Are bean sprouts good for you?
Yes, bean sprouts are generally good for most people. They are an excellent option if you are looking for a low-calorie, low-fat, high-protein, low-carb, nutritional food.
Bean sprouts contain fats in traces and the fats present are mostly healthy fats (mono and polyunsaturated).
Although beans themselves are a good source of proteins, sprouting increases the amounts and bioavailability of proteins (average of 5 g a cup).
Bean sprouts or sprouted beans are good as a healthy snacking option, or you can consume them as an add-on to your regular meals. With the presence of a good amount of dietary fiber, they are especially beneficial for people with health issues, such as obesity, high cholesterol levels and diabetes. With their antioxidant potential, they can help prevent heart conditions as well.
Bean sprouts are also packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. A one-cup serving provides roughly 23 percent of the daily recommended dose of vitamin C, making bean sprouts a good source of this vitamin.
Are bean sprouts always safe to eat?
Bean sprouts have received a bad reputation over the years due to reports of bacterial contamination. However, the harmful effects are only found when they have been consumed raw or in lightly cooked form.
Raw bean sprouts are not safe for you to eat if you have a weakened immune system due to diseases, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection or cancer. Due to their water content, raw bean sprouts can harbor bacteria and cause gut infection. This can cause digestive issues, such as diarrhea, bloating, nausea and vomiting. If you have a weakened immunity due to diseases or if you think that you have weak immunity, eat them only after you cook them fully.
Pregnant ladies and children should also eat only fully cooked bean sprouts due to the risk of food poisoning. Avoid any form of sprouted beans in children younger than 24 months old.
People with soy allergies should not consume soybean sprouts.
Even if you are healthy, wash the sprouts well under the water before eating them raw.
How to grow bean sprouts at home
Bean sprouts are easy to prepare at home. You just need the beans, a container with a lid, water and a dark place. Mung bean or green gram (Vigna radiata) and alfalfa are mostly used for sprouting, but almost any seed or legume can be used. Here are the steps.
- Rinse the beans first.
- Soak the beans in the closed container filled with water overnight in a place away from sunlight, preferably in a dark place.
- The next day, the beans swell. Remove the water and close the container to allow the beans to grow for the next two days.
- After two days, you will see the sprouts developed on the beans. Sprouted mung beans look half-white with a yellow tip.
Once the sprouts come, consume them on the same day. You can also store them in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator for a maximum of two days.
If you are looking to buy bean sprouts from the store, they are available all year. Choose the ones that are white and shiny with a bright yellow tip. To confirm if they are fresh, try breaking the sprout. If they are fresh, you will hear a sharp sound.
How to eat bean sprouts
Bean sprouts can be eaten raw and by boiling or stir-frying them. You can consume the boiled bean sprouts or add them to soups. You can also cook them in the form of a curry. You can add the boiled or the stir-fried sprouts to
- Vegetable salad
- Spring rolls
Bean sprouts can be cooked with other vegetables, such as zucchini, carrots, bell peppers, eggplants and leeks. Their crunchy and light flavor usually goes well with most food items.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Louis Bonduelle Foundation
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Top Are Bean Sprouts Good for You Related Articles
Nutrition QuizEven if you think you're getting enough fruits and vegetables per day, how can you be sure? Take the Diet & Nutrition Quiz to learn more about eating right.
Diet and Nutrition: Signs You're Not Getting Enough NutrientsIf you're short on an essential vitamin, mineral, or other nutrient, your body will let you know. Take note of these vitamin deficiency symptoms, and find out what to do about them.
Healthy Living and Disease PreventionThe importance of a healthy lifestyle in disease prevention is widely understood and most people know that lifestyle changes and choices can be critical to good health. Learn about healthy behaviors that constitute healthy living.
11 Seeds You Should EatAre pumpkin seeds good for your health? What's the nutritional value of chia seeds? Find out how to easily incorporate more edible, healthy seeds into a diet rich in vitamins and minerals.
All About AntioxidantsThey're sometimes seen as a kind of magic bullet for our health problems. Find out more about what antioxidants can do for your health.
19 Key Vitamins and MineralsMinerals and vitamins are key nutrients your body needs to thrive. Vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, niacin, and riboflavin are just a few of these nutrients. Some vitamins act as antioxidants. Minerals serve many vital roles.
What's So Special About Adzuki Beans?Studies indicate that adzuki beans have both anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. Phenols extracted from adzuki beans have demonstrated antioxidant properties in a laboratory setting.