“Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth and every tree in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed. To you, it shall be for food”. Genesis, 1:29
Living organic sprouts associated to a holistic Pyrenean Mediterranean cuisine is at the core of the Pyrenean rejuvenation holistic retreat center program’s experience.
First, this type of diet meets the naturopathic test for energy-boosting diets: these criteria are based on being optimally nutritious, enzyme rich and detoxifying foods. The sprout-mediterranean Pyrenean diet also meets the health-generating superfood criteria. In addition to having a high level of phytonutrients, enzymes and detoxification power, the Living Sprout Mediterranian diet is also abundant (i.e. at the right dosages and ratios) in longevity optimization molecules and in omega-3 anti-inflammatory lipids while it tends to be moderate in phytosterols (ie plant cholesterol) and low in oxalates, phytic acid (low to medium depending on the eater’s health challenges), low in anti-nutrient molecules, low in enzyme inhibitors, lectines, tannins, solanine (Solanine is a type of steroid alkaloid known as a glycoalkaloid and which comes from nightshades vegetables) purines and, inter alia, low in calories. The Center’s food is all organic, most are home grown in the Center’s mountain farm (certified by Ecocert as organic) and we strive to use both Permaculture and Steiner’s Biodynamic techniques.
The Scientific Rationale for having chosen the Sprout-Mediterranean-Pyrenean Diet
Once we take in fewer calories and more vibrant bioavailable nutrients, many anti-senescence (anti-aging) as well as repair and autophagy genes get activated (Source).
Once these genes are expressed, messenger RNA (mRNA) is decoded by a ribosome, outside the nucleus, to produce a specific amino acid chain, or polypeptide. When this string of amino acids is structured into an efficient “bead-bracelet” protein, they will fold into active protein to produce enzymes and over one hundred specific functions to assist the body to maintain homeostasis and heal when the milieu intérieur is perturbed. The assure homeostasis and longevity, this “translation” process is key. (*)
How does the Center’s Diet work ?
Living sprouts, in association with the Pyrenean Mediterranean Diet will boost the human body to higher levels of wellbeing, or what the French call “joie de vivre”. With greater oxytocin and other neuropeptides, there’s usually more energy and immuno-surveillance. In the Center’s rejuvenation retreats, this is noticable in two to four days, depending on the workshopees’ level of emotional and biochemical toxemia, stress level and general stamina.
When we combine diet to a dozen Pyrenean holistic techniques (heat, exercises (i.e., yoga, tai chi, chi-gong, stretching, musculo-skeleton work), breathing, heliotherapy, meditation, herbalism, mushrooming, musicotherapy and more) homeostasis disturbances tend to get restore, meaning all of the body’s major physiological processes either improve or get fixed.
Just by removing a significant amount of toxemia and stress while getting the body to eat the way it was genetically designed to, (See the Center’s workshops on Detoxification) the body’s entire electrical circuitries, its hormones, its neurotransmitter system its HPT axis (ie, hypothalamus-pituitary-thyroid axis as well as the HPA system and of course, and, Joie-de-vivre oblige, the HPG axis work much better. Even the cell’s mitochondria and its ATP energy storage system get rejuvenated. To such a degree that not prescribing holistic sprout Mediterranean Pyrenean nutrition protocol (which includes the Mediterranean Diet rich in small amounts of organic selected red wine, ripe olives, garlic, onions, herb-spices, lush greens and fermented vegetables) to patients should be medical maltparctice.
At the Pyrenean Holistic Retreat Center, we not only have an abundance of varied sprouts (as well as many other healing foods and spices), but we also juice wild plants from the Center’s forests in combination with microgreens, baby greens and different sprouts from the Center’s kitchen-garden, in particular broccoli, sunflower, mung, wheat and alfalfa sprouts, all of which significantly activate the detoxification of metabolic pathways while strengthening the healing process.
What are Sprouts and Why they are Good to Rejuvenate
Sprouts are baby green germinating plants or seedlings laden with quality energy. Like all helio-tropes, these seedlings follow the sun from dawn to dusk. Through the process of photosynthesis, they create their own food (carbohydrates) from sunlight and give off oxygen while taking in carbon dioxide. For many reasons, they remain much healthier and nutritious than adult plants. Below, a few pieces of supporting evidence.
Sprouts are laden with dense phytonutrients
According to many published scientific studies, when comparing sprouted seeds and grains to unsprouted grains and seeds, the unsprouted seedlings have lower protein content, deficiency of certain essential amino acids, less vitamins, minerals and starches while being rich in anti-nutrients. (1, 2) Biologists tell us that in the first 5-10 days, young plants achieve their maximum nutrient density, they are more nutritious than at any other point in their growth. These young plants are literally overflowing with rapidly multiplying enzymes, vitamins, proteins and minerals needed for the development of the mature plant. In many of these seeds, B-Vitamins increase 300% to 1500% in just 3 to 6 days. (1,2)
Sprouts are Enzymes factories making foods more digestible
Sprouts show the greatest enzyme activity up to 7 days. They are generally 100 times more numerous and potent than the enzymes of fruits or vegetables. Thanks to this process, these young energy-filled enzymes can help to digest many foods while contributing in the extraction of higher levels of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients from other foods. (3) Furthermore, with an abundance of digestive enzymes, sprouted grains become easier to assimilate as the starches and carbs are changed to simple sugars. (4)
Vitamins, mineral and amino acid are enhanced
Likewise with amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) and even vitamins and minerals become more numerous (three to twelve times), more available and more absorbable when their carriers are freshely sprouted, versus harshly cooked. (5) (6) Mineral are better chelated, that which is a natural state where they are chemically bonded to amino acids and easily assimilated by the body. In general, sprouting grains, legumes, beans, and other seeds significantly increase the availability of calcium, plus it reduces polyphenol, lectin, and tannin content. Nutrients like B12, Iron, Magnesium and Zinc are also better assimilated. According to researchers, sprouting foods for a limited period “causes increased activities of hydrolytic enzymes, improvement in the contents of certain essential amino acids, total sugars, and B-group vitamins, and a decrease in dry matter, starch, and antinutrients.” (Source). (7) Other studies have found similar increases with folate and most other vitamins and minerals. One study showed that one week of sprouting led to substantial improvement of the status of vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, and antioxidants ferulic acid and vanillic acid. Another 2012 study found an increase in phenolic and flavanoid antioxidants as well as an increase in practically all of the mung sprouts’ phytonutrients, notably when they are germinated for up to 8 days. (Source) (8)
Still another study found that vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene were all barely detectable in the dry grains, but sprouting the grains increased their concentrations significantly, with peak concentrations of the nutrients being observed after 7 days of sprouting. (9) (Source)
Anti nutrients and Chelation
One of the biggest benefits of sprouting grains, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds is that it helps to decrease the presence of certain alkaloids called anti-nutrients. Anti-nutrients are naturally occurring compounds that are found in plant seeds that interfere with our ability to digest vitamins and minerals within the plants. From the point of view of the Plant, these anti nutrient compounds are very useful, as they help them to be protected from predators. With these anti-nutrient alkaloids, plants are better able to survive by warding off pests and insects. Anti-nutrients and enzyme inhibitors also have the job of keeping a seed from sprouting until it’s ripe enough and ready to mature.
Phytic acid, although beneficial in many ways, is one of the anti-nutrients that inhibits our digestive enzymes called amylase, trypsin, and pepsin. Amaylase breaks down starch, while both pepsin and trypsin are needed to break down protein. (10) Thus, for fragile digestive systems, it’s best to moderate the intake of phytic acid.
“Phytic acid (PA), a major phosphorus storage compound of most seeds and cereal grains (…) has the strong ability to chelate multivalent metal ions, especially zinc, calcium, and iron. The binding can result in very insoluble salts that are poorly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract, which results in poor bioavailability (BV) of minerals.” (Ibid) (Source)
In addition to phytic acid, other forms of compounds similar to anti-nutrients can also be found in unsprouted foods. These include anti-nutrients such polyphenols. Although beneficial on other biochemical pathways, like phytic acid, polyphenols can inhibit the proper assimilation of copper, iron, zinc and vitamin B1, along with enzymes, proteins and starches found in plant foods. This is one of the reasons why the Pyrenean Center’s holistic nutrition is also based on strategic Mediterranean fermented foods and beverages that can help to offset some of these anti-nutrient consequences.
Enzyme inhibitors have also been characterized as anti-nutrient foods. These are found in plant foods and can prevent adequate digestion that can cause protein deficiency and gastrointestinal upset. Tannins can be enzyme inhibitors and so are other difficult-to-digest plant proteins like gluten. Enzyme inhibitors not only cause digestive problems, they can contribute to allergic reactions and mental illness. Lectins and Saponins have also been put on the black anti-nutrient list. These substances are anti-nutrients that affect the gastrointestinal lining, they may contribute to leaky gut syndrome and autoimmune disorders. Lectins can be particularly resistant to digestion by humans, when they enter our bloodstream, they can trigger immune responses. Lectins can cause GI upset similar to classical food poisoning and immune responses like joint pain and rashes. Improperly prepared raw grains, dairy and legumes like peanuts and soybeans have high lectin levels.
Sprouts can even weed out allergens. In one study researchers found that sprouted brown rice contained much lower levels of two allergen compounds when compared to non-sprouted brown rice. They believed that the reduction was due to certain enzyme activities that took place during sprouting. (Source) Furthermore, according to experts from the Weston A. Price Foundation:
“Phytic acid or phytate (in its salt form) locks up calcium, copper, iron, magnesium and zinc and can stunt growth. Phytate can lock up 80 percent of phosphorous, cause calcium excretion; inhibit zinc absorption by 80 percent and magnesium by 40 percent. Anemia, bone loss and a host of health conditions can result from deficiencies of these minerals. (11)
Summary on the General Digestive Benefits of Sprouting
With sprouting, minerals bind to proteins better, making them more bioavailable. Alkaline minerals such as calcium and magnesium help balance body chemistry for both weight loss and better health overall. Moreover, sprouting makes nuts, grains and seeds more digestible by breaking down anti-nutrients, enzyme inhibitors and lectins that can make the full-grown food hard to digest. A single day of soaking and sprouting the seeds can reduce anti-nutrients by 90 percent.
Still more Benefits: Sprouts contain Antioxidants and protective photochemicals
Sprouts have delicate cell walls so they can release nourishment easily. They contain many photochemicals, which are plant compounds that protect against disease. They also contain highly active antioxidants that help to prevent DNA destruction and the oxidative effects of uncontrolled aging. According to a 2013 study, sprouting legume seeds can increase their nutritive value by raising phenolic and flavonoid antioxidant levels. (12) (Source)
In this study, when researchers sprouted seeds, antioxidant levels significantly increased and improved free radical scavenging and anticancer activities when compared to the seeds that had not been sprouted. Another study done in 2007 found that after sprouting buckwheat for 48 hours, concentration of beneficial antioxidant compounds called rutin were increased more than 10-fold, while another antioxidant flavonoid called quercitrin became newly formed. The researchers then fed rats the sprouted buckwheat for 8 weeks and found significant reductions in levels of dangerous fat build-ups stored in the liver, thanks to the positive impacts of the antioxidants. (13) (Source)
Fiber and electrolyte-water
Several studies have found that when seeds are sprouted their fiber content increases (up to 300 percent) and becomes more available. (14) (Source) Reports show that sprouting increases concentrations of crude fiber, which is the fiber that makes up the cell walls of plants. When we consume plant’s crude fiber, the fiber cannot actually be absorbed within our digestive tract and therefore it helps to push waste and toxins out of the gut and to regulate bowel movements. Furthermore, it has been shown that dietary fiber may bind metallic cations in both in vitro and in vivo studies. (15) (Source) Sprouts are also endowed with good electrolyte-based water.
At the Pyrnean Holistic Retreat center, sprouting is one of many healing culinary techniques that are used, to which we also offer other types of diets, including the Mediterranean regime which has some cooked (especially steamed) foods with small amounts of quality wine. Diets are determined case by case given that everyone has a different cultural, emotional, energy, wellbeing and genetic baggage. When food is combined to the Center’s other restoration and rejuvenation techniques, wellbeing and longevity genes get activated. (28) Once these genes are better expressed and activated, then a long and happy life-span is better secured.
Christian Joubert CSO and Director of HMI
To Life !
Reference and Precision Notes
(*). Translation occurs in a structure called the ribosome, which is a factory for the synthesis of proteins. … Translation of an mRNA molecule by the ribosome occurs in three stages: initiation, elongation, and termination. During initiation, the small ribosomal subunit binds to the start of the mRNA sequence. (cf http://www.nature.com/scitable/definition/translation-rna-translation-173)
(1). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3899625/ Sprouts are essentially baby plants bursting forth with Life, they are full of quality proteins, vitamins, minerals and enzymes
(3). Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1997 Sep 16; 94(19): 10367–10372
(7). www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2692609) Some studies have shown that an increase in amino acids including lysine and tryptophan can take place when seeds are sprouted, however the protein gluten can also decrease in grains when sprouted.While the concentration of different proteins in sprouted foods seems to vary, most studies indicate that proteins become more digestible when the seeds are sprouted. When a seed begins to sprout, natural chemical changes take place and as a result enzymes are produced to convert nutrients for the growing plant to utilize. As sprouting continues, complex proteins are converted into simple amino acids, making them easier on digestion.
(8). www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23088738 and www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11474896
(10). Alternatively, the ability of PA to chelate minerals has been reported to have some protective effects, such as decreasing iron-mediated colon cancer risk and lowering serum cholesterol and triglycerides in experimental animals. Data from human studies are still lacking. PA is also considered to be a natural antioxidant and is suggested to have potential functions of reducing lipid peroxidation and as a preservative in foods. Finally, certain inositol phosphates, which may be derived from PA, have been noted to have a function in second messenger transduction systems. The potential nutritional significance of PA is discussed in this review. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8777015
(16) Chemistry Central Journal 2014; 8: 4 Review of phytochemistry, metabolite changes, and medicinal uses of the common food mung bean and its sprouts (Vigna radiata) Dongyan Tang,1 Yinmao Dong,1,2 Hankun Ren,2 Li Li,2 and Congfen He2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3899625/ This review provides insight into the nutritional value of mung beans and its sprouts, discussing chemical constituents that have been isolated in the past few decades, such as flavonoids, phenolic acids, organic acids, amino acids, carbohydrates, and lipids.
Broccoli sprouts: An exceptionally rich source of inducers of enzymes that protect against chemical carcinogens Jed W. Fahey, Yuesheng Zhang, and Paul Talalay. For example, Large quantities of inducers of enzymes that protect against carcinogens can be delivered in the diet by small quantities of young crucifer sprouts (e.g., 3-day-old broccoli sprouts) that contain as much inducer activity as 10–100 times larger quantities of mature vegetables. Moreover, the inducer activity arises primarily from glucoraphanin (the glucosinolate of sulforaphane)
(20). Phytother Res. 2010 Jan;24(1):76-84. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2871 –– Neuroprotective effects of Triticum aestivum L. against beta-amyloid-induced cell death and memory impairments. Jang JH1, Kim CY, Lim SH, Yang CH, Song KS, Han HS, Lee HK, Lee
(22). J Med Food. 2010 Jun;13(3):572-8. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2009.1242. –– Water extract of Triticum aestivum L. and its components demonstrate protective effect in a model of vascular dementia
Han HS1, Jang JH, Jang JH, Choi JS, Kim YJ, Lee C, Lim SH, Lee HK, Lee J https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20521983
(23). Garlic chives and French onion are very special seeds and they require a special sprouting effort. They are the most expensive seeds in our sprouting repertoire and also have the longest growth period — about two weeks. But they are also the most flavorful and among the most popular. Garlic’s reputation is well documented in history. The history books are full of people wearing garlic to ward off evil spirits and treat the common cold. Onion was used to soothe a throbbing earache and heal a bruise. We have lost touch with these potent herbs and are just starting to rediscover their healing value. Now we have them bottled and encapsulated and we separate out the odor. Much advertising hype is heaped on the public by supplement manufacturers about their product and how it is more potent or more odor-free. But nothing is better than eating the fresh plant. All the elements of the mature garlic bulb are in the sprouts and baby garlic plants are even more concentrated. The Sprouting Advantage. The young 14 day garlic/onion chive has all the food elements that make the bulb famous. In fact, at this early stage, the plant is manufacturing amino acids at a faster rate than at any other time in the plant’s growth. Because it needs to synthesize protein for building cells, it is bursting with vitamins. Vitamins require minerals and minerals require trace minerals and all of them require enzymes. This active living organism is concentrated with the kind of nutrition that supports fundamental cell growth. This “live” food has something the dried garlic bulb does not — chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is nature’s breath freshener. Companies spend thousands of dollars in laboratories trying to rid garlic of its essential aroma. But nature has its own solution and you only get it when you eat the whole green garlic plant. This is the sprout advantage. Two Sprouter Technique. Because garlic and onion take two weeks to mature, you will see little growth for the first seven days. The first week is the hatching period and the best way to hatch seed is in a warm sprout bag. Most sprouting seeds like to germinate at 75 degrees. When winter makes this impossible, the soaking and first 48 hours of germination should be in a warm spot. The result is a sprout that grows faster, is heartier and has a greater percentage of germinating seed. This is especially beneficial for garlic and onion. If you have a warm spot, perhaps in or on top of your oven, hatch your seeds there. After the seed has burst and the shoots are 1/4-inch long, transplant them into the small 6 inch sprouter. It takes only 2 tablespoons of dry seed to make a lavish crop, making these seeds more economical than they appear. These natural antibiotics will purify your bloodstream, your liver, and fight germs and parasites.
(24). https://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2014/13_0390.htm#table2_down Preventing Chronic Disease 2014;11:130390 See Table 2. Powerhouse Fruits and Vegetables (N = 41), by Ranking of Nutrient Density Scoresa, 2014
(25). Paradoxally, phytic acid can be both disease promoting and beneficial for the health. Disease promoting because it can block key enzymes and minerals while at the same time be helpful against multiple diseases including cancer. The art of the Pyrenean-Mediterranean culinary preparation is in finding the right “milieu”, the dynamic balance that will minimize the nefarious effects of phytic acid while enhancing its benefits. http://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/phytic-acid
(26). Simonton’s first category of high energy foods, with the highest vibration were, between 6,500 and 10,000 angstrom were raw foods. This included produce like fresh fruits, vegetables, olive, sweet almonds, sunflower seeds, coconut. In his second category, with radiations 6,500 to 3,000 angstroms, were cooked vegetables, milk, butter, eggs, honey, cooked fish and sugar cane. The third category, with very weak radiations below 3,000 angstroms, is comprised of cooked meats, sausages, coffee, (black), jams, processed cheeses and white bread. The fourth category, exhibited practically no energy. These were products like margarine, conserves, alcoholic spirits, refined white sugar and bleached flour. While this list may be an over-simplification and should be better studies via published validation, it nonetheless constitute evidence.
(27). For a small percentage of people, nightshade vegetables that contain solanine can be a problem. Actual solanine poisoning is rare, but has been documented to include severe vomiting and diarrhea and central nervous system depression. Solanine is a type of steroid alkaloid known as a glycoalkaloid – an alkaloid merged with a sugar https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1597169/?page=2
(28). For example, longevity potentiating resveratrol mimics calorie restriction through the induction of the expression of several longevity genes. These longevity genes include SirTs and FoxOs that act coordinately for the regulation of cell survival and longevity. The Pyrenean Center’s retreat program also targets other longevity genes. See its workshop.
Dixclaimer. Nothing in this educational website should be construed as medical advise.
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