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There are many reasons you may want to boost your diet with greens powder. But why are green vegetables just so good for you?
Are green powders healthy?
Green powders are an excellent way to boost your nutrient intake with the power of green vegetables. Designed as a nutritional supplement rather than an alternative, green powders are great for when you need extra nutrients in your diet or, for whatever reason, are finding it difficult to make your fruit and veg targets.
Why are green vegetables good for you?
Green vegetables are full of a pigment called chlorophyll. They also contain a whole host of other nutrients for very little calories which makes them some of the most nutrient dense foods around.
What is chlorophyll?
Chlorophyll is a green pigment found in plants that helps them to convert sunlight into energy. For humans it acts as a powerful anti-oxidant. Generally, but not necessarily, the more green the vegetable the more chlorophyll it contains. That said, if you choose dark green vegetables to include in your diet, you can be sure of a good source of chlorophyll as well as plenty of other nutrients.
What are dark green vegetables?
All vegetables (and fruits) have some nutritional benefit, and the best health advice you can follow is to eat the rainbow. Quite simply this means to eat a wide range of fresh produce, choosing as many different varieties and colours as you can. Fruits and vegetables all contain pigments that give them their colour. These pigments are known as phytonutrients (or plant chemicals) and they are what makes this food category so unique, and so beneficial. The more colours you eat, the higher your intake of beneficial plant chemicals.
Dark green vegetables are a group of vegetables that share similar nutritional characteristics. Other vegetables that are green but do not share the same nutrient profile belong in a different group. Celery, for example. Or iceberg lettuce. These both contain vital nutrients, just different ones. Dark green vegetables may share similarities yet they each have something unique to offer. So within that rainbow, choose many varieties of each colour as well as individual colour groups.
Green leafy vegetables
Most dark green vegetables also come under the heading of leafy greens. There are salad greens, such as rocket and watercress. Then there are those such as kale and chard, which are generally cooked. Broccoli is related to kale, yet also to cauliflower. Some varieties of broccoli are more leafy than others. Baby spinach is seen primarily as a salad leaf, whilst mature spinach tends to need cooking.
Kale and spinach are both examples of leafy greens, and are pretty much nutritional royalty.
Is spinach good for you?
Yes, spinach is super good for you. Not only a good source of chlorophyll, it is packed with vitamins and minerals including over a dozen antioxidant flavonoid compounds to protect against heart disease and bolster your immune system. Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin K that is essential for blood clotting and maintaining healthy bones.
Is kale good for you?
Kale is also exceptionally good for you. Beyond giving that chlorophyll boost, kale is full of amazing nutrient properties. Did you know it contains a substance that can help to balance oestrogen? It also helps to protect bones with calcium and magnesium alongside vitamin K. Kale is also rich in beta-carotene and vitamin C.
How much protein in kale and spinach?
Whilst not protein powerhouses, kale and spinach do not do too badly in the protein stakes. We explore protein supplements in this post about protein powder.
How to use greens powder
Our spinach powder is an excellent way to boost your nutrient intake and ensure you are not missing out on healthy ingredients. This kale powder will also make sure you are getting the nutrients you need.
Simply stir into water, juice, milk or smoothies. You can also add to soups and stews, or even dips and salad dressings. They work particularly well with egg dishes such as scrambled egg or omelette.
How to make green powder taste better
It is true that greens powder can be fairly unpalatable. Luckily we wrote an entire post about green smoothies and how to make them taste nice.
Take a look at our range of smoothie ingredients including green powders. Our organic smoothie powders are also available to buy in bulk online.
Think you are getting enough greens? Why not check out some of our veggie smoothie recipes.
This article was reproduced on this site only with permission from our parent co. operafoods.com.au the “Gourmet Online Wholesale Grocer”. See the original article here:- Boosting your Diet With Greens Powders
Green smoothies. The holy grail of health. Yet they can pretty much suck right? We all want the health benefits that come with maximising on our greens but no one wants to chug down cold green sludge of a morning. Or even worse, cold khaki sludge.
Like all good cooking, when it comes to making smoothies, less is more. A broad spectrum of delicious constant variety is way more desirable than throwing all the ingredients at the glass every morning in a misguided bid to optimise our health.
But why are we so keen on greens in a glass anyway? What are the best greens for smoothies and how do we get them to taste good and avoid the dreaded sludge syndrome?
Eat your greens! Or better still, drink them.
Leafy greens are the original superfood. Of the top twenty most nutrient dense fruit and vegetables, seventeen are leafy greens. Whilst they share certain characteristics such as high chlorophyll content, each is unique in its power to support health and healing. Therefore the best plan of action is to consume a wide range of leafy greens at every available opportunity.
The best greens for smoothies are all particularly nutrient dense (low in calories and high in nutrients) because of their low sugar content. They come packed with certain groups of vitamins,minerals, and other beneficial plant compounds known as phytonutrients. Natural chemicals found in plants, phytochemicals are designed by nature to support the health of the plant yet most are hugely beneficial to human health too. The following phytonutrients are found in leafy green vegetables…
A group of powerful antioxidant compounds that support the immune system, benefit eye heath and may reduce risk of cancer.
Beta carotene - the body converts this into Vitamin A.
Lutein and Zeaxanthin are both linked to reduced risk of macular degeneration (failing eyesight associated with aging).
Also rich antioxidant compounds, they may help to reduce cancer and heart disease. Vital for healthy cell communication, flavonoids are detoxifying and can decrease inflammation.
The best greens for smoothies are also rich in certain vitamins and minerals, and fibre.
Vitamin A (converted from beta-carotene) - an antioxidant essential for vision, growth and reproduction, and production of collagen. Vitamin C - an antioxidant essential for a healthy immune system, healing, tissue strength and growth, and absorption of iron. Vitamin K - essential for blood clotting and metabolism of calcium. Helps to regulate blood sugar balance. Supports heart health and circulation. Folate - needed to create new blood cells, proteins, and DNA. Basically essential for growth.
Magnesium - needed for energy production, muscle activity, and heart health. Iron - essential for healthy red blood cell function and energy release. Potassium - regulates blood pressure and water balance. Also involved in hormonal balance. Calcium - needed for healthy bones and teeth, regulates nerves and muscle function, regulates hormones and blood pressure.
Delicate nutrients can be destroyed during the cooking process so the best way to keep the nutritional profile intact is to consume greens raw. Not only does blitzing the nutrients down make them less bulky and therefore easier to eat more of, but the breaking down of the plant fibres makes these nutrients more easily available to the body. Unlike juicing, making a smoothie retains all the beneficial pulp and fibre.
What are the best greens for smoothies?
Although there are many different types of green vegetables, all of them bursting with benefits, some are more palatable in smoothies than others. Broccoli, for instance, has an impressive nutrient profile, but is strongly flavoured so can be hard to mask. Others, like spinach, blend really well and are milder in flavour.
A member of the cruciferous family, related to cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, kale has powerful antioxidant properties. Rich in beta-carotene, vitamins C and K, and folate. Full of easily absorbed calcium and iron, kale is also an excellent source of chlorophyll.
A member of the amaranth family, spinach is related to beets and quinoa. Packed with over a dozen different antioxidant flavonoids, spinach is a powerful anti-inflammatory. Rich in vitamin K, vitamin C and beta-carotene, as well as calcium, iron and potassium.
Top tips to make green smoothies taste good.
- Not only does fresh orange juice add a sweet sharp zing to a green smoothie, but it helps the body to absorb the mineral content too.
- Adding pineapple for sweetness also makes for quicker nutrient digestion.
- Apples and pears have a mild sweetness that pairs well with kale and spinach and keeps your smoothie looking fresh and green.
- The neutral flavour of cucumber works well with everything and its high water content adds to the liquid base.
- Use green powders to make life easier. Add a teaspoon or two of organic kale powder or spinach powder to your green smoothie ingredients. Or both.
- Go savoury. Use yoghurt as a base and add fresh herbs for a super savoury smoothie. Try a touch of garlic and a pinch of salt.