When it comes to consuming enough vegetables, are you falling short? According to surveys conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only about 27 percent of Americans get more than three servings of vegetables per day . For optimal health and detoxification, our bodies need fresh fruits and vegetables every day. While not meant to replace eating fresh vegetables, “The Greens” is a powerhouse powder supplement we carry at Herbs4You. It is an excellent source of nutrition when you fall short of getting fresh greens.
Let’s take a look at the ingredients and a few benefits of each, though each “green” has benefits far beyond my space to write!
Wheatgrass is an edible grass that supplies a high dose of chlorophyll. You may have spotted that little patch of fresh Wheatgrass in the store, or consumed it as “shots.” While fresh is best, a more convenient option is powder. Wheatgrass establishes an alkaline environment in the body. It is known to rebuild and strengthen blood, helps balance hormones, and assists the body in the detoxification of heavy metals. It is packed with Vitamins C, E, and A, Iron, Selenium, Amino Acids, Magnesium and Calcium. 
Barley grass refers to the soft green shoots that crop up on the barley plant. It is nutrient-rich with Vitamins A, B1, B2, C, E, K, and folate. It contains electrolytes such as Magnesium, Phosphorus, and Potassium, and minerals such as Zinc, Iron, and Calcium. Regular consumption provides optimal production of immune cells in the body. A surprising benefit of Barley grass is that it provides protective action against UV radiation and helps renew cells damaged by radioactivity. 
In folk medicine, Alfalfa is highly esteemed for helping with inflammation, including arthritis and rheumatism. It is most popular as a blood purifier and bitter tonic. The high beta-carotene content of Alfalfa acts to strengthen the epithelial cells of the mucous membranes of the stomach, and this could be why it has reported effects on ulcers. It is very high in Vitamins A, C, Riboflavin, Protein and Niacin. 
Spinach belongs to the same family of plant foods such as Swiss chard, beets and quinoa. Foods in this family have been helpful in protecting the nervous system. Spinach is a good source of Vitamins A, C, Manganese, Zinc and Selenium. This powerhouse boasts a long list of potential health benefits ranging from better eyesight to improved immune function, brain health, cardiovascular health, and a good dietary fiber. 
Stinging Nettle is the common name for this herb. This plant has dark green leaves with bristles that transfer irritating chemicals on contact. When the plant is cut and air dried, its stinging principles degrade substantially, rendering it useful in traditional medicine with diminished chance of allergic reaction. Nettle is rich in Calcium, Chromium, Magnesium, Zinc, Potassium, Protein, Riboflavin, Selenium, and Vitamins A and C (naming a few). Extracts of Nettle have been used in hair tonics for centuries due to its purported ability to stimulate hair growth. 
Throughout history, this plant has been used to treat painful muscles, joints, eczema, arthritis, gout, and anemia. It is primarily used to treat urinary issues as well as allergies and joint pain. Nettle tea is a common natural allergy relief remedy. Stinging Nettle root extract has been shown in studies to slow or stop the spread of prostate cancer cells. The roots, stems and leaves of Stinging Nettle are edible. The leaves can be steamed and cooked much like spinach. Nettle can be used in soups and stews. However, wear thick gloves when harvesting to avoid being “stung.” 
Watercress is an often overlooked leafy green that is a powerful source of nutrition. It’s cousins include kale, Brussel sprouts and cabbage. Watercress is on the list of cancer-fighting foods. It contains a relatively high proportion of Omega-3 in the form of Alpha Linoleic Acid. It is considered an anti-inflammatory food that contains antiviral and antibacterial effects. Watercress is high in Beta-Carotene, Vitamins A, C, Calcium, Folic Acid, Iodine, among others. In the 1800’s, Watercress sandwiches were a staple of the working class diet of the U.K. It is spicier than spinach in taste. 
“The Greens” powder has a mildly sweet subtle grassy flavor. It can be added to smoothies, soups, or just mixed with water!
A Word of Caution:
As with any herb or supplement, it’s important to be cautious when mixing greens with prescription medications to avoid adverse reactions. Pregnancy, blood thinners, blood pressure drugs, diuretics, NSAIDs, sedatives, etc., should all be taken into consideration by checking with your healthcare provider first.
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 Price, A. CHHC. (2018). Dr. Axe. Wheatgrass Benefits: The Superfood that Boosts Immunity & Nutrient Absorption. Retrieved on 8/28/2019 from draxe.com
 Nagdeve, M. (2019). 9 Surprising Benefits of Barley Grass. Retrieved on 8/29/2019 from Organicfacts.net.
 Pedersen, M. (2015) Nutritional Herbology – A Nutritional Guide to Herbs. Warsaw, IN. Whitman Publications.
 Levy, J. CHHC (2018) Dr. Axe. Spinach Nutrition: The Vitamin K Powerhouse that Protects Bone, Eye, Brain & Heart Health. Retrieved on 8/29/2019 from draxe.com
 Axe, J. DC, DM, CNS (2018). 5 Proven, Remarkable Stinging Nettle Benefits. Retrieved on 8/29/2019 from draxe.com
. Axe, J. DC, DM, CNS (2016). Watercress: The Powerhouse Vegetable that Fights Chronic Diseases. Retrieved on 8/29/2019 from draxe.com