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Fight Mineral Depletion in Your Favorite Greens

Posted on December 11, 2017 by Jeanne Roberts There have been 0 comments

From the world of climate science comes the unsettling news that carbon dioxide, or CO2, actually reduces protein and nitrogen in staple grains like rice, wheat and barley.

CO2 Will Not Improve Plant Nutrition

Previously, it was thought that CO2 would improve plant growth and, as a result, food plant yields. Not so. In fact, atmospheric CO2 increases carbohydrates like starch and sugar, but depletes essential trace minerals, often more than nine percent.

That’s a lot of loss when it comes to the 13 essential minerals, 7 of which are vital to life: calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, and zinc (some scientists even include sodium, which is abundant in most diets).

The Seven Vital Nutrients

...are considered essential to everything from the immune system, the heart, and the Central Nervous System, to adequate hemoglobin in blood, sexual maturity, and metabolism. Diets low in minerals, especially zinc  and iron, result in poor growth in childhood, an immune system poorly equipped to fight off infections, and a greater number of maternal and child deaths.

This depletion in the bioavailability of minerals is “systemic and global” and may dramatically worsen the prevalence of “hidden hunger” and obesity. This type of malnutrition is typical of poor and undeveloped countries because many people cannot afford the fruits, vegetables, dairy and meats necessary to provide complete nutrition.

Lack of Plant Nutrients Raising Obesity Epidemic?

Unfortunately, it is also being seen in greater numbers in developed nations as the disparity between rich and poor grows. In the USA – according to New York Time columnist David Brooks – this gap is about 0.45, or worse than Iran. Brooks also notes that income inequality in New York City is similar to Swaziland. Miami is like Zimbabwe, and Los Angeles is equivalent to Sri Lanka.

Looking into the future, study author Loladze suggests that these food plant deficiencies might contribute to the rise in global obesity as people eat increasingly starchy grain crops, etc., consuming more and more to make up for the lack of vital nutrition.

What You Can Do

You can make sure that you (and your family and loved ones) do not suffer from vitamin/phytonutrient/mineral deficiencies. According to the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, broccoli sprouts are a superb source of minerals like calcium and magnesium, containing 10 to 100 times more cancer and inflammation fighters than full-sized broccoli plants, as well as vitamins and essential fatty acids produced during sprouting. Broccoli sprouts also help detox from many environmental pollutants like benzene.

They are easy to grow with a little planning and care. They are also easy on the budget, requiring little more than an old jar, some cheesecloth, and some seed. You can use sunflower seeds, broccoli seeds, and alfalfa seeds, to name but a few.

The "Indoor Salad Garden"

You can also grow some small vegetables indoors, in an “indoor salad garden”. Dr. Mercola, a leading health expert, recommends watercress, which reportedly has greater nutrient density than either broccoli or alfalfa sprouts.

You can even add various lettuces, green onions, arugula, spinach and mesclun to your salad garden. You can build racks to set in front of patio doors – but not directly, as this will freeze the plants. You can buy plant lights at any big-box home and garden store. Or you can spend up to $500 for a full-featured, tiered indoor growing system.

In short, as mega-farming and increasing CO2 levels rob plants of their nutrition, you can feed your family well on an hour or two a week planting, growing and harvesting sprouts and other salad vegetables.

Storing Your Home-Grown, Nutrient Rich Greens

Once your plants are harvested, be sure to store them in USA-made, BPA-free plastic food containers manufactured from recycled plastic. These eco-friendly food storage containers will definitely “green” your kitchen, even if it is red and blue.


This post was posted in Blog and Green Library, Eating Well and was tagged with arugula, bioavailibility, BPA, broccoli sprouts, carbon dioxide, diabetes, food plants, gardening, hidden hunger, income disparity, indoor gardening, malnutrition, minerals, obesity, ORGANIC, salad greens, seed sprouting, spinach, watercress

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