One of the most important issues we face today when it comes to eating is that many of us still struggle to get enough plant food in our diet, in particular, green foods. Lots of fresh pressed juices have hit the store shelves lately, along with every fermented food imaginable. But the reality is, many of these drinks, although labeled to look really healthy, are loaded with sugars and fail to get the necessary greens into your diet, even though they may taste delicious.
Why green drinks are a smart strategy
In the last 35 years of teaching people about living healthier lives, I have always stressed that your body needs to be slightly alkaline to prevent cell, organ, and tissue damage. When you are not alkaline, you are acidic and experience an increased rate of “rusting”, where you make more free radicals that can damage cells, organs, and tissues.
On the other hand, when you are alkaline, the rate of “rusting” that is going on in every cell of your body starts to slow down. It has also been shown in several studies that a low pH balance or acidic urine is associated with damage to the kidneys and to the inner lining of your blood vessels known as the endothelium.
That being said, I do not recommend drinking alkaline water to achieve better balance. Alkaline water reduces stomach acidity and then changes the absorption of key minerals and proteins over time. To achieve better balance, the single most important habit you can establish is eating more vegetables and, more importantly, greens. The trace minerals in green vegetables help to establish a pH balance in your body that turns back inflammation signaling. It has been shown in several studies that a low pH balance or acidic urine is associated with damage to the kidneys and to the inner lining of your blood vessels known as the endothelium.
How to get more green in your diet
Here is the challenge: getting in 9 to 12 servings of plant food a day. This can be difficult and time consuming. Enter the value of green drinks and, in particular, what I call “clean green” drinks. These types of powdered drink mixes are easy to carry, can be poured into any water bottle during the course of the day, and can provide trace minerals and phytonutrients that help to alkalinize the body and neutralize free radicals. In addition, they do not contain all the added sugars that many off-the-shelf bottle drinks may contain. Some of the superfood greens that I always look for in clean green drinks are wheatgrass and chlorella. In particular, chlorella has a significant detoxifying effect that helps your body eliminate toxins like metals and other organic pollutants. Wheatgrass has a great energizing effect that rids the need for the caffeine kick that is so common in the energy drink market.
The added benefits that I look for in green drinks are no sugar, non-GMO based and gluten free. It is also a big plus if they contain some organic ingredients! It has to dissolve easily and taste good, too.
I have been a big advocate of the Kyolic brand family of green drinks (Kyo-Green®) because they fulfill all the criteria that I feel are so important. They are truly a clean green drink, with no added sugars and a great taste. For me, if the taste isn’t there it is hard to recommend it to my patients and all the health care providers I teach. I recommend Kyo-Green powdered drink mixes because they are a great tasting solution to the challenge of getting more greens in your diet.
James LaValle R.Ph., C.C.N
James LaValle is a nationally recognized clinical pharmacist, author, board-certified clinical nutritionist, and founder of Metabolic Code Enterprises, Inc., a web platform and practice solution enterprise, launching AIR Support and the Metabolic Code Assessment.
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.