Blanket diet rules like eat sprouts, eat raw vegetables, drink plenty of water etc. bear likeness to the nature of a double edged sword. While some of us are truly benefited by adopting them in our lifestyle; some others can end up with imbalance and diseases. Sprouts (from beans, lentils especially) are without a doubt a healthy and nutritious food. However, Ayurveda advises against the habit of eating sprouts regularly.
Sprouts are dominant in astringent taste (Kashaya rasa) and tend to increase dryness in our body. Owing to their astringent taste, they tend to cause imbalance of Vata dosha in our body. They also tend to diminish ‘Agni’ –which represents the energy responsible for digesting food and maintaining tissue metabolism to its optimum.
People who are dominant in Vata dosha or suffer from Vata dominant disorders should avoid eating sprouts frequently. Sprouts are unwholesome for Vata dominant disorders like osteoarthritis and disorders of the nervous system. Also, people who are aged should eat sprouts in moderation due to the natural dominance of Vata dosha during old age. Those who suffer from lack of appetite or sluggish digestion and metabolism should avoid sprouts. To reap their nutritional benefits without throwing Vata and Agni out of balance, sprouts should always be combined with Vata pacifying and digestion boosting spices like cumin, coriander and drizzled with sesame seed oil or ghee.
Morning and afternoon are ideal times of the day to eat sprouts. Earth and water dominant Kapha dosha and the fire dominant Pitta, go through a diurnal surge in their levels during morning and afternoon respectively. Astringent taste and drying nature of the sprouts, helps in balancing Kapha and Pitta when taken during these hours. Spring and summer season are great for including more sprouts in diet, especially for people with Kapha and Pitta body type. Also, those who have excess of Meda dhatu (fatty tissue) in their body, those who are overweight or obese are benefited by the dry and light qualities of sprouts. Although, eating sprouts every day and in large quantities should be avoided.
To summarize, sprouts are beneficial when we limit them to a ‘sometimes’ food.