There's an aisle at our local co-op that's always been slightly mysterious
It's filled with bottles of vitamins, protein powders, and many things I'm not terribly sure about. This cold November morning, I could be found sitting in the middle, with an apple cider and my notebook, reading and learning about some of the green super-powders on the market.
Healthy Eating 101 – “Eat more greens.”
With all things in life, there's utopia (eating them freshly picked from our organic gardens), and then there's every day. We all have times when we're just too busy to make a salad, or fresh produce is scarce. The good news? There's more than one way to get our daily dose of kale.
Having a high-quality green powder is on the shortlist of great alternatives. It wasn't until recently that I encountered them as part of my studies, and my goodness, I had no idea just how incredible they really are. Not only are they nutrient-dense, but they're also alkalizing and cleansing to our bodies.
So what, exactly are super greens? The most common include young cereal grasses like wheat, barley, and alfalfa, along with algaes like spiraling and chlorella that have been harvested at their peak nutritional state.
One could eat them in their natural, unprocessed form, but since most of us aren't inclined to chew barley grass or add sea greens to our salad bowls. They are often made into powders, capsules, or juice
Because more than a pound of greens may be used to make a mere ounce of powder(!) these cereal grasses and algae can offer a much higher nutrient density by volume than the various green veggies we find in our local groceries.
Reading the labels I was amazed at the contents of the green blends, combinations of chlorella, spiraling, barley grass powder, flax seed powder, antioxidant blends, herbal tonic blends, enzyme, probiotic, and prebiotic blends (to name just a few)
Spirulina is a freshwater algae that's been harvested for thousands of years in many parts of the world. It's about 60 percent protein by weight, and an abundance of other nutrients as well. It's rich in vitamin K, irons, beta-carotene (even more so than carrots!)
It's suggested a daily fix can help improve brain function and coronary health. Spirulina is also known to cleanse the liver, lower cholesterol, regulate blood sugar, reduce inflammation, boost the immune system, and even discourage allergies
When it comes down to eating these super greens, the key is to experiment and see what agrees with you. Some people love them, while others find their bodies don't tolerate them well.
A few ways to experiment:
Whisk into dressings for a supercharged salad
Stir into plain yogurt along with chopped nuts for a healthy snack
Make your own energy bars with a base of dried fruit and super greens powder
Blend into a smoothie
Which is what I found myself doing after hot yoga this evening, a blend of fruit, spinach, spiralina, and protein powder. A wonderful treat.
Super Spirulina Green Smoothie
- 1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
- 1 cup frozen mango chunks
- 1 banana
- 2 cups spinach
- 1 Tbsp spirulina
- 2 cups coconut water
- 1 scoop protein powder
- unsweetened coconut flakes, optional, for topping
- Blend thoroughly and enjoy!