Green superfoods like spirulina, chlorella, barleygrass and wheatgrass are very popular in the health community. I believe first and foremost in a real food based diet – and not in a powder based diet – but I also believe in adding good sources of nutrients and making sure our diet is as nutritious as possible.
Spirulina, chlorella, barleygrass and wheatgrass are so called superfoods meaning that they are extremely nutritious compared gram to gram with other foods. But they’re also very difficult to eat in their pure form. I don’t know about you but I don’t fancy eating neither algae nor grass.
But adding them to my green smoothies in powder is different.
But what are they really? Here comes a quick guide to the four supergreens:
The protein that spirulina offers is of very high quality, it contains all essential amino acids making it a good quality source of protein for vegetarians and vegans.
It is also a great source of B-vitamins. Many claims that spirulina is even a good source of B12 vitamin (a vitamin only available in animal foods and therefore necessary to supplement on a vegan diet). This has been shown to be false. The type of B12 vitamin in spirulina is called a pseudovitamin and is ineffective for humans (source).
Spirulina has also proven to be very effective in lowering blood sugar, fasting blood glucose levels and cholesterol (LDL).
Buy spirulina here: Spirulina powder (adlink)
Chlorella is a single-cell green algae. It is very popular in the detox community as it may have some detoxifying qualities. Among other claimed health benefits you’ll find: it helps with constipation, it stimulates the immune system, supports healthy hormone functions and good cardiovascular health, it contains chlorophyll which helps to eliminate bad breath and body odor – just to mention a few.
Chlorella is extremely nutritious and has a high content of protein. It contains phytonutrients including amino acids, chlorophyll, beta-carotene, potassium, phosphorous, biotin, magnesium and the B-complex vitamins.
Buy Chlorella here: Chlorella powder (adlink)
Barleygrass contains a wide range of vitamins and minerals.
It is said to have 30 times more vitamin B1 and 11 times the amount of calcium than there is in cow’s milk, 6.5 times as much carotene and nearly 5 times the iron content of spinach and close to seven times the vitamin C in oranges.
Buy barleygrass here: Barleygrass powder (adlink)
Wheatgrass is also a little powerhouse of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fibres and phytochemicals like chlorophyll. You can find many health claims to the benefits of wheatgrass but to my knowledge they have yet to be confirmed by science.
Because wheatgrass juice is extracted from wheatgrass sprouts, i.e., before the wheat seed begins to form, it is gluten-free.
Buy wheatgrass here: Wheatgrass powder (adlink)
Health benefits or not, these superfoods are packed with nutrients and I add them to my own diet frequently if not daily. I use different green powders giving me some from them all and supplement with extra spirulina in my smoothies. At the moment, I’m using the Green Vibrance Powder (adlink) which doesn’t taste as bad as some of the other types I’ve tried.