Green SuperFoods - an in-depth account using the research compiled by our resident Product Copywriter Brodie (Thanks!).
We all hear about these green, leafy, sometimes underwater, green colored Super Foods, especially if you follow a healthy juice recipe. Spirulina, Chlorella, Wheatgrass, and Barley grass, to mention a few.
To begin with, these are regarded as superfoods due to their incredibly high nutritious value. Now, these might not be what you usually stock in your pantry (or they might!) but due to their increasing popularity, most supermarkets now stock them. Definitely your local health store. And if not there are always online stores.
Eat them raw, mix them in a juice, add them to a salad, or take them in supplement form, however you ingest these superfoods I believe you should seriously consider adding them to your daily diet.
I first heard about this nearly 10 years ago from one of the many weird and wonderful people I met in my life. This one, in particular, being ‘Spirulina Guy’. He would go on non-stop about how great Spirulina is, how we could survive on just Spirulina alone (he was a bit extreme) and how we should all start drinking it now and for forever more. I thought it was a marketing ploy for me to buy his product but I discovered later that he wasn’t trying to sell his or any particular product, he was just really invested in the greatness of Spirulina. And how correct he was! If he wasn’t just so ‘mad’ I might have listened more and started a booming and healthy lifestyle much sooner.
Here are some points my colleague Brodie shared with me:
All 9 types of amino acids present;
Loaded with protein;
Low-calorie content therefore great to take as part of a balanced diet;
Improves gut health (as people age);
Manages blood sugar levels;
May help lower cholesterol (which is great for those who are at risk of heart disease);
Reduces blood pressure;
Helps overweight management;
Assists in preventing hypertension:
Anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects;
Boosts metabolism (therefore more calorie burning);
Reduces allergy symptoms;
Supports mental health with a potential role in treating mood disorders;
Produces serotonin (a source of amino acid Tryptophan); and
Could lower the risk of stroke.
A major-league all-rounder health booster is Spirulina!! A freshwater algae that can be purchased already ground into a powder, it can be added to your water (preferably hot, like a tea), your juice, or, more tastefully, to your smoothie.
Another underwater plant Chlorella, like Spirulina and all our superfoods, is jam-packed with nutrients. Notably, Chlorella is the plant with the highest concentration of Chlorophyll which itself is full of nutrients, antioxidants, and therapeutic properties. If your doctor has asked you cut down on the steaks you can at least be pleased to know that Chlorella stores more protein per ounce than steak.
A few words from Brodie: “Chlorella belongs to a genus of single-celled, microscopic green freshwater algae, native to Taiwan and Japan. It is also one of the oldest known species on the planet and has a unique ability to reproduce 8 times a day, making it a highly sustainable nutrient source. It has double the Chlorophyll of Spirulina and contains a phytonutrient called Chlorella Growth Factor. This is a nucleotide-peptide complex found in the nucleus of the chlorella cell It has become well known for its ability to help the body’s detoxification processes.”
Check this out, Chlorella contains 40 different nutrients, and hundreds of micronutrients, comprised of:
Omega 3 fatty acids, and
Fiber in large quantities.
Now that is an impressive list, and it's not even all of them! Chlorella is very similar to spirulina in how it looks and how it can be taken, and in fact, the two taken together could be the best solution if you are undecided on which one will be suit you more.
This is what I call the above-ground version of Chlorella, it's level of chlorophyll being so high. Wheatgrass is commonly taken orally as a juice and contains EVERY mineral known to humankind. Every mineral, imagine that! And most of the vitamins too. And to top it off it is Gluten-Free. I know that when you hear wheat, you hear gluten, it makes perfect sense. The thing is, wheatgrass is the freshly sprouted first leaves of the wheat plant, so no kernels, no gluten.
Check out these awesome benefits Brodie researched:
Wheatgrass is high in oxygen like all green plants that contain chlorophyll. This is beneficial because the brain and all body tissues function at an optimal level in a highly- oxygenated environment;
Wheatgrass juice is a superior detoxification agent compared to carrot juice and other fruits and vegetables;
Wheatgrass contains a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals, including the thirteen essential ones, combined with dozens of trace elements and enzymes.
A small amount of wheatgrass juice in the human diet helps prevent tooth decay.
Wheatgrass juice improves the digestion.
Wheatgrass juice is great for constipation and keeping the bowels open because it is high in magnesium.
Wheatgrass juice reduces high blood pressure and enhances the capillaries;
Wheatgrass juice can remove heavy metals from the body.
Wheatgrass is also a highly sustainable plant. You can grow it indoors in your own home in a matter of weeks, cultivate it, eat it (or drink it) and then regrow it! And finally – by taking wheatgrass juice, one may feel an increase in strength and endurance, renewed health and spirituality, and experience an overall sense of well-being.
The last of these green superfoods, and surprisingly again gluten-free, is Barley Grass. Basically, it’s the grass part that is gluten-free, so don’t worry about the gluten-heavy crops if they are not the grain but instead the grass. Once again this a high content chlorophyll plant, so seeing the pattern here, chlorophyll is awesome for the health. Chlorophyll is the greenness of all plants that the sunlight, feeding the energy of the sun to grow and flourish. If it works for plants then why not for humans! And with research, we can clearly see that yes, it does work for humans.
So here are some benefits that Brodie provided:
Detoxes the body of harmful toxins and impurities;
Flushes out toxic chemicals and heavy metals;
Regenerates damaged cells and tissues;
Immune boosting as it is high in key nutrients to support the immune system: minerals, amino acids, antioxidants enzymes vitamin c;
Crucial to the overall health of the body in its efforts to fight off infections: bacterial and viral;
Improves skin health and elasticity;
Aids in weight loss;
Bone health can be improved with a higher content of calcium than in milk;
Supports the Immune System; and
Rejuvenating effect for hair, skin & nails.
Looks like exactly what I need! It is commonly drunk in a juice with whichever fruits of your choice.
You should seriously consider adding these green algae and grasses to your diet if you haven’t done so already. Their super highly nutritious content is a must need for our every-day diet, and the question I ask is: when did we stop eating these foods and move onto processed, unhealthy food?