You might have an idea of what ‘super greens’ are. If you’re picturing broccoli, peas and spinach, however, you’ve missed the mark. Though these are undoubtedly super in their own way (and they are certainly healthy as part of a mixed, nutritious diet plan) – they are not what we mean here.
Rather, we are going a little further than this. Though the likes of Swiss chard are indeed packed full of nutritional goodness, and can work wonders for your energy levels, weight loss, and digestion, we are talking about a more select group. Proper super greens are a select group of greens from the algae and cereal grass families.
These include quite common kitchen staples alongside some more rarefied foodstuffs.
For instance, micro-algae like spirulina and chlorella are included in this select group. However, so too are green leafy veg that you’ll find in any grocery section: kale, parsley and moringa leaves. Then there are some pretty common grains, such as oat grass, sorghum, wild rice, spelt, rye, einkorn, millet, wheatgrass and barley.
What Makes These Super Greens So Good?
This is quite a diverse bunch of crops. However, they are all united by a few common strands.
They will all aid immune function and give you greater energy through the day. They have all been linked with improved body composition (less unwanted fat, more lean muscle).
How do they do this so well?
Firstly, they all contain high levels of enzymes and antioxidants, all of which are incredibly easy to absorb in the body. They are also incredibly nutritionally dense. The micronutrients in particular ensure that you really don’t need much per day to reap the rewards of including super greens. In fact, a single shot of any good super green supplement will see you right (more on this later.)
This is particularly helpful when you’re losing weight and maintaining a calorie deficit. If you are restricting the amount you’re eating, you need to ensure that everything counts. Very little counts for as much as super greens.
Super greens can also positively affect the body’s pH balance. The chlorophyll included in them brings your body to a more neutral position if yours is too acidic. High acidity is related to a few health complications that it’s wise to avoid if you can: cavities, allergies, yeast infections, osteoporosis and kidney infections to name just a few.
High acidity has also been linked with increased weight gain from body fat.
Neutralizing your body’s pH balance can therefore keep you healthy whilst allowing you to maintain an appropriate bodyweight.
Powdered super green supplements are readily available. Certain brands, like Supergreen Tonik, really are revolutionizing what it means to take in adequate levels of health-giving plant life. They are convenient, easy to mix with water, juice, or even your protein shakes, and will give you the boost your body needs to cope with everything life throws at you.
In fact, Supergreen Tonik was born from a desire to overcome chronic fatigue syndrome and allow their founder, Adam Wright, to live a full, active lifestyle. It is a daily super greens supplement that gives you everything we’ll be talking about in this article – it will help you to overcome fatigue and brain fog whilst aiding in long term health and weight management.
The 3 Main Health Benefits That Super Greens Provide
Aside from facilitating improved weight loss, which we’ll get onto shortly, there are a handful of incredibly profound health benefits you can gain from taking super greens every day.
Firstly, they can help bring balance to your endocrine health (your hormones). They do this by aiding gut and digestive health (a benefit in itself). They are incredibly high in fiber, which is often lacking in a calorie deficit. This will help you cleanse and detox your entire digestive system.
This, in turn, will allow your gut to function optimally. Keeping a clear gut, producing and enabling healthy bacteria, is one of the most profound things you can do to ensure long term health. It will maintain healthy production and regulation of over twenty different hormones. It will also help to fight symptoms of bad gut health, such as skin irritation and inflammation, autoimmune concerns, food sensitivities, digestive complaints, and weight fluctuations.
Secondly, super greens should naturally boost your energy levels. Conditions and symptoms such as chronic fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, low mood, mood changes, irritability, and brain fog can all be eased with super greens.
This is because super greens deliver vital nutrients to your body – essential vitamins and minerals it needs to be able to fire on all cylinders. In fact, many super green products are fortified with extra vitamins and minerals to ensure that your body has everything it needs to be its best version.
Some even come blended with natural energy-giving herbs and compounds like Maca Root powder and Eleuthero Root powder.
Finally, super greens can also help to maintain long term health by warding off cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Oxidative stress and free radical damage play large roles in cancer cell formation within the body. It really isn’t overstating the case to say that free radicals lead to cancer. They are unstable oxygen molecules caused in large part by oxidative stress.
You can combat free radical formation and activity through anti-oxidative therapy – by taking antioxidants. Antioxidants inhibit free radicals, interacting with them and stopping them from damaging the body.
Super greens are a rich source of antioxidants. They deliver a large injection into your daily diet, helping to keep you safe from cancer cell formation.
Super greens can also significantly decrease symptoms of high blood pressure, both systolic and diastolic. Combine them with regular cardiovascular activity and your heart and lungs should remain healthy and free from common diseases for a long time.
So, we can see that super green consumption is incredibly healthy. It will benefit your long term wellbeing and lead to short term leaps in digestive health and energy levels. However, what we really want to know is how super greens can help with weight loss (they absolutely can).
We’ve seen some hints so far in this article. We’ve seen that super greens can work well during a calorie deficit. But how exactly can they help more broadly with your weight loss?
How Super Greens Can Help With Your Weight Loss Journey
Super greens really can help you to lose weight. They can do this in a few different ways, plugging a few gaps, tuning up a few systems, to optimize your own weight loss journey.
As with any supplement, they will not lead to weight loss in and of themselves. Super greens can enhance an existing weight loss regime. For this, you will need a calorie deficit. Cutting out around five hundred calories per day should lead to a weekly weight loss of around one pound. You can achieve this through a combination of burning more calories (being more active) and consuming fewer (eating less).
With this in place, super greens can really come into play.
Firstly, not all healthy weight loss is about fat loss (though for most people, most of it is). Some of it comes from less savoury places… we’re talking about the waste we all have trapped in our digestive systems.
In the absence of healthy fiber intake, we can build up anything from 4 to 19 pounds of excess, toxic waste. We can also suffer from heightened levels of fluid retention. The high quality fibre contained in super greens should see to this. As a word of warning, this can be a little explosive in the first couple of weeks. However, at the end of it, you should be a good few pounds lighter for getting rid of that excess waste.
This fiber has more to give than improved digestive health, however. High fiber intake has been linked with a decreased risk of suffering from diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Both of these conditions can cause the body to store extra fat around the abdomen, as well as decreasing the body’s natural insulin sensitivity and response and increasing bad cholesterol levels.
Fiber is also great for satiation. It will keep you feeling fuller for longer, meaning fewer hunger pangs. This will make it a lot easier to maintain that calorie deficit, keeping you from feeling starved even as you eat less than your body naturally demands.
This satiation is aided by the digestive enzymes included in super greens. These are proteins that enable you to properly absorb nutrients from food by breaking them down into their most basic, most available components. This means that your body is actually utilizing the food you’re eating, not just storing it as excess fat. It will also stave off hunger as your body will be releasing less ghrelin, the hunger hormone, and will be processing carbs more effectively.
There are no shortcuts, here. Super greens won’t allow you to shed weight without doing the work. However, as above, as part of an active lifestyle, healthy diet, and calorie deficit, they will go a long way towards making your weight loss journey far more achievable and efficient.
Written by Kate Harrison
Kate is one of our nutrition experts at PathMed and is also one of our in-house writers. There is little that gets past Kate when it comes to nutrition and she has a wealth of experience when it comes to fat loss and supplementation around losing weight. She is thorough in her research and is a real advocate for living a healthy lifestyle.