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From Jordan's Desk: Green Lanterns

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They say it’s not easy being green. Apparently not, since about 91 percent of Americans don’t eat the recommended five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables—including green ones—a day, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Those are scary numbers, too, considering that even French fries are counted as a serving.

The truth is that not all servings of fruits and veggies are created equally—not by a long shot. For example, processed and canned veggies and fruits don’t contain the nutrients that you’ll get from organic, fresh produce. Likewise, a fried potato doesn’t pack the same nutritional wallop that just-picked organic spinach does.

Going a step further, there are some foods that are just plain ol' food. Then there are foods classified as “superfoods,” including several green foods. You may have heard of superfoods. They’re foods that naturally concentrate important nutrients and antioxidants for overall health. In fact, many health professionals emphasize the necessity of superfoods for good health, and green food superfoods are getting some extra attention these days—with good reason.

Green foods are often called 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. Some green superfoods worthy of mention include cereal grasses and micro-algae. Yes . . . I said cereal grasses and micro-algae.

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 micro-algae. These green superfoods provide chlorophyll, protein, all of the B vitamins, vitamins C and E, amino acids and trace minerals. Additionally, 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.

That’s not all that green superfoods do, however. They also help to support a less acidic and more alkaline state in the body. You may wonder why that’s important. Our modern diets are heavy on the acidic side due to processed grains, conventional meats, sugars and unhealthy fats—which leads to the body being more acidic. When the body’s more acidic, it directly and unhealthily affects the blood and bodily tissues, including the cells of the heart, blood, brain, nerves, muscles, bones, skin and hair. In fact, the body’s 100 trillion cells prefer a slightly alkaline state—and green foods are alkalizing foods your body will love.

In short, they’re power-packed. French fries can’t hold a candle to these green superfoods, and it appears that this may be becoming more apparent. I think that people have begun to realize they’re not getting the fruit and vegetable nutrition they need, so many have been adding greens to their diets via green superfood supplements—since most people probably aren’t growing a personal stash of green superfoods like cereal grasses or micro-algae.

Data from SPINS, Inc. supports my hypothesis. Wheat grass, barley grass and chlorophyll and chlorella sales increased 13 percent over last year, while spirulina sales were up seven percent. Other data says that wheat and barley grasses are up 19 percent, while chlorophyll and chlorella sales are up more than 21 percent.

I was pleased to learn that more and more people may be trying to get enough servings of their fruits and veggies—especially if it’s from these amazing green superfoods. The nutritional landscape may be starting to light up with these “green lanterns,” too, and that’s a good thing.

 

This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.


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