Thursday, October 22, 2020

Green Drinks: Chlorophyll, Spirulina, Chlorella & Wheatgrass

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I was taking a swig of my cholorphyll at a meeting recently when a woman in the opposite row eyed me suspiciously.

“Does it taste like lawn clippings,” she inquired.

“No, it’s actually quite good,” I replied. “It has a fresh, minty flavour.”Green juices like cholorphyll are good for our bodies, because they have a rejuvenating effect and cleanse it of pollutants. But many people aren’t used to drinking something green.

“I think they scare a lot of people because of the color,” says Nanaimo herbalist Lin Suffron. “I have one every morning. I say, once you start, you’ll never stop.”

Suffron uses spirulina for her greens and adds other things, like ground-up vitamins, ground flaxseed and yogurt with probiotics. “I throw it all in there and then it’s done,” she says. She adds a raw apple and shares the green drink with her husband, who won’t eat breakfast. “We’ve done that same shake probably for three years now.”

Suffron says:

“greens like spirulina are loaded with vitamins and minerals and help take away cravings for sweets.

“I think the blood sugar balance is a big part of it. If you eat the wrong thing first thing in the morning, you can’t even think.”

At Community Farm Store in Duncan, which sells flats of wheat grass, Cindy Dreger says green drinks are important for making the body more alkaline.

“I think the alkaline eating is getting more popular,” says Dreger. “The green drinks are a good way to do that. People are overly acidic from stress, lifestyle, drinking coffee and a diet with too much sugar.”

Spirulina, cholorella and barley juice are all popular, and drinking something green is also good is people are too busy to eat salad. “People don’t have time to prepare salads so I think that’s why green drinks are so popular,” says Dreger. “You can mix it up and off you go.”

Lynn Starter of Lynn’s Vitamins says green drinks can be quite cleansing as well as keeping the acid/alkaline levels balanced in the body.

Acid & Alkaline in Your Diet

“The North American diet tends to be high in acid. The green drink makes it more alkaline. Also, they’re usually good for energy.”

Let’s take a closer look at what’s in green foods and why it is so important.

Chlorophyll is the pigment that makes a plant green. It can act as a detoxifying agent for the liver and digestive tract. It’s been shown to reduce cholesterol and triglycerides. It stimulate the production of red blood cells, increases oxygen and energizes the body.

The molecular composition of chlorophyll is so close to that of human hemoglobin that these drinks can act as “mini-transfusions” for the blood, and tonics for the brain and immune system. They are an excellent nutrient source of vitamins, minerals, proteins and enzymes. They contain large amounts of vitamins C, B1, B2, B3, pantothenic acid, folic acid, carotene and choline. They are high in minerals, like potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, phosphorus and manganese. They are full of enzymes for digestion and assimilation, some containing over 1,000 of the known enzymes necessary for human cell response and growth.

Green drinks also have anti-infective properties, carry off acid wastes, neutralize body pH, and are excellent for mucous cleansing. They can help clear the skin, cleanse the kidneys, and purify and build the blood.

Chlorophyll is found naturally in

Spirulina

Supposedly the oldest living plant on earth, it is loaded with carotenoids, essential fatty acids and digestive enzymes. It is also the highest source of protein at 60% and a good source of Vitamin B12. It is sold in health food stores, natural pharmacies, etc. in powder, tablets and capsules.

Chlorella

Also an ancient algae, it is the richest source of chlorophyll, contains 50-60% protein, all eight amino acids, vitamins, minerals, fiber and nucleic acids DNA and RNA. A study published in 1987 in “Artery” showed that it lowered cholesterol (due to high omega-3 content). It is also a powerful chelating agent as it binds to toxic substances and forces them to leave the body. It has a unique ability to strengthen the immune system, called CGF chlorella growth factor, that enables it to stimulate the production of white blood cells.

Wheatgrass

Wheatgrass is another green that is juiced. It requires a special juicer and is a very strong detoxifier. Wheatgrass juice has also been used in cancer therapy, especially when radiation treatment is involved.

Green Juice

Green drinks and vegetable juices are potent fuel in maintaining good health, yet don’t come burdened by the fats that accompany animal products. Some companies have added fruits to add other health benefits and make green drinks more palatable.

1 COMMENT

  1. John

    About eight or nine years ago, I was introduced to something completely new in my life. At the time, I was feeling my way through the whole nutrition arena, becoming increasingly comfortable as an allopathic physician with the incredible benefits of vitamin and mineral supplementation. At the time, I had been traveling across the country attending various health shows for the company. At these health shows, there were various vendors selling a plethora of different products. One item that particularly caught my attention was the so-called “green drink.” These “green drinks” contained an incredible array of phytonutrients, including spirulina, chlorella, soy lecithin, wheat grass, alfalfa, barley, and apple pectin, along with multiple other antioxidants, fibers and even probiotics. I can’t say that the green drink was delicious, but rather I considered it to be an acquired taste.

    Over the years, I would use the product on and off, but eventually it fell out of favor in my supplemental regimen. I am excited to announce that Nutraceutical Sciences Institute® (NSI) has now launched its own great tasting green drink formula called Greentastic™. Like other NSI products, it provides more and better nutrients at about 50% less the cost. Whereas the most popular of the competitors’ green drinks contain only a few milligrams of Nova Scotia dulse (a purple-red sea algae), Greentastic contains 375 mg per serving. Across the board, when comparing labels, Greentastic outdoes other green drinks on the market. When compared to Green Foods Magma Plus, Greentastic contains over 3 times the soy lecithin and over 10 times the green algae (spirulina and chlorella) — these are three of the most important nutrients. It also contains other nutrients not found in many of the other green drinks, including various vegetable and fruit powders.

    Let’s talk for a moment about the value of the green drink. For example, in one study published in the journal Diabetes Metabolism, patients with diabetes mellitus were treated with barley leaf extract, along with antioxidant vitamins C and E. It was found that supplementation with the barley leaf was more effective in scavenging oxygen-free radicals. In another study published in the journal of Gastroenterology, a barley product was felt to have the ability to reduce clinical activity of ulcerative colitis. In the journal Nutrition from late last year, high intake of barley significantly lowered LDL cholesterol and lowered triglyceride concentrations. This was also confirmed in another study published in the journal of the American College of Nutrition from February of this year. Spirulina, which is blue-green algae, is felt to have a multitude of benefits. This algae is a rich source of proteins, vitamins, amino acids, minerals and other nutrients. It appears to have excellent anti-viral properties, with clinical trials showing some benefit even in patients with HIV.

    I could literally write a book on the clinical studies regarding the nutrients in this new green drink. Greentastic contains standardized green tea extract, standardized grape seed extract (Activin®), standardized bilberry, astragalus, bee pollen, standardized gingko biloba, and the list goes on and on. Although people may describe the green drink as being delicious, I cannot use that adjective. I have tried NSI’s recent Greentastic, along with some of the other greens products out there, and find Greentastic to be the best-tasting of the group. I find the taste is best when mixed with your favorite fruit juice, such as apple. In terms of value, Greentastic is the winner hands down. The two most popular selling green drinks are probably Greens Plus and Magma Plus. A 9-11 oz container of these products retails for about $40.00, while Vitacost.com’s wholesale prices are $26.97 to $24.14. A 9.3 oz container of NSI Greentastic, which is actually an overall better-formulated product, sells for only $19.95. If you are looking for a new and superior natural whole foods product that contains a tremendous array of phytonutrients, antioxidants, probiotics, vitamins, minerals, amino acids and proteins, look no further.

Emily Murdoch
Hi I write about health and fitness for women! You may contact me at emily@cleanseplan.com

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