What Is Sprouted Bread? And Why You Should Add It to Your Diet

Experts tell us why this is the bread you'll want to use for your breakfast avocado toast.

Whether sprouted grains are at your go-to health food store or you've started noticing sprouted grain bread on menus at your local wellness-adjacent sandwich spot, you may wonder what makes this grain different. Simply stated, they are whole grains that are soaked in water until they begin to germinate (or grow a small sprout). This causes them to become more nutrient dense and easier to digest than other grains. Here's why nutrition experts say we should add more foods made with sprouted grains to our diets.

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Improved Nutrient Absorption

Sprouted grains provide more bioavailable nutrients compared to other refined flours. "Sprouting grains—and creating flours from sprouted grains—may help to make nutrients in the grains more readily available for our bodies to absorb," says Gena Hamshaw, MS, RD, of The Full Helping. This includes vitamin C, vitamin E, and various amino acids. "Sprouting grains can also help to reduce the presence of phytic acid, a naturally occurring compound in cereal grains that can interfere with our absorption of nutrients like iron and zinc," Hamshaw adds.

RELATED: What's the Difference Between Whole Wheat, Whole Grain, and Multigrain Bread?

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Sustained Energy

The higher concentration of protein and fiber in sprouted bread helps your blood sugar levels stay steady and provides energy to power you throughout the day. "The combination of protein and fiber in whole grains, including sprouted grains, can help people to experience sustained fullness and energy after eating them," Hamshaw explains. This also prevents that unpleasant foggy-and-lethargic feeling with which many high-starch foods (like those high on the glycemic index) can leave you. Sprouted grains have also been shown to have increased levels of folate, a B vitamin that supports the body's metabolism rate and produces energy.

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Increased Fiber

When a grain is sprouted, the concentration of fiber increases. "They're in their whole form, which means they often contain more fiber and protein than grains that have undergone extensive processing," Hamshaw says. "And the products made from sprouted grains are often rich in fiber, which is also beneficial for digestive health."

Fiber is a key component of gut health, including elimination and detoxification of the colon, which helps to regulate digestion and can reduce the risk of colon cancer, says Joy McCarthy, CNP, a holistic nutritionist and founder of Joyous Health. Fiber also feeds your gut microbiome, which is made of trillions of good bacteria essential to a healthy immune system.

RELATED: We Know Whole Grains Are Good for You, but These 11 Are the Healthiest

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Easier to Digest

When a grain is sprouted, it becomes easier for our bodies to digest because the starches are already broken down. "The process of sprouting grains neutralizes enzyme inhibitors as well as the sugars that can cause fermentation and gas in the gut," explains McCarthy. Fortunately, for this reason, many people who experience gas and bloating from regular bread do not have this same reaction eating sprouted bread.

How to Eat More Sprouted Grains

There are plenty of ways to incorporate these grains into your diet, especially if you're already working to increase your whole grain consumption (sprouted bread's deliciously nutty flavor doesn't hurt, either). You'll find most sprouted grain goods—flours, bread, tortillas, bagels, and more—at all-natural food stores and grocery stores. Sprouted grains are a smart breakfast swap to power you through busy mornings. Try using sprouted grain bread in your french toast recipe, or make sprouted everything bagels, quick oats, or bake chocolate chip oatmeal cookies using sprouted spelt flour for a heart-healthy snack.

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  2. Ikram A, Saeed F, Afzaal M, Imran A, Niaz B, Tufail T, Hussain M, Anjum FM. Nutritional and end-use perspectives of sprouted grains: A comprehensive review. Food Sci Nutr. 2021 Jun 23;9(8):4617-4628. doi: 10.1002/fsn3.2408.

  3. Benincasa P, Falcinelli B, Lutts S, Stagnari F, Galieni A. Sprouted Grains: A Comprehensive Review. Nutrients. 2019 Feb 17;11(2):421. doi: 10.3390/nu11020421.

  4. Zeng H, Lazarova DL, Bordonaro M. Mechanisms linking dietary fiber, gut microbiota and colon cancer prevention. World J Gastrointest Oncol. 2014 Feb 15;6(2):41-51. doi: 10.4251/wjgo.v6.i2.41.

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