35 Superfood Ingredients that can help support immunity, digestion, energy levels, cleansing, detoxification and alkalising of the body.
Pre-sprouted activated barley and barley grass:
Barley Grass is one of the green grasses. High levels of vitamins and minerals are found in green barley leaves. These include potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, phosphorus, manganese, zinc, beta carotene, B1, B2, B6, C, folic acid and pantothenic acid.
Barley grass 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, close to seven times the vitamin C in oranges, four times the vitamin B1 in whole wheat flour, and 80 micrograms of vitamin B12 per 100 grams of dried barley plant juice. Barley grass is very high in organic sodium.
Barley grass, at the time it is harvested to make juice, is about 45 percent protein. It has almost twice as much protein as an equivalent amount of wheat germ and about five times the minerals which accompany animal protein, in addition the protein in barley grass doesn’t come burdened with fat. Enzymes (barley grass is believed to contain up to 1,000 of them) are the necessary regulators of the body, without them our cells could not function and we would perish.
Barley grass has one of the highest natural levels of enzyme SOD (superoxide dismutase), which is a powerful antioxidant that protects the cells against toxic free radicals, thought to be a primary culprit in aging. Barley grass also contains the green pigment, chlorophyll – a natural detoxifier that rids the intestines of stored toxins.
utilises the latest patented scientific food technology, whereby all the natural active enzymes and nutrients in the barley grain are captured just prior to sprouting (the most nutrient- and enzyme-rich stage). The pre-sprouting stage also provides access to a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and essential fatty acids.
Wheat grass has such a high nutrient-to-calorie ratio that it is considered to be a complete food in itself – or a ‘superfood’. In fact, one pound of fresh wheat grass is equivalent in nutritional value to 23 pounds of fresh garden vegetables! One of the main reasons for the excellent nutritional value of wheat grass is the presence of chlorophyll – a green pigment (and powerful phyto-chemical) formed in plants in the presence of sunlight, by the process of photosynthesis.
Wheat grass contains up to 70% chlorophyll. A typical analysis includes the following:
• vitamins (including vitamin A, all the B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin K) • minerals (including iron, phosphate, boron, copper, selenium, calcium, magnesium, potassium, chromium, manganese, phosphorous, silicon and zinc). Aside from chlorophyll, wheat grass is also a very good source of: • dietary fibre •
complete plant protein:
Wheat grass contains a surprising amount of complete protein, as is the case with many other fresh leafy greens. What’s more, because it is a plant-based protein, it is also nutrient-dense and lean – it doesn’t contain the high levels of saturated fat, cholesterol and calories usually found in animal / dairy sources. • natural enzymes:
Wheat grass contains a high number of beneficial exogenous enzymes (enzymes not made in the human digestive system), namely: oxidase, lipase, protease, amylase, catalase, peroxidase, tranhydrodinase and superoxydismutase (SOD). These enzymes support efficient digestion – a complex process which involves literally hundreds of thousands of specific enzymes.
This grain has a high protein content and has been added to the GreeNourish Complete blend to support the amino acid profile of the pre-sprouted barley and wheatgrass.
Rich in vitamins and minerals such as pro-Vitamin A (B-carotene), B6, C, D, E, K, P. Alfalfa yields 10 times more mineral value than an average grain. It also contains chlorophyll and contains 8 essential enzymes.
Seagreens® Ascophyllum (kelp):
This is a large, common brown alga (Phaeophyceae) in the family Fucaceae, being the only species in the genus Ascophyllum. It is seaweed of the northern Atlantic Ocean and is also known as kelp. It is common on the north-western coast of Europe (from Svalbard to Portugal) including east Greenland and the north-eastern coast of North America. Seagreens® Ascophyllum nodosum is sourced from the Scottish Outer Hebrides and is the highest of Seagreens’® species in terms of iodine levels – typically 700mcg iodine per 1g. Ascophyllum nodosum is rich in both macro-nutrients (e.g. nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulphur) and micro-nutrients (e.g. manganese, copper, iron, zinc etc). It is also host to cytokinins, auxin-like gibberellins, betaines, mannitol, organic acids, polysaccharides, amino acids, antioxidants and proteins, which are all highly beneficial.
Spirulina is a blue-green microalgae. It contains between 55 and 70% protein (more than beef, chicken, and soybeans), 8 essential and 10 non-essential amino acids, as well as gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), beta-carotene, linoleic acid, arachidonic acid, vitamin K, pantothenic acid, magnesium, potassium, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, iron, copper, manganese, nucleic acids RNA and DNA, chlorophyll and phycocyanin (a pigmentprotein complex that is found only in blue-green algae).
An edible, single-cell marine algae (a sea-moss or sea lettuce), chlorella contains chlorophyll, vitamin B12, beta-carotene, polyunsaturated fatty acids and 19 amino acids (including the 8 essential amino acids). It is also a source of calcium, iron, selenium and zinc.
A source of chlorophyll, vitamins (including vitamin C), serotonin, histamine, acetyl-choline, minerals (including iron), calcium and silica.
Açai (ahh-sah-ee) is a berry grown in Central and South America, Brazil and Peru. It is rich in minerals, healthy fats, vitamins and other nutrients, including: vitamin C, vitamin A, B vitamins (niacin, vitamin B6 and riboflavin), vitamin K, dietary fibre, omega fatty acids (omega-6 (linoleic acid) and omega-9 (oleic acid)), protein, copper, iron, zinc, magnesium, manganese, potassium, antioxidants (resveratrol, cyanidin-3-galactoside, ferulic acid, delphinidin and petunidin), polyphenols and flavonoids.
Bilberries are any of several primarily Eurasian species of low-growing shrubs in the genus Vaccinium (family Ericaceae), bearing edible, nearly black berries. The species most often referred to is Vaccinium myrtillus L., but there are several other closely related species. Bilberries are distinct from blueberries, but closely related to them. They contain diverse anthocyanins, including delphinidin and cyanidin glycosides., and are often associated with improvement of night vision.
Lemon peel is packed with beneficial nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, carotenoids and flavonoids, as well as dietary fibre. In fact, lemon peel is more nutrient-rich than the fruit itself, or even the juice. Vitamins A and C, calcium, potassium and fibre in the peel can support the function of the heart, nerves, muscles, digestive system and eyes. Polyphenols and vitamin C in lemon peel are powerful antioxidant compounds, plus the high content of bone-friendly calcium and vitamin C can also help to keep bones and teeth strong (and the flavonoids in lemon peel work synergistically by improving the absorption of vitamin C – the flavonoid naringenin, in particular). Carotenoids convert to vitamin A inside the body, and vitamin A, as we know, helps to keep eyes healthy. Extracts of lemon peel (and other citrus peels) can also help in healing wounds. As one study observed, lemon peel’s strong antimicrobial properties worked against a host of bacteria.
Apples are a rich source of pectin: a naturally-occurring carbohydrate. Pectin is particularly good at helping to lower blood cholesterol levels. The liver pumps excess cholesterol into the bile, which then enters the intestines. If pectin is present in the intestines, it will bind with the cholesterol and take it out of the body.
Pectin also changes into galacturonic acid, which can combine with heavy metals (such as lead and mercury) and certain radio active materials in the gut and take them out of the body. For people who are prone to constipation, pectin can provide a gentle form of fibre, which acts as a bulk laxative and mops up toxins that enter the intestines.
Acerola cherries are known as superfruits, due to their excellent nutritional value and exceptionally high vitamin C content. Vitamin C is essential for the growth and repair of cells and for a strong immune system. Acerola cherries provide a naturally bio-available and powerful source of vitamin C, which is fully utilised by the body – unlike synthetic ascorbic acid, which is sold as vitamin C.
Blueberries contain high levels of anthocyanin antioxidants, including malvidins, delphinidins, pelargonidins, cyanidins and peonidins. They also contain the antioxidant flavonoid, quercetin. And, if you want to maximise the antioxidant benefits from blueberries, go organic! A recent study has directly compared the total antioxidant capacity of organically grown versus non-organically grown highbush blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum L., var. Bluecrop) and found significantly higher concentrations of total phenol antioxidants and total anthocyanin antioxidants in the organic blueberries, as well as significantly higher total antioxidant capacity.
For many years, researchers believed that the ability of cranberries to help prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs) was partly related to the strong acidity of the cranberries. Recent research has shown that it’s not the acidity of the cranberries, but the unusual nature of their proanthocyanidins (PACs) that is related to prevention of UTIs. The special structure of these PACs (involving A-type linkages between their components) acts as a barrier to bacteria that might otherwise latch on to the urinary tract lining. In many studies, the UTI-preventing benefits of cranberries are somewhat modest and limited to women who have recurrent UTIs. But this whole area of investigation has opened the door to an understanding of other possible cranberry benefits. For example, stomach ulcers are often related to overgrowth and over-linking of one particular type of stomach bacteria (Helicobacter pylori) to the stomach lining.
In much the same way as cranberries may help prevent bacterial attachment to the lining of the urinary tract, they may also help prevent attachment of bacteria to the stomach lining. There is already some preliminary evidence that cranberry may help protect us from stomach ulcer in this way. We expect to see future studies confirming this fascinating type of health benefit. Among the fruits and vegetables richest in antioxidants berries such as cranberries rank right up there at the top of the list. They have a vast array of other nutrients too, including digestion-aiding enzymes.
Beetroot is the taproot portion of the beet plant. It is one of several of the cultivated varieties of Beta vulgaris grown for their edible taproots and their leaves (called beet greens). It is a source of dietary fibre, folate (vitamin B9), manganese, potassium, iron and vitamin C. The deep red colour of beetroot results from the presence of a type of betalain pigment (betacyanins). Beetroot is also a source of betaine and inorganic nitrates. The deep red colour of beetroot results from the presence of betalain pigments. There are two categories of betalains, one of which is responsible for these reddish to violet colours – betacyanins. Betanin is an example of betacyanins present in red beetroot. Betaine is a naturally-occurring substance and amino acid, found in plants and particularly in beetroot. Betaine is created by choline, in combination with the amino acid glycine.
Research carried out by Professor Andy Jones and colleagues (University of Exeter, UK) highlighted beetroot juice as a source of nitrate. The Professor stated that “Nitric oxide (NO) is vitally important in human physiology and it modulates many of the processes that are essential to exercise performance. Recent evidence indicates that NO availability can be enhanced by dietary supplementation with inorganic nitrate which is abundant in green leafy vegetables and beetroot.”
Carrots are a good source of thiamin, niacin, folate and vitamin B6 (which act as co-factors to enzymes during substrate metabolism in the body), as well as manganese, and a very good source of dietary fibre, carotenes, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K and potassium. Carotenes are converted into vitamin A in the liver cells. Beta-carotene is the major carotene present in these roots – a powerful antioxidant and a nutrient involved in all of the functions of vitamin A, such as maintaining good eye health, reproduction (sperm production), maintenance of epithelial integrity, growth and development. Carrots are also rich in the poly-acetylene antioxidant, falcarinol.
Tomatoes are recognised for their high antioxidant content, including a rich concentration of lycopene. Researchers have recently found an important connection between lycopene, its antioxidant properties, and bone health. A study was designed in which tomato and other dietary sources of lycopene were removed from the diets of post-menopausal women for a period of 4 weeks, to see what effect lycopene restriction would have on bone health.
At the end of 4 weeks, women in the study started to show increased signs of oxidative stress in their bones and unwanted changes in their bone tissue. The study investigators concluded that removal of lycopene-containing foods (including tomatoes) from the diet was likely to put women at increased risk of osteoporosis. They also argued for the importance of tomatoes and other lycopene-containing foods in the diet. Tomatoes also contain vitamin C, potassium, folate, vitamin K, vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, dietary fibre, vitamin A and manganese.
Kale is a lutein-rich food – a carotenoid nutrient. Among the carotenoids, lutein is perhaps best known for its supportive role in eye health, and in particular, for its ability to protect different parts of the eye from potential damage by light or oxygen. A recent study on African-American women has shown decreased likelihood of glaucoma (an eye problem usually caused by increased pressure within the eye) when dietary intake of kale reaches higher intake levels. In this case, “higher intake levels” were defined as any levels exceeding at least one half-cup serving per week. Another recent study analysed the combination of kale with lentils and found this food combination to be especially complementary in providing us with nutrient-richness. Interestingly, this study focused on two areas of nutrition: mineral nourishment and prebiotic nutrients – nutrients that support the growth of desirable bacteria within our digestive tract. These nutrients often involve short chains of simple sugars called “oligosaccharides.” Glucooligosaccharides, fructooligosaccharides, and xylooligosaccharides are well-studied examples of oligosaccharides.
Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) is a bright green, leafy species of Petroselinum in the family Apiaceae, native to the central Mediterranean region (southern Italy, Greece, Algeria, and Tunisia), naturalised elsewhere in Europe, and widely cultivated as a herb. It contains vitamins A, C, E, bioflavonoids, iron, folic acid, volatile oils, coumarins, flavonoids, chlorophyll, manganese, calcium and potassium.
Did you know that cabbage was one of two vegetable types (the other type was root vegetables) found to be a mainstay for prevention of type 2 diabetes in a recent study of over 57,000 adults in the country of Denmark? In this very large-scale study, adults who closely followed the Healthy Nordik Food Index were found to have the lowest incidence of type 2 diabetes.
Importantly, this key health benefit was linked to six food intake categories: (1) fish, (2) rye bread, (3) oatmeal, (4) apples and pears, (5) root vegetables, and (6) cabbage. Researchers have now identified nearly 20 different flavonoids and 15 different phenols in cabbage, all of which have demonstrated antioxidant activity.
Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) is an edible flowering plant in the family Amaranthaceae native to central and western Asia. It contains vitamins A, B2, B6, B9 C, E and K, lutein, magnesium, manganese, folate, betaine, iron, calcium, potassium, folic acid, copper, protein, phosphorus, zinc, niacin, selenium and Omega 3 oils. More recently, opioid peptides called rubiscolins have also been found in spinach.
Most plant foods contain at least small amounts of phytonutrients called lignans. Lignans are unique fibre-related polyphenols that provide us with antioxidant benefits, fibre-like benefits, and also act as phytoestrogens. Among all commonly eaten foods, researchers now rank flaxseeds as the number 1 source of lignans in the human diet.
Flaxseeds contain about 7 times as many lignans as the closest runner-up food (sesame seeds). They contain about 338 times as many lignans as sunflower seeds, 475 times as many as cashew nuts, and 3,200 times as many lignans as peanuts. When we think about antioxidant-rich foods, the first foods that come to mind are typically vegetables and fruits. Of course, foods in both of these food groups can be outstanding sources of antioxidants! Yet according to recent research, flaxseeds also belong high up on our list of antioxidantrich foods. When flaxseeds are compared with other commonly eaten foods in terms of their total polyphenol content (polyphenols are one very important group of antioxidants), flaxseeds rank 9th among 100 commonly eaten foods. The antioxidant benefits of flaxseeds have long been associated with prevention of cardiovascular diseases and have recently also been tied to decreased insulin resistance.
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. It is a spice which contains dietary fibre, volatile oil, vitamins (such as vitamin C and vitamin B6), minerals (such as potassium, calcium, iron and magnesium) and the yellow pigment, curcumin.
Most edible seedlings of Brassica vegetables, including kale sprouts and kale microgreens, are packed with vitamin C. Kale sprouts are also notable for their high levels of glucosinolates, and more importantly, their metabolites isothiocyanates.
Broccoli sprouts are a source of glucoraphanin, which creates sulforaphane when chewed or swallowed – a compound which accelerates the body’s ability to detoxify from various pollutants. As with kale sprouts, these sprouts are also notable for their high levels of glucosinolates, and more importantly, their metabolites isothiocyanates.
With the Japanese name Reishi or Mannetake (10,000 year mushroom), the Chinese name Ling Zhi (spirit mushroom – mushroom of spritual potency), this mushroom is also referred to as the ‘mushroom of immortality’ of Chinese legend because it has been linked to anti-aging and longevity, as well as detoxification, anti-inflammatory actions, energy boosting, immunity and more. Reishi is rich in active polysaccharides, as well as triterpenoid compounds (primarily ganoderic and lucidenic acids).
Some of the most interesting potential health benefits of cordyceps include its ability to support respiratory health, increase oxygen uptake, boost heart health, detoxify the body, slow the aging process, increase energy and improves the immune system.
Lentinus edodes are widely eaten as a food and used in herbal preparations in the Far East and South America. They have more recently grown in popularity in the West and contain triterpenes, polysaccharides and lentinan.
Cauliflower is a member of the cruciferous vegetable (or Brassicaceae) family- along with broccoli, cabbage, kale, brussel sprouts and some other less common varieties. Recent studies suggest that cruciferous vegetables are an excellent source of natural antioxidants due to their high levels of various phytochemicals, as well as good suppliers of essential vitamins, carotenoids, fibrer, soluble sugars, minerals, and phenolic compounds. In fact, it’s believed that brassica vegetables are the largest source of phenolic compounds in the human diet.
The maitake mushroom is a large mushroom native to North America, Europe and Japan. The Japanese name “maitake” literally means “dancing mushroom.” It is also referred to by the English name “hen of the woods” because of its substantial size and unique shape. Maitake mushrooms have been used as medicine in Japan for centuries – they are traditionally believed to promote longevity. Research on the mushroom’s health benefits began in Japan in the 1980s and is now being pursued in the United States. Maitakes contain a polysaccharide (many sugar molecules joined together to form one large molecule) called beta glucan. Just some of the proclaimed health benefits associated with this mushroom include immune booster, blood sugar management and heart helper.
Proteases are digestive enzymes that break proteins down into amino acids. Amylase is a digestive enzyme essential for our digestion of carbohydrates, as amylase breaks down starches into sugars. Bromelain is a protein-digesting enzyme mixture derived from the stem, fruit, and juice of the pineapple plant. Cellulase is any of several enzymes produced chiefly by fungi, bacteria, and protozoans that catalyze cellulolysis, the decomposition of cellulose and of some related polysaccharides. Lactase is a type of enzyme that breaks down the sugar, lactose, found in dairy products. Papain is a proteolytic enzyme extracted from the raw fruit of the papaya plant. Proteolytic enzymes help break proteins down into smaller protein fragments called peptides and amino acids. Lipase is the enzyme responsible for the breakdown of fats that we consume. Specifically, lipase breaks fats into fatty acids and glycerol (simple sugar alcohol).