Five reasons to add bean sprouts to your salads

Bean sprouts are best known as a topping for dishes like pad Thai and pho, but they have plenty to offer on their own, including bloat-busting fibre

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mung beans, bean sprouts, sprouted
Julie Daniluk

Mung beans are small, bright green beans, and bean sprouts are the sprouts that grow from those beans. You may recognize the sprouts from your take-out spring rolls, but they really shine when served raw. The crunchy and delicately sweet bean sprouts are a good source of protein, vitamin C and folic acid. They’re also high in fibre, making them a great way to add some crunch to your spring salads.

Five fantastic reasons to embrace mung beans and bean sprouts
1. They support heart health: Bean sprouts are a great source of potassium, a mineral important for heart muscle contraction and blood pressure regulation. Remember to boost your potassium intake if you are exercising or cleansing to ensure optimal cardiovascular strength.

2. They have vitamin K: The most important role of vitamin K in the body is its ability to assist in blood clotting. This is necessary to prevent excess blood loss, and it is especially important for women of childbearing age in order to avoid anemia. Vitamin K has a regulatory effect, so don’t be afraid of bean sprouts even if you suffer from high blood pressure.

3. They’re a great source of fibre: This includes both the beans and the sprouts. Fibre has been shown in many studies to lower LDL cholesterol levels, even when no other changes are made to the diet! Fibre also promotes hormonal balance and fat loss and is the ultimate cleanser.

4. They’re high in choline: Choline is in the family of B-vitamins and is necessary for healthy liver detoxification. New studies conducted last year outlined the importance of choline in the brain development of infants. If you’re expecting, mung beans are a great addition to your diet to promote a healthy pregnancy.

5. They’re low in calories: Mung bean sprouts only contain 31 calories per cup, making them a great late-night snack when you need something crunchy to munch on. The danger of an expanding waistline is about more than just vanity — it has a direct correlation to your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

How to sprout mung beans:
1. Wash and drain 3/4 cup of mung beans and leave them to soak overnight in a mason jar (one that holds four cups or 32 ounces).
2. The next day, drain the soaked beans and place a piece of cheesecloth or gauze over the jar, using a rubber band to hold it in place. Change the water twice a day.
3. If you are concerned about yeast or bacteria growth, add a cap full of peroxide to the rinse water and let set for two minutes before draining in order to kill any microbes.
4. After several days the sprouts will plump up. Rinse them, drain and refrigerate. 


 

Curried Asian salad
This recipe comes in at just about 60 calories a serving, even with the dressing and seeds. The crunchy sprouts and sweet-and-sour dressing hit the spot when you have cravings you’re trying to ignore. Apple cider vinegar reduces your blood sugar, making this salad the best way to start out any meal!

Ingredients:
2 cups rinsed mung bean sprouts
1 tablespoon tamari (or soy sauce)
1 Asian pear, chopped
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1 teaspoon curry powder

Directions:
1. Rinse and drain spouts and chop Asian pear into matchsticks, then place them together into a medium-sized mixing bowl.
2. Add apple cider vinegar, Asian sesame oil, honey and tamari to taste.
3. Shortly before serving, sprinkle mung bean sprout salad with about one tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds.
Makes four servings.

Nutritionist Julie Daniluk hosts the Healthy Gourmet, a reality cooking show that looks at the ongoing battle between taste and nutrition. Her soon-to-be-published first book, Meals That Heal Inflammation, advises on allergy-free foods that both taste great and assist the body in the healing process.