I’m excited today to introduce a new natural health and wellness columnist, April Norris, CHHC of Optimal Vitality! I’ve known April for years, and more recently, benefitted so much from one of her seasonal detoxes that I asked if she would like to join ‘The E List’ team! I’m so very honored to have her here to share her vast knowledge with us, as she’s a certified holistic health consultant and a certified Pilates instructor (plus a busy momma and just good people!). Please welcome April to her new column, ‘Wellness Wisdom!’
GEAR UP YOUR GREEN-POWDER GAME
Wheatgrass has been the poster child of greens for decades, something that was once reserved for hippies and alternative health fanatics. Fast-forward to today, many of us have embraced the natural health movement and have taken a liking to drinking a daily green smoothie.
Used as a common addition to green smoothies, green powders offer an added boost of chlorophyll, which give the powders listed below their assorted hues of emerald. Chlorophyll is quite literally the plant’s blood, converting carbon dioxide into oxygen, and is responsible for the transformative power of photosynthesis.
When consumed by humans, chlorophyll helps promote healthy blood cells, having a similar structure to hemoglobin. Chlorophyll helps maintain a proper pH within the body, purifies the blood, and enhances our ability to eliminate toxins.
Here are a few lesser-known green powders that you can add to your daily routine to sneak in all the aforementioned benefits of chlorophyll.
FOUR TO TRY:
Matcha offers exceedingly more benefits than your average cup of green tea. Centuries ago, it was first utilized by monks to provide calm, sustained energy for long hours of meditation. Matcha powder is produced from the whole green-tea leaf, is rich in polyphenols, which have been shown to protect against heart disease and diabetes. There is a compound contained in green tea and matcha called epigallocatechin-3-gallate, or EGCG. This compound has been shown to boost resting metabolic rate and fat-burning abilities. EGCG has also been documented to reduce the growth of cancer cells.
Moringa comes from the “miracle” tree native to Asia, Australia, Africa, Central and South America. Considered an essential medicinal plant in India, it has been shown to reduce levels of blood sugar, fight inflammation and infection, and assists with liver detoxification. Moringa contains all 8 essential amino acids, more than 90 nutrients, and 46 antioxidants.
Chlorella is a single-celled, blue-green algae, which contains more chlorophyll per gram than any other plant. Considered a complete food, chlorella is one of the greatest super foods to cleanse the blood, liver, bowels, and regulate hormones and blood sugar. Chlorella has been shown to reduce inflammatory markers in the body, improve cholesterol levels, and significantly boost immune function. Chlorella is a super power at detoxifying the body of alcohol, pesticides, herbicides, and toxic metals like mercury or lead.
Spirulina is another variety of ancient blue-green algae forms. This powder has an astounding nutrient profile, containing over 65% protein, containing all eight essential amino acids. It is the only green food source of the essential fat, gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). GLA is abundant in human breast milk, and responsible for skin cell regeneration, hair growth, and reduces inflammatory properties from allergies and arthritis.
After you’ve chosen your particular powder, the way in which you choose to consume it is personal preference. Some mix it with 8 ounces of purified water and freshly squeezed lemon juice, others add a few teaspoons to a smoothie, or purists may stick with the time-honored tradition of a wheat grass shot.
As with eating a wide variety of vegetables, incorporating a new type of green powder into your diet will diversify your body’s nutrient profile, leading the way towards vibrant health!
Balch, Phyllis A., and James F. Balch. “Natural Food Supplements.” Prescription for Nutritional Healing. New York: Avery, 2000. 78+. Print.
Kilham, Chris. “The Healing Powers of Moringa.” Fox News. FOX News Network, 12 Nov. 2014. Web. 25 May 2015.
Martinac, Paula. “What Is EGCG in Green Tea?” Healthy Eating. SF Gate, n.d. Web. 25 May 2015.
Mercola, Joseph M. “Spirulina: A Luxury Health Food That Can Help Fight Malnutrition.” Mercola.com. N.p., 29 Sept. 2014. Web. 25 May 2015.
Wolfe, David. Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of the Future. Berkeley: North Atlantic, 2009. Print.