So, you’re being intentional about getting enough greens in your diet. That’s great! Then you’re on your way to outperforming nearly 91 percent of Americans—those who don’t eat the recommended five-to-nine daily servings of fruits and veggies, including green ones.
You’ve made a wise choice, too, if you go with greens to meet your quota because several green foods are categorized as superfoods due to their tremendous content of phytonutrients and chlorophyll, which supports hemoglobin production, oxygenation to cells, a healthy digestive system as well as a healthy liver and blood.
In fact, greens such as broccoli can protect—and even increase—gut immune cells to provide greater protection against unwanted invaders. Without the greens, however, those same protective cells can diminish 70 to 80 percent. Broccoli is also rich in antioxidants, phytronutrients and anti-inflammatories to help reduce the risk of a number of cancers, to help detox environmental carcinogens and to support healthy inflammation levels.
With those kinds of benefits, you’re getting more than you bargained for—in a good way—by consuming enough quality greens such as broccoli, spinach and kale. By the same token, you can be getting less than you bargained for if you don’t eat high-quality green foods. In short, certain green foods outperform others by leaps and bounds, so make sure you get the most “green-powered” greens possible.
In addition to broccoli and other greens such as spinach and kale, some green superfoods worthy of mention include cereal grasses and micro-algae or sea veggies. Cereal grasses are the young green plants of cereal grain. All cereal grasses, including the green leaves of wheat, barley, rye, oat and kamut, are nutrient-dense foods. They are high in chlorophyll, beta-carotene, vitamins C and E and are a good plant source of protein. Likewise, chlorella and spirulina are two common sea veggies that provide chlorophyll, protein, all of the B vitamins, vitamins C and E, amino acids and trace minerals.
Meanwhile, the green juices of these green superfoods contain chlorophyll, enzymes, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, provitamin A, B-complex vitamins, vitamins C, E and K as well as other nutrients.
Now for other areas where you could be getting less than you bargained for when it comes to greens.
Not only should you get the most greens per serving possible, but you should also make sure your greens are USDA Certified Organic and RAW. You simply don’t want greens grown with pesticides, GMOs or other toxins. You also don’t want to miss out on precious enzymes that can be lost from overcooking or overprocessing foods, including greens. Simply put, if your greens’ enzymes are depleted, then the vitamins in the greens are inactivated and ineffective. So, make sure your greens qualify in both the organic and RAW areas.
By the way, pesticides and other toxins used in any greens can destroy health, and some greens—unless they’re organic—are loaded with pesticides. For example, 70 percent of conventional broccoli and 74 percent of conventional fresh lettuce have systemic pesticide residues, while 48 different pesticides were found on conventionally grown spinach, including 8 known or probable carcinogens, 25 suspected hormone disruptors, 8 neurotoxins, 6 developmental or reproductive toxins and 25 honeybee toxins. For conventionally grown kale, 55 pesticide residues were noted, with 9 known or probable carcinogens, 27 suspected hormone disruptors, 10 neurotoxins, 10 developmental or reproductive toxins and 23 honeybee toxins.
The bottom line is that you want to make sure you’re getting exactly what you bargained for when it comes to your greens—high-quality, nutrient-packed RAW greens that are USDA Certified Organic.