Green superfoods have become quite popular in recent years. And for good reason. These unique concentrates are chock full of a variety of nutrients that nourish and protect your entire body. Most green superfoods contain the juices of highly nutritious foods such as broccoli, carrots, beets, parsley, celery, and the like. But they also often incorporate foods that we wouldn’t normally eat, such as young shoots of barley, wheat, and alfalfa.
Green superfoods benefit and improve the health and function of the intestinal tract, fill in nutritional gaps in your diet, and provide powerful protection against several health concerns. Let’s take a look at some of the main health benefits of green superfoods and why I believe everyone should incorporate them into their daily routine.
Green Superfoods Offer Supreme Natural Protection
Have you ever wondered how plants naturally defend themselves against elements like harsh weather, glaring sunlight, insects, and microbes? Their protection comes from the broad array of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and unique phytochemicals that shield plants from the harmful effects of prolonged sunlight, heat, pathogens, and other environmental insults. Additionally, the high levels of antioxidants contained in plants protects them against the onslaught of free radicals generated by constant exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
In plants as well as animals—including humans—free radicals damage cells, cause genetic mutations, and contribute to disease. And like plants, we also produce protective antioxidants. Furthermore, study after study demonstrates that increasing our antioxidant levels through diet and nutritional supplements provides additional defense against disease. And guess where we get most of these antioxidants? That’s right, from plants.
Five a Day…And Then Some
One of the most powerful dietary measures you can take to improve your health is to eat a lot of vegetables and a moderate amount of fruit. A diet that focuses on plant-based foods can help lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, and regulate blood sugar. Eating more veggies and fruits also promotes weight loss, reduces risk of hypertension and type 2 diabetes, and strengthens bones. Furthermore, research points to reduced risk of cancer in people who eat more vegetables and fruits—particularly cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, and cauliflower.
Unfortunately, according to a 2015 Centers for Disease Control report, 87 percent of Americans do not eat the recommended two to three cups of vegetables per day, and 76 percent don’t meet the guidelines for fruit intake. I’ve always recommended a hearty amount of produce, and the meals we serve to patients at Whitaker Wellness are centered around vegetables and lean protein. However, I am also a realist and recognize that even those of us with the best of intentions don’t always get enough of these health-promoting foods in our daily diets. And that’s where the health benefits of green superfoods shine through—they help fill in those gaps in a less than ideal diet.
More Than a Multi
I also insist that all my patients supplement with a broad-spectrum multivitamin/mineral that provides robust amounts of the nutrients known to enhance health—antioxidant vitamins and minerals, B-complex vitamins, trace minerals, and the like. However, it’s the other nutrients and protective phytochemicals in plants that make green superfoods special. Bottom line, there are numerous protective compounds in plants that you’re just not going to get in your daily multivitamin/mineral supplement.
Green Superfoods Recap
These plant compounds are truly nature’s gifts, as our bodies are able to use their protective powers to help us maintain optimal health and vitality. The health benefits of green superfoods are undeniable and that’s why I recommend them for everyone—regardless of age or health status.
Look for a green superfoods product that includes the nutritional equivalent at least five servings of vegetables and fruits. Brands that include pre- and probiotics are an added bonus. Green superfoods, both bottled juices and dehydrated powders (which are more economical and equally effective), are available online or in health food stores or you can call (800) 810-6655 to order the brand we use at Whitaker Wellness.