be harmful to our body’s natural enzymes, necessary for digestion. Sprouted grains and seeds are stored in the fridge and used within a couple of days. Sprouting grains and seeds is incredibly easy. The length of time varies depending on the type of grain, nut or seed. The method is merely soaking them in filtered water for 1 – 4 days until they sprout, along with rinsing and changing the water two to four times a day. Whether a Vedic purist or a modern-day sprouter, you can try this method with mung beans to play it safe!
Although sprouting grains was not traditional practice, soaking grains, seeds, nuts, and legumes is a long-standing practice in Ayurveda. It makes protein and amino acids more available and more digestible. Some plants have a natural defence mechanism that prevents animals from over-harvesting them, producing inhibitors that prevent nutrition absorption. By soaking grains and seeds (seeds include legumes), we give food extra moisture and use less of our internal fluids in the digestive phase.
Here is a rough guide to Soaking times depending on food type. Although I generally tend to soak most things overnight and this works perfectly for most items.