What You Should Know About Sprouted Grains

Filed under: Nutrition: Health, Mealtime, Dear Karla

Dear Karla,
I have been noticing a lot of "sprouted grain" breads on the shelves at my local grocery store. I am not too sure what sprouted grains actually are, and if this bread is better for my family than our typical store-bought loaf. Can you provide some more information about sprouted grains, please, and share your thoughts on if it's really better, or just another marketing gimmick?
Thanks, Alicia


Dear Alicia,
I'm glad you've sent this question my way, as many people do not know what exactly sprouted grain bread is, or how it came to be. You may have noticed on the label that this bread is not made from flour, which can cause confusion. It's true that the bread is not made with traditional flour, but rather from sprouted grains. The grains are placed in water for a short time, where they begin to sprout. At that moment, they're taken out of the water and then mashed up into other ingredients as the bread is being prepared. Hence, the title of sprouted grain bread.

But is it better for you than "regular" bread?
There are numerous reasons as to why sprouted grain is a better choice than your average loaf of bread. Here are a few big ones that many families get excited about:

  • Sprouted Grains are much easier to digest: The sprouting process almost pre-digests the starches for you by breaking them down into simple sugars.
  • Sprouting increases the nutritional content of the bread: For example, the bread will naturally contain up to eight times more vitamin B2, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, vitamin C and carotene than regular bread.
  • The sprouting process produces enzymes in the bread which aid in its digestion.
  • Sprouted grain bread contains less gluten, which is a bonus for those who are gluten-sensitive: Gluten produces a glue-like paste in the stomach, which can result in gas and bloating, particularly for women.
  • Sprouted grain breads are also typically higher in fibre and protein.

Here are a few of my favourite sprouted grain bread brands. They can be found in most local grocery stores here in Canada:
Ezekiel
Silver Hills
Healthy Way

If you are searching for a healthier bread for your entire familym I encourage you to give one of these a try. Toast up!


Karla Heintz, B.Sc., is a nutrition educator and author of Picky? Not Me, Mom! A Parents' Guide to Children's Nutrition. If you have a question you would like answered please leave it in the comment section below. Thanks!

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.