Saturday, March 5, 2011

Supplements and Sprouts

I am a big fan of natural, healthy food, herbs and supplements.  I first discovered the usefulness of herbs and supplements as a resourceful single mom with no health insurance.   Prevention is key to keeping health costs down.

I first read in Dr. Weil's book, "Healthy Aging", that age related diseases are due to inflammation in the body.  Armed with that information and having arthritis, I decided to research the safest, healthiest, non-NSAID (NSAIDS have wreaked havoc with my kidneys and stomach) way of reducing inflammation in my body.  I discovered that turmeric is a powerful, natural anti-inflammatory.  I had already started taking ginger to help heal my stomach and discovered it too has anti-inflammatory properties, as well as the ginseng I take for energy.  I take cinnamon for keeping my blood sugar low and stable and also fish oil for heart and brain health.  I don't know if it was any one of these, or the result of all or some of them, but within a few months my cholesterol dropped almost 50 points.  I went from 185 to 139 - cholesterol, not weight.  My LDL's were also reduced and my HDL'S were increased.

Mer asked yesterday the best way to grow sprouts.  I don't know if the following is the best way, but here is what I have figured out.  I used to grow them often, years ago.

Start with a large jar, some cheesecloth and a rubber band.  And of course, your seeds of choice, preferably organic.  I chose alfalfa for this first round.  Start small, about a tablespoon of seeds (I started with 1/4 cup...WAY too much).  Put them in the jar, cover with cheesecloth and rubber band and rinse well and drain .  Add at least 4 to 5 times as much water and let sit on your counter for about 12 hours.  Drain and rinse again.  This soaking water is now loaded with nutrients, some people drink it, save it for soup or cooking veggies in or watering their plants.

At this point you may want to change containers for your sprouts.  I used to have a sprouter similar in size and shape to a springform pan, I don't know what happened to it though.  Some say you can sprout them in the same jar, but I don't recommend it.  It will be too hard to take your sprouts out of once they are sprouted.  I bought a sort of 4 inch square jar with a wide mouth at Walmart and even this did not work well.  I think my next round I will try my large, flat pasta bowl. 

 Anyway, whatever container you choose to use, you will be rinsing and draining the sprouts about every 12 hours.  Make sure you drain them VERY WELL.  You don't want the sprouts sitting in water, or they will rot.  Continue this process until they are a long as you want them.  I just keep them on my kitchen counter.  I suppose you can put them near sunlight if you want the chlorophyll.  At some point, while they are growing, they will begin to clump up.  Maybe while they are in water, before draining, take a fork and gently break up the clumps.

So there you have it, soak, drain, rinse and drain every 12 hours, enjoy a few days later.


  1. I've been educated - I didn't know what a NSAID was ( google told me it was a Non Steriod Anti Inflammatory Drug) Sounds like you really know your stuff with sprout growing. I thing making sensible choices at our age will make a huge differene when we are older.

  2. I've nominated you for an award - hope you don't mind. Reference to it is on my blog - its because I really enjoy your blog - Thanks