Produce With Power

We all are aware of the fact that consuming fresh organic vegetables is one of the cornerstones of good health. Health experts firmly believe that eating large amounts of high-quality vegetables every day is one of the most important steps to achieving optimal well-being.  

Unfortunately, many people fail to get enough vegetables in their diet. In fact, only a quarter of American adults today consume three or more servings of vegetables daily.  Here are a few tips on how to maximize your nutritional intake from vegetables –

The Raw Deal  
Fresh organic vegetables are an important part of a wholesome, balanced diet. They contain a wide array of antioxidants and essential compounds that you will not find in other food sources. Fresh greens contain phytochemicals that offer multiple benefits to your health, such as helping to reduce inflammation, reducing carcinogens, maintaining your DNA, and regulating your cell reproduction. Consuming raw veggies also provides you with biophotons, the smallest physical units of light, which are stored in and used by all biological organisms. Naturally grown fresh vegetables, raw sprouts, and sun-ripened fruits are naturally rich in this light energy.

Sparkle With Sprouts –
Sprouts are a living food you should include in your diet. It is easy to include common greens, such as spinach, kale, lettuce, and cabbage, in your meals. However, don’t miss out on other types of vegetables, like sprouts.  Sprouts have an impressive nutritional profile and they are also easy to grow.

Here are some interesting facts about sprouts:

                They can contain up to 100 times more enzymes than raw fruits and vegetables. Sprouts help your body to extract more vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and essential fats from the foods you eat.
                Foods like beans, nuts, seeds and grains have higher protein and fiber content when sprouted.
                Vitamins and essential fatty acid content of plant foods dramatically increase during the sprouting process. In fact, the nutrient content can increase as much as 30 times the original value within just a few days of sprouting.
                Minerals like calcium and magnesium bind to protein during sprouting, making them more bioavailable.
                Sprouts are easy to grow. You can even grow them in your own kitchen. They’re also very inexpensive, and will not add any burden to your budget.

There are many types of beans, seeds, nuts, and grains that you can sprout. Sunflower seeds and pea sprouts are among the top choices, as they can offer you with a wide array of nutrients. They can each provide you with 30 times more nutrition than organic garden-grown vegetables.

Sunflower seeds are rich in minerals, healthy fats, essential fatty acids, amino acids like l-arginine, fiber, and phytosterols. They are one of the best seeds you can add to your diet, and sprouting them will improve their nutrient content by as much as 300 to 1,200 percent. Sprouted sunflower seeds, like peas, also contain plenty of iron, chlorophyll, and phytosterols.

Sunflower sprouts are very easy to include in your diet. They can be added to salads, used as a garnish, or even served as a side dish. Here’s one delicious sunflower sprout recipe you can try: 

Sunflower Power Salad.
1 large head red cabbage, shredded
1 pound spinach
2 cups fresh or packed sunflower sprouts
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1 cup toasted sunflower seeds
Basil-Cider Vinaigrette:
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, pressed
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1.     Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2.     Put the sunflower seeds in a rectangular dish and place in the oven to brown. This takes about 10 minutes.
3.     Combine and mix all of the dressing ingredients in a bowl.
4.     In another large bowl, mix the spinach, cabbage, cilantro, and sunflower sprouts. Add the dressing and the toasted sunflower seeds. Serve immediately.
This recipe makes four servings.
Go Local –
 To make sure that you’re getting only optimal nutrition from your foods, buy only fresh, locally-grown, and non-GMO vegetables and sprouts. It is also a good idea to grow your own organic vegetable garden in your backyard.
Conventional Wisdom –
If you cannot obtain organic vegetables or cannot grow a vegetable garden, you can buy conventionally grown vegetables. However, take extra care when purchasing non-organic produce, as they may be tainted with chemical pesticides. Wash them thoroughly and removing the peels and cores.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) offers a “Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce”that will help you determine the crops with the highest and lowest levels of pesticide residue. Refer to this list, so you will know which vegetables are best to buy organic.

About the Author:
Elaine is a writer for Mercola (read more about Mercola here).  She is currently researching ways to get nutrients like protein and L-Arginine from plant food sources. She hopes this will educate people on the importance of having vegetables in their diet. When not busy writing, she spends a great deal of time surfing the Internet for useful health resources. 

  22 comments for “Produce With Power

  1. August 14, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    I subscribe to EWG. It’s an excellent source of information! Glad you mentioned them. I also buy local. Started a couple of years ago. We have a very nice Farmer’s Market here. I hope to feature it on the blog soon. I eat cabbage, spinach, and greens. I need to incorporate sprouts. Love these recipes! Must try! Excellent post!

    • August 16, 2013 at 8:08 pm

      Thanks Kim! You should try sprouts. I think you can find them at trader joe’s or even farmer’s market. 🙂

  2. August 15, 2013 at 1:55 am

    i really enjoyed this article! sprouts are delicious, i have had them mainly in thai food – yummy and super healthy!

    • August 16, 2013 at 7:50 pm

      I think sprouts are delicious too. They don’t need a green thumb so that’s a plus for me 🙂

  3. August 15, 2013 at 1:56 am

    oh i also did an article on herbs. thank you for recommending that 🙂

    • August 16, 2013 at 8:06 pm

      You’re welcome. I’m going to try your tips and see if I have better luck this time. 🙂

  4. Rosamay
    August 16, 2013 at 1:05 am

    Thank you for publishing our article! Hope more of your readers will enjoy it. 🙂

    • August 16, 2013 at 7:55 pm

      You’re welcome! I absolutely loved the article and hope my readers do too. Thank you so much for the very informative article! 🙂

  5. August 16, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    I try to eat veggies ate least 2x a day and that’s probably still not enough. I do eat bean sprouts but I didn’t know there were so many other kinds. This salad with sunflower sprouts sounds both healthful and delicious! Thanks for this informative post and recipe!

    Rowena @ rolala loves

    • August 16, 2013 at 8:05 pm

      You’re welcome. Thanks to Mercola writer for the very informative article and recipe. I think 2x a day is pretty good..that’s pretty much what I follow. I sometimes drink green juice but I eat my veggies more. I love sprouts and they are very easy to grow. You should try it. I don’t have a green thumb but I have never had problems growing sprouts. 🙂

  6. August 17, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    Wow I always find interesting article through your blog, I love fresh vegetables and sprouts are my favorite.

  7. August 20, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    great article. I’ve actually recently looked into growing my own sprouts in my kitchen windowsill due to mainstream alfalfa being increasingly genetically-modified. My family and I have slowly but surely been working on turning our yard into our own organic food garden. More people need to understand the negative health affects that non-organic food has on us. Support your local farmers as much as you can! Buy organic. We really try to buy organic and grass-fed, uncured food but unfortunately it’s not always in the budget which is why we plan to grow our own food, save cash while knowing what we’re eating.


    • May 27, 2014 at 12:21 am

      Growing your own food is the best way to go. I’m trying to grow my own garden too but unfortunately I don’t have a green thumb. I’m getting better at it so may be one day I’ll have a dream organic garden. Thanks for the comments and sharing your views. 🙂

  8. August 27, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    Amazing post dear! I recently eat lots of seeds and nuts:-).. soon I will become a rabbit:-) But it is all good and I like the facts you named in your post.
    hugs from New York,
    Ask Erena

    • May 27, 2014 at 12:24 am

      Thanks Erena. I’m already a rabbit I guess but I like the benefits. 🙂

  9. August 29, 2013 at 10:30 am

    It’s so great to finally catch up with blogging and I’m so glad I read this because it makes me want to eat healthier. Sometimes it’s easy to grab a yogurt for breakfast but my favorite is to have fresh fruits everyday and veggies are so important. I love sprouts, especially on sandwiches!

    I’m also definitely going to try out the basil vinaigrette for all kinds of salads.


    • May 27, 2014 at 12:26 am

      I love sprouts in sandwiches too. so glad to hear from you 🙂

  10. October 21, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Mmmmm…I love it!
    Sooo yummy!
    Now I must eat something…

    Katherine Unique

    • May 27, 2014 at 12:27 am

      Reading about food makes me hungry too. hope you enjoyed the post and information 🙂

      • August 5, 2014 at 12:38 am

        Looks absolutely yummy.. Here for the first time and shuold say you have a lovely blog. Keep it going. will be here often. Do take a peep into my blogs when you find time.

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    March 22, 2014 at 4:27 pm

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  12. June 8, 2014 at 11:10 am

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