Green Superfoods: It Ain’t Easy Being Green
91%. That is the number of Americans that do not eat 5 - 9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The health implications of that number are staggering and frightening, considering that an order of french fries from a fast food restaurant is counted as a serving. The ketchup that goes on the fries is considered a second serving. If you were to remove just those two items from the equation, what would the numbers look like?
It gets worse.
The numbers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture count all fruits and vegetables equally. When considering the particular health benefits of specific fruits and vegetables, nothing could be further from the truth. For example, nobody would consider a white potato to be nutritionally equal to a serving of spinach. Furthermore, food processing that robs much of the nutrient value of fruits and vegetables is not taken into consideration. A can of “mixed fruit” in syrup counts the same as a carrot.
The bottom line is this: We don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables—and when we do eat fruits and vegetables we often ignore the healthiest of the bunch. The fruits and vegetables we do eat are often processed and unhealthy.
There has to be a better way.
When Garden of Life® founder Jordan Rubin set out to create a green superfood, he started with a few basic ideas of what the product could be, or rather what it should be.
It should contain ingredients that were proven to be nutritionally superior. It should be minimally processed, containing a wide variety of whole food ingredients and live food factors such as enzymes. It should contain fermented ingredients to make it more bio-available. In short it should be the best green superfood available.
You Should Eat Grass
Before you quit reading because you think we’re off our rocker, let us explain. There is a class of foods known as Green Superfoods and one of the premier members of the green superfoods class are young cereal grasses. These young cereal grasses are among the most nutritionally dense and superior foods on the planet. While we often eat the fruit of these grasses (called grain), we seldom consume the young cereal grass itself. And that is a huge mistake.
The key to understanding cereal grasses and their nutritive value is to understand the growth process. Consider wheat grass. As a young plant, wheat grass is soaking up all of the nutrition that the sun and the soil can offer. In order for the grass to bear fruit (grain) it must take in and create a lot of nutrients. Prior to becoming a grain, cereal grass is at its nutritional peak. It is at this point that we should be consuming the cereal grass. Instead we often consume the grain of the cereal grass—like wheat, barley, or oat. It’s not that the grain is bad. The point is that the grass is much, much better.
As proof consider this. Cereal grasses are so nutrient dense, there are many animals that consume a diet consisting solely of cereal grasses, and are able to maintain their weight, strength and vibrant health. The cereal grasses provide them with all the life giving nutrients they need to build lean, healthy bodies. While a man cannot leave entirely off of a cereal grass, it doesn’t mean that we should deprive ourselves of the benefits of this superfood.
Garden of Life's green superfood contains 5000 mg. per serving of a combination of wheat, barley, oat and alfalfa grass in concentrated juice form that is low temperature dried into a powder in order to preserve the enzymes and antioxidants. The difference between grass juice powder and grass powder is enormous. Most green superfood products contain whole cereal grasses which do contain nutrients, but these nutrients are tightly bound to the fiber and difficult for humans to assimilate.
That's why Garden of Lif'es greens contain cereal grass juices that are highly absorbable and give you power packed nutrition that cannot be simply measured by the number of calories it provides. In fact, grass juice powders can be as much as 6 times as concentrated as the whole cereal grass used in most products. In simple language, it takes between 25-33 pounds of fresh cereal grass to make one pound of dried cereal grass juice powder (this is the raw material used in their green superfood). It takes only 4-6 pounds of fresh cereal grass to make whole cereal grass dried powder--and this is used in most of the other green superfoods on the market.
When you combine the cereal grass juices with other ingredients in there, then there are over 8000mg of greens per serving, making Garden of Life's greens the greenest green superfood of any leading brand.
The Grass is Always Greener
Don't be fooled by green superfoods that claim to have potent vegetable nutrition by using spinach and parsley powder as main ingredients. While spinach and parsley are very healthy, they are often provided in their whole powder form which, much like whole grass powders, are not very concentrated or nutrient dense. A good way to be sure that your green superfood is highly green and nutritious is to look for Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Calcium content.
You should aim for Vitamin A (as beta-carotene) levels that are 100% of the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance), Vitamin C levels that are at least 80% of the RDA, and Calcium levels that are at least 15% of the RDA. Some green superfood products contain as little as 10% RDA of Vitamin A (as beta-carotene), 4% Vitamin C and 4% Calcium. If the content of any or all of those nutrients is low, you're not getting your money's worth--or your other greens' worth.
You see, it's not easy being green. But with a green superfood, you have some help.