We all know we’re supposed to get our 5 portions of veg and fruit a day which can be quite tricky sometimes to pack in good wholesome vegetables with every meal. Like say when you’re travelling, or when you eat out and the restaurants idea of vegetables is a measly side salad, coleslaw, and a million different forms of potato - chips, skinny fries, sweet potato fries, etc. Maybe you have a fussy eater at home who won't eat their veggies, or you might even be the most health conscious but sometimes there is just only so much broccoli and kale you can stomach in a week. How do we get our veggies in when we can't get our veggies IN? The simplest solution is to drink them and with the amazing wonders of superfood greens powders, it couldn't be easier. Read on to learn why greens powders are a great supplement to your diet and how this simple drink can help you stay healthy and fight disease.
WHAT ARE GREENS POWDERS?
Greens powders are basically dozens of veggies, fruits, herbs, spices, and superfoods compacted into powder form that you can mix with a liquid to drink. They are packed full of phytonutrients giving you a quick and huge boost of veggie goodness with little effort.
Some of the typical vegetables and fruits you’ll find in greens powders include: spirulina, wheatgrass, kale, spinach, broccoli, chlorella, cauliflower, knotweed root, turmeric root, kelp, alfalfa, raspberry, blueberry, acai berry, pomegranate, grapeseed, green tea extract and so on. Most greens powders also include fibre, digestive enzymes, and probiotics helping you to maintain good gut health.
WHAT ARE PHYTONUTRIENTS AND WHY ARE THEY GOOD FOR US?
Plants produce phytonutrients to help protect them from the dangers of their environment such as insect attacks, over exposure to UV, pesticides, herbicides, pollution and other forms of toxins. As humans we are exposed to similar harmful compounds and cell damage and although phytonutrients are not essential to the human diet its inclusion has huge benefits for us. Phytonutrients not only provide us with protective anti-oxidants but can act as precursors to essential vitamins and minerals that we need for our health and survival.
HOW GREENS POWDERS CAN BENEFIT OUR HEALTH:
There are so ways that greens powders and its concentrated hit of phytonutrients can benefit our health, daily performance, and can even assist in reducing body fat.
ANTI-OXIDANTS TO FIGHT FREE RADICALS AND DNA/CELL DAMAGE
Our bodies are constantly exposed to free radicals which are unattached molecules that shoot around causing damage and destruction of our DNA, causing disruption to cell communication and healthy growth. When these damaged and now mutated cells replicate faster than they die off it can lead to pre-mature aging, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, cancer and many other diseases. Anti-oxidants help our bodies to fight free radicals by neutralising the free radical before it can cause any further cell damage.
Acid is a by-product of many of our body’s processes and so it is necessary for the body to neutralise or alkalise in order to maintain a balanced PH within the body. High levels of acid within the body is a perfect environment for bacteria and viruses to thrive in, and causes inflammation in our bodies and affects our immune system. The act of eating alone increases acidity as well as consuming foods which are more acid forming such as grains, animal based products and highly processed foods.
Include more alkaline forming foods into the diet by eating plenty of vegetables. Chlorophyll, the nutrient that provides these amazing superfoods with their greenness is a great alkalising agent and helps to balance our PH level and create a healthier internal environment.
Inflammation is a natural immune response in the body where tissues swell to prevent harmful free radicals, bacteria, and toxins from spreading through the body. Typically once these foreign invaders or harmful compounds are dealt with inflammation will subside, however sometimes our immune systems can stay on high alert mode causing chronic inflammation which can lead to autoimmune conditions and chronic diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, cancer, cardiovascular disease and even Alzheimer’s.
As with acid and alkaline forming foods, there are also pro-inflammatory foods that can further fuel the fire of inflammation such as refined/processed foods, fried foods, sugar; and anti-inflammatory foods that can help to squelch it such as healthy fats, and you’ve guessed it - phytonutrient packed fruit and vegetables.
IMPROVES BLOOD PRESSURE AND LOWERS CHOLESTEROL
Phytonutrients assist in reducing inflammation and can in turn help to increase dilation of blood vessels and reduce blood pressure, and help lower LDL cholesterol.
ASSISTS DETOXIFICATION PROCESS
Our body’s ability to rid itself of toxins is crucial for our health and survival. The incredibly important process of detoxification of harmful toxins and excessive estrogens rely on a steady supply of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants for which a good intake of phytonutrients can supply.
So if phytonutrients are so good for us be sure to have plenty of vegetables and fruit in your daily diet and top it up with some greens powders to supercharge your body.
Now I’m not going to lie and tell you that greens powders taste amazing. Most of them taste like grass which is effectively what it is – a big glass of green grassy goodness. But you can find some good brands out there that have managed to turn greens and reds powders into delicious drinks. One of my favourite brands is Nutri-Dyn who have a variety of fruity flavours that are great on their own or blended into your morning smoothie. But my favourite is their chocolate greens which is great for when I’m craving a little sweetness. I even make mine with hot water for the healthiest cup of hot chocolate, or add to coffee to make a delicious mocha. Yum!