We love kale, we really do. We love spinach, romaine and all the leafy greens. But what about all those other greens that aren’t leafy and don’t make into most salads?
From wheatgrass to blue-green algae, we’re ready to talk about these non-leafy greens – potent superfoods that we’re taking shot after shot of, throwing into our smoothies, mixing into our salads, juices and every other place we can think of. Find out what sets these green wonders apart from the rest and which ones you should make part of your daily diet…
Spirulina is a Cyanobacterium, or blue-green algae that contains more protein by weight than any other food, at a whooping 60-70%. Just 3 grams of spirulina contain more antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients than 5 serving of vegetables. In addition spirulina includes all the essential amino acids, it is high in iron, calcium, omega 3, 6, 9s, chlorophyll, B vitamins, as well as vitamins C, D, A, K an E.
Benefits: This algae is known for its exceptional detoxification properties, and can be used to attract and flush heavy metals and chemical toxins from the system. Because of its high concentration of protein and chlorophyll content, it contributes to boosting energy and stamina. It is great for digestion, and helpful for increasing good bacteria in the intestine.
Uses: It has a strong sweet and ocean like flavor and makes a perfect addition to salads, smoothies and juices and even chocolates.
Chlorella is a green single celled algae that grows in fresh water. Containing 45-65% protein by weight and all essential amino acids, this algae is loaded with chlorophyll, vitamin C, E, A and B vitamins as well as many other trace minerals.
Benefits: Like spirulina, chlorella is known for its potent detoxification capabilities. For this reason it is often used to help treat symptoms of hangovers. In addition it can increase good bacteria in the gut and help improve overall digestion and may even slow the growth of cancer cells. Other benefits may include weight loss, immune system support, increased energy and mood.
Uses: Chlorella has a strong and sweet flavor. Combine it in smoothies, juices, salads, soups, salad dressings and even chocolate.
TCM Pick: Healthforce Nutritionals Chlorella Manna
Aphanizomenon flosaquae (AFA)
This freshwater, blue-green algae contains over 65 vitamins, minerals, amino acids and essential fatty acids. Rich in chlorophyll it is harvested from the Klamath Lake in Oregon.
Benefits: Like chlorella and spirulina, AFA is used for digestive support, increased immunity, mood balance, and increased energy. It may be linked to a faster recovery time after exercise and healthy skin and hair.
Uses: The best know brand of AFA is E3Live that produces many varieties of this super-algae. Try it in liquid form or dry powdered extracts.
TCM Pick: E3Live AFA
Wheatgrass is one of the best sources of chlorophyll available at 70% and 20% protein by weight. Grown from the wheat seeds, it contains no gluten and is technically a sprout or young grass of the plant.
Benefits: Wheatgrass is rich in cleansing chlorophyll, is also one of the richest sources of vitamins A and C and contains over 90 minerals – it is nature’s multivitamin! Wheatgrass has an extensive list of benefits from antioxidant support, to improving energy levels, purifying the liver, decreasing overall inflammation and boosting the blood’s oxygen-carrying potential. For the 50 reasons to drink wheatgrass everyday, click through here.
Uses: Wheatgrass is best consumed fresh and alone, since it is digested very quickly. A shot first thing in the morning is a great way to help cleanse the liver and system and get things moving!
TCM Pick: Try growing your own with a wheatgrass growing kit!