Janus Baker, Author at Wakunaga of America - Page 2 of 8

Mastering Menopause — 5 Ways to Balance Your Hormones

Although menopause is a natural changeover from a woman’s childbearing years to a life free from menstrual periods, for many the symptoms of this transition can make life seem like a never-ending rollercoaster.

The Symptoms and Health Risks of Menopause

As a woman nears midlife, her production of natural estrogen and progesterone starts to decline. This can result in the all-too-familiar peri-menopausal hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, forgetfulness, mood swings, anxiety, loss of libido, and vaginal dryness.2 But, as disconcerting and uncomfortable as these symptoms can be, the drop in these reproductive hormones can also have a serious impact on your health long after you’ve experienced your last period. These include:

  • Heart diseaseBefore age 55, women have a lower risk of heart disease than men, primarily because estrogen helps keep blood vessels relaxed and fosters a healthy balance between good and bad cholesterol. But by age 70, women have about the same risk for heart disease as men of the same age.3
  • Osteoporosis. Having less estrogen after menopause accelerates bone loss and puts you at greater risk for osteoporosis. One large study found that women who have severe hot flashes and night sweats during the years around menopause experience more bone loss and are at higher risk for hip fractures than women who do not have severe symptoms.4
  • Lead poisoning. Because bone begins to break down more quickly after menopause, lead stored in the bone is more likely to be released into the blood. In fact, post-menopausal women can have blood lead levels 30 percent higher than before they reached menopause. This lead increases your risk for heart disease, kidney problems, and cognitive dysfunction.5
  • Urinary incontinence. Since lower estrogen levels can weaken the urethra, about half of all postmenopausal women have trouble holding in their urine.6

Hormonal Support During “The Change”

While hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can relieve symptoms, it’s not without risk. According to The Cleveland Clinic, traditional HRT can increase systemic inflammation and the risk of breast and endometrial cancer. Long-term use can also leave you more vulnerable to cardiovascular disease.7  Fortunately, there are a number of all-natural things you can do to support your hormones and reduce the risk of future health problems.

1. Opt for foods rich in plant-based estrogens

Plant-based estrogens (isoflavones) like those in soy, chickpeas, lentils, fruits, and vegetables mimic the body’s own estrogen by binding to estrogen receptors. This in turn may reduce the risk of hormonal cancers.8  In one clinical trial, a daily dose of soy isoflavones was shown to significantly reduce hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and urinary problems in a group of perimenopausal and postmenopausal women.9  Limiting the amount of caffeine you consume and cutting back on spicy foods can also help make your hot flashes less severe. 7

2. Protect your heart and bones with exercise.

Studies show that aerobic and weight bearing exercise can strengthen both your heart and your bones.10,11 As a bonus, exercise can help lessen insomnia. Plus, working out can improve your mood and may help to relieve anxiety.12

3. If you smoke, quit!

If you smoke and are looking for yet one more reason to quit, studies show that women who smoke can go into menopause about a year earlier than nonsmokers. And for heavy smokers, it can accelerate the change by as much as two years earlier.13

4. Try these herbs to help rebalance Your reproductive hormones

Herbs have been used for centuries to relieve the symptoms of menopause. And modern research shows that our foremothers knew what they were doing. Kyolic Estro-Logic provides a proprietary blend of targeted herbs such as black cohosh, soy isoflavones, wild yam, sage, chaste berry, vervain, astragalus, and motherwort. Each of these herbs have been extensively researched for their ability to support hormonal balance and ease menopausal symptoms.14, 15

5. And don’t forget your supplements!

Since reproductive hormones also impact your heart and bones, it’s important to support healthy hormonal balance at every age and stage of life. But it’s especially crucial in the years leading up to and after menopause. Among the most important are the B vitamins, which support DNA repair and the creation of red blood cells, and regulate the nervous system. Studies show that a deficiency in this family of nutrients can have a negative impact on your bones, cardiovascular system, cognition, and mood.16 While all of the Bs matter, research reports that B6 and B12 may help reduce PMS symptoms, support healthy pregnancy, and reduce the risk of heart disease and cognitive decline in postmenopausal women. 16, 17, 18

But the B vitamins aren’t the only nutrients vital for a woman’s changing health. Adding an omega-3 supplement can help protect bones, brain, breasts, and heart while also reducing menstrual pain.19 Boosting your vitamin D and K2 levels can also help safeguard your bones and heart.20  To make sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need, look for a comprehensive supplement like Kyolic Heart, Bone, & Immune Health that pairs these essentials with Aged Garlic Extract for whole body support.

 

Taking these steps to enhance your health and quality of life can help you stay healthy and vibrant from your 20s through menopause and beyond.

The Highs and The Lows of Women’s Blood Pressure

For Blood Pressure Education Month, let’s dive into women’s heart health and dig deeper into effective ways of managing BP. From Aged Garlic Extract to healthy lifestyle choices, there are plenty of options to safely—and naturally—get your blood pressure in check.

High Blood Pressure in Women

High blood pressure, or hypertension, occurs when the force of blood flowing against the arterial walls is consistently too high. This makes the heart work harder to pump blood throughout the body. And that increases your risk of developing serious health problems, including stroke, heart disease, and other cardiovascular issues. To make matters worse, high blood pressure doesn’t usually cause any symptoms, even in severe cases, earning it the title of the “silent killer.”

Although more men (50 percent) have high blood pressure than women (44 percent),1 it turns out that women may want to pay closer attention to their blood pressure (BP) numbers. Not only do women experience events that can increase the risk of developing high blood pressure, such as pregnancy, taking birth control, and menopause.2 Researchers at Cedars-Sinai found that women’s blood vessels, including both large and small arteries, age at a faster rate than those of men. That means that a 30-year-old woman with high blood pressure is probably more likely to develop cardiovascular issues than a male of the same age.3

Low Blood Pressure in Women

On the other hand, low blood pressure, also known as hypotension, happens when the blood pressure in your arteries is abnormally low. While low blood pressure can be normal and perfectly healthy for some women, a sudden drop in BP can lead to symptoms such as dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting, blurred vision, and fatigue. It can also be a sign of a serious heart, endocrine, or neurological condition. Older women may be at particular risk as low diastolic blood pressure has been shown to be a risk marker for cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality, especially for those with comorbidities.4

Aged Garlic Extract for Blood Pressure Health

High blood pressure is the leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease. It’s also a risk factor you can do something about, and getting your BP under control is one of the best things you can do for your health. A safe and effective way to do that is with an Age Garlic Extract supplement.

A recent trial shows just how extensively Aged Garlic Extract benefits cardiovascular health. In patients with diagnosed hypertension, daily AGE consumption over 12 weeks reduced peripheral and central blood pressure. It also improved arterial stiffness, inflammation, and other cardiovascular markers in those with elevated blood pressure.5 What’s more A growing body of evidence shows that garlic doesn’t just work to lower blood pressure; it also reduces cholesterol, inhibits platelet aggregation, and increases antioxidant activity.6

For optimum heart benefit, choose an AGE supplement specifically designed to reduce blood pressure levels. With 400 mg of AGE, Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract Formula 109 can provide a powerful boost to your cardiovascular health. It also contains heart-friendly nutrients nattokinase and l-theanine, both of which have demonstrated blood pressure–reducing effects.7 8

Lifestyle Habits for Healthy Blood Pressure

 Healthy habits play a big role managing high blood pressure.9 Here are some effective ways for women to maintain healthy blood pressure levels at any age.

Get moving. If you have hypertension, exercise is an effective way to reduce blood pressure.10 Shoot for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week to improve your BP numbers.

Eat a heart-smart diet. Try following a diet specifically geared to lower blood pressure. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet can significantly reduce blood pressure, whether you have hypertension or not.11 The diet includes foods rich in potassium, calcium, and magnesium—nutrients that help control BP—while limitings foods high in sodium, saturated fat, and added sugars—well-known nemeses of cardiovascular health.

Try to lose weight. Unfortunately, evidence suggests that women are more susceptible to weight-related arterial stiffening and a rise in blood pressure.12 However, losing weight can have a positive impact on blood pressure. Dropping just 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can have huge benefits on  systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels.13

Stress less. Managing stress is an important part of maintaining healthy blood pressure.14 Strive to keep stress at a minimum with meditation, deep breathing, yoga, or with a counselor or support group.

Quit smoking. Smoking causes your blood pressure to spike and your arteries to stiffen.15 Quitting, however, can significantly improve central blood pressure and arterial stiffness.16

 

Getting a handle on high blood pressure is essential for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. By adding an Aged Garlic Extract supplement to your daily routine and making healthy lifestyle choices, you’ll be able to keep hypertension at bay—not only this Blood Pressure Month but all year long.

Women’s Gut Health—What You Need to Know

A sudden bout with stomach upset can put everything on an immediate and indefinite hold. Fortunately, you can avoid tummy troubles by regularly practicing good gut habits. Let’s take a closer look at how to keep your microbiome strong so you don’t get stuck on the sidelines with digestive issues.

The Importance of Gut Health

Your gut microbiome is home to trillions of microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, and viruses. These microorganisms play a critical role in everything from digestion and metabolism to your immune function. A well balanced microbiome is a sign of a healthy digestive system. But a disruption in the balance between the beneficial bugs and the harmful microbes in your gut not only sets you up for digestive problems, it has also been linked to an increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, liver disease, and several types of cancer.1

Probiotics for Gut Health

 A healthy and diverse gut microbiome can promote better digestion, boost your immune system, and improve overall health. That’s why taking a comprehensive probiotic supplement is so important. Probiotics can help keep your intestinal microflora in balance and increase digestive activity.2 These actions have been clinically shown to improve a host of digestive woes, including irritable bowel syndrome symptoms, abdominal pain, functional constipation, and antibiotic-associated diarrhea.3

When it comes to your microbiome, diversity is key. Look for a supplement like Kyo-Dophilus Enzyme+ Probiotic, which combines a beneficial trio of bacterial strains with four key digestive enzymes that assist the body’s natural ability to break down proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and dairy into nutrients the body can absorb.

Try a Synbiotic

Your body isn’t the only thing that needs the right foods to flourish. The beneficial bacteria in your gut also requires the right nutrients to thrive. That’s where prebiotics come into play. Prebiotics are a type of dietary fiber that functions as food for the bacteria in your gut. They promote the growth and activity of probiotics in the gastrointestinal tract and help improve the overall balance and diversity of the gut microbiome—key factors in healthy digestion and immune function.

Combining prebiotics and probiotics in a single supplement (known as synbiotics) can give you even better digestive support. In fact, studies show that synbiotics such as Kyo-Dophilus Pro+ Synbiotic, can significantly improve the gut microbiome by enhancing the population of probiotics and increasing digestive enzyme activity.4 Synbiotics can also help to prevent certain triggers that lead to overeating and weight gain.5 On top of that, treatment with this combo may reduce depressive symptoms in patients with major depressive disorder.6

Probiotics for Urinary Tract Infections

Forty percent of women in the United States will develop a urinary tract infection (UTI) at some point in her lifetime.7 Most commonly caused by bacteria entering the urinary tract through the urethra, UTIs can be a painful experience. While antibiotics are commonly prescribed to treat these infections, probiotics have emerged as a safe and effective alternative for handling the pathogens in the urinary tract.8

For the most UTI protection, opt for a daily dose of cranberry extract like that in Kyo-Dophilus Cran+ Probiotic. Combining probiotics with cranberry—a natural ingredient long used to support urinary tract health—has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of UTI recurrence compared to placebo.9

Eat More Gut-Friendly Foods

In addition to taking a probiotic supplement for gut health, don’t forget to focus on eating plenty of gut-favorable foods that provide plenty of dietary fiber and unsaturated fats. Good sources include avocados, beans, nuts and seeds, fatty fish, and dark chocolate. Eating more of these foods has been shown to improve both your microbiome and overall health outcomes.10

 De-Stress

 Stress and digestive disruption have long been linked. This is because stress causes elevated cortisol levels that can trigger immune system dysregulation in the gut. Over time, this can then lead to poor food digestion and less nutrient absorption in the intestines. It can also irritate and inflame the gut’s critical mucosal lining.11 If you’re experiencing gastrointestinal issues, look for ways to reduce stress in your life. Everything from meditation and exercise to laughing and journaling can help lower stress levels and reduce your chances of gastrointestinal complications.

Stay Active

 It’s no secret that getting a little physical activity can improve your health. But did you know that it can directly benefit your microbiome? Studies show that regular exercise can help manage and even prevent digestive issues. That’s because physical activity increases the abundance of beneficial gut bacteria, which in turn supports immune protection, metabolic function, and gut barrier integrity.12 Try to get 30 minutes of activity most days of the week.

 

A sudden trip to the bathroom is nobody’s idea of a good time. By prioritizing healthy digestion through diet, stress management, physical activity, you’ll foster a healthy gut microbiome and prevent digestive problems. Add a probiotic or synbiotic supplement to the mix and you’ll be on your way to belly bliss in no time.

How to Make the Best Green Smoothies

green smoothie banana image

The word smoothie has a healthy glow about it…it’s often a part of many diets, cleanses, and is a staple in many celebrities’ day-to-day diets. And the smoothie trend is still going strong. Workout studios now serve them after class, dietitians sing their praises, and we’ve seen smoothie bowls popping up at every juice shop (and Instagram story, for that matter). Smoothies are an especially great way to get more greens into your daily regimen. 

The best green smoothies are nutrient-rich blends of fruits and vegetables. They have become a popular way for people to help meet their recommended daily intake of vitamins and minerals. Unlike juices, green smoothies retain the beneficial fiber content from whole foods. At their most basic level, green smoothies combine leafy greens like spinach, kale, and arugula with a liquid base like water or milk. Instead of adding actual leafy greens though, a powdered greens drink mix can be added, along with fruit and a liquid of your choosing.

Though you can put almost anything into a smoothie, most consist of things like fruits, a liquid base, greens, yogurt, maybe a protein powder, and some toppings like granola, shaved coconut…the options are endless. The key to making sure your smoothie is healthy is to strike the right balance of veggies, fruits, protein, and fat…because a mistake that some folks make with their smoothies is loading up on too many items containing sugar, which lessens the health benefits. 

Tips for the best green smoothies (or smoothie bowl)

#1: We recommend making your own smoothie versus buying one in-store or pre-bottled. Sure it’s convenient, but with store-bought smoothies, you lose control over the quality and quantity of ingredients used. Store-bought smoothies may also contain things like added sugar, artificial sweeteners, and large amounts of fat and/or dairy products. 

#2: Give your smoothie some staying power! A big complaint about having a smoothie for breakfast or lunch is that you’re still hungry after finishing it. So in addition to greens, we recommend including a few healthy sources of protein and fat in your smoothie. Some good sources of protein come from chia, hemp or flax seeds, or plain yogurt. Good sources of fat in smoothies are salt and sugar-free nut butter, coconut meat, or full-fat organic yogurt. 

#3: We touched on this a bit before, but try to be mindful of how much sugar is going into your green smoothie (between the fruits, stevia, or honey…it really adds up). It’s easy for smoothies to veer in a sugary direction, and too much sugar can increase inflammation in the body. Balance the sugar by adding in leafy greens like spinach, kale, or chard (which provide fiber, calcium, and phytochemicals) or a powdered green drink mix. 

#4: A little post-smoothie bloat is normal! When you’re eating a fruit or vegetable in its whole form, your body is breaking everything down itself. Digestion starts with the process of chewing, and smoothies do not really involve chewing. Essentially, the blender does the chewing for you. That means that some people might feel a little bloated when they drink a smoothie, which is completely normal. 

#5: If you are looking to add a little creaminess to your smoothie, try avocado!  Its mild flavor disguises its nutritional benefits. After removing its skin and pit, you can add a whole avocado to your smoothie, giving it a little more body and a smoother texture.

#6: Making a good green smoothie is about more than just throwing some kale in a blender and calling it a day. In order to make a green smoothie that tastes good, proportions are important. Try to stick to a 40-60 split…40% greens and 60% everything else. Yes, the greens are an important ingredient and add significant nutritional value, but if they overpower the rest of the mix, your smoothie might taste more like a salad than a treat. 

#7: This is a quick one. Try to mix it up when it comes to your smoothies…dietary diversity can be really helpful to ensure a well-rounded nutrient intake. Don’t stick to the same ingredients/additions every time!

How to keep your green smoothie green?

There are lots of healthy greens to add to your smoothies and we’re sure you’ve heard all about the “usual” greens, like kale, spinach, and the like. But besides the “usuals” that you’re likely already familiar with, there are a few more “powerhouse” green superfoods you should consider adding to your smoothies (or looking for in a quality superfood green powder). 

Wheatgrass: Maybe you’ve seen people taking shots of wheatgrass at your local gym or smoothie shop, and with good reason. It is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and E, as well as iron, magnesium, calcium, and amino acids. Among its 17 amino acids, 8 are considered essential, meaning your body can’t produce them—they must come from your diet. Wheatgrass is a powerful source of glutathione, known as the “master” antioxidant. It’s little wonder that preliminary research has found that it reduces oxidative damage to cells. Other studies suggest that wheatgrass may support healthy cholesterol levels, aid in balancing blood sugar, counter an inappropriate inflammatory response, and induce the destruction of damaged or abnormal cells.1

Chlorella: This freshwater alga has survived on the earth for over two billion years. The secret to chlorella’s longevity is its fibrous outer wall. Although this defensive wall protects this single-cell alga, it also prevents the body’s ability to take advantage of chlorella’s detoxification benefits. Fortunately, scientists have found that breaking this wall releases chlorella’s natural ability to bind toxins and heavy metals through a process known as chelation. Chlorella also boasts a wealth of vitamins including vitamins B1, B2, B12, folic acid, C, and K. Plus, chlorella is a potent source of minerals, essential fatty acids, protein, and fiber.

Spirulina: High in antioxidants, spirulina has been shown to inhibit the production of inflammatory signaling molecules. Spirulina is also rich in high-quality protein, B vitamins, iron, copper, magnesium, potassium, and manganese. Not only does this make spirulina an alkaline food, but its rich nutrient profile also gives this alga numerous health benefits as well. Research shows that spirulina supports healthy lipid levels, helps maintain blood sugar balance, benefits those with seasonal allergies, and improves muscle strength.3

Kelp: This type of seaweed is rich in B vitamins, which play a critical role in cellular metabolism. Because it absorbs nutrients from its surrounding environment, kelp contains more than 15 amino acids and is also a great source of calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc, boron, and manganese. As a result, this mineral-rich seaweed helps maintain bone density and muscle health.4

Smoothie Recipe Favorites

Here are our two favorite smoothie recipes. Save them on Pinterest or better yet, make them!

Green Smoothie Recipe Pumpkin Spice Smoothie Recipe

One of the simplest ways to boost your overall health is by increasing your greens intake…and an easy way to do that is with a green smoothie. A healthy green smoothie makes a delicious alternative that ensures you’re consuming lots of naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Whether you decide to stick to one of your tried and true green smoothie combos or try one of these new recipes above, these nutrient-packed smoothies make for a great breakfast, lunch, or even snack.

This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.

Greens to the (Gut) Rescue! How Greens Can Aid in Healthy Digestion

Greens for healthy digestion can be an easy fix for gut health if you know what you are looking for in your green drink ingredients. Look for blends that include ancient grains, seeds, grasses, and spirulina. This mix of these healthy ingredients provides a natural, gentle prebiotic for healthy digestion, which is the foundation for whole-body wellness. Before we further dissect each of these ingredients, let’s take a look at the importance of prebiotics.

You may have just read the word prebiotic in the paragraph above and thought…was that an error, isn’t it spelled “probiotic?” No, that wasn’t a typo! Probiotics are important, and thanks to effective marketing and education over the past decade, it’s obvious to most people that these friendly bacteria provide a host of benefits for the gut, brain, immune system, and more. But as it turns out, probiotics alone don’t represent the whole story. Prebiotics are just as important for whole-body wellness.

Bonus benefits of prebiotics

Prebiotics are non-digestible carbohydrates that serve as food for probiotics. Typically found in high-fiber foods such as whole grains, bananas, greens, onions, garlic, soybeans, and artichokes, prebiotics are necessary for probiotics to grow and multiply. The problem? Most people don’t get enough fiber, or the variety of fibers needed to feed a diverse community of bacteria, which is emerging as the key to a healthy microbiome. Prebiotics and probiotics are better together. When paired with probiotics, prebiotics has been shown to improve the survival of probiotics as they pass through the digestive tract and support the growth of probiotics1 (Mayo, 2019).

Greens for Healthy Digestion

powdered green drink with green flowerNow that you’ve had a brief glimpse into the importance of prebiotics, let’s explore some ingredients to consider in your greens for healthy digestion. One ingredient that should be high on your list is ancient grains. You can think of “ancient grains,” as kind of a sub-type of the whole grain, and this sub-type includes varieties of quinoa, millet, buckwheat, amaranth, chia seeds, farrow, spelt, and flax. We can trace the roots of grains back to the beginning of time but unlike wheat, which has been constantly bred and modified; these grains have largely been unchanged over the past several hundred years. Many ancient grains are actually gluten-free, making them a good choice for those who have gluten allergies. Ancient grains contain lots of essential vitamins, particularly B vitamins, minerals like magnesium and potassium, more amounts of iron, and they also, most importantly, contain protective elements like fibers and antioxidants, which keep your gut healthy and balanced2 (Palmer, 2014).

When we talk about “seeds and grasses”, we are thinking of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, etc. And the grasses we are referring to are barley grass and wheatgrass. These seeds are great sources of dietary fiber. In fact, shelled seeds provide 1.1 grams of fiber in a single 1-ounce serving3 (Brown, 2018). These seeds also contain antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation and protect your cells from harmful free radicals. Grasses like barley grass and wheatgrass, on the other hand, provide rich amounts of vitamins and minerals, many of which are antioxidants. Chlorophyll, the substance that gives these grasses their green color, may also provide numerous health benefits, like promoting healthy blood production, detoxification, and wound healing. In terms of digestive benefits, these grasses contain digestive enzymes, which help reduce toxic and indigestible materials in food4 (McLaughlin, 2018). These enzymes may also improve wellness in people with indigestion and food allergies.

Spirulina, blue-green algae, is a freshwater plant that is probably one of the most talked-about superfoods today. This immune-strengthening superfood detoxes the body of heavy metals like arsenic, may help lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, and also helps to eliminate candida5 (Edwards, 2019). By eliminating candida, spirulina promotes the growth of healthy bacterial microflora in the intestines.

How can I improve my gut health fast?

Sometimes you can just tell when your gut health is a little off. Your food sensitivities may become a bit worse, you may have more gas, bloating, and skin issues, and you may also feel more tired. These are all classic signs that your gut health could use a little TLC. Here are some of our top tips for improving your gut health…and fast.

Greens for healthy Digestion-Kyo-Life

Start taking a probiotic. Incorporating a clinically studied probiotic into your daily routine is a great place to begin, in terms of improving your gut health. A quality probiotic can help your beneficial bacteria flourish and can keep harmful microbes in check. This can help to manage gas, bloating, and other GI issues. Look for a probiotic that is shelf-stable, which means it can safely be stored at room temperature, and also make sure it is guaranteed to be viable (live cells) through expiration, not just at manufacture. Look for a probiotic that lists the full species and strain codes and can verify strains with DNA sequencing, to ensure that what is on the label is in the capsule.

Move every day. Adding physical activity to your day—even a brisk 10-minute walk—can benefit your gut health. The amount of blood diverted from your digestive system when you move decreases because your muscles are more efficient when you exercise. Regular exercise also makes positive changes to the bacterial composition in your gut.

Eat a diverse range of food. There are many different species of bacteria that live in your intestines. Each species plays a different role in maintaining your health and each requires different nutrients for growth. This is why it’s important to eat many different types of food, especially fruits, vegetables, beans, and legumes. It’s also smart to add fermented foods like kimchi, miso, sauerkraut, and yogurt to that list. Many fermented foods are rich in Lactobacilli, a type of bacteria that can benefit your health.

Incorporate more prebiotic fiber into your diet. Probiotics feed on nondigestible carbohydrates called prebiotics, which encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Prebiotics essentially act like fertilizers, stimulating the growth of healthy bacteria. Prebiotics can be found in many different fruits and vegetables, especially those that contain complex carbohydrates like fiber (think – chicory root, onions, bananas, artichokes). 

What superfood greens aid in healthy digestion?

Your body can actually create new microbiota in as little as 24 hours just by changing what you eat, which is pretty miraculous. Here are some of the top foods we recommend to support a healthy gut:

Kimchi: This fermented cabbage staple is rich in two different classes of good bacteria associated with better gut health, Lactobacillus, and Bifidobacterium. Research shows that fermented kimchi alters the bacterial environment of the gut, potentially reducing the risk of insulin resistance, obesity, and even high blood pressure.

Garlic: In addition to providing inulin fiber, garlic is also rich in the natural prebiotic fructooligosaccharides (FOS). Research has shown that garlic increases the good Bifidobacterium in our gut, which may help prevent some gastrointestinal diseases and irregularity.

Apples: An apple a day keeps the doctor away…which may be due to its pectin content. Pectin makes up about half of the fiber content in apples and has been shown in some research to increase the total SCFA content (i.e. bacteria’s favorite food) in the bowels. It also appears to reduce bad bacteria in the gut as well.

Which foods are bad for your gut health?

Now that we know the top three “good gut” foods, and important greens for healthy digestion, here are the foods (and drink) we recommend avoiding, in order to protect your gut health.

Alcohol: We know that drinking too much alcohol is bad for our overall health, but it turns out that it is pretty bad for our gut health, in particular. Research looking at alcoholics suggests that chronic alcohol intake is associated with negative changes in the bacterial microbiome.

Saturated fat: A diet high in saturated fats and trans fat may not be so healthy for the gut. Studies have shown that a diet rich in these fats (like fat from butter or fatty meats) may increase the bad gut bacteria population and decrease the good gut bacteria population.

High animal protein diet: Research has linked animal products like red meat, to an unfavorable microbiome. Studies show that red meat may reduce the beneficial short-chain fatty acids that help feed the bacterial community, promote the growth of bad bacteria, and potentially increase the risk of IBS.

Sugar: The Standard American diet is unfortunately packed with sugar. A diet high in sugar can decrease the number of good bacteria in your body. This imbalance can cause increased sugar cravings, and if you give in to them, it has the potential to damage your gut even more – by continuing to feed the bad bacteria. High amounts of sugar can also cause inflammation in the body. Try to reduce the sugar you consume daily to minimize the unhealthy yeast in your digestive tract.

Next time you are looking for a quality powdered green drink blend, try and pack as many of these healthy prebiotic ingredients into your drink as you can, and enjoy optimal digestive benefits.

 

 

The Ultimate Guide to Greens Powder

TABLE OF CONTENTS

What Is a Greens Powder?

Ingredients of Greens Powder

Benefits of Taking Greens Powder

How To Take Greens Powder

Smoothie Recipes


 Drinking powdered greens is an easy and effective way to include high-quality greens in your daily nutrition routine. It’s also a means to increase your consumption of greens you aren’t likely to have in the fridge, such as chlorella or kelp. These alkalizing superfoods are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants while offering a host of other benefits.

Read on to learn more about what greens powder is, what it’s made of, the benefits of using it, and more. We’ve even included smoothie recipes to help you and your family get started on using greens powder in your diet every day.

What Is a Greens Powder?

greens powder image glass

Greens powder is a type of food supplement that can be mixed into juices, water, smoothies, or other unheated foods. They often taste grassy, or like green tea. Today’s greens powders are light and clean tasting, not the heavy grainy taste you may recall from the 80s. 

Most greens powders are vegan and non-genetically-modified, but it depends on the brand. Look for a powder mix without added sugar or artificial flavors. It is always a good idea to read the labels to know exactly what is and is not, in your greens mix. 

Ingredients of Greens Powder

Greens powder can contain many different ingredients, depending on which brand you choose and what health goals you have in mind. In some formulations, ingredients are harvested, dried, and ground into powder, but some are juiced and dehydrated before they are turned into powder. The best quality powders are highly ground into a fine powder that dissolves quickly in liquids. 

Ingredients differ but greens powder may typically include:

  • Leafy greens such as spinach, collards, parsley, and kale
  • Vegetables such as broccoli, green cabbage, tomatoes, and carrots
  • Grasses such as wheatgrass, barley grass, and alfalfa grass
  • Sea nutrients such as kelp, chlorella,  dulse, and spirulina 
  • Fiber such as chicory root, apple fiber, rice bran, and inulin
  • Mushrooms such as shiitake and maitake mushroom extract
  • Herbs such as milk thistle, astragalus, and holy basil
  • Nutritional extracts such as ginkgo Biloba extract and green tea extract
  • High-antioxidant fruits such as goji berries, blueberries, and raspberries
  • Natural sugar substitutes such as stevia and monk fruit

Benefits of Taking Greens Powder

Healthy foods on wooden boardA good quality greens powder can give you the benefits of eating whole fruits and vegetables and perhaps more since it can contain extras such as nutritional extracts, herbs, and seaweed. Not only will you get the nutrients you need, but they can help to balance your body’s pH better, soothe your digestive system, boost your metabolism, and more.

Note, however, that greens powder is made from powdered dried grasses, vegetables, and fruits, so it doesn’t provide the same amount of fiber as eating fresh vegetables and fruits would. Although greens powder can boost your health, it’s not the same as eating a well-balanced diet. Talk to your doctor about your medical history and health concerns before deciding to add greens powder to your diet.

In general, always make sure to check out the label on the back before buying greens powder. Avoid brands that use artificial colors and flavors, artificial sweeteners, thickeners, and GMO ingredients. Once you find the right greens powder for you, take it daily to feel the greatest benefits. 

Get The Nutrients You Need

A daily green drink can give you the minerals, vitamins, and other micronutrients you can get from eating super greens such as leafy vegetables, fruits, and more.

Greens powders typically have high levels of vitamin C, which can boost your skin health and protect you against heart disease. Minerals such as potassium and calcium can also promote good blood pressure.

Certain grasses that you can find in greens powders, such as barley grass and wheatgrass, stand out for their health-boosting qualities.

Ultimate Guide Superfood Green Drink

Barley grass, for instance, has a variety of antioxidants and also contains the following:

  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Phosphorus
  • Beta-carotene
  • B vitamins
  • Vitamins A, C, and E
  • Magnesium

It’s also capable of:

  • Boosting immunity*
  • Improving digestive health*
  • Promoting cardiovascular health*
  • Lessening fatigue*
  • Acting as an anti-inflammatory*

Wheatgrass is another important greens powder staple. Like barley grass, it’s a superfood that can improve your well-being. It contains:

  • Vitamins A, C, and E
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Iron
  • 17 amino acids, including eight that are essential, which means your body can’t produce them
  • Glutathione, which is a powerful antioxidant

Wheatgrass has many years of research behind it and has been shown to offer numerous health benefits, including:

  • Support healthy cholesterol levels*
  • Fight inflammatory responses*
  • Support the destruction of abnormal and damaged cells*
  • Balance blood sugar*

Balance Your Body’s pH

Greens powder can also help you to balance your body’s pH. Certain ingredients in many types of greens powders, such as barley grass and wheatgrass as discussed in the previous section, can tip your body’s pH balance towards alkalinity.

When applied to your health, pH measures how acidic or alkaline your blood is, with 0 being the most acidic, 14 being the most alkaline, and 7 being neutral. When your blood is too acidic (above 7.8), it can lead to a host of different health issues. By drinking green powder drink mixes, you’ll be able to help keep your blood slightly alkaline, between 7.35 and 7.45.

Otherwise, your body will have to protect your blood’s pH by secreting neutralizing bicarbonate to stop your blood from getting too acidic. Key alkalizing minerals will be pulled from your bones in this “buffering” process, leading to plummeting levels of important minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium.

This means the more acidic your blood gets, the more likely you’ll have health problems such as: 

  • Muscle wasting (sarcopenia)
  • High blood pressure
  • Bone loss (osteoporosis)
  • Stroke
  • Cognitive problems
  • Cardiovascular disease

So what can you do to rebalance your pH? Get more greens! The goal is to make sure that 75 to 80 percent of the foods you eat are alkalizing and only 20 to 25 percent are acidifying. Including a high-quality powdered greens drink as part of your routine can help you reach this goal. Besides the usual leafy greens, you’re likely familiar with, there are a few more “powerhouse” greens you should consider adding to your regimen.

Super Greens And More

Greens powders offer multiple health benefits from digestion to energy to maintaining  healthy immune system function. Since every blend is different, you should look for greens powders that specifically contain superfoods, grasses, fruits and veggies, and ancient grains that help you met your health goals. 

Superfoods. Spirulina, blue-green algae, is a freshwater plant that is probably one of the most talked-about superfoods today. This blue-green microalga is actually a type of bacteria called cyanobacterium. High in antioxidants, especially phycocyanin, spirulina has been shown to inhibit the production of inflammatory signaling molecules. Spirulina is also rich in high-quality protein, B vitamins, iron, copper, magnesium, potassium, and manganese. Not only does this make spirulina an alkaline food, its rich nutrient profile also gives this alga numerous health benefits. Research shows that spirulina supports healthy lipid levels, helps maintain blood sugar balance, benefits those with seasonal allergies, and improves muscle strength. A study at the University of South Florida Center of Excellence for Aging & Brain Repair has shown that spirulina can also help shield the brain from the oxidative damage that accumulates as one ages and may help reverse declines in learning and memory.1 Specifically, spirulina improves neuronal function, lowers inflammation in the brain, and reduces levels of chemicals linked to oxidative damage.

Spirulina also helps pump up the immune system. Researchers at the University of California, Davis found that adding spirulina to cultured immune system cells significantly increases the production of infection-fighting cells called cytokines.2 Other research shows that this green superfood balances the immune response.

Ancient Grains. Another ingredient that should be high on your list is ancient grains. You can think of “ancient grains,” as kind of a sub-type of the whole grain, and this sub-type includes varieties of quinoa, millet, buckwheat, amaranth, chia seeds, farrow, spelt, and flax. We can trace the roots of grains back to the beginning of time but unlike wheat, which has been constantly bred and modified; these grains have largely been unchanged over the past several hundred years. Many ancient grains are actually gluten-free, making them a good choice for those who have gluten allergies. Ancient grains contain lots of essential vitamins, particularly B vitamins, minerals like magnesium and potassium, more amounts of iron, and they also, most importantly, contain protective elements like prebiotic fibers and antioxidants, which can help keep your gut healthy and balanced.

Grasses. As discussed above, grasses are rich in minerals and vitamins as well as antioxidants. 

They also contain a lot of chlorophyll, which is what gives them their signature green color. Chlorophyll can promote detoxification, healing of wounds, and healthy blood production.

Additionally, grasses have digestive enzymes, which can reduce hard-to-digest or toxic materials in food and boost wellness in people with food allergies and indigestion. Let’s break down a few of these grasses.

Barley Grass: Boasting an array of antioxidants, barley was the very first cereal grain ever cultivated by humans, dating back to 7000 BC. Along with vitamins A, C, E, beta-carotene, and B vitamins, barley grass is a rich source of potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and magnesium. Barley grass also provides chlorophyll, amino acids, protein, fiber, and enzymes. Most importantly, barley grass is a source of superoxide dismutase (SOD), a critical enzyme that helps neutralize the harmful effects of free radicals.

Wheatgrass: This juice bar staple is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and E, as well as iron, magnesium, calcium, and amino acids. Among its 17 amino acids, 8 are considered essential, meaning your body can’t produce them – they must come from your diet. Wheatgrass is a powerful source of glutathione, known as the “master” antioxidant. It’s little wonder that preliminary research has found that wheatgrass reduces oxidative damage to cells. Other studies suggest that wheatgrass may support healthy cholesterol levels, aid in balancing blood sugar, counter an inappropriate inflammatory response, and induce the destruction of damaged or abnormal cells. Like barley grass, wheatgrass is a powerful alkalinizing agent that supports balanced pH.


Learn about what inflammation can do to your body and how green drinks can fight against inflammation on this podcast episode with Dr. LaValle.


Prebiotics. The foods that nourish your microbiota are known as prebiotics and they consist of nondigestible fiber. This fiber acts as fertilizer that stimulates the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. Prebiotics are found in many fruits and veggies, such as green bananas, soybeans, and artichokes, and in foods that contain resistant starch. High-quality powdered green drink mixes also may contain fiber or inulin (such as chicory root), which means that the powdered drink mix contains a good source of prebiotics that will help boost good gut bacteria.

Although they sound similar, prebiotics shouldn’t be confused with probiotics, which are live yeasts and bacteria that are good for your digestive system. Probiotics are certainly important and can boost your gut health, but prebiotics are equally as important for your health. Prebiotics can promote the growth of probiotics and improve the survival rate of probiotics as they go through your digestive system.

How To Take Greens Powder

You can add greens powder to your smoothies, soups, and drinks. You can also add greens powder to food such as protein bars, hummus, popsicles, and oatmeal. It is best to not use it on hot foods or in hot tea, as the heat can diminish the nutrients. Follow the instructions on the package for dosages.  Greens are generally mild and safe so you can double the dosage or take it two or three times a day for an added nutrient boost.  

How Can I Get My Family to Drink It?

kids drinking green juice

We all know how hard it can be to get kids to eat vegetables. Fortunately, vegetable powder drinks made with greens powder will make it much easier for your kids to get the nutrition they need from vegetables without having to actually eat the vegetables themselves.

By adding a spoonful of greens powder to your soups, drinks, smoothies, and more, your kids will get the extra nutrients they need for healthy growth. And getting them used to greens at a young age helps to build a healthy lifelong habit.

Here are more tips to get your kids into greens powder:

  • Let your kids pick out their own cup or bowl. This will make them more interested in drinking soups, smoothies, and other drinks with a greens powder.
  • Create smoothies that you know they’ll love. For example, you can add 100% cocoa powder to add a chocolate flavor many kids enjoy. You can also try adding fruits like mango, peaches, and pineapple, and spinach, which is the mildest tasting green. Additionally, adding flax or coconut milk can make the mixtures more creamy, which is perfect for many smoothies and soups. 
  • Start by adding smaller amounts of greens powder. If your kids don’t like the flavor of greens powder, you can start getting them into it by adding smaller amounts first. You can start with a quarter teaspoon and increase it to a full teaspoon over the next two or three weeks.

Super Smoothie Recipes

Here are some smoothie recipes to get you started. You can also check out these tips to add more green nutrition to smoothies, snacks and treats for your family.

Green & Black Shake

This kid-friendly chocolaty shake is so tasty that your kids will never know it’s good for them!

This serves one person.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk 
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder 
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • ½ medium banana
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds 
  • 1 teaspoon powdered greens drink mix
  • 1 cup ice, if desired.
  • A few drops of stevia, if desired.

Directions: 

  1. Add ingredients to blender and process to desired consistency. 
  2. Serve immediately.

 

Pumpkin Spice Protein Shake

This Starbucks-Esque shake is rich in beta-carotene and will give you a great dose of greens. It serves one person.

Ingredients: 

  • ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond or coconut milk 
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder 
  • ½ medium banana 
  • ¼ cup canned pumpkin, plain 
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin spice 
  • 1 teaspoon ground flaxseed
  • 1 teaspoon powdered greens drink mix
  • 1 cup ice, if desired.
  • A few drops of stevia, if desired.

Directions: 

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and process until desired consistency. 
  2. Serve immediately.

Green Goodness Protein Shake

This smoothie is perfect for fruit lovers and will be a favorite with your kids. If you want this smoothie to be sweeter, you can use natural sweeteners such as monk fruit, stevia, or erythritol.

This may be too sweet for some people. If that’s the case, take out one of the three fruits that are used here. For example, you can make this with just six strawberries (or fewer), or just half a cup of frozen pineapple chunks.

This serves one person.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw spinach, chopped
  • ½ avocado, peeled and pitted
  • ¼ cup frozen mango chunks
  • ¼ cup frozen pineapple chunks
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond or coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon powdered greens drink mix

Directions:

  1. Put the ingredients in a blender. 
  2. Blend until you reach the thickness you want.
  3. Add more liquid as needed to achieve the desired thickness. 
  4. Serve immediately.

 

 

This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.

Green Power! Unlock the Health Benefits of Super Greens Powder

From the veggies that grace your dinner plate to nutrient-dense algae and grasses, super greens are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients that scavenge free radicals, help detoxify the body, build blood, and enhance energy. One of the most important ways these green foods foster good health is by balancing the body’s pH.

This is Your Body on “Acid”

Think back to high school chemistry class and you may remember hearing about pH, which is the measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution. The pH scale ranges from 0, which is the most acidic, to 14, which is the most alkaline –with 7 considered neutral. In your body, your blood needs to be kept in a slightly alkaline range between 7.35 and 7.45. Normally your blood pH is tightly regulated and shifts only when a person is very sick. However, intercellular acidity, which is measured by urinary or saliva pH testing, can change significantly due to lifestyle, including things like diet, exercise, and sleep. Fortunately, the body has a unique “buffering” system that protects your blood’s pH to keep it in a safe range – but it does so at a cost.

When blood and other bodily fluids become too acidic, the pancreas and kidneys secrete neutralizing bicarbonate. Key alkalizing minerals can also be pulled from bones to aid in this buffering process. But as a result, this extra buffering can deplete the body of alkaline minerals like sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. At the same time, cells become less efficient at making energy and they produce more waste (lactic acid), increasing intracellular acidity. In fact, when you are acidic, energy production in the cells is as much as 19 times less! Being acidic lowers the body’s ability to repair damaged cells, and undermines its ability to detoxify heavy metals and other contaminants. Over time, intracellular acidity can contribute to a host of health problems including osteoporosis (bone loss), muscle wasting, and high blood pressure. It also increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and cognitive problems.

What causes acidity? Everything from environmental intoxication, stress, diet, and mineral deficiencies can contribute to an acidic pH. Arguably the most detrimental – and the easiest to fix – is your diet. If you’re eating the typical American diet, filled with overly processed foods high in sugar and carbohydrates, soft drinks, and meat and dairy – especially cheese – you’re on a bad dietary acid trip.

Super Greens to the Rescue

What can you do to rebalance your pH? Eating all kinds of vegetables, but especially leafy greens tops the list. These foods provide potassium and other minerals in a low-calorie package that has the net effect of helping to alkalinize the body. Some fruits (but not fruit juice), and healthy fats, like olive or avocado oil, are also alkalizing. Many beans and legumes along with whole grains can be either neutral to moderately acidic. Sprouting beans and grains can change their properties, making them highly alkaline. The bottom line is that there is no substitute for green and sprouted foods to maintain one of the most important aspects of your cellular health.

Superfood Greens Power Leafy VegetablesThe goal is to eat about 75 to 80 percent alkalizing foods and about 20 to 25 percent acidifying foods. Including a high-quality powdered greens drink as part of your routine can help you reach this goal. Choosing an item from our Kyo-Green® line can help you reach this goal even quicker. Kyo-Green Greens Blend, for example, contains barley and wheat grasses, FOS, cooked brown rice, chlorella, and kelp, and provides an all-natural boost of energy. Kyo-Green Harvest Blend contains a wholesome blend of organic and naturally sourced grasses, ancient grains, fruits, vegetables, and herbal extracts, combined with nutrient-dense Spirulina to support and protect your immune system. Green drinks help increase your consumption of leafy greens, as well as other alkalizing superfoods like chlorella and spirulina. They also improve hydration and deliver essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. When used on a regular basis, these drinks can support digestion and immunity while enhancing the body’s natural detoxification capabilities. It is one of the easiest, most convenient ways to support good health every day.

What are some of the other top benefits to Green Superfoods?

Improve digestion: Super greens powder can help to improve digestion! If you love greens and digestion is your main concern, there are certain ingredients you should look for in your green drink. Look for blends that include ancient grains, seeds, grasses, and spirulina. This mix of healthy ingredients provides a natural, gentle prebiotic for healthy digestion. Prebiotics are non-digestible carbohydrates that serve as food for probiotics. They are usually found in high-fiber food like whole grains, greens, garlic, soybeans, and more, and prebiotics are necessary for probiotics to grow and multiply. The problem is that most people don’t get enough fiber or the variety of fibers needed to feed a diverse community of bacteria. 

Provide a natural boost of energy: Greens can also help to ward off the dreaded afternoon slump. Instead of reaching for another cup of coffee or an energy drink, we recommend trying a powdered green drink mix instead, which can provide a natural boost of energy by charging your metabolism. Find a green drink with a natural, light taste, similar to green tea. Look for ones containing barley grass, wheatgrass, and other natural green nutrients.

Helps kids to eat their veggies: We know how tough it can be to get your kiddos to eat their veggies. This is where a super greens powder drink can help! Green drinks are a perfect vehicle for boosting their daily intake, especially for leafy greens and superfoods – something all kids can benefit from. Adding a spoonful of powdered green drink mix into a delicious smoothie provides a concentrated source of nutrients to support growing bones and bodies. 

Why are Super Greens Powder Ingredients Important?

Spoon of super greens powderWheatgrass: This juice bar staple is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and E, as well as iron, magnesium, calcium, and amino acids. Among its 17 amino acids, 8 are considered essential, meaning your body can’t produce them—they must come from your diet. Wheatgrass is a powerful source of glutathione, known as the “master” antioxidant. It’s little wonder that preliminary research has found that it reduces oxidative damage to cells. Other studies suggest that wheatgrass may support healthy cholesterol levels, aid in balancing blood sugar, counter an inappropriate inflammatory response, and induce the destruction of damaged or abnormal cells.1

Chlorella: This freshwater alga has survived on the earth for over two billion years. The secret to chlorella’s longevity is its fibrous outer wall. Although this defensive wall protects this single-cell alga, it also prevents the body’s ability to take advantage of chlorella’s detoxification benefits. Fortunately, scientists have found that breaking this wall releases chlorella’s natural ability to bind toxins and heavy metals through a process known as chelation.2 Chlorella also boasts a wealth of vitamins including vitamins B1, B2, B12, folic acid, C, and K. Plus, chlorella is a potent source of minerals, essential fatty acids, protein, and fiber.

Spirulina: High in antioxidants, spirulina has been shown to inhibit the production of inflammatory signaling molecules. Spirulina is also rich in high-quality protein, B vitamins, iron, copper, magnesium, potassium, and manganese. Not only does this make spirulina an alkaline food, but its rich nutrient profile also gives this alga numerous health benefits as well. Research shows that spirulina supports healthy lipid levels, helps maintain blood sugar balance, benefits those with seasonal allergies, and improves muscle strength.3

Kelp: This common seaweed is rich in B vitamins, which play a critical role in cellular metabolism. Because it absorbs nutrients from its surrounding environment, kelp contains more than 15 amino acids and is also a great source of calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc, boron, and manganese. As a result, this mineral-rich seaweed helps maintain bone density and muscle health.4

Don’t like eating your veggies…not a problem. You can drink them instead! These nutritional grasses are ready to give you a steady stream of nutrients and keep you strong and powerful throughout the day!

 

 

 

Greens Supplements: Are they right for you?

Green drink powder mixes essentially provide a little extra insurance, working to fill in any nutritional gaps. Fruits and vegetables in their whole form do have certain advantages – they contain more fiber and help keep you full for longer, but we often do not eat enough daily servings, which is where a greens powder comes in. A good greens supplement powder is like your own personal safety net! Let’s explore who should use a greens drink mix, how to work it into your daily routine, and more. 

What is a green supplement?

Green and citrus fruitsGreen vegetables are essential for a strong immune system, proper gut health, healthy detoxification, and better cognition. Most importantly, greens help keep your body’s pH in balance, thanks to their alkalinizing properties. But healthy green nutrition goes beyond what you’ll find at your local grocery store or farmer’s market. Think chlorella and kelp from the sea. Or barley and wheat grasses from the fields. 

In a perfect world, we would all be getting plenty of fruits and vegetables in our day-to-day diets. But that is easier said than done. While the majority of our daily nutrients should come from whole plant food sources, a greens powder can help to fill in the gaps, can provide an added boost of vitamins and nutrients, and can be beneficial for just about everyone. They can also be very helpful if somebody is not a huge fan of eating their vegetables. They can increase our veggie intake and can be added to smoothies so that they are even better for us. There is also a convenience factor. A greens powder is an easy way to stay healthy while you travel, or are on the go, and don’t have access to fruits and veggies. 

Who should take green drinks?

However, if you just want to get out of eating your broccoli, you’re out of luck. You cannot out-supplement a poor diet. Greens should be used in addition to a diet that is still rich in whole plant foods, including fruits and veggies. Using a green powder does not mean you should neglect your intake of whole fruits and veggies. 

It’s no secret that getting kids to eat their veggies can often be a tough sell…they’re not usually fans of broccoli and brussels sprouts. Green drinks are a perfect vehicle for boosting their daily intake, especially for leafy greens and superfoods – something all kids could benefit from. Adding a spoonful of powdered greens drink mix into a delicious smoothie provides a concentrated source of nutrients to support growing bones and bodies, and can turn into a lasting habit for life. 

To get your kids on board the green drink train, ask them to help pick out the ingredients from the grocery store, involving them in the process. Also allow them to help with the smoothie, washing the fruits and veggies.

Whether you’re among those who are frightened by the sight of broccoli, or you simply have trouble meeting your daily quota due to a hectic schedule, upping your intake of a variety of greens should be an essential part of your health game plan, and a greens powder can help you do this.

Do greens supplements work?

Most of our diets fall short when it comes to getting in our greens, fruits, and veggies. This is where a quality green powdered drink mix comes into play. A greens powdered drink mix can be a great way to supplement a healthy diet with a boost of extra greens, vitamins, and antioxidants. They are a great way for busy folks who want to include more superfoods into their diet but have a tough time making it to the salad bar. 

Green supplements spoon powderGreen drink mixes are a great addition to a healthy lifestyle because they not only help you meet your daily veggie intake, they support almost every system in the body and can even boost energy levels. Chlorella, kelp, wheatgrass, barley grass, and other powdered greens are packed with an array of concentrated vitamins and minerals essential for optimal health.

Greens supplements can also help to foster good health by balancing your body’s pH. In your body, your blood needs to be kept in a slightly alkaline range between 7.35 and 7.45. Normally your blood pH is tightly regulated and shifts only when a person is very sick. However, intercellular acidity, which is measured by urinary or saliva pH testing, can change significantly due to lifestyle, including things like diet, exercise, and sleep. Fortunately, the body has a unique “buffering” system that protects your blood’s pH to keep it in a safe range – but it does so at a cost.

When blood and other bodily fluids become too acidic, the pancreas and kidneys secrete neutralizing bicarbonate. Key alkalizing minerals can also be pulled from bones to aid in this buffering process. But as a result, this extra buffering can deplete the body of alkaline minerals like sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium.

What can you do to rebalance your pH? Add vegetables, but especially leafy greens top the list. These foods provide potassium and other minerals in a low-calorie package that has the net effect of helping to alkalinize the body. Some fruits (but not fruit juice), and healthy fats, like olive or avocado oil, are also alkalizing. Many beans and legumes along with whole grains can be either neutral to moderately acidic. The bottom line is that green foods can help you to maintain your cellular health. The goal is to eat about 75 to 80 percent alkalizing foods and about 20 to 25 percent acidifying foods.  Including a high-quality powdered greens drink as part of your routine can help you reach this goal.

How do you take them?

Greens supplements, especially the powdered drink mixes, are pretty simple to take, all you need to do is to mix the powder into your beverage of choice (cold beverage – since heat lessens some of the nutritional properties), and you’re good to go! They are safe to take at any time of day as well, though some people swear by drinking their greens in the afternoon to prevent the dreaded “afternoon slump.”

And if you ever get sick of green drinks and smoothies, we have a few fun recipes using green supplements for things like a green “superfood” guacamole, tasty energy bites and even a yummy chocolate/banana smoothie (with added greens powder) to satisfy your sweet tooth. 

Bottom line, if you consistently eat at least 10 servings of fruits and veggies per day, then supplementing with a greens product will likely be unnecessary. But if you’re falling short in your daily intake, a greens powder is a great, convenient, way to help to fill in those nutritional gaps. 

This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.

Super Greens Powders: Your Top Questions Answered

That said, while green powders can supplement your overall nutrient intake and help fill the nutrition gap in what’s missing from your food, you shouldn’t use them as a total replacement. The best approach is to combine a daily dose of greens powder with a diet that is also rich in plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits. Why do you need a super greens powder in your life? Let’s take a look.

What is a super greens powder?

Green foods white backgroundYou want to add more greens into your diet, but don’t want to grab a bag of spinach, and can’t stand the taste of kale…so what should you do? The good news, a powdered green drink mix may be just what you need. Nutritionists and health agencies everywhere have long proclaimed the benefits of eating your vegetables daily – especially green ones. Yet, it’s a goal that very few of us meet. Despite recommendations to eat two to three cups of vegetables daily, only 1 in 10 adults actually consume that amount, which is unfortunate, because, calorie for calorie, vegetables provide optimal sources of nutrients among any food.

But don’t worry, super greens powders are here to help! What are they, you ask? Superfood greens powders are powdered blends of grasses, fruits, or veggies that provide a nutrient-dense, antioxidant-rich punch to support optimal health, including immunity, blood pressure health, and more. While the majority of your daily nutrients should come from whole, plant food sources, a green powder can fill in the gaps to help you stay healthy and on track. 

When is the best time to have a green drink?

Powdered green drink mixes can be enjoyed at any time of day, and added to any cold liquid. Lots of folks like to take them in their morning smoothie. Some find it helpful to drink them during the afternoon, to get a boost of energy to help ward off the dreaded “afternoon slump.” 

Aside from being a super-concentrated source of nutrients, the convenience factor is also a plus. A greens powder mix is an easy way to stay healthy while you’re traveling, on the go, or can’t easily access fresh greens and veggies. Pro tip: look for a powdered greens drink mix that comes in single-serve packets, so they stay fresh when you take them with you on the go. Why not make your life a bit easier!

What are the benefits of powered green drinks?

Green smoothie plus fruitGreens are the health hotshots of the food world. They are low in calories and high in fiber, vitamins, and phytonutrients. Green vegetables are essential for a strong immune system, proper gut health, healthy detoxification, and more. Most importantly, greens help keep your body’s pH in balance, thanks to their alkalinizing properties. But greens go beyond what you’ll find at your local grocery store or farmer’s market. Think chlorella and kelp from the sea. Or barley and wheat grasses from the fields.

Whether you’re among those who are frightened by the sight of broccoli, or you simply have trouble meeting your daily quota due to a hectic schedule, upping your intake of a variety of greens should be an essential part of your health game plan. They can support an already healthy diet with a boost of extra vitamins and antioxidants. 

But which green powder mixes are right for you?

Here are some green ingredients you should look for when choosing a high-quality powdered greens drink mix.

Wheatgrass: This juice bar staple is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and E, as well as iron, magnesium, calcium, and amino acids. Among its 17 amino acids, 8 are considered essential, meaning your body can’t produce them—they must come from your diet. Wheatgrass is a powerful source of glutathione, known as the “master” antioxidant. It’s little wonder that preliminary research has found that it reduces oxidative damage to cells. Other studies suggest that wheatgrass may support healthy cholesterol levels, aid in balancing blood sugar, counter an inappropriate inflammatory response, and induce the destruction of damaged or abnormal cells.1

Barley Grass: Along with vitamins A, C, E, beta-carotene, and B vitamins, barley grass is a rich source of potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and magnesium. Barley grass also provides chlorophyll, amino acids, protein, fiber, and enzymes. Most importantly, barley grass is a source of superoxide dismutase (SOD), a critical enzyme that helps neutralize the harmful effects of free radicals.

Chlorella: These freshwater algae have survived on the earth for over two billion years. The secret to chlorella’s longevity is its fibrous outer wall. Although this defensive wall protects this single-cell alga, it also prevents the body’s ability to take advantage of chlorella’s detoxification benefits. Fortunately, scientists have found that breaking this wall releases chlorella’s natural ability to bind toxins and heavy metals through a process known as chelation. Chlorella also boasts a wealth of vitamins including vitamins B1, B2, B12, folic acid, C, and K. Plus, chlorella is a potent source of minerals, essential fatty acids, protein, and fiber.2

Spirulina: High in antioxidants, spirulina has been shown to inhibit the production of inflammatory signaling molecules. Spirulina is also rich in high-quality protein, B vitamins, iron, copper, magnesium, potassium, and manganese. Not only does this make spirulina an alkaline food, but its rich nutrient profile also gives this alga numerous health benefits as well. Research shows that spirulina supports healthy lipid levels, helps maintain blood sugar balance, benefits those with seasonal allergies, and improves muscle strength.3

Kelp: This common seaweed is rich in B vitamins, which play a critical role in cellular metabolism. Because it absorbs nutrients from its surrounding environment, kelp contains more than 15 amino acids and is also a great source of calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc, boron, and manganese. As a result, this mineral-rich seaweed helps maintain bone density and muscle health.4

Where are the best places to buy super greens powders?

If you are seeking out a good super greens powder green drink mix, you might want to start at your local health food store.  They may even have samples you can try. You can purchase a powdered greens drink mix online also.  Just be sure to read the ingredient label.  Watch out for mixes that have added sugar or artificial flavors or colors. You don’t want to trade health benefits for extra calories or fruity flavored drinks.  

Adding a nutrient-dense powdered green drink mix to water, juice, or your favorite smoothie, will help you meet your daily veggie intake, give you a boost of antioxidants, and support virtually every system in your body.   Cheers!