You may have walked into a health food store and felt confused about all the greens powders available. Or maybe you’ve been served up an ad on social media telling you that you need to take a greens superfood. B what exactly do these supplements do?
If you have questions about greens supplements, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn the top seven reasons to take a greens superfood.
Reason #1: Energy
Let’s face it. You could probably use a little more energy for your day. According to a recent survey, almost 30% of Canadians go to work feeling tired. A quality greens drink will provide you with a great source of vitamins and minerals that can help you boost your energy levels naturally. Ingredients like wheat grass and barley grass are naturally energizing. And thanks to the detoxifying abilities of greens (more on that in a minute), you will feel an additional lift in energy. Some formulas will also include: adaptogenic herbs, which help to energize you and help your body deal with stress (like ginseng or energizing mushrooms), or ingredients specifically intended to address low energy and mental fatigue, such as naturally occurring caffeine, taurine, or a B vitamin complex.
Reason #2: Detoxification
Speaking of low energy, sluggishness and mental fatigue, did you know that this could be caused by an overload of toxins? You may benefit from a full body detox to naturally improve our energy levels and mental clarity. Rather than use harsh detox protocols, with strong herbs and laxatives, a quality greens powder will help to detoxify your body naturally and gently. Ingredients like alfalfa, barley grass, broccoli extract, chlorella, chlorophyll, spirulina, and wheat grass not only bind to toxins and help to eliminate them, but they also contribute to efficient digestion. Some greens formulas will contain additional liver-loving ingredients like milk thistle, which helps to protect the liver during detoxification. In addition to that, they may also contain ingredients that facilitate healthy digestion, like probiotics and prebiotics. What’s more, since detoxifying greens help your body eliminate toxins that can leave you feeling tired or sluggish, the energy boost is an added bonus!
Reason #3: Not Eating Enough Veggies
Most people don’t eat enough vegetables. A recent survey by Ipsos Reid found that while 3 out of 4 Canadians report that they eat well, fewer than one-in-five (17%) had even the minimum recommended 5 servings of fruits or vegetables during the previous day. Veggies (and fruits) provide you with a rich supply of phytochemicals that work in various ways to provide nutrients that support your many bodily processes and prevent disease. The Canadian Food Guide recommends getting 5-10 servings of veggies and fruits per day, but as you can see, this is hard to do for so many Canadians. A greens powder will help to fill in the gaps that may be missing from your diet. This is particularly important when you’re on the go, travelling a lot, or feeling run down.
Reason #4: Enzymes
Enzymes are proteins that facilitate biochemical reactions in the body, from your metabolism to your digestion and liver health. You may be interested to learn that your body has a finite number of enzymes. When you eat an abundance of cooked foods, you place stress on our body because these cooked foods lack enzymes. Rather than go all-out with a raw foods diet, you can add a quality green food supplement that will naturally be rich in enzymes.
Reason #5: Better Workouts
Believe it or not, greens supplements can give you better workouts and could potentially reduce downtime between workouts by enhancing recovery. Many of the superfoods commonly found in green supplements can increase energy, which is always of benefit during workouts. What’s more, spirulina, which is often included in green supplements, has some interesting studies on its role in increasing endurance in both trained and untrained individuals. In one double-blind (neither participants or researchers know which group they’re in), placebo-controlled (one group receives a capsule that doesn’t have greens superfoods and one group receives green superfoods) study, nine fit men were either given spirulina or a placebo prior to a two-hour treadmill run.
Both exercise performance and respiratory markers were recorded. Researchers concluded that spirulina induced a “significant increase” in exercise performance. In another study, sixteen untrained students were given spirulina for three weeks prior to a treadmill workout. Time to exhaustion was significantly increased after spirulina supplementation. Additionally, the alkaline-promoting effects of green supplements can also help to combat what’s known as post-workout acidosis, which is a fancy way of saying lactic acid buildup or muscle stiffness.
Reason #6: Digestion
According to the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation, up to 20 million Canadians suffer from digestive issues each year and one in four Canadians suffers from constipation. Green superfoods contained in a greens supplement will help to nourish and reduce inflammation in the digestive tract and contain enzymes that facilitate healthy digestion, while some ingredients are rich in a type of phytonutrient called polyphenols, which can act as a prebiotic in the gut. This means that they promote healthy populations of your healthy gut flora. Additionally, some studies have shown barley grass to be helpful for treating ulcerative colitis. Some greens powders will also contain added pre- and probiotics for added digestive support.
Reason #7: Immune Health
Believe it or not, green superfoods can also contribute to a healthy immune system. For starters, the rich nutrient profile contained in green superfoods can help provide the raw materials for your immune system to work at its best. If there is added fibre from apples or apple skins, your greens superfood will work even better for your immune system, thanks to a phytonutrient called quercetin. You can buy quercetin on its own at the health food store (it is particularly beneficial for allergy season) but it is also currently undergoing research for its role as a treatment for covid. Additionally, some greens superfoods will contain additional adaptogens and ingredients to support a healthy stress response (we typically get sick when we are stressed or run down) and may also contain added vitamins C and D to support a healthy immune response.
Whether you want one (or all) of the benefits listed above, know that a quality greens superfood will help you–whatever your goals may be. Be sure to find a greens supplement that’s pure and from a reputable brand. Many people love Greens Original Gluten-Free by Enerex or Vital Greens by Naka if you prefer a liquid greens supplement. Both of which provide a mix of green and herbal extracts that are clean, potent, vegan and alkalize the body.
Disclaimer: The information in this article is intended for educational and informational purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for medical advice. Please consult your practitioner prior to taking herbs or nutritional supplements.