The Benefits of Wheatgrass and Spirulina
Superfood: it’s the buzzword of the moment, branded across every new product to hit the market and we should apparently all be eating them on the daily, but what exactly makes a food a superfood - what does is take to get this supreme title? And why we you need them in our diet so badly? By definition, a super food is ‘a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being’ - which I guess covers both what it is, and why we should be eating them.
Put into our own words, a super food basically is any food that has a multitude of natural vitamins, mineral and phytochemical’s which will help your body heal, thrive and energise. Beetroot and blueberries both made the cut - as did the less commonly know superfoods such as maca, lucuma, wheatgrass, cacao and spirulina - most commonly found in powdered form. A lot of these also have additional flavour contributions as well as the much-loved health benefits: maca and lucuma add natural sweetness and a ‘caramel’ flavour and cacao… well cacao = chocolate and chocolate = love. But how about the others - spirulina and wheatgrass? Why should we be scooping green powder into our smoothies on the daily? For many reasons, it turns out.
Starting with the obvious question - what on earth is wheatgrass? It’s the young grass of the wheat plant, which can be found throughout Europe and the US. It’s the first young cut when they’re still fresh sprouts - before it develops into traditional wheat (and before the gluten containing elements are formed). In it’s original form, it looks just like a tray of bright green grass. So why should we be eating this on the daily? Good question.
- Wheatgrass is very rich in chlorophyll - about 60-70%, making it a great blood builder. With chlorophyll being the blood of plants, it brings the same properties to the human body -increasing oxygen levels, nutrients and vitamins in the blood.
- It’s rich in vitamin K, vitamin B—complex and amino acids, giving it a high protein content. Ideal if you prefer not to eat traditional high protein foods or just to give your protein consumption a general boost.
- It’s high protein properties also make it great for aiding in muscle building, recovery and increasing energy levels.
- The high levels of chlorophyll give it great alkalising properties, which decreases the likelihood of disease, infection and sickness. Consuming meat, cheese and refined carbs tends to lead to an acidic environment in the body, with wheatgrass being a great option for regaining balance.
- Due to the health properties added to the blood, it also works as a detox, purifying the blood and drawing out the toxins.
Ok, so it turns our wheatgrass has a pretty impressive CV - how about spirulina? To start, it’s is a spiral-shaped micro algae that grows naturally in warm, fresh water lakes. It’s what gives the water it’s greenish hue, and is one of the oldest life forms on earth, dating back billions of years. Sounds appealing right? Ok, we’ll agree - that doesn’t exactly have us running to the blender, but hang in here - the health benefits are pretty outstanding.
- It has between 55%-70% protein - more than beef, chicken and soybeans, making it a great option for increasing protein levels, particularly when choosing not to eat meat and/or eggs.
- As with wheatgrass, due to it’s high protein level, it’s also beneficial for aiding in muscle building, recovery and increasing energy levels.
- It contains 8 essential and 10 non-essential amino acids - the essential amino-acids being a crucial part of ensuring your body runs efficiently and to the best of it’s ability - the more of these the better.
- Being rich in vitamin B-complex and iron makes it a great option for increasing energy levels
- According to Chinese medicine, it’s a ying plant, which means it has cooling properties - ideal for warm summer days, or if you tend to find yourself overheating everywhere from the gym to the tube.
- Spirulina has a full profile of nutrients, which means you could, should you wish to, survive purely on spirulina. Although we don’t necessarily recommend this, it does mean it would be a good supplement to implement in parts of the world where food deficiencies and health problems are a serious issue.
Impressive, right? We’re pretty certain from this that both wheatgrass and spirulina truly deserve their title of a ‘superfood’, and our bodies would no doubt love us for adding them to our diet. We learnt the hard way though that wheatgrass and water is really not an enjoyable experience - we highly recommend trying our wheatgrass bliss balls or spirulina hummus instead. And be sure to pick up any of our products, ranging from breakfast and sweet treats, to lunch and snack pots for another dose of superfoods.
Our friends at Pollen and Grace wrote this blog for us all about those green heroes, Spirulina and Wheatgrass. Look out for some amazing recipes from them on how you can use both in the kitchen starting next week!
www.pollenandgrace.com | @pollenandgrace
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