The Easiest Nutritional Hack Ever: Sprouting

Nutritional Hack
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Lentils and beans may be nutritional champs, but eat them without vigorous cooking and you’re highly likely to end up taking a trip to the doc. Instead, soak them in water and leave them in the cupboard so that they’ll be tricked into growing. The resulting sprouts are edible and are far healthier than non-sprouted versions. Tanya Maher, chef and raw food expert, gave us the low-down.

What are the nutritional benefits of sprouting?

They’re a bioactive food, so they’re still growing as you eat them and all the nutrients are working on a huge scale. They have a lot of enzymes, which are needed for digestion. We have a bank of enzymes, and you need to keep it topped up. Ingesting the enzymes in sprouted food can keep up your levels maintained and give you more energy.

How easy is it for the average person to eat sprouted foods?

You don’t need to eat masses of them because they have so much nutrition, so you can just add little bits into your diet. For example, a radish has quite high nutrition, but the nutrients are so concentrated in a sprout that a radish sprout would have more than 30 times the nutrients of a normal radish. You can add them as if you were taking supplements – but they’re more powerful and are far easier to digest.

How do you sprout at home?

Growing sprouts is easy; you can become your own indoor gardener overnight. Start with mung beans or adzuki beans; you can buy them in most supermarkets. Soak them overnight, so that they fill up with water. Drain the water the next day – it’s great for house plants – but keep them damp, maybe rinsing twice a day, while they activate. When they sprout a little tail pops out – that’s the time to eat them.

Try the tiny food trend at Tanya’s Café, 35 Ixworth Place, London, SW3 3QX

Nutritional Hack

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Get on your way to sprouting nirvana by picking up a sprouting jar, which can be popped into the cupboard to do its thing overnight and out of sight. £4.99, buy on

Nick Harris-Fry
Senior writer

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.