Chapter 6 – Nutritious Meals for the Whole Family

Now that you have a beautiful and delicious array of sprouts, learning to add them to your meals is much easier than many will have you believe. Especially as you think of the health giving benefits that sprouts offer, it will be easier to remember to include them.

Help Prevent Cancer With Sprouts

According to a research project by Professor Ian Rowland and Chris Gill at the Northern Ireland Centre for Food and Health, University of Ulster, Coleraine, Northern Ireland, certain sprouts are linked to preventing cancer. The published results of this report appeared in Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, in 2004. They specifically studied the effects that cruciferous and leguminous sprouts had on cancer prevention. A sprouting blend that contained an approximate equal mix of cruciferous foods—broccoli (Brassica oleracea), radish (Raphanus sativus)—and leguminous vegetables—alfalfa (Medicago sativa) and red clover (Trifolium pratense)—were used. These sprouts were consumed after a three day growing period.

This study confirmed that eating 113 grams of this tasty sprouted mixture per day was linked to a reduced risk of cancer. These preventive qualities exist because the nutrients in the sprouts cause a decrease in free radical oxidation and other harmful influences causing damage to DNA in humans.

Over the past couple of years, I have been asked to help with an increasing number of canine and feline cancer cases. Due to the effectiveness of the sprouting blend used in Professor Rowland’s study, it would make sense to begin adding some of these sprouted foods to the diets of dogs and cats. Being able to help prevent cancer in yourself and your loved ones is a good reason to begin adding sprouts to a variety of foods for everyone in the family.

Sprouts—Only One Part of a Balanced Diet for Birds

Although sprouts clearly contain a powerhouse of nutrients, they are only one part of a balanced diet for parrots. Feeding the birds under our care a wide variety of nutritious foods is the key to their physical health and emotional well-being.

A wholesome and nutritionally balanced diet should be built on the foundation of feeding sprouts. This living mountain can then be decorated with fresh fruit slices, raw or steamed vegetables, and nuts appropriate for the species of parrot. Side servings can include cooked pasta—offer those made from vegetables or whole grains. A majority of the sproutable foods discussed in this book can also be cooked and fed to your birds as a mash.

At Aves International during the hot summer months of July and August, they will temporarily suspend their sprouting practices on days when the sprouts don’t look right or their smell is off. At these times, they will cook the unsprouted mixture and feed it to the birds as soft food. The parrots enjoy this equally as well.

In addition to these dietary guidelines, the parrots under my care also receive an organic pelleted food as an additional side serving. Since variety is the key to balanced and wholesome nutrition for a parrot, this organic pelleted food is just another component to their diet plan.

Providing a homemade egg food is another option I give my birds. For parrots that are recovering from feather destruction, offering egg food gives them another selection to choose from. Rather than purchase a packaged dry egg food mix, the nutrition present in fresh egg food made right in your kitchen is far superior from one that must be reconstituted. Appendix D contains our current egg food recipe, as this, too, can change to accommodate the needs of a client or a bird under my care.

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