Doctor's Note

I’ve been looking for this kind of study for years, and am excited to share it! Homemade sprouts are probably the most nutrition-per-unit-cost we can get for our money. See Biggest Nutrition Bang for Your Buck, where they beat out the previous champ, purple cabbage (see Superfood Bargains). Broccoli sprouts are probably the best; see, for example, The Best Detox and Sulforaphane: From Broccoli to Breast. However, I would recommend against alfalfa sprouts (even when home-sprouted); fecal bacteria from manure can hide in the seeds’ nooks and crannies, and cause illness (see Don’t Eat Raw Alfalfa Sprouts). Sprouted lentils are one of my favorite snacks—give them a try, and let me know what you think!

For further context, check out my associated blog post: Are Microgreens Healthier?

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

To post comments or questions into our discussion board, first log into Disqus with your account or with one of the accepted social media logins. Click on Login to choose a login method. Click here for help.

  • Fabien Coquel

    awww, I wish this database was public. I love looking at thoses numbers

    • Thea

      Fabien: THANK YOU!!! I was very interested in learning more about various foods.

      They did not have the one that I went to look for: sprouted quinoa. However, I saw several other very interesting tid bits. For example, the California almond had half the antioxidants as the Russian almond. A matter of transportation/freshness? Or GMO issues with American food? Or simply a difference in variety? Or??? Very interesting!

      I also was fascinated with the paragraph on cacao.

      • Fabien Coquel

        Sprouted broccoli has to be amazing too ^^

        I agree on cacao, I just realized how good it is. A traditionnal hot chocolate (no milk, just water and LOTS of cocoa powder ) could compete to be the new healthiest beverage.

        • Thea

          Fabien: You may know this already, but Dr. Greger has a series on broccoli. The series ends up discussing sprouted broccoli and a specific, significant health benefit. I sprouted broccoli twice, once using the bag method and once the jar method. Both worked great, but the sprouts were rather bitter. I’m very sensitive to biter tastes and ended up throw most of it away. I have to find a way that I can integrate that stuff into my daily diet. It would improve my health tremendously.

          Re: cocoa: I make a chocolate oatmeal for breakfast that has steel-cut oats and cocoa and is sweetened only with bananas and dates. It is a real stick-to-your ribs satisfying and rich/decadent breakfast. I have absolutely no guilt, only pride, in including the (organic, fair trade so it’s not made with child slave labor) cocoa.

          Thanks for your reply.

        • sf_jeff

          Sprouted broccoli should probably be eaten for sulforaphanes rather than for antioxidants.

  • HemoDynamic, M.D.

    Just wanted to share a problem I have been having when I visit the new website. When I first access the website the current days video shows but when I click on it, I am taken to the video 3 days prior. This has happened to me 3 times now. I know I can click in the upper right corner to cycle throught the last 3 days of vids but it takes a long while to load the buttons to cycle.
    So, personally, I liked it previously when I would go to the website and the current days video was ready to play and I didn’t have this problem.
    Also, the website is now taking a lot longer to load because of all the cool animations and graphics but it can be frustrating.
    Also is there any way to stop the “Click to Subscribe” popup that always comes up on the video, because this would help speed up the page loads.
    Anyway, I hope this helps with tweaking the website to be the fastest most user friendly it can be.
    Keep up the great work!

    • Fabien Coquel

      I second this

      • kay

        The old format on the website was much more clear to the viewer. I feel ‘cramped’ in the new platform, visually cramped and being that i am familiar with the website i can navigate but i can see how newcomers would be a bit frustrated, like “who designed this?” The old format kept it simple and user friendly, this current format seems a bit chaotic like it is encouraging the viewer to multi-task, rather, do everything at once, thus loosing concentration. I offer these thoughts as constructive criticism with the hope that dr. G will see the logic.

        • While we’re at it. Why is this site so slow? I don’t have this problem on other websites.

          And I preferred having the next 5/6 videos down the side

    • WholeFoodChomper

      Overall, I really love the look and feel of the new site ( I think it is nicely organized and easy to negotiate); however, I agree that the cycling of the 3 most recent videos is a bit of a viewing nuisance. Can the three most recent videos just appear in the “Health & Nutrition Videos” section below the main video of the day? I think that might be a bit more user-friendly. I also second eliminating the “click to subscribe” graphic. Might it be placed elsewhere? Maybe in the “Nutrition Videos” section of the site?

    • gary bocan

      Dr Greger post the daily videos on Youtube also. Would it help you load faster if you just watch the video on Youtube? I get an email notification when it’s posted to Youtube. Also, i too am irritated by the “Click to Subscribe” ad that always pops up in the beginning; there is a browser extension called “Adblock Plus” that can block that, but i want to research it more to make sure that it’s harmless. Will let you know if it works fine.

      • gary bocan

        You can disable the subscription ad by installing a browser extension called “Adblock Plus,” from adblockplus (dot) org. It’s free and works on Firefox and Google Chrome browsers. It will turn off ads on any website. There are probably many other similar programs that do this; i just happened to find this one in the Google Chrome app store. It is being used by a lot (millions) of people.

      • HemoDynamic, M.D.

        I appreciate your help for sure. Maybe that is what I will start doing is going to YouTube. But I hope that the powers that be make the changes to increase userability because that makes the knowledge more accessible.
        Why? Because if pages take too long to load people just won’t come and watch the videos because of the hassel. There are many websites I don’t go to anymore because of the ridiculous load times.

    • Your wish = my command! No more cycling, just the video of the day. Thank you everyone for your feedback!

      • HemoDynamic, M.D.

        You are very kind! Thank you. I hope it helps everyone.

      • WholeFoodChomper

        Thanks! :)

      • gary bocan

        Other than the “video cycling” feature, that you’ve changed, please leave everything else. I look the way one video references another one– i’ve been made aware of so many more videos as a result! Thanks for the awesomex2 information!

    • gary bocan

      You can disable the subscription ad by installing a browser extension called “Adblock Plus,” from adblockplus (dot) org. It’s free and works on Firefox and Google Chrome browsers. It will turn off ads on any website. There are probably many other similar programs that do this; i just happened to find this one in the Google Chrome app store. It is being used by a lot (millions) of people. –(i originally accidentally posted this in a reply to myself).

  • Kristin

    Do you know specific research about the antioxidant value and nutrition in general if sprouts are cooked? I like to eat my sprouts raw, but some like to cook them. I’m curious about the research regarding the raw food vs cooked.

    • nunyabeezwax

      keep the temerature under 120f and there MAY be some increase in bioavailability as well as reduction un unwanted chemicals but that is all very plant species specific. For instance spinach and most leafy greens should actually be cooked and avoided in their raw state. Go vegan – leave the raw food fad aspect out of it.

  • 7in1

    any idea about the best method of sprouting flax seeds?

    • Denis Spasyuk

      check out youtube, there are a bunch of videos about that

  • BPCveg

    I am confused by how “antioxidant content” can change due to sprouting. It seems to me that antioxidants are chemicals that neutralize free radicals. If you start out with a seed that has a certain number of those antioxidant chemicals, then after soaking the seed in water, the same number of antioxidants should be present. Unless soaking violates the laws of physics!

    I reviewed the source article. What it is saying is that the:

    “amperometric detection has been used to measure antioxidant
    capacity of different commercial available foodstuff sourced from different countries”, and

    “The amperometric method [29] is based on measurement of electric current resulting from oxidation of the substance (or the mixture) being studied”

    Therefore, I am interpreting the numbers to represent how effective the antioxidants are. Or have I misunderstood something?

    • Soaking should in fact remove some of the anti oxidants. Very weird.

    • Lew Payne

      Let me ask you this simple question, which might help you understand… do you expect a seed to have the same antioxidant content as the fully grown plant? If you start out with a seed that has a limited amount of fiber, how is it that after soaking the seed in water (thus producing the plant), the amount of fiber has increased? How is it that the mass of the object (the seed/plant) increases? Once you understand these things, you’ll understand why synthesis and mitosis produce “more.”

      • BPCveg

        Thanks for your reply Lew, though I believe that you may have missed my point. When a seed is put in soil, the plant grows and accumulates mass and will make more antioxidants by making new materials as it accumulates nutrients from the soil. There is no dispute about that.
        What I was puzzling over is how the antioxidant content of a seed can increase when it is put in pure water (without any soil or fertilizer). It seems implausible to me that the low mineral content (parts per million level) in small amounts of tap water that stimulate sprouting would be converted to substantially many new antioxidants.
        Say you take a mung bean, wash it and let the bean sprout as the water trickles off it….i..e typical sprouting. I believe what will happen is that the antioxidants may become more active. But I have seriously doubt that many new antioxidants are being created.

        • gary bocan

          Some of the fat stores in the seed are used to germinate (sprout) the seed; a small amount of the fat stores are synthesized into chemicals that will be used to protect the budding plant from the sun’s damaging rays. The plant needs the sun’s energy to grow, but it must also try to protect itself from the DNA-damaging effects of UV radiation. These chemicals also protect us when we eat the plant. The chemicals are in higher concentrations in younger plants because the young plant is more vulnerable to damage; it is growing rapidly & usually doesn’t have the thicker dermal lining that the mature plant has.

        • nunyabeezwax

          I can totally dispute “your point” The initial phase of plant life requires ZERO outside nutrition, instead the plant is literally feeding on it’s self and converting the available nutrition within the seed into other chemicals as needed which is why there is an increase in the nutritional value and chemical complexity mentioned in above reply. They need nothing but water and have no need of outside nutrition until they hit what I call plant puberty which is indicated by the formation of a tap root. The first roots that come out are strictly for water uptake and plant stability. That is why you can grow a sprout to begin with. By your logic it would require a nutrient solution to even germinate and begin the sprouting. I have grown plants all the way through thier life cycle to flowering with NO added nutrients. The flowers were weak runts and did not produce seed but they still went to flower which even surprised me. As for your false presumption that sprouting is somehow “stimulated” by minerals I as stated is false. Minerals have nothing to do with it. It is water alone that wakes up dormant seeds. I do all my sprouts and micro greens with distilled water. Why you are positing what you belive about such things when you clearly have no knowledge on the topic and attempting to sound like a scientist qualified to posit a hypothesis is quite an odd personality defect you should take note of. Nobody likes a know it all but whats worse is an know it all who knows nothing

          • Toxins

            No need to get so aggressive nuny, please be respectful in your posts. No one has directly attacked you, so your response is unwarranted. I had to delete your other post. Please keep this in mind for future postings. Continue exploring and contributing with your questions or comments. Thanks!

    • nunyabeezwax

      Violates the laws of physics? WTF? absolute nonsense. You know nothing of physics or chemistry.You think a dormant seed would be equal to a growing live plant in it’s chemical profile? sprouts are more chemically complex because the plant is a little chemical factory producing an ever changing set of growth factors essential for the formation of all the parts of a plant which will change through out it’s life cycle as it reaches it ‘s ultimate goal of self repoduction. it’s the same with people. the hormones of a child are not that of a pubescent teen nor that of a post menopausal person either.

  • elenore

    I never have much luck sprouting seeds- they always seem to get mouldy before I eat them all. Are they still more nutritious than unsprouted if I cook them after two or three days?

    • Dr. Connie Sanchez, N.D.

      Sprouted seeds, grains and legumes can be consumed raw, but there is some evidence that cooking spouts may actually enhance the nutrient absorption – especially when it comes to sprouted grains (1)

      1. Rosalind S. Gibson, Leah Perlas and Christine Hotz (2006). Improving the bioavailability of nutrients in plant foods at the household level. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 65, pp 160168 doi:10.1079/PNS2006489

      • arkay

        Thank you! I was going to ask about cooking sprouts :)

  • HereHere

    I tend to sprout from fall to early spring, when fresh veggies are hard to get due to the harsh winters. I like broader trays, as I’ve never had luck with mason jars. Ever. I use the snakpik, but the drains do plug up more often than not, so the trays have to be tilted on a 45 degree when water is in them to get the drainage going again, and sometimes, I have to jiggle or clear out the drain. Otherwise, it is a great system. If anyone has anything better, let me know. I did try a sprouting bag, but didn’t have a good place to hang it, so that didn’t go far.

  • Okay, I sprout many seeds but not flax. Any advice for these? They get a gelatinous covering after they are wet and I did not know you could sprout them. However, will try this and see what happens. Dr. G you are great. Thanks for your wonderful videos, posts, and important information.

  • 808david
    • Toxins

      Many plants contain naturally occurring toxins and while it is true that flaxseeds contain tiny amounts of cyanide-containing substances, this has not been shown to be a problem. The concern arises from the writings in a popular book or two and has not been confirmed in any published studies that I know of.

      If you think it is a concern, heating the flaxseeds has been shown to eliminate any detectable amounts of this chemical

      So, while it may be theoretically possible that eating huge amounts
      of raw or unprocessed flaxseeds or flaxseed meal could potentially pose a problem, this massive load of flax seed is not probable is normal consumption levels.

  • 808david

    Read about not soaking flax seeds. Cyanide!

  • chiromartinez

    Any comments on soaking vs. Sprouting? For example, I soak soybeans for 8 hours before making soy milk. It seems like it would be on the continuum.

  • Susan Fairbairn nee Kirk

    I also noticed that the antioxidant content increased from day 2 to day 5. Wondering if that is the optimum time for harvest or if further growing would increase or decrease levels?

    • nunyabeezwax

      depends on the plant but generally harvest 3-7 days. The ideal time to harvest is when you see the first true leaves begin to emerge. (true leaves on some plants are going to look like the second leaves to a novice, as the first leaves are infact the cotyledon or 2 halves of the nut/seed which has turned green)

  • Joëlle Guillet

    Are antioxydants affected by cooking? For example, if I sprout lentils then cook them a little, will I loose all the benefits gained in the first place? Thank you!

  • Ronald Chavin

    The trouble with looking at the antioxidant content of sprouts versus the antioxidant content of adult vegetables is that the values are per gram or per ounce. In other words, eating the adult vegetables might be healthier for us because of (1)much lower price per pound, (2)much more filling, (3)much more fiber, (4)much more other nutrients besides antioxidants, (5)slightly more antioxidants consumed per meal, (6)less risk of pathogenic bacteria, and (7)less risk of eating unhealthy junk foods together with the same meal.

  • Thor H

    How does the overall content of nutrition (carbohydrate, fat and protein) change in sprouts? Maybe you could do a video on that. Thank you for the great content!

    • nunyabeezwax

      as the young plants age the macro nutrients listed go down as they are being used by the plant and converted into the other compounds. No video required

  • shir


    I have 2 questions:

    1. Is there a (reliable) data base of vitamins and minerals of all sprouted seeds and legumes?

    in the USDA data bank- many sprouts are missing! such as:

    sprouted chickpeas, sprouted sesame, sprouted azuki, etc.

    I can’t find other reliable database that include them’ or at least a research that has checked it…

    2. Less important question:

    how can I compare between dry to sprouted legume without weigh it?

    For example- I tried to compare lentils- it’s dry weight was 50 grams- so it’s 176 calories, I assumed it means that I should take 176 calories of sprouted lentils and to conclude it’s weight. It leads me to weight of 166 grams, but when I got to weigh the sprouted lentils, it was lower weight.

    Is there more accurate method in order to compare (that doesn’t include weigh?)

    thank you very much!!!

  • barrhon
  • barbarabrussels

    There’s an easy way to sprout flax seeds: use a small terracotta plate and a spray bottle to water it. It works great. (I found it on youtube) Does anyone know if the omega 3 content remains intact when flax is sprouted?

    • nunyabeezwax

      they would likley be slightly reduced as they would be used by the young flax plant to grow into maturity. The longer you let the sprout go the less macro nutrients(fats ,sugars,proteins) will be present but the more other beneficial compounds would be present

  • unf13

    I’m new to sprouts. Could someone tell me how many sprouts should we consume a day? Can we eat it in quantities like other foods or we should intake them as a supplement (something like 100 grams a day maybe)?

  • Annette

    Not sure where to post this question, but it is related to sprouts/sprouting. Is there extra nutritional benefit from eating bread made from sprouted grain? Just wondering, after the sprouted grain is ground and baked into bread whether there is any nutritional value remaining. Thanks.

  • 1992Matze

    In another video you said, that lentils have far more antioxidants than chickpeas. It seems, that in this list chickpeas would beat the lentils by twice the amount of antioxidants.