Are super greens really healthy?
Posted on March 20 2013
Busy mum of three, Lauren, contacted us about super greens – she had recently read a lot about this particular category of superfood and wanted to know if they are really as good for our health and well-being as some people would have us believe and, perhaps more importantly, how her growing family could directly benefit from incorporating them into their day to day diet.
We felt that our customers deserved to understand more about super greens and decided to put together our very own super green fact sheet.
What exactly are super greens?
Super greens are a special type of superfood, recognisable by their powerful flavour and deep green colour. Super greens are naturally rich in fibre, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants, which thanks to modern farming techniques and our growing penchant for processed foods, are often lacking in our contemporary diet. Super greens include vegetables, grains and grasses and a range of potent super green supplements that deliver a concentrated dose of nutrients in a convenient form for those juggling the responsibilities of family and career.
Common supermarket super greens
Below are some of the most common super greens found in today’s supermarkets and their associated health benefits. These can be enjoyed raw (e.g. in salads) or in a selection of warm meals.
Broccoli – packed with vitamins (including vitamins A, C and K), dietary fibre, manganese and potassium, in addition to a variety of phytonutrients, plant oestrogens and carotenoids. Scientists from the University of Illinois have reported that consuming broccoli between 3-5 times per week may help combat cancer.
Kale – similar in appearance to cabbage, kale is high in fibre and bursting with vitamins (including A, C and K) and minerals (such as calcium, manganese, folate and copper). Kale belongs to the brassica family of vegetables and as such, has also been linked to cancer prevention.
Chard – this leafy super green is a staple of the healthy Mediterranean diet and boasts large quantities of fibre, vitamins (including A, C and K), minerals and protein. A number of recent studies suggest that eating chard may help regulate our blood sugar levels, making this super green of significant interest to diabetics.
Rocket – also known as arugula, rocket belongs to the mustard family and has a distinctly peppery flavour. This super green is brimming with vitamins A and C, calcium, folic acid, manganese and magnesium and is frequently used as an aphrodisiac in Arabic countries. Fresh research from Saudi Arabia reveals that eating rocket on a regular basis may help to prevent stomach ulcers.
Popular super green supplements
Below are some of the most popular super green supplements (which can be used to enhance your favourite shakes, smoothies and juices) and their reported health benefits:
Spirulina Powder – made from blue-green algae, which contains a powerful blend of readily absorbable nutrients such as carotenoids, essential fatty acids and pre-digested protein. Spirulina powder is actually the richest dietary source of vitamin E and beta-carotene and contains the highest concentration of protein of any food. Once supplied to Aztec warriors to improve strength and resilience, this super green is directly linked to weight loss, increased immunity, a reduction in the signs of aging and the prevention of allergies.
Chlorella Powder – one of nature’s finest super greens, chlorella powder is prepared from blue-green chlorella algae, which feature special soft cell walls that facilitate rapid absorption into the body. Chlorella contains a variety of beneficial nutrients including chlorophyll, protein, vitamins (including B12), minerals, amino acids and nucleic acids, which help to control our metabolism and boost our immune system. New research from Japan reveals that chlorella may also be successful in combatting obesity and chronic illnesses such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Wheatgrass Powder – made from young wheatgrass shoots that are naturally low in calories and high in protein (Synergy natural wheatgrass powder contains a whopping 24% protein). This most versatile of super greens is also rich in fibre, vitamins, minerals (including iron, calcium, and potassium), trace elements (such as zinc, magnesium and selenium), enzymes, antioxidants, chlorophyll and beta-carotene. Wheatgrass powder is probably best known for its incredible powers of detox, but can also strengthen our immune system, increase stamina, aid digestion, encourage weight loss, promote healthy skin and delay the signs of aging. It may also help combat a number of modern diseases including anaemia, sickle cell anaemia, leukaemia, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, ulcers and arthritis. In fact a trial conducted by the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in the US, demonstrated that wheatgrass juice therapy could reduce rectal bleeding and overall disease activity in patients with ulcerative colitis.
How can your family start to enjoy the benefits of super greens?
A significant number of scientific studies have confirmed that enjoying a diet high in super greens can help lower your risk of obesity and disease and may even extend the life expectancy of you and your family. Luckily, incorporating super greens into your family diet couldn’t be any easier with a superb selection of super green supplements now available at Detox Your World.