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It’s common knowledge that majority of adults don’t eat enough vegetables or plants, especially when it comes to leafy greens.
Aside from the normal kale, collards and spinach, there is another category of greens called “supergreens”. Wheatgrass and spirulina are two types of supergreens that have incredible health benefits. These superfoods can be found in different forms at most health food stores and can easily be added to your diet.
While both superfoods are worth consuming on a regular basis, they do offer different advantages over one another. If you’ve been wanting to improve your health and add some variety to your diet, you should consider adding wheatgrass, spirulina or both to the mix.
Answer Up Front: Spirulina does come out slightly ahead since it has specific benefits that can’t be found in other foods, due to the fact that it’s an algae. Wheatgrass is loaded with nutrients and chlorophyll but these can be found in different food sources.
What is Wheatgrass?
Wheatgrass is a common superfood that can be found in majority of health food stores and juice bars. It has been a popular health tonic for many years, and for good reason. Wheatgrass is very beneficial to the body and can be enjoyed by anyone.
You can find wheatgrass in numerous forms, such as:
Juicing wheatgrass is typically how people encounter this superfood for the first time. Wheatgrass juice can be drunk in shots for a kick of nutrition or juiced with other superfoods, vegetables or fruits for a
Juicing is also the best way of getting maximum nutrition from this grass, since it is minimally processed and as close to whole as possible. Powdered wheatgrass can be nice to have on hand for smoothies or cooking. Capsules and tablets are best saved for traveling or times when you are unable to have a juice, as they lack total nutrition.
Why Consume Wheatgrass?
The main nutrient in wheatgrass is chlorophyll, which gives this grass it’s vibrant green color. Chlorophyll is important for health for a couple reasons – mainly because it has detoxifying qualities. Regularly consuming foods rich in chlorophyll will help cleanse the liver and blood.
It works similarly to an antioxidant, by helping to remove free radicals from the body. Many people also find that wheatgrass gives them a boost in energy, especially when consumed in the morning.
Aside from chlorophyll, wheatgrass is also a great source of amino acids, digestive enzymes as well as various vitamins and minerals. It provides plenty of vitamins A, C and E, plus selenium, iron, calcium and magnesium. Chlorophyll mimics antioxidants, but wheatgrass also has true antioxidants like flavonoids.
Here are just some of the major advantages of wheatgrass:
- Has an alkalinizing effect on the body
- Reduces inflammation
- Increases nutrition absorption
- Reduces bad cholesterol
- Boosts immune system
- Reduces risk of various cancers
Wheatgrass is a great green supplement for mornings. Consider investing in a juicer so you can make a shot or two of wheatgrass juice everyday. You may be surprised to find that a glass of fresh wheatgrass juice gives you so much energy and clarity that it can replace that cup of coffee you enjoy before getting your
What is Spirulina?
Spirulina is a type of microalgae called Cyanobacterium. This blue-green algae is one of the oldest types of plant/animal life on the planet and is often thought to be the original superfood. It isn’t just nutritionally rich, but actually offers specific nutrients that can’t be found from any other natural food source.
Spirulina is most often found in powdered form, which can easily be added to cooking or smoothie recipes. You can also find spirulina in capsule or tablet form. Most healthfood stores will carry a few types of powdered spirulina, but many fans of this algae prefer ordering online directly from the source.
Why Consume Spirulina?
Saying spirulina is impressive when it comes to its nutritional profile would an understatement. This blue-green algae has more protein than any other food source. By weight, spirulina is anywhere from 55% to 70% protein. It has all 8 essential amino acids and an additional 10 non-essential amino acids present.
It ranks high in beta-carotene, GLA and both linoleic and arachidonic acids. Spirulina has a plethora of vitamins, like A, Bs, C, D, E and K. It not only has omega-3 fatty acids, but also omega-6 and 9. Chlorophyll is present, which explains its green color. Spirulina also has a nutrient called phycocyanin, which is a protein complex found only in blue-green algae.
To put this into perspective, just a mere 3 grams of a high-quality spirulina powder will give you the same inflammation- and free radical-fighting power of 5 servings of vegetables. Considering many people suffer from inflammation in the body, whether from poor diet or underlying health concerns, spirulina should be part of everyone’s daily diet.
Spirulina outshines almost every other food. For example, it has almost 3000% times more beta-carotene than carrots and close to 300% times the antioxidants than blueberries.
Many people find that when they regularly consume spirulina their energy levels increase, and they begin to develop higher stamina and improved mental clarity. It is easy on the digestive system and is useful for those trying to recover good gut bacteria after illness or taking antibiotics.
Here are a few reasons why spirulina should become part of your daily diet:
- Attracts toxins and heavy metals for removal from the body
- Helps the body fight Candida
- Reduces the risk of stroke and heart disease
- Aids in weight loss and weight management
- Helps alleviate allergy symptoms
Spirulina is such a powerful supplement that it’s almost shocking that more people aren’t reaping the benefits. The sweet but salty ocean taste takes some getting used to but can easily be masked by using this powder in smoothies with fruit. Others like to add pinches of spirulina in their cooking or right over a salad. You can even find some snack bar companies that have added this supergreen to chocolate bars.
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Which Should You Choose?
Ideally you should consume both wheatgrass and spirulina for maximum benefit. While both superfoods have some similar advantages, the differences between them make it worthwhile to have a serving of each on a daily basis.
Spirulina does come out slightly ahead since it has specific benefits that can’t be found in other foods, due to the fact that it’s an algae. Wheatgrass is loaded with nutrients and chlorophyll but these can be found in different food sources.
A great way of getting benefits from both is to have wheatgrass juice every morning to start and then use spirulina in a protein shake or green smoothie as a snack later in the day. For days when you don’t have time to make a juice or shake, having concentrated capsules on hand is a great solution. Just be sure these capsules contain the highest quality powdered wheatgrass and/or spirulina you can find.
Keep in mind that both of these foods should be treated as supplements to a healthy diet. While they both seem nutritionally complete, they should be consumed in addition to a plenty of vegetables, whole grains, leans meats or other protein sources.
If you’ve been looking to improve your health, have been suffering from certain ailments or otherwise feel your diet needs help, consult a doctor and look into adding one or both of these supergreens to a meal or smoothie every day.
Looking for a good multi nutrient greens supplement? I’ve reviewed some of the best greens supplements if you are looking to get an easy, mixable drink.
Health enthusiast, runner, protein nut. Owen likes to write about protein, particularly alternatve supplementation and supplement comparisons.