There is an innate wisdom to eating with the seasons, when yin and yang naturally find their balance. In the cold, dark winter months we are drawn to foods that heat us up such as hearty soups and stews, chai tea, and roasted vegetables. Foods that are warm and spicy, and therefore yang in nature help to balance our health when the elements outside are decidedly yin (short days, cold temperatures, slower activities). Likewise, in the hot, active, yang summer months there is an instinctive drive to fill our bodies with fresh fruits and vegetables, and icy drinks. These foods that are cool, crisp, abundant in water and therefore yin in nature serve to promote inner equilibrium and good health. Bitter herbs and vegetables are particularly cooling, making green salads particularly attractive meals on hot days.
When spending long summer days outdoors a blend of green foods added to water can be more deeply cooling to our organs and mind than ice cubes, and they’re more nutritious too! Green blends are particularly helpful during physical activities such as hiking or biking, but they are just as beneficial to keeping us cool during picnics, camping trips, or when sun-bathing.
Freshly juiced or blended vegetables are great, but since juicers are cumbersome to carry around a quality greens blend in a powder form is ideal for bringing cooling nutrition with you! It’s easy to add a few teaspoons into your bottle when you refill your water, and to maintain a steady drip of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients including chlorophyll and a wide range of antioxidants, into your body. Unfortunately many greens products contain a hefty dose of soy lecithin (phosphatidyl choline) as a primary ingredient. While phosphatidyl choline is a useful nutrient, soy is a common food allergen and lecithin is an inexpensive filler ingredient. The final result is a supplement with a less potent punch of plant nutrition than one that uses only dehydrated greens powders, balanced with antioxidant-rich plants and supportive herbs.
Look for a product that uses a blend of greens, such as both barley grass and wheat grass, for a well-rounded nutritional boost where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Each plant has a unique nutritional profile, and blends allow for a greater synergy and elevated nutrient level. Canadian-grown cereal grasses will not only deliver a higher nutrient profile but they support our local economy for added benefit!
Many products use only dehydrated grass juices but fibre is an important nutrient in its own right, and lacking in most Western diets. If you have ever used a juicer, or seen one used, you know how colourful the fibrous pulp “waste” is and how many nutrients are lost by not including the entire plant source. Likewise, whole cereal grasses are preferable to dried wheat grass, oat grass or barley grass juices as they deliver more nutrition overall. The fibre that is naturally a part of the dehydrated grass supports the growth of good bacteria in our microbiome. Organic greens are always preferable to non-organic.
Spirulina and chlorella are both incredibly nutrient dense algae that provide a potent boost of both minerals and vitamins. Again, choose organic sea greens when available. Other vegetables and/or herbs may be present in the combination to boost antioxidant levels, support detoxification, or promote stress management or immune health.
Health Canada recommends 7-10 servings of fruit and vegetables daily with at least one of those coming from green vegetables because of their superior health benefits. Research shows that not only are 20% of Canadians falling short of that, but that optimal health and vitality come from greater greens consumption. Why settle for the minimum requirement when delicious and convenient greens blends are available to boost some of your daily hydration with added nutrition?
Stay cool this summer with the support of a balanced, Canadian-made greens formula!