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Carbs in Sprouts

Nutritional Information, Calories, Carbs, Fiber

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Updated May 16, 2014

Broccoli sprout salad
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Vegetables commonly just called "sprouts" are seeds which have been watered and germinated. They are generally eaten when about 3-4 days old. Sprouts are easy to grow at home. A tablespoon of alfalfa seeds, for example, will sprout to fill a quart jar. Almost any seed or legume can be used for sprouting (though if you're going to do it yourself, be sure to buy seeds labeled "for sprouting").

One type of sprout that has gotten a lot of attention is broccoli sprouts, when studies found that it has large amounts of phytonutrients thought to have anticancer effects.

When it comes to nutrients, basically the leafier the sprouts are, the more their nutritional content is similar to green leafy vegetables such as lettuce. Sprouted legumes (beans) have a higher carbohydrate content unless the seed itself has been removed before sale, as you can tell by these examples.

Carbohydrate and Fiber Counts for Sprouts

  • 1 cup raw alfalfa sprouts: .1 grams effective (net) carbohydrate plus .6 grams fiber and 8 calories
  • 1 cup raw mung bean sprouts: 4 grams effective (net) carbohydrate plus 2 grams fiber and 31 calories
  • 1 cup raw pinto bean sprouts: 10 grams effective (net) carbohydrate plus 1.5 grams fiber and 64 calories

Glycemic Index for Collard Greens

As with most non-starchy vegetables, there is no scientific study of the glycemic index of sprouts.

More Information about the Glycemic Index

Estimated Glycemic Load of Collard Greens

  • 1 cup raw alfalfa sprouts: 0
  • 1 cup raw mung bean sprouts: 2
  • 1 cup raw pinto bean sprouts: 4

More Information About the Glycemic Load

Health Benefits of Sprouts

Sprouts are a fair source of a variety of nutrients, but aren't very high in any one, probably because they aren't very dense. If there is a significant amount of green leaf attached they have a nutrient profile similar to leafy green vegetables, including lots of vitamin K. Some studies have shown that some of them have fairly high levels of phytonutrients, many of which have antioxidant properties.

More Carb Profiles:

Sources:

Nestle M. "Broccoli sprouts as inducers of carcinogen-detoxifying enzyme systems: clinical, dietary, and policy implications." Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1997 Oct 14;94(21):11149-51.

United States Department of Agriculture. "Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of Selected Foods, Release 2. May 2010.

USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 21.

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