Mindful Consumption: Recycling Facts

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Recycling seems pretty simple. But did you know things like cleanliness and contamination play into the whole system? To help you become a model recycler, we’ll be answering questions like, how clean is clean? And, can those plastic windows in envelopes be included with the paper?


Does recycling really matter?

Yes! Here’s a recycling fact: Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for two hours, or a laptop for three hours or light a 100-watt bulb for 20 hours.


The Benefits of Recycling

When we choose to recycle things like paper, cardboard, glass and plastic, we’re sending less material to the landfill. At the same time, when those materials we divert from the landfill are reused, they’re saving other valuable natural resources like water, trees and minerals. Recycling also benefits our economy by creating a domestic source of materials. Last but not least, recycling saves energy.

What Can Be Recycled?

The best answer to this question is: Check locally! Because recycling programs vary from one area to the next, there is no set answer for what materials can be recycled in your neighborhood. The non-profit organization, Keep America Beautiful, has a fantastic website to help you find information on the recycling programs in your area—searchable by zip code!

Recycling facts: Various bottles, cans and newspapers arranged in circular design

Containers

Is it really true that if you don’t clean your plastic, glass or can you ruin it for all the other recycles? Yes and no. If there are still a few schmears of mayo in the jar after you’ve rinsed it out, no harm done. But if the container has not been rinsed at all and/or contains leftover food or liquids, yes, it could contaminate other materials, especially in places that have a single-stream system.

Consider this: An unrinsed food jar could come open or break somewhere in the process. If it gets on paper and cardboard recyclables, they’ll be ruined. You don’t have to spotlessly clean plastics and glass with soap and water, just rinse them so little to no food is left in them. And let them dry too. Wet containers with paper and cardboard aren’t a good combo—soggy items can contaminate a whole bundle of paper products.

Paper

Crumpled paper, newspaper and cardboard are a-okay. Shredded however, in most cases, is not. You can use it in your compost pile as a brown/carbon. As for those pesky plastic windows in paper envelopes? It’s best to remove them before adding the envelope to the recycle bin. (Don’t worry if there is a little sliver of plastic that hangs on.) And unless you can completely separate the paper part of a bubble-wrap mailer from the plastic, those shipping envelopes will need to be reused or thrown in the garbage.

Wishcycling

When you toss something in the recycling bin that you hope is recyclable, but aren’t sure, you’re wishcycling. The trouble with this practice is, if what you’re adding to the recycles truly isn’t recyclable, you run the risk turning vast amounts of potentially recyclable material into trash or at the very least, bringing the process to a halt at the recycling center. Keep in mind, just because something has the chasing arrows symbol on it does not mean it can go in the bin with everything else. Boost your eco-savvy by checking with your local municipality for the rules as to what can be collected in your area.

Can You Recycle Plastic Bags?

Most recycling programs will not take plastic bags, even if it has the recycling logo on it. At Sprouts, we have containers at the front of every store where plastic bags can be recycled. Last year, our customers returned 22 million plastic bags to us, so we could recycle them for you. We also recycled 850,000 pounds of our own mixed recyclables including paper, plastic, aluminum and glass, as well as 80 million pounds of cardboard—that’s equivalent to 450,000 trees!

 


Here’s another recycling fact:

It’s possible to turn an aluminum can into another aluminum product in as little as 60 days!


Explore & Discover Sale

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Explore and Discover Sale

At Sprouts, we’re passionate about bringing you the hottest new and unique products in fresh and natural foods so you can be the first to try them! Come explore and discover hundreds of these exciting products throughout the store while they’re on sale, now through Wednesday, March 6. You’ll find interesting, better-for-you items featuring trending products like grass-fed dairy and local honey, as well as specially sourced ingredients like grain-free cassava flour, heritage breed eggs and plant-based proteins, just to name a few. You’ll also discover products that support dietary preferences such as FODMAP, Whole30®, keto and Paleo.

Products to Explore and Discover on Sale Now!


SHOP SALE


Want to learn more about trends in natural products?

Explore what’s in-store with these resources on popular topics—some that have been the inspiration for new products hitting shelves now for you to discover.

FODMAP

Learn about this acronym for various short-chain carbohydrates, how they can affect digestion and what foods they’re in.

Whole30®

Primal Kitchen sauce

More like a digestive reset, this focus centers around your total health, habits and relationship with food. You can learn more about the Whole30 program and find a great shopping guide in our article by Whole30® founder Melissa Hartwig.

Free-range Eggs

Happy Egg Heritage Breed Eggs

With a continued interest in animal welfare, it’s important to understand where our eggs come from. Learn about what free-range really means and get egg-ucated!

Gluten-free

Siete Grain Free Tortilla Chips

Going gluten-free? Knowing what to look for is half the battle! Get gluten-free tips and recipes in this quick read.

Facebook Live: Celebrate Citrus

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Citrus-Centerpiece-with-Text-SFW

Citrus Centerpiece

Use fresh citrus in an unexpected way to create a free-flowing wreath centerpiece. For added interest, incorporate homemade citrus candle holders.

Citrus-Centerpiece

Materials:

  • 2 bunches Mixed greens foliage
  • Bakers twine
  • Wide variety of citrus (blood oranges, pink grapefruits, Cara Cara organes, Minneola tangelos, Meyer lemons)
  • 2 votive candles
  • 1 bunch of Sunflowers

Instructions:

  1. Divide the mixed greens foliage in half. Overlap the stems and secure with bakers twine. Lay on the surface where it will be displayed.
  2. Arrange citrus to overlap the stems. Halve and quarter a few citrus to fill in gaps.
  3. Create citrus candle holders by using a knife to cut the top off and hollow out citrus comparable to the size of votives, such as minneola tangelos. Cut a small sliver off the bottom of the citrus to create a sturdy base. Insert the votives. Add the citrus candles to the display.
  4. Trim sunflower stems and arrange throughout the centerpiece.
  5. Use any extra sprigs from the mixed greens foliage to add texture throughout the section of citrus.

Panna Cotta with Citrus Honey Preserve

Sweet, creamy- and citrusy! Check out Joanna’s perfect, easy-to-make dessert. Prepare up to 3 days in advance to serve a crowd.

Citrus-Panna-Cotta

Ingredients:

Panna Cotta:

  • 1 qt. Heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup White sugar
  • 1/2 Vanilla bean, split with seeds scraped
  • 2 1/4 tsp. Unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 3 Tbsp.Water

Citrus Honey Preserve:

  • 1 large Meyer lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup Clover honey
  • 1 sprig Rosemary

Toppings:

  • 1 large Meyer lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1 Blood orange, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. White sugar
  • 1/4 cup Glazed or candied pecans, roughly chopped
  • Rosemary and orange mint sprigs, for garnish

Instructions:

  1. To make the panna cotta: Combine the cream, sugar, vanilla bean and seeds in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Remove from heat, cover and allow to steep for 15 minutes. Uncover, remove the vanilla bean and bring back to a simmer. In a bowl, mix together the gelatin with water. Remove the cream mixture from the heat and stir in the gelatin until dissolved. Divide evenly between 8 ramekins. Cool to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, a minimum of 3 hours.
  2. To make the preserve: Fill an airtight jar with the Meyer lemon slices, honey and rosemary. Seal with lid. Shake to ensure there are no air pockets under the fruit. Store in the refrigerator overnight. Shake occasionally to mix the juices with the honey.
  3. To make the topping: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay the citrus to dry.
  4. Assemble: Top each panna cotta with 1-2 tablespoons citrus honey preserve. Add a slice of each dried citrus slice. Divide the chopped pecans evenly amongst the panna cottas, and finish with rosemary and orange mint sprigs.

Zesty Ceviche

Speedy ceviche made with cooked shrimp. It is slightly sweet and tangy thanks to the Cara Cara oranges and pummelo grapefruit.

CevicheIngredients:

  • 1 lb. Medium cooked shrimp, tails removed
  • 1/2 cucumber diced
  • 1 Large jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 1 Vine ripe tomato, diced
  • 2 Tbsp. Chopped red onion
  • 1 Avocado, seeded and diced
  • 1 Cara Cara orange, peeled and diced
  • 1 Pink grapefruit, peeled and diced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Juice of 1 Cara Cara orange
  • 3 Tbsp. Cilantro

Instructions:

  1. In a bowl, mix all ingredients.
  2. Cover and refrigerate until ready to eat. Serve with chips.

 

Joanna Meyer

Meet the blogger: Joanna Meyers from Baked by Joanna

Food Stylist & Culinary Creative

Joanna is a commercial food stylist based in Phoenix, Arizona. Her work and recipes have been seen around the world. When she is not styling for her favorite brands, she enjoys publishing recipes and sharing her love of everything food on her self-titled blog many remember as Baked by Joanna. Her other interests include spending time with her family and staying healthy and fit.

Wild Planet

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Wild PlanetThe Wild Way

Born from a sense of reverence for the natural marine ecosystem, Wild Planet offers consumers a wide variety of premium, sustainably sourced seafood containing abundant essential nutrients. Wildly Good, Wildly Delicious and Wildly good for you! 

Fishing for Change

Because Wild Planet supports selective harvest practices, all tuna is caught by pole and line or trolling methods. Because these methods catch the target species one fish at a time, there is very low incidence of by-catch of other species or juveniles of the target species.  

Wildly Delicious

Wild Planet tuna is cooked right in the can, retaining the nutrient-rich, omega-3 fatty acids and the natural juices—a difference you can taste because there isn’t any added water. Equally delicious and versatile are Wild Planet’s other products—omega-3-rich species such as mackerel, white anchovies and sardines. You’ll also find amazing flavor in the wild salmon products, caught in Alaska by small-scale fishing families.

Home on the Range

Wild Planet believes that a healthy planet is comprised of both living water and living soil. To that end, the company now provides a land-based protein – Organic Roasted Chicken Breast, raised on a diet which includes non-GMO corn grown on land that is free from chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. These chemicals eventually run off and enter the oceans. Wild Planet’s support of organic farming is a step towards keeping waterways and oceans clean and healthy, and is considered to be the land-based equivalent of sustainable pole and line fishing.

Video Description: Learn how the tuna sourced for Wild Planet by the use of sustainable fishing methods minimizes the bycatch of millions of pristine sea creatures.

Ready to give Wild Planet a try? Check out these easy and family-friendly recipes:

Wild Planet Protein Cheese Melt Bar

Ingredients:

  • Pick your Wild Planet Protein (30z.) Pouch: Albacore, Skipjack, Pink Salmon or Sockeye Salmon
  • Pick your base: bagel, wheat bread, flat bread, tortilla, gluten-free breads, hardy greens (kale, spinach, cabbage slaw, etc)
  • Pick your condiment: Mayo, Aioli, Mustard, Hummus, Guacamole, Olive Tapenade, Olive Oil, etc.
  • Pick Your cheese: American, cheddar, mozzarella, feta, dairy-free options, ect.

Instructions:

  • Assemble protein, condiments and cheese on base and toast in a toaster oven until cheese has melted.

Wild Planet Sustainable Seafood Snack Bar

Ingredients:

  • Pick your Wild Planet Protein: Choose between a variety of deliciously nutritious sustainable sourced seafood – sardines, anchovies, yellowtail, mackerel
  • Pick your base: rice cracker, nut cracker, saltines, baguette, toast, etc (gluten-free options available)
  • Pick your topping: hot sauce, aioli, BBQ Sauce, mustard, mayo, olive tapenade, etc

Instructions:

  • Assemble protein and condiments on base and enjoy!

Wild Planet Organic Chicken Salad

Ingredients:

  • Wild Planet Organic Chicken, 1 can per 1 -2 servings
  • Pico de Gallo, ½ cup per can of chicken
  • Broccoli & Carrot Slaw, use ½ cup per can of chicken
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions:

  • Add and mix together all the chicken and its juices in a bowl.
  • Fold in the pico de gallo and slaw.
  • Taste and season accordingly.
  • Eat or store in fridge for 5-7 days.
  • Tip: This salad makes a fantastic recipe for weekly meal prep!

Egg-ucation

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Get Eggucated

What Does Your Egg Carton Label Mean?

Eggs may only come in one shape, but Sprouts has numerous options to choose from. How can you be sure you’re making an egg-ucated decision about the type, size and color?

Animal welfare is of the utmost importance to Sprouts, and we hold both our suppliers and ourselves to high standards in regard to supply chain transparency. All of our egg suppliers are required to meet or exceed USDA Food Safety and Inspection Services Standards, and any cage-free supplier must also meet or exceed animal welfare standards such as Certified Humane certification criteria outlined by Humane Farm Animal Care, among other nationally recognized programs.

EGG CARTON TERMS

Pasture Raised

The HFAC’s Certified Humane® requirement is 1,000 birds per 2.5 acres (108 sq. ft. per bird) and the fields must be rotated. The hens must be outdoors year-round, and have mobile or fixed housing where they can go inside at night for protection from predators. They can also be housed indoors for up to two weeks due to inclement weather.

Free Range

This label is regulated by the USDA and indicates that the flock was provided shelter in a building, room or area with unlimited access to food, fresh water and continuous access to the outdoors during their production cycle. The outdoor area may or may not be fenced and/or covered with netting-like material.

Cage Free

This label indicates that the flock was able to freely roam in a building, room or enclosed area with unlimited access to food and fresh water during their production cycle.

Organic

The organic standards describe the specific requirements that must be verified by a USDA-accredited certifying agent before products can be labeled USDA Organic. Overall, organic operations must demonstrate that they are protecting natural resources, conserving biodiversity and using only approved substances. Organic eggs come from chickens treated with the same animal welfare standards as free-range and are given non-GMO feed.

Pasteurized

This label indicates eggs were heated in a sanitary facility under the supervision of the USDA. In pasteurization, the liquid part of the egg is rapidly heated and held at a minimum required temperature for a specific amount of time. This destroys salmonella, but does not cook the eggs or affect color, flavor or nutritional value. By law, all liquid eggs must be pasteurized.

Omega-3 or DHA

These are from hens that have been fed a diet supplemented by a source of omega-3 fatty acids (typically from flax seed).

No Added Hormones

A similar claim includes “Raised without Hormones.” Federal regulations have never permitted hormones or steroids in poultry, pork or goat.

White or Brown

Color is not a reflection of quality and is not a factor in the U.S. Standards, Grades, and Weight Classes for Shell Eggs. Eggs are simply sorted for color and marketed as either “white” or “brown” eggs.

It is common that brown eggs are bigger in size, which is usually due to the breed of chicken laying the eggs. For this reason, brown eggs cost more to produce and are typically found at a higher price point.

 

Freezer-to-Table Recipes

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As the days get longer, so do schedules. These five recipes use frozen foods to create weeknight meals that come together exceptionally quick. You probably already have some of the ingredients in your freezer—why not give these recipes a try?

BUILD YOUR SHOPPING LIST ORDER FOR DELIVERY

Shrimp Zoodle Pad Thai 

created by our blogger friend, Nichole Crews, at Casa De Crews

Light, fresh and perfect for lunch or dinner

 

 

 

 

Cheesy Garlic Shrimp and Mushroom Pizza

created by our blogger friend, Kaylee, at Lemons and Basil

Gluten-free and piled high with caramelized onions, seasoned mushrooms, fresh mozzarella and Parmesan

 

 

 

 

 

Cauliflower Rice & Chicken Taco Skillet

created by our blogger friend, Emily Dixon, at One Lovely Life

A flavorful, one-pan dinner that comes together in under 30 minutes

 

 

 

 

 

Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup

created by our blogger friend, Jennie, at One Sweet Mess

Loaded with bold flavor, warm spices and creamy cheese

 

 

 

Frozen Veggie Stir Fry

Frozen Veggies Stir Fry with Noodles

created by our blogger friend, Ericka, at Nibbles and Feasts

Serve as a main dish or hearty, veggie-filled appetizer

Popcorn 5 Ways

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Whether you like it sweet or savory, these snack-worthy popcorn recipes by our blogger friends will have you reaching for more:

Lemon White Chocolate Popcorn by The Nutrition Adventure:

Lemon White Chocolate Popcorn

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag Sprouts Salted Microwave Popcorn
  • 3/4 cup White chocolate chips
  • ¼ tsp. Canola oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Grated lemon zest

Instructions:

  1. Pop microwave popcorn according to package directions. Place popcorn into a large mixing bowl, removing any unpopped kernels.
  2. Place white chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 25-30 seconds intervals, stirring in between. Be careful to not overheat the chocolate. Stir in canola oil, mixing well.
  3. Pour one-third of the melted chocolate over the popcorn and mix. Repeat this two more times until all chocolate is used.
  4. Once the popcorn is coated, pour onto a large baking sheet. Sprinkle lemon zest over popcorn, evenly distributing.
  5. Spread the popcorn out into a single, even layer and allow to dry for about 2 hours.

Stovetop Spicy PopcornSpicy Paprika, Rosemary, & Garlic Stovetop Popcorn by Beautiful Eats and Things:

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup Sprouts Popcorn Kernels
  • ¼ cup Oil
  • 1 and ½ Tbsp. Garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp. Sprouts Grund Paprika
  • ½ tsp. Sprouts Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, minced
  • Salt to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a large, thick-bottomed pot, heat ¼ cup of oil on medium to high heat.
  2. Add 1 and ½ tablespoons of garlic powder and ½ cup Sprouts Popcorn Kernels to the pot. Stir and make sure that the kernels form an even layer on the bottom of the pot. Cover with lid.
  3. As the kernels pop, shake the pot a couple of times to help prevent burning.
  4. When the popping starts to slow down, remove from heat and keep covered.
  5. In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of Sprouts Paprika, ½ teaspoon of Sprouts Cayenne Pepper, and minced rosemary. Sprinkle over popcorn and toss.
  6. Season with salt to taste and enjoy!

Bacon Cherry Popcorn Nutty Cherry & Bacon Popcorn by Milk & Honey Nutrition:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  • 2 Tbsp. Avocado oil
  • 6oz. Uncured bacon
  • 1/2 cup Sprouts Organic Cherry Fruit Spread
  • 1/2 cup Almond butter
  • 1 cup raw cashews (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Heat the avocado oil over medium high heat, in a large pot on the stove. Add 3-4 popcorn kernels to the pot and cover with the lid. As soon as one of the kernels has popped, add the rest of the kernels. Slightly tilt the lid to vent the steam and shake occasionally until all the kernels are popping 2-3 seconds apart. Transfer the popcorn to a bowl and set aside. Don’t wash the pot just yet, you’ll use it again a bit later on. (Alternatively, you can use a store bought bag of popcorn. You’ll need about 15 cups of popcorn.)
  2. Assemble a baking rack on top of a sheet pan with edges. Spread the uncooked bacon pieces on top of the rack, making sure they aren’t touching each other. Cook the bacon until slightly crispy following the package instructions for time and temperature setting. Set the bacon aside and let it cool, then chop it up into bite size pieces.
  3. Place the pot you popped the popcorn in back on the stove, and begin to heat it over medium heat. Add the fruit spread and almond butter to the pan and stir constantly until the mixture is hot and almost bubbling (about 5-6 minutes). Remove it from the heat.
  4. Spread the popcorn into an even layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. (Be sure to use. baking sheets with edges/sides.) Spoon the almond butter and cherry fruit spread mixture onto the popcorn and carefully toss and mix the popcorn to make sure the popcorn is evenly coated. (Note: You can also do this in a bowl or bag separately and then spread the coated popcorn out onto the parchment lined pan.) Sprinkle the chopped up bacon and cashews evenly over the popcorn.
  5. Bake on 225 degrees for 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Remove the popcorn from the oven and let it cool completely. Enjoy!

Churro PopcornCinnamon Churro Popcorn by One Lovely Life:

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups Popped popcorn (from about 1/3 cup un-popped Sprouts Organic Popcorn Kernels) – see instructions for how to pop popcorn.
  • 3 Tbsp. Butter or vegan butter
  • 4 Tbsp. Coconut sugar or Sprouts brown sugar
  • ½ tsp. Sprouts Organic Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. Sprouts organic vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Pop your popcorn. Put half of the un-popped popcorn kernels (about 2 ½ Tbsp. kernels) in a paper lunch sack and fold the top over twice.
  3. Place bag fold side down in the microwave and microwave on HIGH power for 2 minutes.
  4. Remove from microwave and let cool slightly before pouring out into a large bowl.
  5. Repeat with remaining un-popped kernels. (You can re-use the bag)
  6. Sort out and discard any remaining un-popped kernels from the popped popcorn.
  7. Meanwhile, make the butter and sugar mixture. Gently melt 3 Tbsp. butter and 4 Tbsp coconut sugar over low heat in a small saucepan, just until sugar is dissolved and the mixture comes together.
  8. Add ½ tsp. ground cinnamon and ½ tsp. vanilla extract to the butter/sugar mixture. Stir to combine. (Mixture will be fairly thick). Let cool for 1 minute or so.
  9. Pour butter/sugar mixture over the popped popcorn and stir with a spatula to coat the popcorn well. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
  10. Pour coated popcorn onto your prepared baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees F. for 10 minutes, stirring every 3-4 minutes for even cooking.
  11. Let cool before serving.

Sweet and Salty PopcornSweet and Salty Popcorn Snack Mix by The Speckled Palate:

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz. Sprouts Organic Popcorn, Lightly Buttered flavor
  • 1 ½ cups Sprouts Mini Twist Pretzels
  • 1 cup Dark Chocolate Pretzels
  • 1 cup Wild West Roasted and Salted Trail Mix
  • ½ cup 85% Dark chocolate almonds with sea salt
  • ½ cup Red Tart Cherries

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, pour in the Sprouts Organic Popcorn.
  2. Add the Sprouts Mini Twist Pretzels, Dark Chocolate Pretzels, Wild West Roasted and Salted Trail Mix, 85% dark chocolate almonds with sea salt and Red Tart Cherries.
  3. Toss until combined.
  4. Serve in bowls or popcorn bags.

Suntreat

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The Griffith family has been cultivating citrus in the San Joaquin Valley since 1958. Today, they partner with 150 third- and fourth-generation family farmers to deliver top-quality fruit. All of their citrus is grown in the heart of California’s agricultural region where the fertile soil, warm summers and cool winters are ideal for producing the sweetest fruit.
Suntreat citrus tree

Bringing the Best to You

Utilizing technology, Suntreat is able to trace their fruit from the day it was picked in the grove, until the day it arrives in stores, ensuring food safety. And, automated grading machines make sure the fruit Suntreat ships is always high-quality. The end result: the tastiest citrus! 

Educating Today’s Youth

Suntreat’s Outdoor Education Center creates a place to give back to the community. Linking the past and the future, their 187-tree working citrus grove is part of the Ranch Camp program that honors Orange County’s history while educating today’s youth about the importance of agricultural science.

Sumo Citrus logoSumo Citrus®

Suntreat provides us with juiciest and sweetest Sumo Citrus Mandarins. They’re available—but, only for a limited time! With a rich history dating back to 1970s Japan, these oversized mandarins were bred to combine the easy-to-peel, Japanese Satsuma with the vibrant California orange. Sumo Citrus® have a bumpy, loose peel and sport a topknot with a perfectly balanced, sweet citrus flavor you won’t want to miss.

What Are Prebiotics?

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Though they often get a bad rap, some bacteria are beneficial. Good bacteria you’ve likely heard of include probiotics—microbes that help to digest food and support a healthy gut environment called a microbiome. Just like we can’t exist without eating, neither can probiotics. That’s where prebiotics come in.

Think of prebiotics as the buffet for the healthy gut bacteria. Found in foods, prebiotics help the growth of good gut bacteria by providing nourishment for them. It’s likely you’re already consuming prebiotics, they’re the fiber in some vegetables and grains.

What are prebiotics, asparagusPrebiotic Foods

Inulin is a soluble fiber found in plants. Because of its molecular make-up, inulin cannot be digested by your small intestine—that’s how it continues on to your large intestine to become fuel for beneficial bacteria. If you read food labels, you may have seen inulin listed, that’s because it is added as a source of fiber in things like nutritional bars, yogurt and baked goods. (Chicory root is a major source of inulin and you may have seen that listed in the ingredients as well.) Here are some veggies that contain inulin fiber:

  • Asparagus
  • Garlic
  • Jicama
  • Onions
  • Leeks

Other foods that contain prebiotic fiber include:

  • Barley
  • Bananas
  • Oats
  • Apples
  • Flaxseeds
  • Wheat bran
  • Seaweed

Ready to get more prebiotic-packed foods in your diet?
SHOP NOW

Health Benefits of Citrus Fruits and Juices

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by Mary Ellen Phipps, MPH, RDN, LD founder of milkandhoneynutrition.com

We’re in the middle of winter and many parts of the country are covered in snow. Citrus fruits can offer a fun way to brighten things up any time of year, but especially in these cold winter months.

Citrus fruits include: sweet oranges, mandarins, lemons, limes, grapefruit, and a few other lesser known varieties. Not only do they offer delicious taste, but their vibrant colors can brighten up any dish or beverage. You’ll find a huge variety of citrus at your local Sprouts Farmers Market.

In addition to their great taste and pretty colors, they also come loaded with an abundance of health benefits.

Health Benefits of Citrus Fruits and JuicesNutrients Found in Citrus Fruits

Likely the most well-known nutrient in citrus fruits is vitamin C, which can be found in all citrus fruits. In fact, just one medium orange or grapefruit provides 100% of your daily vitamin C needs.

Citrus fruits also contain the B vitamins thiamin, niacin and B6.

And potassium, an electrolyte essential for human health, is found in citrus fruits, along with phosphorus and magnesium.

Other nutrients to make note of in citrus fruits include antioxidants such as flavonoids and carotenoids.

Potential Health Benefits of Citrus Fruits

Given the powerhouse of nutrients found in citrus fruits, it’s no surprise that there are a lot of potential health benefits when it comes to citrus and their (no-added-sugar) juice counterparts.

Heart Health

Several of the nutrients found in citrus fruits help support a healthy heart and cardiovascular system. Specifically: vitamin C, soluble fiber and flavonoids. In addition, multiple studies have found lower rates of heart disease in people who consume higher amounts of citrus fruits as part of an overall balanced diet. Both the fruits themselves and juices have been found to have positive effects on heart health when consumed in appropriate amounts.

Cancer Risk Reduction

Numerous studies have found that citrus fruits and the nutrients they contain may offer protection against certain types of cancer including: lung, esophageal, breast, stomach and pancreatic cancers. This is likely due to antioxidant activity (certain types of both flavonoids and carotenoids can act as antioxidants) to inhibit cancer growth and repair cell damage, as well as the fiber content. Diets higher in fiber are associated with lower cancer rates.

Brain Health

Some research has shown that citrus fruits may protect our brains against inflammatory conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Flavonoids (specifically hesperidin), found in abundance in citrus fruits, may slow the rate of deterioration, while also delaying the onset of these conditions.

Bone Health

Vitamin C, potassium and magnesium (all found in citrus fruits) play an important role in bone structure, density and strength. And while calcium and vitamin D aren’t found naturally in large amounts in citrus fruits, the vitamin C content of citrus fruits can help increase the amount of calcium and vitamin D we are able to absorb from other foods. This why 100% orange juice is sometimes fortified with calcium and vitamin D.

Kidney Health

People who eat less citrus fruits tend to have higher rates of kidney stones. One type of kidney stone is caused by low levels of citrate in urine. Consuming citrus fruits can help raise the levels of citrate in urine, and thus may help decrease the risk of developing kidney stones.

Iron Absorption

It is hard for our bodies to absorb all of the iron we consume in food. In fact, it’s impossible. Depending on the source of the iron, our bodies will only absorb about 14–18% of the iron in our foods, but consuming vitamin C (which is found in large amounts in citrus foods) at the same time can increase the amount of iron your body is able to absorb.

Immune System Support

Many citrus fruits are in season in the winter time, which also happens to be the heart of cold and flu season. Consuming citrus fruits and juices can increase your intake of vitamin C, flavonoids and carotenoids which help support healthy immune systems by fighting inflammation and helping your body’s cells communicate with each other.

Skin Health

Citrus fruits and juices can improve skin health because of their high vitamin C content. Vitamin C helps protect our body’s cells from damage, and even helps the cells repair themselves. People who consume more vitamin C may have a lower risk of skin damage from the sun (though you should always wear sunscreen!). Your body also uses vitamin C to build collagen which improves skin elasticity and tone.

Respiratory Health

Several studies have linked the symptoms associated with asthma and citrus fruit consumption. Both Both vitamin C and flavonoids, may play a role in decreasing the frequency of asthma attacks and/or improving its symptoms.

Diabetes Prevention and Management

Believe it or not, eating fruit is not bad for people with diabetes and it does not increase your risk for diabetes. Studies have shown over and over that people who eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, specifically those higher in vitamin C and fiber, have a lower risk of diabetes. It also should be noted that vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and may help prevent or reduce the amount if inflammation present in people with diabetes.

So, whether it’s a grapefruit, lemon, tangerine or glass of 100% orange juice, rest assured you’ll do your body some good by reaching for those citrus fruits the next time you’re in the Sprouts Produce Department!


Please note: The information contained in this article is not intended to treat, cure, or diagnose any medical condition and should not be treated as such. Please seek out your physician or dietitian before making changes to your diet.


 

Influencer - Mary Ellen - Milk & Honey Nutrition

About Mary Ellen

Mary Ellen Phipps, MPH, RDN, LD, is the Registered Dietitian, mom, food blogger and recipe developer behind milkandhoneynutrition.com. She’s also a type 1 diabetic and firmly believes food should bring us joy, not stress. Mary Ellen makes healthy eating easy, realistic and most importantly … fun! Visit her website and you’ll find yummy low-sugar, diabetes-friendly recipes the whole family will love … as well as helpful tips and a little mom humor.

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