Sprouts are often viewed as a very healthy food choice because they are very young plants that have just finished germinating and have sprouted. They can offer a wide range of nutrients and phytonutrients that encourage good health. Anyone who enjoys this pick should be aware of the warnings and important information on this specific choice though. There have been some problems will illnesses caused by bacteria on the young and delicate plants.
Some individuals create sprouts at home, while others buy them at the local health food shop or grocery store. Both versions can carry high risks, especially if they are eaten raw and not cooked. Pregnant women are warned to avoid all varieties of this option because of the potential harm that can be caused to the fetus if contamination is present.
Salmonella and E.Coli are both germs that have been found on commercial products, and tests on home sprouted items have produced similar results. The bacteria can get inside the seed during the germinating process and may become impossible to remove completely. When they are not cooked then the harmful bacteria is consumed and can cause a food borne illness that can become serious or even deadly in certain people.
There are many types of seeds that can be germinated so that they begin sprouting. Alfalfa, mung beans, soybeans, radish, and wheat seeds are the most common choices but others have also been used. Each version may have a different taste and offer varying nutritional benefits.
As long as these items are cooked the risk of illness is substantially decreased, but cooking may eliminate some of the health benefits offered by the raw product. A number of consumers insist on eating them raw though, in order to get the most nutrition possible. Children, pregnant women, the elderly, and anyone who has compromised immune system function should avoid this food completely unless it is thoroughly cooked to destroy any harmful organisms. These are also not a good late night snack option for others.