Who doesn't want to look and feel better? Who doesn't want to get out of bed in the morning with a spring in their step?
That old adage "you are what you eat" comes into play when pondering these questions. And if there's something most of us could do with getting more of, it's green foods.
What are 'Super' Greens?
Super green powders are supplements containing green vegetables, cereal grasses, herbs, fibre, seaweed, algae, digestive enzymes, probiotics and the usual vitamins and minerals found in regular supplements.
Given how densely packed they are with nutrients, the popularity of these concentrated greens powders is no surprise.
Not only are they healthy, but they can make a valuable contribution to your weight loss or weight maintenance plan.
Fibre is Your Weight Loss Friend
What with all the grass and green vegetables, super green powders are extremely high in fibre. If you struggle to find genuinely high-fibre cereals and breads because of the inaccurate or confusing information on the labels, this is the answer.
Tiny scoops of green powder with every one of your five to six small meals will ensure you take in good amounts of fibre throughout the day.
Because your body works hard to break fibre down, your metabolism will be active all day long. This ensures that you burn more fat that you would have if you’d eaten less fibre.
A high intake of fibre also accelerates the progress of food through your intestines, which carries the fats and carbohydrates that your body often stores through to be excreted.
Furthermore, researchers have found that a fibre-rich diet protects against diabetes and metabolic syndrome, both of which cause the body to store abdominal fat, increase bad cholesterol, decrease good cholesterol and decrease the body’s sensitivity to insulin.
Fibre alone is unlikely to do the trick if you top it off with heaps of fat and refined carbohydrates, of course, but it can help when combined with an approximately healthy diet.
Plant Protein Feeds Muscles
Many super green powders are excellent sources of plant protein, which of course plays an essential part in your body’s ability to build and maintain lean muscle tissue.
Muscle tissue is a crucial component of a fast metabolism. Spirulina – which is included in most powders – is exceptionally protein-rich and is one of the plant world’s few examples of a ‘complete’ protein, in that it provides all essential amino acids in their proper ratios.
Since your body cannot build lean muscle tissue without exercise, a green powder is not a magic bullet. Still, exercise in conjunction with a protein-rich diet works far better than exercise without a protein-rich diet – which is one of the reasons why green powders are so useful.
The Fullness Effect of Super Green Powders
Because they increase satiety, super green powders can be taken before a meal to reduce the number of calories you consume.
Granted, pure fruit smoothies are tasty and healthy – and you should certainly leave room for them in your diet – but green powders should be your go-to smoothie of choice.
They make great low-calorie snacks for mid-morning or late afternoon.
Bursting with Enzymes
Most super green powders contain digestive enzymes. These are proteins which help the body break down food into its most basic components, so nutrients can be absorbed and used.
The most important enzymes are protease, amylase, lipase and sucrase, and they break down proteins, starches, fats and sugars; but there are many other digestive enzymes that help us digest the valuable nutrients in food through the intestinal walls before the rest is excreted.
While the body does produce its own enzymes, you can help it along with a green powder.
Digestive enzymes ensure that the proteins you eat are properly absorbed. This is necessary to energise and build up your muscles for exercise and for an overall increase of lean muscle tissue.
Moreover, enzymes promote the efficient absorption of carbohydrates, which means you can eat less carb-rich food to satisfy your energy needs.
Lastly, the more food your body can digest, the less will be trapped in your intestines, and the less you’ll battle with bloating, gas and toxic build-up of putrefying food in your digestive tract.
Encourage Your Healthy Bacteria to Thrive
Other important ingredients found found in many super green powders are probiotics – the good bacteria that exist naturally throughout your digestive tract. Like digestive enzymes, these bacteria help with the digestion of food.
In essence, your intestines are a war zone where good and bad bacteria vie for dominance.
Researchers have discovered that the gut bacteria of an obese person differs from those of a lean person, and that some probiotics may lower fat storage and body weight.
New studies have also credited probiotics with reducing stress, lessening anxiety, reducing blood sugar levels and even improving the thinking and memory of those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
The Research is Promising
The consumption of good bacteria in a green powder supplement may thus alter the balance of good/bad bacteria in your intestines and could, through a mechanism not yet understood, aid with weight loss.
At this stage the research is not unanimous, and further studies are certainly needed, but after implanting the gut bacteria of lean mice into the intestines of obese mice and finding that the latter suddenly started losing weight, researchers are optimistic that, once all the good lean bacteria are identified, they will be able to pioneer a probiotic-based obesity treatment.
A wide variety of foods and nutrients, such as those found in green powders, ensures that you consume a sufficient amount of all the necessary nutrients in your daily diet.
This is not only important to stay healthy, but also to stimulate the energy necessary for a period of vigorous exercise.
Kickstart a Healthier You
In an ideal world, everyone would eat plenty of whole grains and vegetables and become healthy that way. Given the reality of our busy lives, though, it’s not always possible.
Between work and family commitments, sometimes there’s not enough time left over to shop around for a variety of vegetables, much less cook them each day.
Super green powders can easily provide the nutrients lacking in your diet, including those with proven weight loss properties.
Water for Health Ltd began trading in 2007 with the goal of positively affecting the lives of many. We still retain that mission because we believe that proper hydration and nutrition can make a massive difference to people’s health and quality of life. Click here to find out more.
What with all the grass and green vegetables, super green powders are extremely high in fibre.