Sprouted Grain Nutrition



Sprouted grains contain more protein, less gluten  and are high in wholegrain fibre. The sprouting process changes hard to digest wheat flour starch to vegetable starch making it easier to digest and metabolize.


It is part of our initiative at Goldstream Sprouted Foods to share information and educate consumers about food science and the nutritional benefits of eating nutrient dense and functional foods that work synergistically with the body.

We hope that this information will educate people to make sense of what they eat and why smart choices in their diets should be a cornerstone to a healthy lifestyle.

Sprouting radically changes grains by first, changing the composition of starch molucules, converting them into vegetable sugars, so the body recognises and digests sprouted grains as a vegetable. Second, enzymes are created that aid digestion complex sugars are broken down. Protein, vitamins and mineral levels increase and absorb easily. Sprouting neutralizes potent carcinogens and enzyme inhibitors as well as phytic acid which blocks the abosorbtion of nutrients.

Sprouted grains contain about 25 percent less carbohydrates than whole grains ( according to an analysis by the Department of Agriculture). They also contain a little more protein, and about 40 percent of the fat of whole grains. Carbohydrates are converted to protein during the germination process. There are, therefore, lower carbs, lower cholesterol and higher protein in sprouted grain products than regular or whole wheat products.  As a result, there is also a lower risk of coronary heart disease. In addition, foods made from a combination of sprouted grains and legumes can provide a complete set of amino acids(the building blocks of protein at a  cellular level) which builds healthy muscles and tissues.


Germination, or sprouting, causes enzymatic detoxification of gluten by the wheat enzyme protease during germination. Protease from germinating wheat degrades gliadin into smaller peptide fragments converting it to vegetable sugars.

Sprouted grains contain much less gluten than their white flour counterparts, which is a bonus for those who are gluten-sensitive. While not gluten free, it can be easier for slightly gluten-sensitive individuals to eat. (However, sprouted wheat is not recommended for celiac patients).

The research conducted by prominent food science organizations points out out that germination of wheat grain is a significant tool for decreasing of gluten in wheat grains used for the production of gluten-free or low-gluten foods. Goldstream’s products are reduced gluten. We also make a disclaimer pointing out that our products are wheat based with gluten.


Sprouted grains are more alkalizing to the body.

Some food is acid forming and some is alkalizing. We need a balance of acid to alkaline food to maintain good health. Many factors affect the acidity levels in the human body.

In addition to a diet rich in processed foods, butter, sugar, coffee, alcohol and meat, stress and environmental pollutants can increase the attack of acid on the tissues of the body. To balance out the pH levels in the human body, acidity regulators like fruits and vegetables are necessary (ie. avocado, beet, broccoli, cilantro, cucumber, spinach, tomato, dates and coconut to name a few). Fortunately, the process of sprouting converts the grain, seed or legume back into its plant form thereby making it digest more like a vegetable. Sprouted grains, which are more alkalizing to the body, help to keep the pH levels of the body in balance.


Phytic acid is a substance, present in grains, which inhibits absorption of nutrients.

Phytic acid binds with calcium, magnesium  iron, copper and zinc, making it difficult to absorb those nutrients and it can also be very irritating to the digestive system. Sprouted grains, seeds and legumes neutralize phytic acid and other enzyme inhibitors making it easier to digest your food and assimilate or absorb more nutrients.


Sprouted wholegrains, hold onto all three parts of the grain therefore they are a healthy carb. Because sprouted grain products include all three parts of a whole grain (which are the endosperm, the germ and the bran of the grain) the resulting food contains both fiber and good resistant starch.

Carbohydrates are a component of food that supplies energy (calories) to the body. Carbohydrates are one of 3 macronutrients along with protein and fat. Carbohydrates are broken down into 3 broad categories: sugars, starches and fiber. Sprouted grain foods, because they hold onto all three parts of the grain are a healthy carb. Because sprouted grain products include all three parts of a whole grain (which are the endosperm, the germ and the bran of the grain) the resulting food contains both fiber and resistant starch.

Carbs are not the enemy

Carbohydrates are a component of food that supplies energy (calories) to the body. Carbohydrates are one of 3 macronutrients along with protein and fat.

Carbs are broken down into 3 broad categories:

  1. Sugars (simple carbs)
  2. Starches (complex carbs)
  3. Fiber

Note: except for fiber and resistant starch, carbs cause more and faster blood glucose rises than protein and fat. Sprouted grain foods, because they hold onto all three parts of the grain are a healthy carb, which contain both fiber and resistant starch. The three parts of a whole grain are the endosperm, the germ (the reproductive part that grows into a plant) and the husk or bran of the grain.

When white flour is processed, the bran and germ (the healthier parts of the grain) are removed and the endosperm is ground into flour. Not only are the most beneficial parts taken away, but the process of grinding down the endosperm makes the refined product that much more easily absorbed into the blood stream, which can, in turn, cause a spike in blood sugar levels.

Sprouted grain foods, which have higher fiber and resistant starch, enter the blood stream more slowly, travel further through the digestive system and have a lower glycemic index than products made with white flour.

Sprouted grains are an excellent source of fiber.

While white flour is made from the endosperm of the wheat berry, whole grain flour and sprouted grain foods contain all 3 parts of the grain: the bran, the germ and the endosperm. The bran and germ contain most of the nutrient value of the grain like minerals, fiber, essential fats and phytonutrients (plant chemicals that offer protection against disease). White flour has the bran and germ removed.

Benefits of a high fiber diet:

A diet high in fiber promotes better digestion, aids in elimination, alkalizes the body and prevents a rise in acidity, lowers blood cholesterol levels, helps control blood sugar levels (so there are no spikes or dips), lowers GI (glycemic index), aids in weight loss and prevention of weight gain, and makes you feel more full/satiated longer.


The glycemic index is broken down  into a scale of low to high. A low score on the scale is under 55. Sprouted grain foods score 50.

Sprouted grains help to control blood sugar levels in the body.

Products made with white flour contribute to blood sugar fluctuations and weight gain. The body has difficulty discriminating between refined flour and white sugar. Both of these food products rate very high on a scale called the glycemic index. The GI measures the speed of entry of a carbohydrate into the bloodstream. The faster the speed, the higher the glycemic index rating of the food and the more insulin is secreted in response. Basically, increased insulin secretion can result in energy fluctuations (ie. a spike and then a drop in blood sugar which results in fatigue and lethargy), weight gain and even the onset of diseases like type 2 diabetes.

Glycemic Index

A medium range on the glycemic index is between 56 and 69 and a high score ranges between 70 and 100.  Sugar = 100, a french baguette = 90, and a slice of white bread = 70.

The goal is to get most of your carbs from foods that rate low to medium on the GI scale (ie. sprouted whole grains, fruits, veggies and beans). As you can see, sprouted grains rate low on the GI index, which is most desirable for good health.


Sprouting is a way to slowly release all the vital nutrients stored in whole grains.

Resistant starch produces more satiety, possibly partly through the release of the peptide (PYY).

Resistant starch consumption is associated with lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Resistant starch promotes “good” bacteria, and suppresses “bad” bacteria and their toxic products.

Resistant starch promotes bowel regularity.

Resistant starch in a meal is associated with less fat storage after that meal.

When we consume starch, it is digested at different rates by the body. The starch in potatoes, cereals, and baked goods digests very rapidly. Other starchy foods, such as beans, barley, or long grained brown rice, are digested more slowly, and cause a much slower and lower blood sugar rise. Resistant starch actually goes all the way through the small intestine without being digested at all. Because it travels further before being processed by the digestive system, resistant starch has more healthful effects on the colon and the rest of the body. In this way, it is more like fiber, and in some cases is classified and labeled as fiber.

Beans are the very best food source. Legumes (ie. beans, peas) contain a large amount of resistant starch. Although the types of beans and preparation methods cause varying amounts of resistant starch (canned beans are more glycemic), in general, the starch in beans is about evenly divided between slowly-digested starch and resistant starch.

Sprouted Whole Grains are a good sources of resistant starch. The starch in pearl barley is about 12% resistant and 43% slowly-digesting. Bulgar wheat and long grain brown rice are similar. When grain is ground into flour, almost all of the starch is broken down into sugars and quickly absorbed by the body. This is why the glycemic index of products made with flour (even whole grain flour) is so much higher than that of the grain they came from. When grains are left whole and intact with the bran and NOT processed or ground into flour, on the other hand, they contain a healthy amount of resistant starch.

What makes some starch resistant?

There are four types of resistant starch:

  1. Starch that is difficult for the digestive process to reach, often due to a fibrous “shell”. Grains and legumes which are cooked intact are an example.
  2. Some foods, such as unripe bananas, raw potatoes, and plantains, have a type of starch which our digestive enzymes can’t break down.
  3. Small amounts of resistant starch (about 5% of the total) are produced when some starchy cooked foods, such as potatoes and rice, are allowed to cool before eating.
  4. Manufactured resistant starch, made by various chemical processes. It is not known whether these starches have the same benefits as those in the other three groups.

Does resistant starch have calories?

When resistant starch reaches the colon, it is used for fuel by the bacteria there.

This process, called fermentation, produces a certain type of fat called short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs).

It is these fatty acids which produce most of the calories from resistant starch, and many of the benefits.

What are the benefits of resistant starch?

Common to oligosaccharides and fermentable fiber:

Resistant starch is especially associated with one type of SCFA, called butyrate, which is protective of colon cells and associated with less genetic damage (which can lead to cancer). Butyrate also protects the cells in other ways. This is one of the real strengths of resistant starch over oligosaccharides and soluble fiber. Their fermentation does produce butyrate, but not at the levels of resistant starch.

As with other fermentable fiber, resistant starch is associated with more mineral absorption, especially calcium and magnesium.

Perhaps most exciting for people with sugar issues, resistant starch seems to improve insulin sensitivity. In the so-called “second meal effect”, fermentable fiber and resistant starch are associated with improved glucose tolerance the next day. There is evidence that this is caused by the presence of the short chain fatty acids, and by a peptide produced in the fermentation process.

Resistant starch produces more satiety, possibly partly through the release of the peptide (PYY).

Resistant starch consumption is associated with lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Resistant starch promotes “good” bacteria, and suppresses “bad” bacteria and their toxic products.

Resistant starch promotes bowel regularity.

Resistant starch in a meal is associated with less fat storage after that meal.


Butyrates are important as food for cells lining the colon. Without butyrates for energy, colon cells undergo autophagy (self digestion) and die. Short-chain fatty acids, which include butyrate, are produced by beneficial colonic bacteria (probiotics) that feed on, or ferment prebiotics, which are plant products that contain adequate amounts of dietary fiber. These short-chain fatty acids benefit the colonocyte by increasing energy production, and cell proliferation and may protect against colon cancer. Butyrate is a major metabolite in colonic lumen arising from bacterial fermentation of dietary fiber and has been shown to be a critical mediator of the colonic inflammatory response.

Peptide YY (PYY) is a gut satiety hormone released by the intestines. Its role is to dampen hunger as food is consumed. The body has a sophisticated system of hormones that affect basic human physiological function. Hormones, like insulin and PYY, are essential chemical messengers that cells in the body send out to influence other cells to achieve a particular bodily function. Some of these hormones reflect and react to feeding or fasting. The appetite and satiety hormones tell us when to eat (appetite) or when we feel full (satiated).

Insulin is produced by the pancreas in response to food intake, especially protein and carbohydrates. Although insulin will normally dampen appetite by sending signals to the brain, in overweight or diabetic people, insulin resistance may cause this regulation to malfunction.