One of the most frequently cited reasons for a poor diet is the cost of fresh produce, especially organic produce. I confess it gives me sticker shock, and I don’t know how anyone who’s not in the “one percent” can afford a pure diet of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables these days.
But there IS a way to do it on the cheap…to eat fresh, organic “super foods” every day for pennies.
Do this and you will flood your body with more bioavailable vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and essential fatty acids than you’ll get from any produce you buy in a store.
Keep reading and I’ll unveil this secret that’s worth thousands of dollars a year – and can add years of illness-free living to your life!
The most affordable, healthy organic foods on the planet are far fresher than you could ever purchase in a grocery store!
I’m talking about sprouts. Best of all, they can be grown anywhere, even on your kitchen countertop.
When you grow your own sprouts – and don’t worry, it’s brain-dead simple – you’re helping the environment, because the food doesn’t have to be trucked thousands of miles or shipped by air from Latin America during the winter. And, of course, there’s no need for herbicides or pesticides on your kitchen produce.
Most of the plant foods you eat begin their life as sprouts. “Sprouting” is simply the way the seed cracks open for the first time. Because the nutrients and antioxidants in a seed are so incredibly concentrated, they pack a real wallop of nutrition.
Eight reasons to eat sprouts
Consider adding sprouts to your diet, for these eight reasons:
- 100 times more enzymes than raw fruits and vegetables. Enzymes give you the building blocks available for every bodily process to work more effectively.
- Increased fiber. Fiber is critical to weight loss and colon health. It binds to fats and toxins to give them their marching orders out of your body. It also prevents or slows down the absorption of digested food from your intestine into your bloodstream, thereby preventing blood sugar spikes and also giving you a feeling of fullness, so you eat less.
- Improved protein quality. Proteins change and get a boost from the soaking and sprouting process.
- Huge nutritional boost. The overall vitamin content of some seeds and nuts increases by up to 20 times their original value with just a few days of sprouting. This is especially true for vitamins A, B-complex, C, and E. For example, mung bean sprouts (often simply called bean sprouts) boost vitamin B1 by 285 percent, vitamin B2 by 515 percent and niacin by 256 percent.
- A rich dose of essential fatty acids (EFA). EFA’s are critical for a healthy heart, a sharp memory, and a cancer-free body. EFA levels increase during sprouting.
- More minerals, more bioavailable. Boost your calcium, magnesium, and other minerals for better body chemistry that promotes proper weight and better health.
- Alkalizing. Many illnesses, including cancer, have been linked to an acidic body.
- Ridiculously inexpensive! The most budget-friendly health food on earth. Mere pennies per serving.
Before we get into how simple it is to grow sprouts, consider these additional benefits of sprouts. Eating sprouts directly benefits your health, and allows you to eat the freshest, cheapest, most nutritional food.
Strengthens your immune system
The Hippocrates Health Institute and Tufts University did a joint study to see how raw food affected the immune systems of healthy, disease-free people. They found that the more cooked food a person eats – as a percentage of their total food intake — the weaker the immune system becomes.
Look at the table below. If roughly two-thirds of your diet is cooked foods, your immune system may be off by half compared to its peak performance. And I’d venture a guess that very few Americans eat a diet that’s less than two-thirds cooked foods. Meaning, all of us are immune-system-compromised.
|Raw Food Intake as percentage of total diet||Cooked Food Intake as percentage of total diet||Immune System Function Lost|
Supplies critical cancer-fighting nutrients
Phytonutrients – nutrients derived from plants — are the best nutrients scientists have identified in nature. And sprouts are much richer sources of phytonutrients than fully-formed adult plants are. As such, they are among the most potent disease fighters you can get. And which type of sprout is the best? Glad you asked. . .
The most cancer-protective sprout of all is the broccoli sprout. Broccoli sprouts have decided advantages over mature broccoli. Johns Hopkins scientists found that three-day old broccoli sprouts are consistently packed with 20 to 50 times the chemo-protective compounds found in mature broccoli heads.
When you eat a sprout, you’re eating the entire plant at a very young age. That is, you eat the root, stem, and head in one concentrated little package.
As the plant sucks water and grows, the cancer-protective compounds called sulforaphanes (part of a group called glucosinolates) are diluted. They’re still there, in roughly the same amount. But now instead of merely eating a sprouted seed to get them, you have to eat the entire plant!
When you buy broccoli at the store, you’re buying just a portion of the whole plant. Glucosinolates were left in the ground (the root), others are in the leaves you discarded, and others were removed when the stem was cut off (many people just eat the florets).
You might be wondering, why not just eat the seed before it even sprouts? Well, you could… but sprouts are far more tasty, nutritious, and easier to digest. Non-sprouted broccoli seeds taste terrible!
Improves your cardiovascular system
Studies show that sprouted broccoli seeds may also offer a simple dietary means of reducing prostate and colon cancer risk. Plus, they may bolster your defense against heart disease, stroke, and high cholesterol, while at the same time they support your eye health, lung health, and immune system. When eaten during pregnancy, they may provide children with life-long protection from cardiovascular disease.
That’s a lot of benefit from a humble seed and its pennies-per-serving sprouts. And that’s not all…
Helps promote youthful hormone levels
Studies show that people may be able to break down the hormones in sprouts and turn them into usable human hormones. This is critical as the body ages and our bodies produce less of the hormones we need to stay young and healthy.
Men and women both seem to be able to use these phytonutrients exactly the way they need to. This is relevant because some authorities are concerned that phytoestrogens found in plants may act like human estrogen in our bodies, leading to an excess of these hormones. This does not appear to be true.
Store-bought organic produce has a dark side
If all this isn’t enough to convince you to try sprouting, consider the reality of the organic foods your grocer carries.
By the time you buy your organic produce, it’s likely been refrigerated for days, weeks, or even longer. Farms store it before shipment, and it travels for days to arrive at your store, where it’s stored yet again. By the time you get it, it may have lost its freshness.
Most phytonutrients are inactive after about three weeks. Vitamins reportedly decline to a fraction of their original levels. The plant hormones may no longer be viable, and enzymes no longer active.
Your organic produce is massively compromised by the time it reaches you. A farmer’s market is a better choice, but if you grow your own you can eat them at their peak of freshness.
Eating organic does lower your toxic load from pesticides. But you’re still losing the freshness you could have if you grew your own sprouts. So, why not earmark some of your current produce budget to buy seeds you can sprout at home?
How to grow your own sprouts
So, are you ready to embark on this new and exciting, yet simple, adventure in eating? You just need a little basic equipment and some seeds.
You can get canning jars with lids and sprout your seeds in a canning jar. It’s the cheapest way to get started, but drainage is a real problem. An 8×10, two-section stackable sprouter tray might be a better option, and usually includes a drain tray and cover. For greater variety and rotation, buy two trays. There are many different brands on the market.
This is your only investment for most sprouts, besides your organic seeds. While broccoli is loaded with amazing benefits, it’s wise to consume a wide variety, for interest and nutrition. Try broccoli, alfalfa, radish, cabbage, peas, beans, and lentils.
For tiny seeds like alfalfa, four tablespoons of seed will make a full 8×10 tray, enough for one or two people for a few days. A tray of organic sprouts costs about $3.00, depending on your seed type and source… a far cry from a $9.00 plastic tub of organic greens.
And growing them is so simple!
- Select your seeds and soak in water for ten to 12 hours in a bowl. Allow for a 300 percent expansion.
- Pour the soaked seeds into the drainable tray and spray them gently to even them out.
- Rinse and drain, morning and evening to keep seeds moist.
- Sprout with the lid on. In hot climates, use a warm, damp cloth without lid for better airflow. Keep sprouter out of direct sunlight. Sprouts grow best at 75 to 80 degrees.
- Taste in three or four days. When you like the taste, leave them uncovered but out of direct sunlight to develop greenness.
- Refrigerate to stop growth. Tray units with lid/tray make excellent crispers.
- Scrub tray thoroughly before reusing.
- Sprouting times vary according to type of seed.
Sprouts are an extremely cost-effective way to get your fill of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes.
They’re far cheaper than high-quality supplements or organic vegetables from 2,000 miles away. Eating them may be the safest and best way of getting outlandishly fresh produce with no risk of contamination.
And who knows? With their load of cancer-fighting vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and phytonutrients, they may help you shed a few pounds, too. Why not give it a try?