Fenugreek Sprout Nutrition

Fenugreek germination
Fenugreek sprouts have a slightly bitter taste. (Image: lookamotive/iStock/Getty Images)

Sprouts have a nutritional advantage because the sprouting process enhances their nutritional content and digestibility. Fenugreek seeds, which are actually legumes, sprout when they're soaked in warm water. They make a nutritious addition to salads, soups and other meals. A typical serving is 1 to 2 cups depending on the meal. Fenugreek sprouts contain various nutrients but are particularly rich in fiber, protein and iron.

Bring on the Fiber

The sprouting process significantly increases the fiber content of sprouts, according to Steve Meyerowitz, author of "Sprouts: The Miracle Food." A 1-cup serving of fenugreek sprouts contains about 6 grams of fiber, writes Meyerowitz. Most Americans don't eat enough fiber, a nutrient crucial to good health. Eating a fiber-rich diet lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, promotes healthy blood sugar and boosts weight loss, according to a review published in the April 2009 issue of the journal "Nutrition Reviews." Aim to get 14 grams per 1,000 calories.

Rich in Iron

Fenugreek sprouts contain various minerals, but the standout is the iron content. A 1-cup serving provides about 8 milligrams of iron, according to the book "Sprouts." The recommended daily intake is 8 milligrams for men and 18 milligrams for women. Iron helps carry oxygen in your red blood cells as a crucial component of the protein hemoglobin. While animal-derived iron is more readily absorbed, fenugreek seeds contain enzymes and vitamin C that enhance plant iron absorption.

Contains High Quality Protein

Fenugreek sprouts are rich in high-quality protein. This is a good source if you're following a vegan diet, which typically contains less than the recommended intake of protein. Fenugreek sprouts are comprised of about 30 percent protein, according to the book "Sprouts." Everyone, vegan or not, needs protein It's an essential structural component of hair and nails, and is used to build and maintain skin, muscles, cartilage and strong bones. Proteins also play a role in producing hormones and enzymes.

Sprouting Safety

Eating sprouts carries the risk of infection from harmful bacteria like E. coli and salmonella. The risk is higher with sprouts compared to other produce because the warm conditions needed for sprouting promote bacteria growth. When you buy sprouts, refrigerate them immediately and throw them out if they become slimy or otherwise rotten. Wash your hands before handling, and rinse sprouts thoroughly prior to eating. If you choose to sprout your own fenugreek, purchase seeds specifically designated for home sprouting as they are subject to more rigorous testing protocols. Don't eat sprouts if you have a weak immune system or are pregnant. Cooking sprouts reduces the risk of food poisoning.

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