The Greatness of Green Drinks

By Laurel Sterling, MA, RD136706785

It’s a New Year! One of the best ways to ramp up your nutrition is by consuming green drinks. Typically, many of these green drinks contain spirulina, chlorella, barley grass, and wheat grass. These greens alone are packed full of nutrients! Spirulina is a microalgae. It contains 60-70% protein, B12, iron, essential amino acids, and chlorophyll. Chlorella is an algae with a high amount of chlorophyll. It contains B vitamins, amino acids, and trace minerals. According to Dr. Anne Wigmore, founder of Hippocrates Health Institute, one pound of wheatgrass is equal in nutritional value to 25 pounds of standard vegetables. Wheatgrass is a good source of protein and is beneficial to the body for its detoxifying properties. It protects lungs and blood from air and water pollution. Wheatgrass contains vitamins B, C, and E, as well as high amounts of chlorophyll, which further assists cleansing the blood and keeps it at high alkaline levels.

There are all sorts of green drinks out there. Some are just the individual greens, and others are mixed with berries and/or electrolytes. Some are organic; some are raw and/or organic; some have added electrolytes. How do we choose??

The benefits of eating raw are that the food is easily and quickly digested in 24-36 hours (vs. 48-100 for cooked foods), and enzymes and nutrients remain intact.

We live in a sea of chemicals, so reduce exposure where you can by choosing organic. Refer to the Environmental Working Group’s list of the dirty dozen and be certain to choose organic for those items; if the green drink you are spotting is not organic and contains a Dirty Dozen item, I’d go with another choice.

When you exercise, you lose electrolytes (particularly sodium and potassium) in your sweat and these must be replaced to keep the balance. Minerals come from greens, and some of these drinks have additional minerals. Green drinks with electrolytes are great for athletes! Also, minerals are so important because our bodies are made of 70% mineral water.

As you can see, there are a wide variety of choices as far as greens drinks go. I prefer the ones with the berries and fruit added. Whatever your preference….choose green!!

The Most Superior Forms of Vitamins E, D, B-12, and B-6

By Jennifer Morganti, NDWhich Drug?

One of the most common questions I have been asked over the years is that regarding the difference between the multivitamins found at the drugstore or big-box store, and the type of multivitamins found at Natur-Tyme. After all, they seem to have the same vitamins listed on the supplement facts panel, right?

On the surface, they do all appear the same. But there are big differences in the actual forms of each nutrient in terms of absorption and the way the body uses them. As a general rule of thumb, the cheaper materials are the least effective and the biggest waste of money. So it really pays to know what forms are the best and to spend a little extra money on the ingredients that work best.

One vitamin that you want to pay close attention to is vitamin E. The most important concern is that the product contains d-alpha tocopherol, the natural form of this fat-soluble vitamin, instead of dl-alpha tocopherol, the synthetic form that should be avoided entirely. If you really want to reap the benefits of vitamin E, you should look for all four forms of tocopherol: alpha, beta, gamma, and delta-tocopherol. There are also four forms of the tocotrienol part of vitamin E (the same four prefixes as the tocopherols), but it is quite rare to find all eight isomers in a multivitamin formula due to the expense. At a minimum, be sure to avoid the synthetic vitamin E, which is common in TV-commercial type multivitamins.

Another important fat-soluble vitamin is D. Cholecalciferol, known as D3, is the one better utilized by the body, as compared to D2. D2 is the form that can be toxic to the liver in high doses, but D3 is far less likely to cause a reaction. D3 is typically derived from lanolin and is very affordable, so most manufacturers have converted to using this form exclusively.

In the water-soluble B vitamin family, there are a few basic things to consider. B12 can be found as hydroxyl-, methyl- and cyano-cobalamin. Cyanocobalamin is the least effective but most common form found in a multivitamin. It is not a form found in nature and isn’t utilized effectively by the body. A high-quality multi will offer the hydroxyl or methyl-cobalamin forms which offer superior activity.

Vitamin B6 is usually found in the basic form of pyridoxine. A superior and more active form is pyridoxal 5′-phosphate, also known as P5P, but you are less likely to find this in a multivitamin.

Up next: what forms of minerals you should look for in a multivitamin!

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