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Coupon Abbreviations
  • SC = Store Coupon
  • MC = Manufacturer Coupon
  • SS = Smart Source
  • RP = Red Plum
  • PG = Proctor and Gamble
Coupon Terms
  • WYB = When You Buy
  • B1G1 = Buy One Get One Free
  • .75/1 = 75 cents off one item
  • .75/3 = 75 cents off three items
  • EXP = Expiration Date

Going Nuts? I can help you understand coupon terms and abbreviations

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Superfood

Whether you’ve been on the path to a healthier lifestyle for a long time or you’re a newbie to nutrition, healthy eating can be confusing. Where do you start? Kale? Herbal supplements? Bee pollen? Vegan? Green tea? Apple cider vinegar? This week, we’re talking about green superfoods. What are they? Do you need them? Are they just marketing hype?

What Are “Superfoods”?

Before I started researching superfoods, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. There is much information to learn about superfoods, but it is complicated…not sciencey-complicated, more like marketing-scam-complicated. The term “superfood” is getting thrown around a lot these days, sometimes attached to products just to help make a sale. Unlike the USDA Organic certification, there is no regulated standard for “superfoods”. A manufacturer could slap that word on their box of processed junk food to make it seem more healthful to consumers. How can you discern the health from the hype?

A “superfood” is defined as any food that is nutrient dense and (usually) calorie sparse, meaning there is a lot of concentrated nutrition in a little space. A true superfood will live up to its name when consumed in its most natural, unprocessed state. Superfoods can come from many different sources, but we will break them down into four main categories: greens, fruits/nuts, herbs, and animal.

Green Superfoods

Green superfoods come from green, leafy plants or aquatic plants and algae. Not only do they contain a ton of nutrients, but the nutrients are easily digestible and accessible by your body. Greens are also high in chlorophyll, the molecule that gives plants their green color. In green superfoods, you will also find an abundance of vitamins, minerals, phyto-chemicals, healthy bacteria, and fat-burning compounds. Lots of goodness in a small package!

Unique to plants (and algae) is chlorophyll, and that’s where we’ll find some of the most interesting health benefits. Chlorophyll’s molecular structure is nearly identical to the structure of hemoglobin, the protein on your blood cells that carries oxygen. Eating foods high in chlorophyll has been shown to help increase oxygenation and detoxify your blood. More oxygen, less toxins = healthier cells, better immunity, more disease fighting.

Adding more greens to your diet is always beneficial, but there are some greens that pack a little more concentrated nutrition than others. Working these green superfoods into your day will introduce a wider variety of vitamins, minerals, and health benefits. Here are just a few of the green superfoods I can find in my local grocery store. There are dozens more. What else would you add to this list?

Protein (g)

Fiber (g)

Vitamin C (%DV)

Other (% indicates DV)

KALE, 1 cup

2.2

1.3

134

206% Vitamin A, 121 mg Omega-3, cruciferous vegetable

PARSLEY, 1 cup

1.8

2.0

133

3.7 mg (21%) of Iron

WATERCRESS, 1 cup

0.8

0.2

24

Contains PEITC which suppresses tumor development and prevents DNA damage

COLLARD GREENS, 1 cup

0.9

1.3

21

contains isothiocyanate (ITC), a phytochemical that shows anti-tumor activity including tumor cell apoptosis (death)

WHEATGRASS, 4 grams

1

1

12

Loaded with vitamins and minerals! 44% Iron, 1600% Vitamin E, 1950% Vitamin B6, 413% Zinc, 7000% Manganese, and extremely high in chlorophyll

DANDELION GREENS, 1 cup

1.5

1.9

32

112% Vitamin A, 24 mg Omega-3’s, good source of iron, calcium, vitamin B6, and other minerals

SPIRULINA, 1 tablespoon, dried

4

0.3

1

57 mg Omega-3’s, anti-inflammatory gamma linolenic fatty acid, extremely high in chlorophyll, rich in Iron, superb antioxidant with an ORAC score of 24,000 (blueberries score a 6,000), binds to heavy metals and radioactive isotopes to remove these contaminants from the body, 26x more calcium than milk!

Practical Uses for Super Greens

Supergreens are easy to chop up and toss into your favorite salad blend, but they can be difficult to work into non-salad meals. Not to mention, some of the supergreens are super-difficult to enjoy at all. Not many people enjoy munching on a handful of wheatgrass or dandelion leaves.

Personally, I think this is why juicers were invented. Adding a handful of these supergreens into a fresh juice is an easy and palatable way to enjoy some of the less-than-lovely greens. If your green-enhanced juice comes out a little bitter, try adding a little citrus. The juice of a lemon or lime will hide bitter greens beautifully! Tip: not all juicers can handle wheatgrass, but you can “sandwich” some chopped wheatgrass between two slices of apple for a decent amount of extraction.

Not into juicing? How about a soup? These greens will hold up well to cooking and can be added to a soup recipe! I’ve had the best luck with kale, collards, and watercress, as their flavors are mild and won’t steal the show. Tip: if you don’t want to chop your greens by hand, use a blender! Add a couple cups of your soup’s broth with the greens and blend until the greens are chopped up (or completely pulverized).

I’ve also snuck supergreens into my pasta salad recipe, omelets, frittatas, stir fry, and pasta dishes. I mostly use kale, but any of the milder greens will work well too. Just remove the stems and cut into ½” square pieces (or smaller). Do you have any tips to share? Comment below with other ideas!

Green Superfood Powders

You’ve probably seen those green superfood powders and mixes at the store. Are they a good option? If you choose a good product, yes! Extra vitamins and minerals are always a great addition to your diet, but some products use non-organic food sources, add fillers, flavorings, preservatives, and other additives. A good green superfood powder is a splendid addition to your pantry. They are portable, shelf-stable, perfect for travel, and kid-friendly when mixed with a juice, lemonade, or added to a smoothie. Some brands offer sample sizes so you can try a little before committing to a large tub. Here are three organic green superfood powders I found. Please share any others in the comments!

green 2

Healthforce Naturals Vitamineral Green

Includes a wide assortment of green superfoods from the land, waters, and ocean for a wide array of nutrients. Also includes some herbs, probiotics, and enzymes. Absolutely no additives or fillers. 100% organic/Tru-ganic, raw.

green 1

Amazing Grass Green Superfood

Includes an assortment of greens, antioxidants, extra fiber, and probiotics. About 70% organic ingredients. There are also some flavored varieties, which may be more palatable, but do add natural flavors. FYI- contains silica.

green 0

Vibrant Health Field of Greens

This is a pure and simple organic, raw green powder. Made only from superfood grasses and green vegetables, it is also USDA certified organic. No additives, no fillers, just greens!

Using Green Powders

If you’ve never tried one of these green powders before, let me just say…they are not exactly a delicious treat. If you try to mix a tablespoon of this with some water, you will probably hate it. However, it’s just SO good for you; don’t give up on it. There are ways to truly enjoy green powders and make them a pleasing part of your day.

My favorite method: mix a concentrated solution of green powder and water, about 3 tablespoons of powder in one cup of cool water. I keep this concentrate in my fridge and add a spoonful to my water + a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime. It also hides gracefully in a glass of lemonade or iced tea!

Do you have any fun ways to enjoy green superfood powders?

Perspective

Sadly, the term “superfood” is mostly used to help sell products, so keep your guard up if you see it on a label. Unquestionably, there are some über nutritious greens and vegetables that can pack a lot of power in a small serving. Adding these foods in their WHOLE state, will help nourish your body and can have some amazing health benefits as part of a healthy diet. They are not a quick fix to improve a poor diet, but it never hurts to add earth-grown goodness to your day, no matter how little it may be. If you’re having a tough time eating a variety of greens, a quality greens powder can nourish your body and provide a ton of variety in a single purchase.

Next week…we’re going to talk about the rest of the superfoods! Acai berries, maca, fruits, nuts, and bee pollen. What benefits do they offer and should they be part of your diet?

This is part of an Organic Living Journey Guest Post Series now written by Mariana who has a mother’s heart and scientist’s brain

    • Melissa

      I’ve used the Amazing Grass Chocolate Drink Powder for years….the chocolate flavor keeps it from tasting too “green”; much more palatable. Amazon’s Subscribe & Save makes the price pretty reasonable, too, because 1 container lasts me a while.

    • Sasha

      I use Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic Greens Complex. I mix it with yogurt and fruit to make a smoothie. Prepared this way the “greens” taste is faint. I am a consultant for the company as I love their products, but I wouldn’t recommend it if it tasted like dirt :)

      https://us.nyrorganic.com/shop/corp/product/5404/organic-greens-complex-3-53oz

    • Dana S.

      i use organic spinach (from Traider Joe’s for $1.99 for 6 oz bag)- salads with sunflowers seeds and oil n vinegar dressings (from ALDI): just 3 ingredients, but amazing taste. Also, i make smoothies with greens! I use 1 cup of spinach OR 1 teaspoon of Chlorella powder (by putting 1 teaspoon in a smoothie maker) with .5 cup frzn strawberries, .5 cup frzn bananas and .5 cup raw milk or raw yogurt. Add 2 tsp honey if in the mood :) you can NOT taste the chlorella powder w that recipe at all! neither can u the spinach!