Sprinkled on a salad, tossed in a stir-fry or stuffed in a sandwich, sprouts are tasty seeds that pack a nutritional punch. There is a sprout for every taste preference, including bean, alfalfa, pea, clover and broccoli sprouts, to name a few, as well as a variety of sprouted grain products. Sprouts are simply germinated seeds. Some types are eaten raw, while others must be cooked before eating. However, foodsafety.gov, which is managed by the US Department of Health and Human Services, recommends cooking all sprouts before eating, especially for pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems, as sprouts have been linked to more than 30 reported outbreaks of foodborne illness since 1996.
The FDA categorizes sprouts as a potentially hazardous food, which means they can carry illness-causing food bugs. Does this mean you should steer clear of them? Not necessarily.
Raw sprouts like alfalfa, clover, radish, onion and mung bean add color, texture and flavor to dishes. They can be enjoyed cold in sandwiches and salads or warm in stir-fries.
Sprouts are also a nutrient-dense food. One cup of alfalfa sprouts has a mere 8 calories and is a good source of vitamin K. It also provides a slew of other nutrients like vitamin C, fiber, folate, copper and manganese.
In this week’s nutrition news: Exploring the link between depression and obesity, Ohio passes law to combat childhood obesity and CSPI threatens to sue the golden arches over Happy Meal toys.
Most of the time we tell you to eat everything in moderation, but there are just some foods even the experts stay away from. Ironically, deep-fried candy bars didn’t make the list — we polled both the Healthy Eats staff and nationwide nutrition experts to see which foods they shy away from.