The fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in greens provide healthy nutrients your body needs to run well. They may help reduce the risk of certain cancers, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and being overweight. They also contribute to healthy eyes and bones, and may even lengthen life expectancy. Why then, do we not eat more of these super foods?
With busy schedules and competing demands, good nutrition is often the first thing to fall by the wayside. But there is something you can do about it. With a little planning and creative kitchen time, and by selecting the right supplements, you can meet your body’s need for green.
Here’s a look at some of the more common ingredients in greens supplements and their uses. Many of them can be mixed in juice or a smoothie to make them more appealing. As when starting any new supplement, speak with your doctor first.
- Spirulina is a popular green for athletic function and weight loss, and to help remedy malnutrition.
- Chlorella is a popular green for supporting the body’s defenses against chronic fatigue, Candida overgrowth, and blood sugar dysregulation.
- Wheat and barley grass are popular greens as a general vitamin/mineral supplement, as well as for supporting immunity and slowing the aging process.
- Alfalfa should not be used by pregnant women and may also interact with anti-clotting medications such as warfarin.
“If someone is looking for a high quality once-a-day vitamin, I recommend a greens formula instead, as I feel the nutrients found in greens are far easier for the body to use and they tend to provide a tangible improvement in energy and vitality,” says Maria Boorman, a physician specializing in nutritional medicine. Many greens supplements also contain fruit and vegetable concentrates, probiotics, antioxidants like green tea extract and acerola cherry, and energy-boosting herbs such as ginseng. If you try to eat organic, look for organic supplements as well.
Kimberly Beauchamp, ND, received her doctoral degree from Bastyr University, the nation’s premier academic institution for science-based natural medicine. She co-founded South County Naturopaths in Wakefield, RI, where she practiced whole family care with an emphasis on nutritional counseling, herbal medicine, detoxification, and food allergy identification and treatment. Her blog, Eat Happy, helps take the drama out of healthy eating with real food recipes and nutrition news that you can use. Dr. Beauchamp is a regular contributor to Healthnotes Newswire.