Three green drinks

Chlorophyll extract is having a moment, and for good reason, there are numerous health benefits that come from ingesting this dark green life-giving liquid. It got us thinking about all of the wonderful flora and algae from land to sea that are packed with this beautiful and nourishing green pigment. So this month we’re focusing on all things green here at Erewhon. Greens overall are one of the most life giving foods on the planet. If you understand the power of them, it will change your life!

We sat down with our in-house Naturopath, Dr. Anjali, to get the low down on everything green.

We know Chlorophyll is the green pigment in plants, but what is straight up Chlorophyll extract?

Dr. Anjali: Technically it is a chlorophyllin, which is a water-soluble form of chlorophyll that contains copper and sodium. Because of the additional minerals it may be better absorbed. I usually recommend getting your greens in whole form as there are many other healthful compounds, but the extract is great for targeted and therapeutic use.

What are the benefits of water sourced greens compared to land grown?

Dr. Anjali: They have a slightly different mineral content. Water sourced algae tend to be fairly rich in iodine, they also potentially have more selenium. Greens grown on land will have minerals you will find from the soil such as iron and magnesium. I may recommend water soured greens for healthy glandular function and energy support and land greens for cellular energy and detoxification.

Can you walk us through some of the different types of greens and what they are good for?

Dr. Anjali: Chlorella is a Green Algae and a complete protein full of omega 3s, extra fiber and antioxidants. I lean towards this one for blood sugar balance, studies have found it can also be helpful for heart health, most likely because of the omegas.

Spirulina is a Blue Green Algae and also a complete protein. It is considered the most nutrient dense food on the planet which is pretty cool. I gravitate to spirulina for immune and liver support.

Grasses like Barley Grass, for example, are delicious and also is a filling grain, high in fiber, supports blood sugar balance, and also contains beta glucans which can support healthy cholesterol levels.

Alfalfa is another grass that is good for blood sugar and healthy cholesterol, and in herbal medicine is used as a natural diuretic.

Dark Leafy Greens such as kale, spinach and chard are rich in iron and vitamin C. I turn to these greens for energy and healthy red blood cell support. They also of course are high in fiber and a good source of vitamin A.

What are some greens that are overlooked that we should incorporate more into our diet?

Dr. Anjali: A few Come to mind. Dandelion for one is a green people often think of as a weed, but it is incredibly mineral rich and can benefit liver and kidney detoxification.

Fresh Nettles is one you don’t hear much about either, probably because harvesting can be a bit tricky, and you have to handle them properly so as not to get stung. Nettles are so rich in minerals, they are loaded with calcium and also good for allergy support. If you can find it fresh, I recommend making it into a pesto, but also drinking nettle tea or tincture is beneficial.

And lastly, we know broccoli is really healthy, but some people don’t tolerate it that well and can experience bloating, which is why I absolutely love Broccoli Sprouts. They are really good for liver detox support, balancing healthy estrogen levels and much better absorbed and easy on the digestion.

What do you get asked about most when it comes to greens and what do you recommend?

Dr. Anjali: Most people want to know what’s the best green? And of course, it depends. I ask a lot of questions, if they have any allergies and sensitivities, if they are seeking more energy, immune support, or simply overall health. Usually, people just want to incorporate more greens in their diet. If that’s the case, I love finding a good greens powder blend that is good on the go, one you can throw in a smoothie, get lots of fiber for the gut, all the antioxidants, and a variety of different greens. Health Force Vitamineral greens is fantastic! It has barley, wheat grass, nettles, spirulina, and so much more, both land and water-based greens plus enzymes.

We often hear greens are good blood builders, what does it actually mean to “build your blood”?

Dr. Anjali: The way I have understood it is something that is rich in iron and supports healthy red blood cell function and maturity. Anything rich in iron and vitamin C, such as greens, contains these blood building nutrients.

Juice, Smoothie, Salad, Pill, liquid? What is the best way to get my greens?

Dr. Anjali: My answer to most things is “it depends”, they do different things. There is no wrong way, whichever is the most enjoyable and most convenient is what you should do, for some people it’s a pill and for others it is a juice. 

Smoothie will be fiber rich and regulate blood sugar, helping you to feel full

  • Juice contains lots of antioxidants and is richer in chlorophyll due the sheer volume of greens used.
  • Salad is great as a meal and is more filling than juice, but you need to dedicate time to really chew it to extract the most nutrients
  • Extracts will be more targeted and potent, but you won’t get other parts of plant that have benefits
  • Powders, like the smoothie have lots of fiber and can be surprisingly concentrated

Is it possible to consume too many greens? Any downsides?

Dr. Anjali: It’s possible to eat too much of anything! But specifically, for greens, someone with hypothyroidism, eating too much kale, and I mean eating a large amount of raw kale, might affect their thyroid function. And Broccoli can do this too, it falls into the Brassica family which means if you eat too much it can dampen your thyroid.

Spinach is rich in Oxalates and in high amounts could potentially prevent calcium from being well absorbed.

Stomach discomfort and symptoms of gas occur in some people after eating greens. In Ayurvedic medicine, usually if you have a digestive issue, it is recommended you eat cooked rather than raw greens

Product Suggestions to get your Greens

  • Erewhon Chlorophyll
  • Erewhon Spirulina
  • Health Force Vitamineral Greens
  • Vibrant Health Green Vibrance
  • Organifi Green Juice Go Pack
  • Green Goddess Smoothie
  • Mighty Greens
  • Raw Kale Salad
  • Dandelion & Quinoa Salad

Make your own green goddess at home!

Barley, spirulina, chlorella, hemp seeds, tocos, maca, mesquite, lucuma, pumpkin seed oil, cinnamon, vanilla stevia, xylitol, raw almond milk

*Disclaimer: This content is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice. Please make an appointment to consult with a licensed doctor, or other healthcare provider, before starting or trying any new herbs, products or supplements.

ABOUT Dr. Anjali Kasunich

Dr. Anjali Kasunich is a California-licensed Naturopathic Doctor, founder of Mantra Natural Medicine, and in-house health practitioner at Erewhon. She is passionate about helping people understand and heal what’s causing their symptoms, and getting them what they need to truly heal. When she’s not treating patients in her private practice, or supporting the wonderful team and customers at Erewhon, Dr. Anjali enjoys spending time with her husband and dog, dancing, and being in her garden. You can learn more about Dr. Anjali and her favorite healthy tips by visiting her website (DrAnjaliND.com), or Instagram (@DrAnjali_ND).

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