Everyone knows that greens are essential to a healthy diet. Green veg has so many nutritional benefits, you’d be startled by what they can do for you. But did you know that some greens are better for you than others? Alas, we are here to surprise you. Here’s our favourite greens and why we include them in our Green Superfood Shots!
Kale is a curly, green or purple leafy vegetable. Its taste resembles a mix of spinach and cabbage! It has been known since the 4th Century BC in Greece. Until the end of the middle ages it was one of the most common vegetables in Europe. Kale is one of the most nutrient-dense foods around. It is rich in Vitamin B6, A, K & C, Manganese, Calcium, Copper, Potassium and Magnesium. This leafy green is also high in anti-oxidants. It can help lower cholesterol because it contains bile acid sequestrants, too. Kale has also been proved to fight the formation of cancer (1).
Spinach a leafy green which contains oxilic acid – this causes its slightly bitter taste. The spinach plant, Ameanthaceae, is native to central and western Asia. Spinach is absolutely packed with goodness. This superfood is great for your digestive health as it contains Glycoglycerolipids. These protect the digestive tract lining, and is high in fiber which helps your body break down food. Spinach is incredibly rich in Vitamin K which promotes healthy blood circulation. It is also a great source of iron. This is why vegetarians and anaemics are encouraged to eat it to maintain healthy blood. Spinach can also help asthmatics. The beta-carotene, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, potassium and magnesium have anti-asthmatic qualities.
Broccoli is the vegetable which looks like mini trees! It is known as a super veggie because of it’s nutritional value to our health. Broccoli contains around 90% water, 7% carbs and 3% protein. It is full of Vitamin C which is an anti-oxidant for your immune system and skin health. Broccoli is a source of Vitamin K1 – is essential for bone health and blood clotting. Its folate content promotes tissue growth and cell function. Broccoli also contains potassium (good for the heart) and iron (increases oxygen in the blood).
There are two kinds of artichokes. Globe artichokes have the texture of Brussel sprouts but are sweeter in taste. Jerusalem artichokes taste more like creamy potatoes. We include globes in our superfood shots because they are known as a superfood. They contain loads of phytonutrients which are antioxidants. In 2006, a study revealed that a serving of artichokes provides more antioxidant benefits than many other foods. These include those which are said to be high in antioxidants, such as blueberries (2). Artichokes are also rich in fiber which helps keep your digestive system healthy. They have a high folic acid content which promotes hair growth and is beneficial during pregnancy. The Vitamin K in artichokes are useful for bone health and brain function.
Avocado is technically a large berry with creamy, green flesh. The avocado comes from an avocado tree native to South Central Mexico. They are incredibly nutritious. They are good sources of oleic acid, a healthy fat. This is a monosaturated fatty acid which reduces inflammation and maintains a healthy heart. This helps reduce blood pressure which supports major organs like the heart and kidneys. Avos are also loaded with fiber which feeds the good bacteria in your gut. There have been two studies which show avocados reduce ‘bad’ cholesterol levels significantly and increase the ‘good’ ones (3).
Alfalfa Sprouts are a legume from the pea family with a mild taste. They originated in Southeast Asia and are now cultivated all over the world. Alfalfa sprouts are a source of Vitamins A, C, E and K4, and minerals such as calcium, potassium, phosphorous and iron. Although there is minimal evidence, these sprouts are known to lower cholesterol absorption in the gut (4).
Wheatgrass is a green powder whose taste resembles that of lawn clippings. It is derived from seeds of common wheat called cotyledons. In order to provide maximum nutritional benefits, wheatgrass is harvested when the sprouts begin to split. It is packed with minerals, including A, B-complex, C, E, 1 and K. It is also rich in protein and contains as many as 17 amino acids! Wheatgrass is made up of 70% chlorophyll (hence its green colour!) which contains a protein found in red blood cells. Chlorophyll slows down the aging process (including hair starting to grey). It has a detoxifying effect on your liver and skin! Wheatgrass is also anti-bacterial and absorbs 92 of 115 known minerals in soil.
Barley grass is an emerald green member of the grass family. The cultivation of barley grass occurred for over 10,000 years. It is grown in temperate climates, particularly in Eurasia. Barley grass is packed with antioxidants. Amongst a whole wealth of vitamins, it contains Vitamin E, B, beta carotene and iron. Barley grass is a source of phcocyanin (a blue pigment). This supports the production of bone marrow and blood cells. The grass is filled with good bacteria for your gut. This means it treats ulcerative colitis, and helps regulate bowel movements. It also works to eliminate accumulated toxins from the body. And finally, barley grass supports the whole metabolic process!