By now you've probably seen the containers of green powder mixes that commonly line the shelves of the health food section in the grocery store. There are a lot of great things that make green superfood drinks so popular. One of my favorite benefits is the convenience and simplicity of ensuring you eat your greens every day. Greens are also energizing and cleansing. The types of greens typically found in green superfood powders include spirulina, barley grass, chlorella, wheatgrass, brocoli, alfalfa, kale, and spinach. Let's take a look at some specific greens.
Common Supergreen Ingredients
Wheatgrass is one of the most potent green vegetables available. It’s an excellent source of natural vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and enzymes, and is known to be highly alkalizing and will help detoxify the body.
Kale is rich in calcium and iron and has seven times the beta-carotene of broccoli and ten times more lutein. Lutein is a powerful antioxidant highly concentrated in the macula of the eye. It has been found to help prevent age-related macular degeneration by protecting our eyes from damage caused by daily exposure to sunlight, indoor lighting, and environmental pollutants.
Green Barley Grass
Green barley grass contains a multitude of enzymes. It appears that there may be thousands of active enzymes in barley grass, especially superoxide dismutase (SOD), a major detoxifying enzyme sometimes recommended in combating arthritis.
Alfalfa roots grow very deep to absorb many minerals and nutrients from the soil. It contains eight essential amino acids and is a rich source of vitamin B12, natural fluoride, and chlorophyll.
Greens as a Natural Detoxifier
Chlorophyll is the green pigment found in plants and algae. The deeper the green color of a plant food, the richer that food is in chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is the most important biological compound needed for plants to live and thrive. Proponents say chlorophyll assists in the detoxification process by binding to and removing heavy metals from the body, and by creating an alkaline environment. Wheat grass and barley grass are notoriously high in chlorophyll and almost always found in supergreen powder. Other high chlorophyll greens include spinach, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, kale and swiss chard.
Greens are Alkalizing
Your body strives to have a balanced pH level—something around 7.4, which is slightly alkaline. If your blood pH is lower than 7, it means you’re acidic. Diseases, in particular, cancer (yikes!) feed off acidic, oxygen-depleted conditions.
Alkaline foods are foods that can help increase healthy Ph levels in the body. All greens are alkaline foods, including ginger and turmeric, which also help support your body’s response to inflammation.
The Standard American Diet (SAD) is highly acidic, and it forces your body to pull valuable alkaline minerals from its stores to balance out the pH. It takes these minerals from your bones, tissues, and organs. That’s why, for instance, some studies have shown people who consume the most animal protein (acid-forming) have higher hip fracture rates because the body draws calcium from the bones to alkalize the blood.
Antioxidant-Rich Fruits, Vegetables, and Super Foods
The health benefits of supergreen powder don’t stop there. Most green powders contain antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, such as cherries, pineapple, blueberries, beets, and carrots. Green drink powders also contain superfoods, such as maca and acai and goji berries (I love this goji berry powder).
Supergreen drinks are high in beta-carotene, beneficial for eye health and immune health; vitamin C, an antioxidant immune booster; and vitamin K, critical for blood clotting and bone health.
Probiotics, Enzymes and Fiber
Supergreen drink powders often include a probiotic and enzyme blend to support digestive health. The chia and flax seeds also boost the fiber content in supergreen powder.
Supergreen powder is usually vegan, gluten-free, raw, soy-free, and dairy-free. These powders are a great addition to any diet. It will improve a less than healthy diet and boost an already nutrient-rich diet.