(BPT) - If you're trying to make better-for-you decisions when it comes to what you eat, you've probably read that foods like whole grains provide important nutrients. But have you heard about sprouted grains? Sprouting makes what's already healthy about whole grains even better — naturally. Breads with sprouted grains offer even more benefits to support your well-being, providing nutrients that are easy for your body to use, easier to digest and fuel to help you get through your busy day.
"Adding sprouted grain bread to your meals is an easy swap if you're looking to increase nutrition in your daily diet," said registered dietitian Desiree Nielsen. "Sprouted grain breads are significantly more nutrient dense than regular 100% whole wheat breads. They typically contain more plant-based protein, more fiber and even more vitamins and minerals than a standard sandwich loaf."
What exactly are sprouted grains?
Grains contain all the nutrients they need to grow into a new plant. When grains have enough water and warmth to grow, the germination process begins. As the grains start sprouting, enzymes wake up to break down their starch stores and the natural compounds that protected the grain's nutrients (also called "antinutrients"). As the enzymes break down the grain's starches into simpler carbohydrates, whole grains release access to all those stored nutrients.
Here are three ways sprouted grain bread offers more nutrition benefits to help support your wellness.
1. Their nutrients are easy for your body to process. Sprouting harnesses one of nature's oldest processes to make the nutrients found in whole grains easier for your body to use. The early growth of the plant, known as sprouting, breaks down the antinutrients that protect the vitamins and minerals stored in every grain. This unlocks iron, magnesium, zinc, B vitamins and other important nutrients so you can get even more nutritional value from sprouted whole grains than you get from unsprouted ones.
2. They're easier on the digestive system. As a new plant starts to draw on the protein and starches stored in a grain, it uses enzymes to break these down into amino acids and simpler carbohydrates to fuel its growth. This makes sprouted whole grains and seeds easier to digest for people, too.
3. They offer steady energy for active lives. Whole grains in general are high-energy foods, rich in fiber plus important vitamins and minerals. Sprouted whole grains take it a step further, offering a better-for-you, slow-release carbohydrate that provides a strong contrast to refined carbs. Sprouted whole grains give you steady energy throughout the day to help your body keep up with your full and busy life.
Where to find sprouted grain breads
One example of a source for sprouted grain bread is Silver Hills Sprouted Bakery. Silver Hills products are all Non-GMO Project Verified, made with USDA Organic Ingredients, Certified Glyphosate Free, Certified Vegan, Kosher and Peanut and Nut Free.
Silver Hills' new Omegamazing Bread goes even further, providing a sprouted whole wheat loaf made with whole and ground flax and chia seeds, offering 400 milligrams of Omega-3 ALAs per slice, plus 4 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein. Omega-3 fatty acids are thought to impact brain, eye and heart health as well as reduce inflammation.
"Omega-3s are an essential part of our diet, and flaxseeds and chia seeds are two of the best dietary sources of these excellent nutrients," added Nielsen.