Tag Archives: Field of Greens by Vibrant Health

Boosting the Diet with “Superfoods”

SuperfoodsJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

The superfood claim is often cited and not always accurate, as there is no regulatory definition nor set criterion for determining what is and what is not a superfood. The term is often used to describe a highly nutritious or nutrient dense food that can provide a host of science-backed health benefits beyond basic nutrition. As consumers have become more aware of foods that constitute a healthful diet, superfoods, also known as functional foods, have grown in popularity. The global shift to a more plant-based diet is largely fueled by millennials who are more likely to consider food sources, food safety and the issues of animal welfare, as well as the overall environmental footprint of their dietary choices. Most superfoods are plant-based, however, some fish and dairy also make the list.

While millennials may be driving the plant-based movement, the shift away from animal products and towards a heathier, more sustainable relationship with food appears to be gaining strength among other generations as well. For those who adhere to an already balanced, colorful and varied diet, the addition of foods that have a very high density can provide substantial amounts of nutrients and very few calories, elevating already healthy diets to a more targeted level of wellness. Rich in phytochemicals, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, essential fatty acids and fiber, a superfood’s nutrient composition surpasses the body’s basic nutritional requirements for survival.

As the consumer drive for long-term health continues to focus on eating responsibly and sustainably, many expect the largely plant-based dietary trend to continue to steadily rise. Research shows that a healthy lifestyle, that includes diet, regular exercise and healthy sleep, provides multiple life supportive health benefits, while reducing the risk of certain chronic health conditions. Kaiser Permanente, the largest healthcare organization in the U.S., and the American Institute for Cancer Research both recommend a plant-centric diet to combat heart disease, chronic inflammation, diabetes and other preventable health conditions.

The best advice appears to be to consume a ‘super diet’ that is largely plant-based and contains a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and healthful animal products, rather than add one or two individual superfoods to a nutrient poor diet. Although superfoods may pack a nutritional punch, they are not a panacea unto themselves, and should be eaten to further enhance a healthy eating pattern, while also paying attention to calorie limits. When incorporated into a healthy well-balanced diet, nutrient dense foods can promote heart health and weight loss, as well as improve energy and reduce the effects of aging. Some foods commonly recognized as superfoods include:

Berries: While acai and goji berries have gained fame as superfoods, widely available and often less expensive blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries also provide a rich cache of disease-fighting phytochemicals, including anti-inflammatory compounds, such as  anthocyanins, procyanadins, and ellagitannins. Numerous studies suggest that eating berries may lower the risk of developing certain cancers, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and age-related cognitive decline.

Fatty fish: Fish such as salmon, herring, tuna, rainbow trout and mackerel are rich in unsaturated omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to a lowered risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and atherosclerosis. Evidence suggests that omega-3’s help protect against neurodegenerative Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, as well as arthritis, depression and type 2 diabetes.

Quinoa: Quinoa provides high quality, gluten-free protein, including all nine essential amino acids, as well as fiber, B vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium, zinc, manganese, potassium, phosphorus and iron. Quinoa provides antioxidants known as flavonoids, believed to fight aging and many chronic diseases. As well, low-glycemic quinoa may improve metabolic health by supporting healthy blood sugar, insulin and triglyceride levels.

Cruciferous vegetables: Sulfur-rich cruciferous vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, radishes and turnips, are great sources of fiber, as well as synergistic vitamins and cancer-fighting phytochemicals, including indoles, thiocyanates and nitriles.

Whole grains: Whole grains are a great source of soluble and insoluble fiber, as well as B vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Whole grains, such as steel cut oats, bulgur wheat and brown rice, have been shown to support healthy cholesterol levels and protect against heart disease and diabetes.

Leafy greens: Nutritious leafy greens, such as kale, spinach and collards, are low in calories and high in fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that support cardiovascular health and cognitive function. Eating just one half cup of chlorophyll-rich greens daily can help to prevent nutrient deficiencies and serious illness.

Avocados: High in monounsaturated fats and vitamins E and B6, avocados promote skin health, protect tissues from free radical damage and support healthy cholesterol levels, energy production and red blood cell formation.

Professional Supplement Center offers these and other high quality products for nutritional support:

PaleoGreens Powder ...PaleoGreens® Powder by Designs for Health®: This unflavored, unsweetened powdered formula provides a healthy blend of vegetables, fruits and berries. Ingredients are harvested at the peak of potency, then immediately concentrated and dried, to preserve the energetic and nutritional integrity of the natural enzymes and beneficial phytonutrients. Gluten free, Non-GMO, 93% organic ingredients.

Power Greens BerryPower Greens® Berry by NuMedica®: This easy mixing, great tasting, energizing phytonutrient powdered formula provides certified organic whole food plant extracts, natural vitamins, ionic trace minerals, plant enzymes, fiber, antioxidants and probiotics in support of maximum energy metabolism, fat burning, digestion, detoxification, immunity, repair, recovery, revitalization and longevity. Natural flavors. Free of milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, artificial colors, sweeteners and preservatives. Vegetarian formulation. Contains soy.

Green SuperFood...Green SuperFood® Berry by Amazing Grass®: This powerful blend provides nutritious greens, phytonutrient-rich fruits, vegetables, cereal grasses, digestive enzymes, fiber and probiotics. In support of overall wellness, Green SuperFood® Berry contains many organic ingredients, including acai and goji berries. Natural organic flavors. Kosher, Non-GMO vegan formulation.

NewGreens BerryNewGreens™ Berry by Iagen Naturals: Perfect for those on-the-go or those with insufficient daily intake of fruits and vegetables, this superfood formula provides an antioxidant-rich divine berry blend, an energizing herbal blend, a power veggie blend, a gentle fiber blend and a healing enzyme blend in support of daily nutrition. Natural berry flavors. Gluten, soy, sugar, dairy and artificial ingredient free, vegan formulation.

Field of GreensField of Greens® by Vibrant Health®: This purely green food energizing formula provides domestically-sourced, nutrient-rich, raw, freeze dried, certified organic, kosher cereal grasses, leafy greens and botanicals in support of good nutrition and overall wellness. Free of gluten, dairy and soy. Non-GMO, kosher, vegan formulation.

References:
Get Smart About Superfoods Infographic. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/nutrition-basics/get-smart-about-superfoods-infographic
Millennials Are Driving The Worldwide Shift Away From Meat. https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelpellmanrowland/2018/03/23/millennials-move-away-from-meat/#12e30002a4a4
10 superfoods to boost a healthy diet. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/10-superfoods-to-boost-a-healthy-diet-2018082914463
The Health Benefits of Superfoods. https://integrisok.com/resources/on-your-health/2019/march/the-health-benefits-of-superfoods

Your Mom Was Right…

MomRightVegetablesJacquie Eubanks RN BSNThough the most of us know that eating vegetables is healthy, we may not know why a diet rich in vegetable nutrition is so critical to long term health. Overwhelming evidence shows that there are significant benefits to getting five or more daily servings of vegetables. In terms of nutrition, variety is as important as quantity, as different vegetables provide slightly different nutrients and benefits. The USDA places vegetables in five different categories. These include dark green vegetables, orange vegetables, legumes, and starchy vegetables, with the remaining falling into the “other” category. To maximize your intake of nutrients, choose from each of the five subgroups of vegetables regularly. While a minimum of five servings may sound high, it equates to about 3 cups of vegetables daily.

There are so many excellent reasons to maximize nutritional intake with vegetables, yet the average American eats two servings or less of vegetables daily. Low in calories and high in fiber, antioxidants, and phytochemicals, vegetables should be the cornerstone of our daily nutrient intake and constitute the bulk of the diet by volume. Epidemiological studies have closely linked either health or chronic illness to diet. Skimping on vegetables means missing out on easily obtainable health benefits, as research has shown that those with diets that contain abundant amounts of veggies are 20% less likely to develop serious health conditions, and are more likely to enjoy long term healthy cellular aging.

Phytonutrients are plant-derived chemical compounds that have protective properties, which directly contribute to health promotion and disease prevention.  In fact, there are almost as many healthy components in vegetables as there are varieties to choose from. A diet rich in vegetables can support healthy blood pressure, reduce heart disease and stroke risk, prevent some types of cancer, lower the risk of eye and digestive issues, and positively affect blood sugar. Plus, there are other benefits that may surprise you:

  • For healthier and more youthful looking skin, phytonutrients help to prevent unwanted signs of aging and help to keep skin supple. Antioxidants guard against premature aging by preventing cell damage caused by stress, sun exposure, and environmental toxins. The high-water content helps to hydrate the skin and reduce fine lines. Vitamin C aids in collagen formation and beta carotene gives the skin a healthy glow.
  • The fiber content keeps the digestive system on track and reduces belly bloat caused by a typical high sodium diet. Rich in potassium and water, veggies help to eliminate excess sodium, counteracting bloat and restoring normal fluid balance. If you are not used to eating a lot of vegetables, increase consumption gradually to give your digestive system time to acclimate to a higher amount of fiber.
  • Dark leafy greens provide highly bioavailable forms of nutrients such as vitamin D and K, magnesium, calcium and potassium, which work synergistically to keep bones strong and healthy. Two cups of dark leafy greens count as one cup of vegetables, so you can really fill up on these low calorie, good for you greens.
  • If you are looking to reduce stress, consume more vegetables. Magnesium helps to balance cortisol, the stress hormone. Together potassium and magnesium help to keep blood pressure down and relax blood vessels. Stress depletes the body of magnesium and vitamin C, which can be restored with veggies. Omega-3 fats and B vitamins help to fight anxiety and depression. Vitamin K can help to reduce inflammation.
  • Plant sterols and stanols, naturally fatty substances found in plant foods, help to gradually reduce LDL cholesterol by competing with cholesterol for absorption in the small intestine.
  • Research has shown that phytosterols help to control and regulate aspects of the immune system by selectively enhancing the activity of beneficial immune cells, while inhibiting the response of those that cause inflammation. As sterols are bound to plant fiber, which makes absorption difficult, supplementation is the simplest way to get therapeutic amounts of these beneficial compounds.

What about those who don’t enjoy vegetables? If you are struggling to get enough vegetables into your diet, try adding vegetables to foods you already like, or add them to smoothies, salads, sandwiches, soups, stews or pizza toppings. Powdered vegetable formulas provide a quick and easy way to get the full amount of daily veggies. Increasing your intake will enhance your antioxidant capacity and support immune system health. While fruits are also very important to overall health, we likely didn’t need encouragement from Mom to eat our apples and oranges. To maintain good health and support overall healthy aging, strive to get at least two and one half cups of vegetables and two cups, or approximately two pieces, of fruit daily.

To help you on your quest to consume more phytonutrients, Professional Supplement Center offers the following products:

Power Greens...Power Greens Espresso by NuMedica: This great tasting, energizing, easy to mix phytonutrient powdered formula provides certified organic, whole food plant extracts. Power Greens is a high ORAC value blend of natural vitamins, minerals, ionic trace minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and symbiotic microflora to support maximum energy, metabolism, digestion, immunity, repair, recovery, revitalization and recovery. Natural coffee espresso and vanilla flavors. Gluten free, vegetarian formulation. Berry, Chocolate and Mint also available.

Field of GreensON SALE  Field of Greens by Vibrant Health: This 100% certified organic raw food powdered supplement provides a unique blend of green foods that are gently processed and freeze dried to maintain maximum nutritional value. This broad-based, nutrient dense concentrated plant product helps to detoxify, regenerate and energize. Gluten free.

Delicious Greens...Delicious Greens 8000 Berry Flavor by Greens World, Inc.: If you’re looking for a great tasting way to get your fill of vegetables each day, Delicious Greens is made with certified organic vegetables and fruits, enzymes, probiotics, natural fibers, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and more. Natural sweetness with no added sugar, this blend provides overall nutritional and immune supportive benefits. Lactose, filler and preservative free, vegan formulation.

Greens First Kids...Greens First® Kids Berry by Greens First: Packed with a variety of organic superfoods, fruits, vegetables and flax seeds, as well as digestive enzymes and pre- and probiotics, this delicious, energizing formula provides a quick, easy nourishing way to give kids the nutrition they need to start the day. This 100% organic, Non-GMO, gluten, wheat, soy and dairy free, vegan formulation mixes easily with juice or water or can be mixed and frozen to make a healthy, refreshing treat. Organic strawberry/blueberry flavor. Also available in Chocolate and Original flavors.

Green SuperFood...Green Superfood Capsule by Amazing Grass: For those who want all the benefits of green superfoods in an easy to swallow capsule, this product provides a powerful blend of nutritious greens, phytonutrient packed fruits, veggies and cereal grasses, digestive enzymes, and probiotics in support of energy production, detoxification and immune health. Gluten free, Non-GMO vegan formulation.

Daily GreensDaily Greens by Progressive Labs: This daily greens blend provides green superfoods, cruciferous vegetables, fruits, seeds, tea extracts, digestive enzymes, adaptogens, and medicinal mushrooms in support of energy production, immune, digestive and overall health, and a healthy inflammatory response.

References:
Phytochemicals. http://www.phytochemicals.info/
How Many Fruits & Veggies Should You Eat a Day? http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/many-fruits-veggies-should-eat-day-3324.html
Plant sterols and stanols (phytosterols). https://heartuk.org.uk/cholesterol-and-diet/healthy-eating/plant-sterols-and-stanols
Vegetables and Fruits. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/vegetables-and-fruits/
Healthy Vegetable Nutrition. http://www.almanac.com/content/vegetable-nutrition-facts
Here are 10 pictures of Your Daily Recommended Servings of Fruits and Vegetables. http://www.thekitchn.com/10-photos-that-show-you-your-daily-recommended-servings-of-fruits-vegetables-207261