Green Superfoods have some of the highest concentrations of easily digestible nutrients of any superfood. They contain fat burning compounds, vitamins and minerals, protective phytochemicals, protein and other nutrients that protect and heal the body. Green Superfoods contain healthy bacteria that aid function of your digestive system and boost your immune system to more effectively protect you against disease and illness. Green superfoods are extremely rich in chlorophyll – the pigment that gives plants their green color.
The molecular structure of chlorophyll is very similar to hemoglobin in human blood and studies show that when chlorophyll rich foods are consumed, that the production of hemoglobin is increased in the blood. A higher amount of hemoglobin in the bloodstream means more oxygen-rich blood, the first and most important element that cells need to survive and thrive. Many of the superfoods we will discuss are green superfoods.
Green leafy vegetables are readily available and highly nutritious, yet most people do not eat nearly enough of them. Multiple studies confirm that those populations that eat a diet high in green leafy vegetables run a far lower risk of heart disease and cancer.
Fresh, raw, green leafy vegetables contain high doses of chlorophyll, easily digestible proteins, enzymes and a wide range of vitamins and minerals. Consuming these vegetables is like getting a mini-transfusion as they support the blood and our cardiovascular system. Greens are also a health tonic for the immune system and the brain, and are a cleanser of the kidneys.
Try any of the following yummy green leafy superfoods: rocket (arugula), spinach, dandelion greens, kale, watercress, parsley, lettuce, endive, chicory, broccoli sprouts and mustard sprouts (look for our healthy recipes containing green leafy vegetables).
Wheatgrass – Wheatgrass is the sprouted grass of a wheat seed. Unlike the whole grain, once sprouted, it no longer contains gluten or other common allergenic agents (gluten is a protein that supports plant seeds).
Wheatgrass is super-alkalizing (meaning it promotes an alkaline environment in the body) and is excellent for promoting healthy blood.
As well, due to its high enzyme content and cleansing effect, wheatgrass normalizes the thyroid gland and stimulates metabolism, thus assisting digestion and promoting weight loss.
Barleygrass – Barleygrass has 11 times more calcium than cow’s milk, 5 times more iron than spinach and 7 times more Vitamin C and bioflavonoids than orange juice. It contains significant amounts of Vitamin B12, which is very important in a vegetarian diet (most plant foods are low in B12). Barleygrass juice has anti-viral activities and neutralizes heavy metals like mercury in the blood.
Seaweeds are the most nutritionally dense plants on the planet as they have access to all the nutrients in the ocean. They can contain up to 10 times more calcium than milk and eight times as much as beef. The chemical composition of seaweeds is so close to human blood plasma that perhaps their greatest benefit is regulating and purifying our blood system. Seaweed helps to alkalize our blood, neutralizing the acidic effects of our modern diet.
Evidence shows that seaweed can protect us from a wide array of toxic elements in the environment. Seaweed can bind/convert heavy metals, pollutants and radiation by-products into harmless salts or compounds that the body can more easily eliminate. Sea vegetables are also antioxidants that prevent free radical formation. The most remarkable results we see with seaweeds are weight-loss and deterrence of cellulite build-up. The high concentration of natural iodine found in seaweed helps to stimulate the thyroid gland and increases metabolism so that food fuels are used before they can be turned into fatty deposits.
At the same time, the minerals in seaweed are co-factors in cellular metabolism and break the chemical bond that seals the fat in cells, allowing trapped wastes to escape. Eating sea vegetables and bathing in them helps reduce cellulite and stimulates lymphatic drainage. Seaweeds have been part of the diet in many Asian cultures for thousands of years, and studies in Japan show that a diet of as little as 5% sea-greens can inhibit cancer growth and even cause remission of active tumors. Seaweed is available to us in health food stores and Asian supermarkets. Do your best to incorporate them into your diet to boost flavor and nutrition and be on the lookout for our future recipes and preparation tips.
Nori is 48 percent protein by dry-weight and is a rich source of beta-carotene, thiamine, niacin, calcium, iron, and trace minerals. Nori is the most easily digestible of the seaweeds.
Rich in calcium, phosphorous, potash salts, and potassium chloride, kelp is an easy way for the body to get minerals that are easy to assimilate. Because Kelp has thick leaves, they are perfect for a hot seaweed bath. Kelp is good for the nails, skin and hair, supports the brain tissue and membranes surrounding the brain, supports blood vessels and sensory nerves and is useful in the treatment of thyroid problems. Kelp noodles are great in salad and many other yummy recipes.
Dulse – is a coarsely textured, red seaweed with a pungent and briny flavor, that is very high in iron, and iodine. Dulse is available dried, granulated, powdered, flakes or in sheets. Because there is no need to cook dulse, it is great as a seasoning on salads or vegetables.
Soak Arame in hot water for 5 to 15 minutes and it will be ready to use in many recipes.
Wakame has higher dietary fiber content than nori or Kombu, and is rich in B vitamins as well as the minerals iron and zinc. Two tbsp. of raw wakame contains 15 mg of calcium, 10.7 mg of magnesium and 18.8 mg of Omega-3 fatty acids.
Kombu – is a sea vegetable that grows in long, dark brown fronds up to 15 feet in length. Kombu is harvested and sun-dried and then made into sheets. It has been used in Japan for centuries as a mineral-rich flavor enhancer.
Add a strip of Kombu to cooking beans to make them more digestible and reduce gas. Adding a strip of Kombu to your sprouts when soaking them will allow them to soak up the minerals from the kombu.
Some spirulina and chlorella powders are heat-processed for commercial distribution, thus making it difficult for digestive enzymes to fully digest these products. As a result, the body cannot fully assimilate the amazing proteins and other nutritional components of algae, so be sure to purchase fresh algaes that were not heat-processed.
Wild blue-green algae are a phytoplankton and contain virtually every nutrient there is. With a 60% protein content and a more complete amino acid profile than beef or soybeans, it is one of the best known food sources of beta carotene, B vitamins and chlorophyll.
Wild blue-green algae supports better thinking and improves your memory, strengthens your immune system and helps fight cold and flu viruses.
Spirulina – is a cultivated micro-algae which has been consumed for thousands of years by the indigenous peoples in Mexico and Africa. It is one of the highest known protein sources on earth and contains 70% complete protein, towering over steak which consists of only 25% once cooked.
Benefits of Spirulina include: Stimulates the immune system to destroy invading disease organisms and carcinogens, detoxifies the colon, promotes tissue repair, decreases cholesterol levels, works as an anti-inflammatory, supports RNA and DNA, curbs appetites and helps stimulate metabolism. Only small amounts of this powerful food need to be consumed to receive these benefits.
Chlorella – is a fresh water algae, and like it’s other algae cousins contains a complete protein profile, all the B vitamins, vitamin C and E and many minerals. It is amazing for the immune system, for reducing cholesterol and prevents hardening of the arteries, a precursor to heart attacks and strokes.
Hopefully you can now see the powerful health-benefits that are packed into green superfoods and will continue to introduce them into your diet. Join us at our “I Can Heal My Body” video series as we provide three amazing videos on the benefits of superfoods and how you can prepare them for yourself.