Amazing grasses

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Narelle Muller reveals it is actually very easy being green, especially with grass supplements.

“Eat your greens.” Who didn’t have this drilled into them as a child? Yet, as we get older and able to make our own choices, many of us begin to forget the validity of this incredibly sage piece of advice.

Figures suggest woefully few of us are hitting the recommended five servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit a day, with recent research showing a mere two percent of Australians are on target. It would be fair to say, as a nation, we are falling far short of the mark.

If we know that eating fruit and vegetables can reduce cardiovascular disease, help prevent cancer, lower bad cholesterol, control blood pressure, prevent obesity and type-2 diabetes, stroke, asthma and a host of other diseases, you’d think we might ask, “Why the heck aren’t we doing it more?”

Habit plays a large part in this equation. In an age where convenience and instant gratification have become the norm, steaming a big bowl of vegetables or even washing, slicing, grating or mixing them to eat raw, just seems like an extra effort. Some will say they’re just too busy, others claim shopping for fresh vegetables is expensive and once again the time factor comes into it. Then there is the potential for waste, especially if you’re shopping for one. Really, the list of excuses is endless.

But, there are some quick solutions to at least part of this conundrum. Greens supplements, particularly those of the highest quality, can go some way to augmenting a deficient diet. And while experts tend to agree there is nothing that can wholly match the benefits of a diet rich in fresh plants, some suggest you would need to regularly consume at least 10 servings of fruit and vegetables daily to reach optimal nutrition.

The fact dietary supplements can boost nutrition is widely accepted, but we should also note not all supplements are created equal. Green supplements, such as wheat and barley grasses, can lift energy and boost antioxidant levels in the body, which in turn makes us more resilient to disease and ageing. While they should never be considered a replacement for actual fresh food, supplements can be convenient for topping up busybodies. It is important to read labels and be sure you are purchasing reputable products which don’t contain unwanted extras. Green Nutritionals’ organic barley and wheat grasses come from the mineral-rich banks of Victoria’s Murray River and have no additive such as fillers and bulking agents. Nor are they juiced a process which eliminates natural plant fibre and may require chemical additives to maintain freshness and facilitate drying. The young grass shoots draw nutrients from the soil including calcium, potassium, iron, copper, manganese and zinc. They also contain B vitamins, protein, beta-carotene, and chlorophyll. These organic nutrients help to alkalise and cleanse the body. It is thought the nutrients in grass supplements, such as barley and wheat grasses, are more readily absorbed by the body than synthetic vitamin supplements. This is because barley and wheat grass are natural food sources.

While a balanced diet with plenty of seasonal produce is paramount, it should also be acknowledged that we lead lives where the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe may not always be free from toxins, which means supplements do have their place in a hectic paced life.

About Narelle Muller
Narelle Muller is a journalist and health writer of more than 20 years, as well as a qualified personal trainer.
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