The True Power of Greens

Most people are aware that adding greens to their daily diet can provide health benefits, but they probably don’t know exactly why these super foods can make a difference. Leafy greens have been popularized mostly for being rich in vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, vitamin E, B vitamins, iron, magnesium and potassium. Also touted for their antioxidant activity, both green vegetables and green beverages, like green tea and matcha tea, have the ability to protect against damage to our DNA. These green foods tend to exhibit high antioxidant activity which is measured on a ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) scale. However, if you start comparing scores for foods like green tea to wild blueberries you will see that gram for gram the blueberries can outweigh the green tea.
Don’t give up on greens just yet. There are two other benefits of greens that are rarely discussed. First of all, green vegetables contain a special types of indigestible starch, called prebiotic fiber. Prebiotics act as fuel for maintaining healthy bacteria in the intestines. Countless research studies implicate an altered microbiome in conditions such as diabetes, autoimmune disease and even obesity. However, the inherent power in green foods and beverages lies in their effects on how DNA is expressed, a field of study referred to as epigenetics. One of the most widely studied compounds found in green tea called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) can increase the expression of genes that suppress tumor formation, thereby playing the “good guy” role in cancer. It turns out that many of the foods we label as super foods, like Moringa tea, because they exhibit anti-oxidant activity and have a dense nutritional make-up, are actually effecting the expression of DNA and that’s really what makes these foods live up to their name.

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