Why You Should Add Supergreens To Your Diet

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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A supergreen is a green vegetable that is typically dense in nutrients and rich in color, as well as chlorophyll. Examples of supergreens include some types of algae, grasses, and moringa. Read on to know more about this superfood, what it includes, and how you can benefit from it.

What Are Supergreens?

Supergreens have hit the headlines in recent years, with numerous scientific studies reporting on their incredible health benefits. Dark leafy greens and vegetables are generally very nutrient-dense and highly beneficial, including foods like chard, kale, and broccoli. However, supergreens specifically refers to a few types of grasses and algae that are dense and unique in their nutrient makeup. The most common and accessible supergreens include: 

While you can eat these healthy foods in their raw vegetable form, many people find the texture and taste of grasses to be unappetizing. So, they may instead choose to consume supergreens in the form of a supplement or powder.

Nutrition

Supergreens are highly nutritious. In fact, it is their nutrient-dense properties that qualify them as a superfood. While they are not meant to replace fruits and vegetables in your daily intake, adding them to your diet can certainly boost your health, general well-being, and may even help fight some diseases. Supplements and powders derived from these superfoods vary in their nutritional content but are generally high in antioxidants, protein, dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, calcium, and potassium. There are also notable amounts of carotenoids, chlorophylls, other phytonutrients and various antioxidants in these supplements, as discussed in this article from The Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis.

In addition to all these vitamins and minerals, these superfoods are also very low in calories, and generally contain less than a gram of sugar, which basically eliminates any possible drawbacks to eating these health-boosting greens.

Two heart-shaped bowls containing green powder

Supergreens are a superfood. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Benefits of Supergreens

Supergreens, whether in supplement or superfood form, contains a broad range of benefits. This includes protecting the immune health, reducing inflammation, boosting digestion, and detoxifying the body.

  • Immune Health – Supergreens contain high levels of phytonutrients, a plant chemical that is well known to prevent disease and keep the body healthy. These densely packed greens also contain antioxidants, which are believed to fight against chronic diseases and attach to free radicals. They can boost your body’s protection against oxidative stress. 
  • Inflammation – Research has found that the consumption of these foods or supplements derived from spirulina can help with arthritis and other forms of inflammation, further lowering the risk of chronic disease. 
  • Detoxify – Some research has found that heavy metal toxicity can be reduced in the body, along with the concentration of carcinogens, when these superfoods are added to the diet.
  • Digestion – The presence of these super-charged vegetables in your diet can stimulate the production and function of digestive enzymes, thus helping your gastrointestinal health, as noted in the book Chlorella: The Ultimate Green Food.
  • Heart Health – Balancing and reducing cholesterol levels is key to heart health, and research has found that adding these types of supplements or nutrients to your diet can reduce cholesterol, lower risks of coronary heart diseases, heart attack, and stroke.
  • Nervous System – Significant anecdotal evidence shows that these super-greens can also help to regulate sleep and improve mood, in addition to increasing energy levels. Even small tweaks to the diet can affect the nervous system function.
  • Weight Loss – Not only do supergreens contain very few calories, but they may also be able to stimulate metabolism and boost fat-burning. Together, this makes this superfood an excellent addition to a weight-loss diet strategy, and can even help lower your risk of diabetes.

Side Effects

There are only a few risks to consider when consuming supergreens regularly. Supergreen supplements can contain ingredients that may interact with some medicines. So if you take any type of prescription medication, be sure to consult with your doctor before using these supplements. Supergreens rid the body of many toxins, but overconsumption can potentially also decrease your levels of magnesium and zinc, which are crucial minerals in various bodily systems. As with any other supplement or health strategy, moderation is key. Always check the label and be sure to only purchase such supplements from trusted providers and companies. 

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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