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Previously consumed mostly by health food fanatics, Rejuvelac is now a more mainstream beverage that health-conscious consumers are trying. It's a fermented drink made from sprouted wheat berries or other whole grains. Ann Wingmore of the Natural Health Institute created this drink as part of the Living Foods Lifestyle program. It's rich in essential nutrients and healthy bacteria.
Sprouted Grains Have an Advantage
Unsprouted grains are mature dormant seeds; however, under the right temperature and moisture, the seeds germinate and start a new life cycle. The sprouting process increases the grain's principal bioavailable nutrients, including vitamin C, B complex, folate, fiber and essential amino acids. The Whole Grains Council explains that sprouted grains may offer a wide range of health benefits, depending on the type of grain you eat. Nutritionally, sprouted wheat berries are higher in amino acids than other grains.
High in Probiotics
Because it's fermented, Rejuvelac is a rich source of lactobacillus acidophilus, a beneficial bacteria found in miso, yogurt, tempeh, kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir and other fermented foods. Probiotics like acidophilus populate your intestines and other areas like your mouth and crowd out harmful pathogens that cause problems like inflammation. They balance the ratio of good to bad bacteria to keep your intestines healthy, which may improve digestive conditions like acid reflux and irritable bowel syndrome.
Vitamins and Minerals
The traditional Rejuvelac recipe made from wheat berries is rich in vitamins, minerals and amino acids, writes Deirdre Rawlings in her book "Fermented Foods for Health." Namely, this beverage is rich in the vitamins E, K, C, B-1, B-3; the minerals magnesium, potassium and manganese; and amino acids. However, it's not clear how much of each nutrient you'll get per serving.
Make Your Own
You can buy Rejuvelac at health food stores or make your own version at home, says Rawlings. One method is to soak 1/2 cup of wheat berries or the grain of your choice overnight in 4 cups of water. Drain the grains the following morning, spread them in a container lined with a wet paper towel and leave them to sprout for two or three days. Rinse the grains every six hours. You'll know the sprouts are ready when you have 1/4-inch shoots growing out. At that point, place the grains in a container with 4 cups of water and let them sit in a warm place for about 14 hours, then strain them again and enjoy the liquid as a drink.
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