Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Super Greens

By Chris Jensen, July 11, 2010  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Chris Jensen
Are you too often tempted to skip the green side of the plate? Getting your greens and meeting the 9-a-day fruit and veggie goal is easier than ever with green superfoods, cereal grasses and vegetables in convenient tablets, capsules and drink-mix powders. Roger Sarafin is a Master Herbalist, Certified Nutritional Consultant and Certified Natural Health Professional who has worked in sales and educational roles for Garden of Life for the past 6 years.

What is a green food product?  What are the prominent foods that are found in green products?  And what forms are available and popular?
  • Usually one thinks of green vegetables, especially green leafy veggies, herbs, cereal grasses, and algae. Most of the green foods are found in either powders or capsules/tablets.
  • With so many Americans coming up short in the daily fruits and veggies department, green products provide a good way to make up for deficiencies.
In addition to nutrient content of greens, many people like the cleansing as well as the alkalizing properties of greens. What are the health benefits and prominent nutrients from green foods?
  • Knowledge in the field of nutrition doubles every five years.  We now know that there are 25,000 known phytonutrients found in plants, many of which will probably not be found in even the best multi-vitamins.  This is due in part to the abundance of potassium.
  • The body’s normal cleansing response is assisted by chlorophyll.
  • Immune support comes from beta carotene, also found in abundance in greens.
  • Cereal grasses are particularly concentrated, taken from the young blades of grass.
  • Cereal grasses can be hard to digest.
  • However if you juice the grasses and remove the indigestible fiber in the water, you have a nutrient dense, concentrated, highly digestible food.
  • The important thing to remember here however is not just what we know that greens have, but what we have not yet discovered.
  • We now know that there are about 5,000 known carotenoids in addition to beta carotene.
What should we look for (and what should we be wary of) in a green foods product when looking for a high quality product?
  • When looking for greens, the standard of a greens product should be what percentage of the product are actually greens.
  • There is a difference between powdered vegetables and cereal grasses, and the juice from the same plant.  No one goes to a juice bar to get a shot of wheat grass, but wheat grass juice. The juice is far more digestible and concentrated.
  • Concentrated, raw, and organic in a nutshell is a high standard to look for.
    • Raw greens contain the live enzymes and nutrients unharmed by overheating.
  • Vegetable juices are good as well, and sprouts.
Look for probiotics. Assisting digestion is a core health benefit of any health regimen.

 

22 Comments

Comments

ben says ...
Don't know about the others, but with the help of a little salt, I use the Lane Labs' Daily Veggies as a soup substitute. I've tried Purity Products' Certified Organic Triple Greens / Super Reds, but I wish they would have single serve packets instead of a canister.
07/17/2010 11:10:36 PM CDT
I.D. says ...
My husband and I have been eating more greens. We have added kale to our diet. I was hesitant at first, mainly because I had never eaten kale, but we both love it. We've cut down drastically on our meat and have cranked up the greens. I definitely see the difference, but more importantly, I FEEL the difference in my energy and overall health.
07/11/2010 6:54:02 AM CDT
enliteneer says ...
With so many seemingly good choices out there*, is there any reason to choose a greens powder supplement containing grass (Barley, wheatgrass, Spirulina ) to one that only has vegetables? I like New Chapter's Berry Greens, because I don't *think* grass is as beneficial as vegetables, and Berry Greens only contains veggies. Is Chlorophyll an antioxidant? Or does grass have some other super nutrients? *Any thoughts on these other brands: MyDailyVeggies, SkyIsland Naturals Supremix, 7 Essentials Dutch Chocolate, Green First Berry, FoodScience of Vermont Superior Purples / Red, Miracle Reds, Greens To Go (GoGreens), Progressive NutritionalPhytoBerry, Trace Minerals Greens /Red Pak
07/11/2010 4:01:28 PM CDT
Emily Hope Avent says ...
Kale is amazing! It may not be a superfood, but it has definitely made a difference in my life as well. Congrats, I.D.!
07/11/2010 5:59:02 PM CDT
RWM says ...
If I blend natural wheat grass in a smoothie using a high-powered blender such as a Vita-Mix will it be digestible or does it need to be a concentrated juice or powder sold in a bottle?
08/29/2010 10:23:47 PM CDT
paig292 says ...
@RWM It would be best to juice the wheatgrass first, if possible, then make a smoothie. Wheat grass does not have to be dried or sold in a powder form.
08/31/2010 7:32:04 AM CDT
Gabe says ...
I love them!
11/17/2010 7:26:26 PM CST
Terri says ...
I am very interested in trying wheat grass, a friend of mine used to work for whole foods and suggested I try it. We don't have a whole foods here so I don't know where to go to try it. Terri
05/20/2011 5:16:32 PM CDT
Tina Gonsalves says ...
I started 2 weeks ago taking the powdered wheat grass every morning with juice. I am feeling great with more energy & with as many bathroom trips I make, I know I am cleaning myself out well. Yay, wheat grass!!
08/22/2011 12:08:59 PM CDT
Sharon says ...
Very helpful my sister just did a juice cleanse drinking alot of the green grass mix. She lost a lot of weight and looks great. Thought I give it a try but didn't know where to start.
10/05/2012 12:17:55 PM CDT
MARIANNE says ...
PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF YOU SELL WHEAT GRASS SEEDS AND KITS
01/27/2013 7:58:32 PM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@MARIANNE - Our products will differ between stores and regional offices so check with your local store to see what options they carry! http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/list
01/30/2013 11:42:14 AM CST
Treena says ...
How do you see the products and prices and then order online?
04/10/2013 3:19:37 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@TREENA - At this time we do not offer online ordering.
04/10/2013 5:01:10 PM CDT
Patricia says ...
Does the product Odwalla Superfood (green juice) contain the same benefits as wheat grass juice?
04/29/2013 8:19:31 AM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@PATRICIA - It depends on what type of benefits you are looking for. The Odwalla Superfood drink does contain wheat grass so it will be based on what additional information you are looking to add. You can find the nutritional info and ingredient list at http://www.odwalla.com/good-products/superfoods/original.
04/30/2013 10:39:54 AM CDT
Benita says ...
I am interested in finding a drink or powder with the "super green" foods. However having celiac disease I am hesitant to use a product with "barley grass" or "wheat grass". I'd like to understand how some products with those ingredients are marked as "gluten free".
05/10/2013 7:08:06 AM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@BENITA - Our products vary between store locations so I would suggest you reach out to your local store and see what products they offer. A Whole Body team member will be happy to help you find something!
05/13/2013 4:16:51 PM CDT
Lorenza says ...
Can you kindly let me know if it's better to have wheat grass juice (I have the right juicer for it) or the powdered version? what is the difference? Thank you, L
08/28/2013 11:01:00 AM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@LORENZA - Our products differ between stores so check with your local store to see what they have in stock! They'll be happy to go over the differences as well.
08/28/2013 4:21:45 PM CDT
melissa says ...
My product says 1 scoop (powder) is equal to 3-5 servings of green veggies. My question is about the timing of when I should consume my drink. Should it be all at once? Or, spaced with every meal because I'm trying to follow the plate rule of 1/4 protein, 1/4 grain, 1/2 fruit and veggie. I can't seem to find a straight answer. And yes, this is my veggie alternative. I really cant stand any type of vegetable.
03/21/2014 3:12:52 AM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@MELISSA - Reaching out to the vendor directly would be my first suggestion since they will know their product the best and when to consume it. Otherwise, it boils down to how many servings of veggies you want each day. Spreading it out over your meals could work to have a balanced veggie serving at each meal. Ultimately, if you consume the drink in one sitting you are still getting the benefits of the veggies so either way could really work, just boils down to what is easiest for you throughout the day!
03/21/2014 4:16:43 PM CDT