What the F are Sprouted Grains?

Whole Foods and I have a tumultuous relationship.  Every time I get sucked into buying some new product that I absolutely need because it boasts that it is the latest super food.  I walk out spending way more money than I intended, and then I'm all like "Sh*t did I really need that sprouted oat acai berry chia seed hemp heart water?!" (Disclaimer: that's not a real thing).   

Choices in the food store are really hard to make, because it's hard to decode the latest lingo in health and nutrition.  Here are some recent common trends in food we're seeing, along with the health benefits they provide:

1.  Sprouted Grains.  These grains are babies.  They are picked and used to make bread products before turning into a full plant.  The benefits of choosing sprouted grains over whole wheat or multigrain are abundant.  Sprouted grain products contain antioxidants, and boast more Vitamin B and C.  They are also easier on the digestive system.  

Toasted s  prouted grain tortilla with olive oil and za'atar

Toasted sprouted grain tortilla with olive oil and za'atar

2.  GMO Free (also labeled as non GMO).  A GMO is a genetically modified organism and has been causing a stir in the heath world.  At its most basic, scientists have figured out a way to genetically alter the food we are eating.  This is bad because when food is genetically modified, it releases toxins and carcinogens that weren't there before.  Also, the quality and quantity of the nutrients of the original food is diminished. 

3.  Sustainable Seafood.  We are constantly hearing about the conditions our meat is raised and farmed in, but what about the way our fish is harvested?  Sustainable seafood means the fish was caught in the wild (when the fish develops in its natural environment) or responsibly farmed.  The fishermen take great care of how the fish is caught to make sure there is little disruption to the species itself and its natural environment. 

4.  Miso.  Miso soup is always the way to start a sushi night, but did you know miso paste is a health foodie fave too?  Miso is simply fermented soybeans, aids in digestion, and adds a nice dose of probiotics to your meal.  I usually toss my vegetables in it, or put it on fish before baking. 

5.  Chia seeds.  These bad boys have been everywhere lately! They're tiny but pack a serious nutrition punch.  Chia seeds are filled with fiber and protein to keep you fuller longer, and also contain omega-3's and antioxidants.  This is a must buy to add to breakfast in the morning.