Is there nutrition in wheat kernels that will not sprout?

Asked April 15, 2019, 2:59 PM EDT

Is there nutrition in wheat kernels that will not sprout?

Jackson County Oregon human nutrition

1 Response

Hello-

Thank you for your question about nutritional content of wheat kernels that are not sprouted. Yes, an un-sprouted grain still has nutritional content. For a grain to sprout it must be whole- containing the germ, endosperm and bran. The germ is the embryo of the plant and requires certain temperature and moisture content to sprout. The endosperm (starchy part of the grain) provides the nutrients to the germ to grow the sprout.

Whole intact grains containing the germ, endosperm and bran are the best choice. Sprouted grains are popular because the enzyme content is higher and sprouted grains are lower in phytic acid. Phytic acid can bind with fiber and other nutrients such as iron making them less available in the food. Sprouted grains have more available B-vitamins, folate, vitamin C and fiber because of the enzyme activity, the “sprout itself” (high in Vitamin C) and the reduction of phytic acid making these nutrients more easily absorbed by the digestive system.

In addition, whole grains that are not sprouted are also an excellent choice. There are many varieties of grains that can be used in creatively in all type of recipes. Even “processed grains” where the bran and germ have been removed, will contain nutrition from the endosperm or starchy kernel. Most process grains have been enriched (vitamins added back to the product) so they contain B- vitamins as well.

Here are a few resources if you’d like to read more:

Information about grains from the Whole Grains Council-
https://wholegrainscouncil.org/whole-grains-101/whats-whole-grain-refined-grain/sprouted-whole-grains

OSU Food Hero Monthly Whole Grains topics

https://www.foodhero.org/sites/default/files/monthly-magazines/whole_gains_monthly.pdf

https://www.foodhero.org/sites/default/files/monthly-magazines/April%20Food%20Hero%20Monthly_1.pdf

Thank You for asking!

Cheryl Kirk, RD
Jackson & Josephine County Extension