Original article on switchnutrition.com.au | Presented by Fit Trendz the Better You co.
“THE 10 HEALTHIEST GREENS…. WHY WHEAT GRASS AND BARLEY GRASS ARE NOT ON THE LIST!!”
Detoxing is an everyday process your body should be naturally performing to rid itself of poisons, chemicals and pollutants. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen efficiently. These toxins can slowly build up and cause a disruption to your normal cell function leading to more serious diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s, dementia, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and more.
Our planet, water and food system has become so adulterated and toxic that polar bears are now facing fertility issues and signs of dementia due to heavy metal exposure from fossil fuels pumped into our atmosphere.
While in time we attempt to reduce worldwide pollutants, we need to take action immediately and eat the right nutrients to help support our body’s own natural detox systems.
In this article we will discuss the 10 best detoxing SUPER GREENS and how they will help improve your health and vitality.
Note: Before we go too far it’s important to understand that if your body is exposed to more toxins than it can eliminate, your health, energy and metabolism will rapidly deteriorate. You may accumulate new fat tissue to store the toxins to prevent the toxins circulating and harming vital organs and glands. As you cut calories to lose body fat you may release these toxins back into your system. If they’re not eliminated you may just create new fat to store them in… and so the cycle continues.
Let’s face it, eating quality fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices every day can be quite a challenge. What’s even more concerning is that eating all the right greens through whole food alone is becoming increasingly difficult, leading many individuals to become micronutrient deficient.
Chances are you already know that micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, polyphenols, etc.) are crucial for your health and longevity. However, you may not know that lacking any of these nutrients can make you prone to toxin accumulation.
You see, a major role of micronutrients is to help your body naturally detoxify itself. When we say “detoxify” we are referring to the process by which your vital organs work to rid your body of noxious metabolites (like Heavy Metals, PCBs, BPA, Fluoride, etc.)
Unfortunately, in today’s world, we are constantly exposed to man-made chemicals and environmental toxins. Between 1930 and 2000 manmade chemicals increased from 1 million to 400 million tonnes per year. This means more attention needs to be placed on getting the right nutrients to help your body eliminate chemicals efficiently, so they don’t build up and cause cellular damage.
Make no mistake, formulating a true wholefood blend requires a deep understanding of the biological processes that drive our health, longevity, and well-being. Fortunately, we’ve done the research, so you don’t have to.
Micronutrients are nutrients humans require in relatively small quantities for proper health and function. Sadly, it’s extremely difficult to get enough of these vital nutrients with todays over processed foods, a reduction in home prepared meals and lack of growing our own quality spray free vegetables.
Many of the modern diseases faced in the Western world, such as type-2 diabetes, arthritis, hypertension, mental decline, cancer and auto-immune diseases stem from excess oxidative stress induced by free radicals and uncontrolled inflammation.1,2 Greens serve to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation by providing the highest quality micronutrient dense wholefoods, carefully processed and concentrated for their bio-active ingredients.
These organic greens are quite literally “Superfoods”. They provide essential vitamins, minerals, polyphenols and more to fight stress-inducing free radicals, detoxify your body, reduce inflammation, and support your immune system.3
But what does science really have to say about the health benefits of these greens? Continue reading to learn all about the extensive research behind the Superfoods.
Chlorella (Chlorella pyrenoidosa) is an exceptionally nutrient-dense fresh water algae containing plentiful amounts of vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, and B6. It is also a rich source of vital minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc.
Recent clinical trials suggest that Chlorella supplementation can support healthy blood pressure and blood lipid levels, as well as enhance immune system function.4
Chlorella has been used medicinally to treat Fibromyalgia, Ulcerative Colitis and Hypertension. It has super detoxifying and chelating powers that puts it at the top of the detoxing list. Note: Chelation is a process where a compound binds to a toxin and helps transport it safely out of your body.
Chlorella has been clinically shown to eliminate powerfully damaging toxins such as heavy metals, radiation and chemotherapy.
Furthermore, Chlorella contains a high concentration of the essential health-promoting omega-3 fatty acid eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) which is great for reducing inflammation.5
Spirulina (Arthrospira platensis) is arguably the #1 rated detoxing superfood on the planet along with its cousin Chlorella. This fresh water blue green algae has super high levels of chlorophyll which has been clinically proven to fight the damaging effects of mold and aflatoxin found in our food or our damp homes.
Spirulina has over 1,200 peer reviewed studies supporting its benefits and one important well researched benefit is the reduction of yeast overgrowth (Candida). The antimicrobial benefits of Spirulina have been well documented and may be why it also helps reduced upper respiratory and sinus infection.
A bonus is Spirulina’s ability to reduce amyloid plaque in the brain that may lead to memory loss, dementia and Alzheimer’s. The neuroprotective benefits of Spirulina have recently been verified in a 2012 and 2015 research paper.
Note: Both Chlorella and Spirulina have DNA protecting benefits which may support anti-ageing.
Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) is commonly used as a spice/herb in Indian and eastern cooking, but research suggests its benefits extend far beyond simply delicious flavor enhancement. In fact, regular Coriander consumption can reduce serum LDL and VLDL (the “bad” cholesterols) by as much as 70%.6 It is thought that Coriander is one of the most potent heart-healthy herbs available due its blood lipid-supporting qualities.
Not to mention Coriander is one of the most powerful heavy metal chelators (eliminators) found in our food supply. Coriander also provides a natural treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and type-2 diabetes.
Broccoli (Brassica oleracea) is an antioxidant-rich cruciferous super vegetable. It’s high in vitamin C, B vitamins, polyphenols, and some special phytochemicals called isothiocyanates, sulforaphane and indol-3 carbinol, which converts naturally into diindolylmethane (DIM). Research has shown that naturally occurring DIM can enhance immune function, reduce the risk of cancer, and balance estrogen levels (in both males and females).7
These powerful super antioxidants help to upregulate our own endogenous detoxification processes called Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) and Glutathione.
Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) is a dark, leafy green vegetable that contains more iron than red meat and more magnesium than any other natural food source (per gram). Spinach is also rich in zeaxanthin and lutein, two carotenoids that prevent damage to sunlight exposure and support healthy eye function.8 Lutein, which derives its name from the luteal phase of a women’s menstrual cycle, has incredible benefits in helping maintain proper estrogen balance and reducing estrogen dominance in men and women.
Moreover, the phytonutrients in Spinach have been shown to have positive effects on the immune system and significantly reduce inflammation.9
Kale (Brassica sabellica) is a special type of cabbage that packs astonishing amounts of micronutrients, with over 100% of the daily value of vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin K per 100 grams.
Kale also contains a class of rare but potent health compounds called glucosinolates that are shown to help detoxify the body by activating important liver enzymes like Cytochrome P450. These enzymes are responsible for phase II conjugation and toxic elimination.10
Matcha is a unique powdered green tea used traditionally throughout Japan. Green tea is revered for its abundant profile of antioxidants, particularly substances known as catechins. What’s most amazing is that the concentration of fat-fighting and cancer-fighting epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is over 300% greater in Matcha green tea than any other green tea strain.11
Matcha green tea also contains an abundance of naturally occurring L-Theanine which is said to provide a calm and mood enhanced energy. In addition to the energy and fat metabolizing benefits, Matcha also boosts brain function and memory recall.
Our Matcha is the highest quality organic ceremonial Aiya green tea. It is grown in the nutrient rich highlands of southern japan using traditional methods to preserve the powerful phytocompounds and health promoting antioxidants.
Source: Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, Lipophilic and Hydrophilic Antioxidant Capacities of Common Foods in the United States
Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) is a medicinal herb that has been used to treat diabetes and liver function for centuries. Research suggests that the antioxidants in Parsley significantly decrease lipid peroxidation (which causes damage to cells) in the liver and fasting blood glucose levels.12 In fact, the anti-diabetic properties of Parsley are said to be comparable to the pharmaceutical drug Glibornuride.
Mint leaf (Mentha spicata) is commonly used in tea preparations to treat digestive disorders, headaches, nausea and respiratory infections. Mentha contains compounds that have profound anti-inflammatory properties which enhance these benefits.
In addition, mint helps stimulate digestive enzyme production which will support nutrient absorption from your food. This is important, because if you go to the effort of seeking out healthy nutrient rich food you want to make sure you absorb the nutrients you eat.13
Watercress (Nasturtium officinale) is possibly the densest natural source of isothiocyanates. These compounds modulate the metabolism of carcinogens (cancer causing compounds) in humans by inactivating them. Watercress also helps promote absorption and utilization of powerful anti-oxidants called glucosinolates (remember those are abundant in kale, broccoli and spinach).14
A cohort study comprising over 18,000 men found that the risk of lung cancer was reduced by as much 65% in individuals who had detectable levels of isothiocyanates in their urine.15 In addition, several other cancers have shown to be reduced or completely eradicated when exposed to isothiocyanates found in Watercress.
Watercress possesses anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-fungal and anti-viral benefits so powerful that the CDC (Centre for Disease Control) calls it a “Powerhouse Food”. It is for this reason it has been added to the super greens blend in Vitality Switch™.
This marshland plant (Apium graveolens) is renowned for its crunchy stalks and bounty of micronutrients, particularly phthalides, magnesium and manganese (which are commonly lacking in typical Western diets). The phthalides in Celery have myriad benefits on health and longevity. One study showed that two specific phthalides in celery - 3-n-butylphthalide and sedanolide - decreased tumor incidence by nearly 70% in animal subjects.16
Wheat and Barley have only recently been cultivated and included in our diet from an evolutionary perspective. They were not a part of our main food supply until the agricultural age.
Even during this time there is no record of them being eaten as grass. Grass (barley and wheat included) was left for the ruminants (sheep, cattle, pigs, goats etc) to forage since they have four stomach chambers which enable them to digest grass in a way humans cannot.
Barley and wheat grass is a relatively recent health kick that started with Charles Schnabel around 80 years ago. He and some colleagues discovered that these forms of cereal grass reached peak nutrient density for just a few days in early spring. This was termed “The Jointing Stage” and the grass must be harvested at this precise time then quickly dried or frozen to preserve the nutrients.
We’re not convinced that these practices still take place today with most commercially available product and we are not confident the addition of grass from cereal grains is the best way to bring back your vitality.
As an additional bonus… leaving grass for the cows, pigs and sheep means your greens supplement wont have that distinct grassy lawn clipping taste that many people despise.
Disclaimer: The above article is merely a guide and is in no way a recommendation or a treatment protocol for any health conditions or diseases. You should always consult with a qualified health care provider before changing your supplement, training or nutritional strategy. Supplementation should not be attempted by pregnant or breastfeeding women, anyone on prescription medication or children under the age of 15 unless advised by your qualified health care provider.