It’s not easy to incorporate all you need into your daily eating regime, especially with the prevalence of nutrient-depleted soils. So, it makes perfect sense to reach for superfoods to supplement with the essentials you need to sustain a healthy mind and body.
Green superfoods have the highest concentrations of easily digestible nutrients, vitamins and minerals to protect and heal the body, as well as fat-burning compounds. These fantastic superfoods offer a wide array of beneficial substances that include proteins, photo-chemicals and healthy bacteria that help you build cleaner muscles and tissues, aid your digestive system and protect you against disease and illness.
DID YOU KNOW? Green superfoods are extremely rich in chlorophyll, which is the pigment that gives plants their green colour. The molecular structure of chlorophyll is very similar to human blood and studies show that when this is consumed, your blood’s production of haemoglobin increases. Higher amounts of haemoglobin in the bloodstream means more oxygen-rich blood, the first and most important element that cells need to thrive.
Here’s a brief overview of some of these incredible substances:
Wheat grass The sprouted grass of wheat seed no longer contains gluten or other common allergic agents because it’s been sprouted (but if you’re gluten intolerant, check with your healthcare practitioner before gulping down huge quantities of the juice). It’s alkalizing and excellent for promoting healthy blood. It also normalises the thyroid gland which stimulates your metabolism and this assists in digestion and promotes weight loss
Spirulina Is one of the highest known protein sources – its 70% complete protein (as opposed to cooked steak which is only 25% complete protein). Spirulina can assist in controlling blood sugar levels, which makes it ideal for diabetics
Barley grass With over ten times more calcium than cow’s milk, five times more iron than spinach and seven times more vitamin C and bio-flavanoids than orange juice, barley grass is also a significant source of vitamin B12, which is important if you’re on a vegetarian diet. Additionally, barley grass neutralises heavy metals such as mercury and has anti-viral properties
Wild blue-green algae Contains virtually every nutrient and has 60% protein content. It also has a more complete amino acid profile than beef or soya and is one of the best known food sources of beta carotene, B vitamins and chlorophyll. This incredible algae has been shown to improve brain function and memory and strengthen the immune system
Chlorella Filled with vitamins B, C and E as well as numerous minerals, it assists in reducing cholesterol, preventing hardening of arteries and is a great immune booster
Although green supplements can act as a serving of fruit and vegetables because they contain vitamins, minerals, fibre and phytonutrients, you still need to incorporate fresh, raw leafy greens to your daily menu.
DID YOU KNOW Most people don’t eat enough green leafy vegetables, even though they’re so readily available? Numerous studies have shown that communities that eat a diet high in green leafy vegetables run a far lower risk of heart disease and cancer. Eat them fresh and raw for a good dose of chlorophyll, easily digestible proteins, enzymes and loads of vitamins and minerals. Green leafy vegetables can act as mini-transfusions for your blood, a healthy brain tonic, cleanse your kidneys and boost your immune system. Green up for a boost with any of the following: rocket, spinach, dandelion greens, kale, watercress, parsley, lettuce, endive, chicory, broccoli sprouts and mustard sprouts
GROW YOUR OWN
There’s nothing quite as satisfying as growing something. And when it comes to wheatgrass, it’s a simple process that allows you to have instant access to an immune and energy boosting superfood.
It’s best to pre-sprout your seeds as they’ll grow much better. To do this, mix around twice the amount of cool water to the number of seeds you have and allow them to soak for 8-12 hours. Then, drain off the water and rinse thoroughly in clean cool water, draining well. If you have the patience, repeat the process a couple more times before planting.
- When your seeds have tiny roots, it’s time to plant them
- Thoroughly moisten the soil, but allow any puddles to dry. You can use vermiculite if you prefer
- Spread your seeds evenly, although they can be relatively close together because the plants they produce take up less area than the seeds do
- Cover your seed tray to keep light out and moisture in (but make a few breathing holes so that air can circulate freely)
- Water lightly daily to keep your soil moist
- On the third or fourth day, you’ll see the blades emerging from the soil
- Now you can move your tray to a well-lit spot – but if it’s in direct sunlight, you’ll need to be quite vigilant about keeping the soil moist. Don’t over water, though, or you may encourage mould growth
- You can begin harvesting as soon as the grass is long enough to cut. Freshly cut grass yields the best flavour.
TIP: Use the water you drain off your seeds to water other plants or herbs – the water is filled with nutrients from its contact with the wheatgrass seeds.