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Super Greens

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.