Greens Archives - Wakunaga of America

New to Green Drinks? Here’s What You Need to Know

Nutritionists, health agencies, and mothers everywhere have long heralded 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 consumes that amount, which is unfortunate, because, calorie for calorie, vegetables provide optimal sources of nutrients among any food. The star among them is greens, including arugula, broccoli, dark leafy lettuces, kale, spinach, and watercress.

Why you need more greens

Green 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 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. Smoothies and smoothie bowls are tasty ways to add more greens to your diet.

Build a Better Smoothie

Here are some tips to ease into smoothies and green drinks effortlessly:

Tip #1: Get to know your greens first. For first-timers, we usually recommend starting your greens journey with something mild in flavor, so it doesn’t completely catch you off guard. Take a small taste of each green before you add it to your blender. If anything seems completely off-putting to you, you can take it out. Spinach, for example, is a great, mild-tasting green that is perfect for first-timers…the same goes for cucumbers as well. You can always work your way up to stronger flavors like kale.

Tip #2: Add some fruit to the mix. We don’t mean you should throw just any fruit into the blender, we’d recommend one that is low in sugar, and high in antioxidants, such as berries (we recommend starting with half a cup). Doing this will add some sweetness to your green drink, and can offset the bitterness of some raw greens.

Tip #3: Texture matters. People often focus so much on the ingredients that are going into the smoothie, they neglect to think about how all the items they are adding in will affect the texture. Sometimes, an extremely chunky/thick smoothie is what truly sets people over the edge, causing them to give up on their smoothie. It is important to play around with different types and quantities of greens to get a texture that works for you. If you like a creamy smoothie, try adding half an avocado or half a banana, and blend on high.

Another easy way to get your quota of greens if your diet falls short, is by incorporating a nutrient-dense powdered drink mix (this can even be added to your smoothie for even greater health benefits!). Green 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. Just be sure to check the ingredients in a pre-mixed powder and make sure you are not getting any added sugar or artificial flavors. If you would like to try an excellent and nutritious greens powdered drink mix, we recommend starting with the Kyo-Green® line.

Brimming with organic and naturally sourced ingredients, the Kyo-Green® Powdered Drink Mixes give you a much needed edge by providing a high-quality, balanced source of bioavailable nutrients that are rapidly absorbed by the body. These drink mixes aren’t just an easy way to help you meet your daily greens quota, each Kyo-Green Powdered Drink Mix gives you a unique blend of superfoods that offers a powerhouse of balanced nutritional benefits for the whole body. Go green to better fuel your active life!

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.

Forget Smoking it. Here are the Grasses You Need to Drink, ASAP

Now though, there is a third type of grass that is brought up in conversation, oftentimes at a gym, juice shop, or health club. We are talking about wheatgrass! And grasses like wheatgrass, such as barley grass, alfalfa grass and other nutritious grasses. If you aren’t big on salads and other leafy greens, another easy way to get your greens is by drinking them.

Many studies over the years have shown that green foods have marked beneficial effects on cholesterol, blood pressure, and immune response. Nutritionally, green foods, grasses, to be exact, are close cousins to dark leafy vegetables, and offer far greater levels of nutrient density. In other words, an ounce of these concentrated green foods contains much more of the beneficial phytonutrients that are found in an ounce of green leafy vegetables1.

Get to Know Your Grasses

If dark leafy greens aren’t making a regular appearance on your dinner plate, you may want to become familiar with the following 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.

According to a recent report in the journal Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, barley grass has numerous health benefits. It is a natural detoxifier that protects the liver. It also supports healthy blood pressure, enhances immunity, improves digestive health, has blood glucose supporting effects, promotes cardiovascular health, improves cognition, lessens fatigue, and acts as an anti-inflammatory2. Many of these actions may be due to barley grass’ ability to tip the body’s balance towards alkalinity. Because it benefits the body on so many fronts, barley grass is considered an exceptional superfood.

Wheat grass: 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 cells3. Like barley grass, wheatgrass is a powerful alkalinizing agent that supports balanced pH.

Alfalfa grass: Alfalfa is a type of grass that has been grown and used as feed for livestock for hundreds of years. It was long prized for its superior content of vitamins, minerals, and protein, compared to other feed sources. In addition to being used as feed, it also has a long history of use in a nutritional capacity for humans. Alfalfa is high in vitamin K and also contains many other nutritious ingredients like vitamin C, copper, manganese folate, and even plant compounds like flavonoids, saponins, and phytosterols. It has also been shown to lower cholesterol levels in both animals and humans. The effect is attributed to the high content of saponins, which are plant compounds known to lower cholesterol levels. They do this by decreasing absorption of cholesterol in the gut and increasing the excretion of compounds used to create new cholesterol4.

These nutritional grasses are ready to give you a steady stream of nutrients and keep you strong and powerful throughout the day. Try adding some to your daily smoothie or green drink!

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.