Other Vegan Views articles
Sprouting Seeds, Pulses and Grains by Pat Reeves, Vegan Views 85 (Summer 2000)


In my last article I said I would write further on the subject of chlorophyll and its therapeutic applications. Being diagnosed as anaemic, or having low iron status is certainly not solely confined to people using a vegan diet/lifestyle. I have patients who are staunch meat eaters with this problem! Interestingly, not all improve with conventional iron supplementation and if they do, the situation recurs on abandoning the mineral.

One of the most important nutrient compounds contained in sprouts, chlorophyll, has been thoroughly researched for its nutritional and healing properties. By itself, chlorophyll, a protein compound found in green plants including sprouts with green leaves, such as alfalfa, cabbage, clover, sunflower and radish does not appear be to anything special. But there are two vital aspects of chlorophyll that should not be overlooked.

First is its creation in the plant as a result of its conversion of the sun's energy - which makes it a sort of living battery, and second is its remarkable similarity to a vital component of human blood - hemoglobin. Circulating in the bloodstream, hemoglobin molecules carry oxygen to the cells throughout the body. Unlike humans and animals, who get their energy from food, plants get their energy direct from the sun. Plants create and store carbohydrate energy as a result of the sun's action upon their leaves in the process known as photosynthesis. In fresh green sprouts, energy is readily available to the human body for healing and regeneration of the cells.

Moreover, the chemical elements contained in chlorophyll are effective in building up the red blood cell content of the bloodstream. Exactly how and why this can occur is still largely unknown - but many theories have been offered. The chlorophyll molecule is quite similar to hemoglobin. The main difference is that chlorophyll has a magnesium ion as a nucleus, whereas hemoglobin is structured around iron. It is conceivable that since chlorophyll is converted (absorbed) into blood inside us, once the chlorophyll molecule is absorbed, its magnesium ion is replaced with iron, making new hemoglobin.

Chlorophyll, obviously, can be taken as a food supplement when it is necessary to correct a food deficit, but - on a daily basis - it can be consumed quite easily by sprouting just about any seed which produces a vegetable, and consuming them on a 'cut-and-come-again' basis. This is very simple and avoids transplanting! You can put a packet of most seeds into a conventional seed-tray and let them grow - cutting as required. Most are so powerful that they will regrow their leaves. This is truly a 'living salad' - grow in organic soil, feeding with dried kelp on an occasional basis. I actually have celery which has been growing in the same tray for over six months! Its leaves are very pretty, the darker red leaves of beetroot, combined with baby spinach leaves and watercress - which will grow fine if the soil is never allowed to dry out, make an enticing base to add to more conventional foodstuffs. Virtually no time is expended - no digging - no losing your crop to the bugs, and fresh green things on hand all the time! Great juiced also!


Dietary minerals are our lifeblood. They serve as a foundation for the body's overall metabolism - the vital chemical and physical processes that keep the body functioning smoothly. Minerals figure in the formation and function of all body enzymes, and also keep the proper alkaline electrical charge in all the body cells, guarding them against acidic degeneration and invasion from harmful microbes that live on acidic substances in the body. To meet your body's needs for minerals such as calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorus and magnesium, I recommend you get them from sprouts and other living foods in the form of organic mineral salts. This is the way humans have been fulfilling mineral needs for millennia.

Sesame sprouts are an exceptionally good source of calcium, having about as much of this vital mineral as cow's milk and more than almost any other plant food. Almond, sunflower, alfalfa and chick pea sprouts are also excellent sources of calcium in organic form.

Potassium is sometimes called the 'youth mineral' because it helps the body to maintain smooth and tight skin and a balanced bodyweight. It also helps to maintain the proper alkalinity of the blood. Almond, sesame, sunflower, mung and blackeye pea sprouts supply more potassium than many fruits and garden vegetables.

Alfalfa, fenugreek, lentil, aduki and mung sprouts are good sources of the iron required for red blood cell formation and the transport of oxygen from the lungs to the cells. Sprouted seeds are also rich in iron. Even though some of our iron is recycled internally, we need to get additional iron in organic form from our foodstuffs. This is especially true for women who may develop iron deficiencies due to menstrual blood loss.

In general, sprouts are excellent sources of trace elements, such as iodine, zinc, selenium, chromium, cobalt and silicon. Alfalfa sprouts and sprouted pumpkin seeds are especially potent sources of zinc, which is essential for the synthesis of protein, for many liver functions and in the healing of cuts and wounds, and of course vital in the health of the prostate area. Selenium, which is now being tested for anti-cancer properties, is also supplied by many sprouts, especially alfalfa. I have personal experience of improved cancer-resistance with this mineral, and also from germanium.

I hope I have given you all many reasons for accessing the numerous benefits of sprouting seeds, pulses and grains and trust you will use them imaginatively in your food preparation.

Peace to you all,

Pat Reeves, practitioner of nutritional and functional medicine, available for consultations and seminars. Tel. 01384 270270.

Related Vegan Views articles...
Cross-reference: Nutrition and Health