Research on the health benefits of consuming sprouted whole grains reveal amazing life enhancing properties. Here is an attempt unravel the miracle of sprouting
What are Whole Grains?
Grains or “seeds” are storehouse of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and essential fatty acids as well as the greatest source of proteins.
Does Grinding and Milling affect nutritional value?
Cold-Milling whole grains merely grinds the storage cell. No matter how fine or coarse the grind, it remains in the dried seed state. Grinding or milling a whole grain does not change its properties.
What happens when a grain sprouts?
When sprouting, a seed unfolds and starts to multiply and develop its nutrients in order to provide nourishment for the the maturing vegetable.
The metabolic activity of resting dry seeds increases as soon as they are hydrated during soaking. During germination nutrients are enzymatically broken down and simplified: protein into amino acids, fats into essential fatty acids, starches into sugars. Minerals chelate or combine with protein in a way that increases their utilization. Since no external nutrients are added, only water and oxygen are consumed by the sprouting seeds to enable these complex biochemical changes. Proteins, vitamins, enzymes, minerals, fiber and trace minerals multiplies during germination process.
Does drying the sprouted grain affect nutritional value?
Drying does not affect the superior nutritional value accumulated from germination but
helps in increasing the shelf life.
Why choose sprouted grains?
Sprouting changes dormant seeds into a living food. It’s nutritional qualities are now readily bioavailable when we eat sprouted grain or the flour. The changes that occur during sprouting increase nutrition, improve digestion and assimilation. This is the reason sprouts are considered predigested food.
Living foods are one of the best foods to combat lifestyle diseases. The increased nutritional component of these foods fights Cancer, Diabetes, Blood Pressure and Neurological Disorders.
We had a heartwarming event at Turiya by Dhatu in Mysore, remembering the Mahatma for Gandhi Jayanthi.
We had an exhibition of rare photographs of the mahatma
An exhibition of the foods Gandhi ji recommends in his works on the topics ‘Key to Health’, ‘Moral basis of Vegetarianism’ and ‘Diet and Diet Reforms’:
A cooking demonstration and talk on diet recommended by Baapu
An art competition for kids on the topics of “If we followed in Gandhi’s footsteps”. It was inspiring to see the vision of Gnadhi’s words take shape in the children’s minds and get expression as art!
After two hours of painting, the children and parents enjoyed special millet delicacies like Raagi (Finger Millet) Laddoo, Bajra (Pearl Millet) Laddoo, and Baragu (Proso Millet) Bisi Bele Bath
We had a certificate and prize distribution ceremony to all the kids and winners. Smt. Leelavathi S. Rao, author of the kannada children’s book “Kiriyarige Hiriyara Kathegalu” chaired the event.
We thank all those who joined in these events and helped us remember that “The greatness of the man was his Simplicity”. I hope we all aspire to walk in Gandhi’s footsteps in whatever way we feel most inspired!
October 2nd, on Gandhi Jayanthi, we cannot help but remember his autobiography “My experiments with Truth”. Baapu as he is fondly called, experimented with most of the essential aspects of life including diet and food, which remained a lifelong hobby. When he said “Be the change you wish to see in the world”, he meant practicing what you preach, and so he did. In his quest for a simple lifestyle, he also had to find food that allowed him to maintain his energy levels. His findings and preferences are included in his books “Key to Health”, “The Moral Basis of Vegetarianism” and “Diet and Diet Reforms”
Here are a few interesting anecdotes on his food choices:
On raw vegan diet:
Gandhi, apart from being a stanch vegetarian, also promoted a raw vegan diet. For several years his diet consisted of mainly seasonal local fruits, peanuts and olive oil (for fat). Prof N R Malkani, who became Gandhi’s close associate in Sind, recalled that when he first met him, “He was carrying with him a covered tin of groundnut paste which was called his ‘butter’ and when he sat down to eat, he devoured a lot of plantains with this groundnut butter.” In an excerpt from Diet and Diet Reforms, we also get to see that he started consuming Sprouted Wheat when experimenting with a fully raw diet.
However, he later had to add Goat milk (as he had taken a vow not to consume cow and buffalo milk), to his diet, as well as, cooked food, when his health started failing. He however kept looking for a way to eliminate all animal products from his life till the end.
On alternate sweeteners:
“The juice of the coconut tree can be transformed into a sugar as soft as honey… Nature created this product such that it could not be processed in factories. Palm sugar can only be produced in palm tree habitats. Local populations can easily turn the nectar into coconut blossom sugar. It is a way to solve the world’s poverty. It is also an antidote against misery.” Gandhi 3.5.1939. Gandhi also advised the consumption of jaggery, palm sugar, palm jaggery, but was vehemently opposed to white or refined sugar.
Gandhi believed cereals such as – wheat, rice, jowar, bajra was required in medium portions. Excerpt from his book “Key to Health”, “The cereals should be properly cleansed, ground on a grinding stone, and the resulting flour used as it is. Sieving of the flour should be avoided. It is likely to remove the bhusi or the pericarp which is a rich source of salt and vitamins and roughage, which are most valuable form the point of view of nutrition and for bowel movement. Important constituents of the cereals are lost with the removal of their pericarp.”
About rice Gandhi ji said, “Rice grain being very delicate, nature has provided it with an outer covering or epicure. This is not edible. In order to remove this inedible portion, rice has to be pounded. Pounding should be just sufficient to remove the epicarp or the outer skin of the rice grain. But machine pounding not only removes the outer skin, but also polishes the rice by removing its pericarp. The explanation of the popularity of polished rice lies in the fact that polishing helps preservation. The pericarp is very sweet and unless it is removed, rice is easily spoilt. Polished rice and wheat without its pericarp, supply us with almost pure starch.”
We invite you to try eating like Gandhi. Unfortunately, what he considered simple and natural, has become the exception rather than the norm. Polished grains, refined sugars, and chemical rich fruits and vegetables are the conventional foods of the day. But we have to be grateful that there are still farmers growing foods in the traditional organic way, and we can still process foods in traditional ways like stone grinding.
Started as a Social project by an organization called AASAI, to provide Indian Breed Gir cows to people who have experience caring for cows, so they will not have the capital expense, but are able to provide the care, nurturing, and homely atmosphere these cows need.
An other important creative aspect of this project is that a provident fund has been setup for the cows. A portion of the milk profit goes to this fund, so that the cows will be taken care of beyond their milking years by their own earnings.
Another portion of the milk profits is used to support two social causes, one is a home for about 100 mentally challenged children and the other in an old age home for the financially challenged.
The milk of the Gir cow is 100% A2 milk. The A2 milk protein is much more easily digested by the body and is very good for health. The Gir cow only yields 6-10 liters of milk per day as opposed to the 30liters plus the hybrid verities can yield.
Further, the Indian breed cow’s urine, cow dung, milk, curds and ghee are used in the preparation of Panchagavya. This concoction when allowed to ferment becomes a potent natural fertilizer and pesticide and is of huge benefit to the farmer practicing Organic farming.
Team DhatuOrganics visited the two farms that 4 each of the Gir cows call home. It was indeed a joy to watch them roam free like wild beasts among natural settings, nuzzle and
care of their calves, and eat fruit and jaggery out of our hands. The farmers report that they are very soft and gentle creatures despite their huge size and form a deep bond with their care takers.
They are fed pure organic feed and treated using tranditional ayurvedic methods. Absolutely no growth hormones or antibioticsare used. Further the milk is packed fresh immediately after milking – unpasteurized and unhomogenized (so please boil the milk immediately after taking it home and store below 4 degree centigrade).
Limited quantity of this pure Gir cow milk is available at Dhatu Organics and Naturalsstores in Mysore. Please call to make reservations or walk in to pick It up on a first come first served basis.
Many things have changed since the Green Revolution after World War II. Large scale industrialization took place in every sector and the Agriculture Industry exploded –thanks to synthetic fertilizers & pesticides, hybridization of seeds, and other field management techniques. Though the immediate effect were beneficial, the unseen impact of this green revolution is becoming evident now. Traditional farming till then was “organic” and there were no inorganic method of cultivation.
Post Industrial Revolution, probably the most significant revolution was in the IT sector. The next boom is happening in the health care industry. The total health care industry size is expected to touch US$ 160 billion by 2017 and US$ 280 billion by 20202!! It’s a growth of 75% in just three years!! The reason for this growth lies in a number of factors including chemical farming, wrong diets, unhealthy life choices, stressful work culture and environmental pollution.
Life Style Diseases on the Rise:
Do you know that India is the capital of diabetes in the world ? Every year, more than 700,000 people die because of Cancer in India alone. Incidences of heart, kidney and neurological diseases have become common. We are living in the era of life style diseases and the definition of primary health care has to be changed. Each house hold has to become a primary health care center. We are interacting with increasing number of toxic chemicals in our daily life. It starts from toothpaste (e.g., Sodium Laurel Sulphate), detergents, canned foods (e.g., lead), bug sprays etc.
What can We Do ?
Some simple steps taken at home can go long way. Some changes are required in our daily life to control or stop our interactions with chemicals.
Go for local organic foods.
Switch to whole grains (millets, brown rice etc.). Learn to cook them properly.
Fermenting, sprouting will increase the nutritional qualities of the grains.
Use good oil (e.g. coconut oil) for cooking.
Consume lots of vegetables, fruits and greens.
Always opt for country side free range (pasture fed) eggs or meat.
No junk foods, refined foods (maida, sugar etc.), processed food (canned foods) or carbonated drinks.
Do not use synthetic food colors, taste makers, preservatives etc. In your food preparation.
Some form of daily physical exercises (cycling, swimming, yoga, running etc.) is a must.
Drink copious amount of water – Keep yourself hydrated
Come out of your work cabins or home and get sufficient sun light daily. Take a walk or run.
Throw away your soaps, tooth pastes, shampoos, laundry powder, detergents, cleaners and any other possible chemicals that you are using ! Look for alternatives – there are lots of them. By doing this you are staying away from all harmful chemicals which are carcinogens (SLSs, parabens etc.)
Turn to age old proven methods (traditional medicines like Ayrurveda) for simple problems like cold, cough etc.
Lets not forget that our mother Earth needs to be taken care. Automobile exhausts, industrial discharges, solid waste dumping, etc is taking a toll on Earth and its inhabitants. There is a shift in environmental patterns and ecology due to extensive exploitation by humans . There is a deep need for humans to introspect on his activities. Priorities has to be set right.
Zero-Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) come into being by Subhash Palekar, an agricultural scientist who promotes and actively educates farmers in natural farming techniques, ZBNF involves methods that require no cost input from the farmer’s side in terms of pesticides, fertilizers or even irrigation. Natural methods are used to retain and improve soil health, control pests, and increase yields. A farmer will also be able to produce his own seed, and natural fertilizers are created using cow dung, cow urine and other materials. According to Mr. Palekar, one native cow is all one needs to take up this method of farming on thirty acres of land.
Mr. Palekar hails from the state of Maharashtra and is fondly called the “Krishi ka Rishi” or the farmer’s sage! He has trained over 4 million farmers in the last two decades on these sustainable, eco-friendly farming techniques. He was honoured with the Bharat Krishi Ratna award and the Basava Shri, which includes the Dalai Lama and Anna Hazare among its recipients.
How ZBNF Works
Based on his experience with both natural and chemical farming techniques and his observation of nature, Mr. Palekar designed the following principles of ZBNF:
Beejamrita, the treatment of seeds, seedlings or any planting material with a natural concoction to protect the crop from harmful soil borne and seed borne pathogens during the initial stages of growth.
Jeevamrita, which is introduced once a fortnight into the farm to promote biological activity in the soil and make nutrients available to the crop.
Mulching with organic residues to reduce tillage, suppress weeds, promote humus formation and enhance the soil’s water-holding capacity.
Mixed cropping and cultivation of diverse species of crops depending on site-specific agro-climatic conditions, to buffer against total failure of a single crop and widen the income source of farmers.
Before the Green Revolution, just over 50 years ago, all farming was “Organic”. Industrialization of the agriculture sector and the short term view of producing higher yields led to large scale adaptation of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and hybridization of seeds. While this certainly led to improved yields, it also made the farmers more and more reliant on these chemicals to keep up yields. Also pests that develop resistance to the pesticides, tend to pose more severe challenges. All the added chemicals in the food is also being linked to increased incidents of lifestyle disorders.
Organic farming is a returning to the roots of traditional farming practices by successfully managing natural resources, while maintaining or enhancing the quality of the environment.
The following are some of the techniques used in Organic Farming:
Crop rotation is the practice of growing a series of dissimilar or different types of crops in the same area in sequenced seasons. It helps in reducing soil erosion and increases soil fertility and crop yield. Crop rotation gives various nutrients to the soil. A traditional element of crop rotation is the replenishment of nitrogen through the use of green manure in sequence with cereals and other crops. Crop rotation also mitigates the build-up of pathogens and pests that often occurs when one species is continuously cropped, and can also improve soil structure and fertility by alternating deep-rooted and shallow-rooted plants. Crop rotation is one component of polyculture.
Companion planting in gardening and agriculture is the planting of different crops in proximity for pest control, pollination, providing habitat for beneficial creatures, maximizing use of space, and to otherwise increase crop productivity. Companion planting is a form of polyculture
Intercropping is a multiple cropping practice involving growing two or more crops in proximity. The most common goal of intercropping is to produce a greater yield on a given piece of land by making use of resources that would otherwise not be utilized by a single crop. Careful planning is required, taking into account the soil, climate, crops, and varieties. It is particularly important not to have crops competing with each other for physical space, nutrients, water, or sunlight. Examples of intercropping strategies are planting a deep-rooted crop with a shallow-rooted crop, or planting a tall crop with a shorter crop that requires partial shade.
Biological control is a bio effectors-method of controlling pests (including insects, mites, weeds and plant diseases) using other living organisms. It relies on predation, parasitism, herbivory, or other natural mechanisms, but typically also involves an active human management role. It can be an important component of integrated pest management (IPM) programs.