The supergreens diet involves utilizing a “super green drink,” taking “supergreens” supplements or consuming green food all-stars to help balance your body’s pH. This is meant to improve your energy, boost your health and cut your cravings. Always consult a health care professional before trying a new diet plan.
The theory behind a following a supergreens diet is that it will bring balance to your body’s pH. If your pH is too low, your body is in a consistent state of metabolic acidosis. This affects you at the cellular level, depleting your energy and making it hard to keep healthy, according to Brendan Brazier, author of “Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide.” Since acidosis stresses your body, it also leads to a rise in cortisol levels, which can cause cravings that contribute to weight gain. The best pH balance for your body is 7.35. A pH of 1 is the most acidic. A pH of 14 is the most alkaline.
A number of companies sell “supergreens” in supplement form, from drinks to pills to powders. More than 1 lb. of produce may be used to make 1 oz. of powder, giving you a concentrated source of chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, fiber, protein and enzymes, say Robert O. Young and Shelley Redford Young, authors of “The PH Miracle.” The best green powders and drinks are derived from organically-grown produce that is preserved via low-temperature dehydration, the authors advise. If you are using a powder, mix 1 tsp. green powder into about 4 cups water. The authors recommend consuming this mixture three to four times a day. Each supergreen pill and drink on the market comes with its own set of instructions on how frequently to consume it.
You can make your own supergreen drinks if you don’t want to purchase a supplement. Dr. Mehemet Oz, host of the Dr. Oz show, advocates using a blender to combine green foods such as celery, spinach, sprouts, parsley and cucumber with other health-boosting foods such as ginger and lemon. Other advocates of supergreen drinks have you use a juicer to create your drink.
As a general guideline when following a supergreens diet, about 80 percent of the foods you consume should be alkaline-forming and only 20 percent should be acid-forming foods, according to Young and Redford Young. Foods such as leafy green vegetables, bell peppers, lemons, fennel, alfalfa sprouts and cucumber are alkaline-forming in your body. Meanwhile, cheese, white rice, pasta and meat are acid-forming, Brazier says.
Consuming a diet rich in supergreens may help you fight diabetes, say Young and Redford Young in another book they penned, “The PH Miracle for Diabetes.” However, certain supergreens are more effective than others for this purpose. These include alfalfa, barley grass, broccoli, cabbage, celery, kale, parsley, rosemary, sage, spinach, thyme, wheatgrass and wintergreen leaf, the authors say. Their supergreens diabetes diet involves consuming meals made up almost entirely of supergreens soups and shakes.
Adding supergreens to your diet also adds antioxidants that protect your cells from free radical damage, say Estitta Bushkin and Gary Bushkin in the Better Nutrition magazine article, “Anti-Aging with Antioxidants.” Free radicals are thought to play a role in development of heart disease and cancer, according to the National Institutes of Health. Adding supergreens to your diet also increases your chlorophyll intake. Chlorophyll aids your body in detoxifying, says Gillian McKeith, author of “You Are What You Eat.” K. Morita, lead author for a 2001 study published in the journal, “Environmental Health Perspectives,” agrees. His study found that chlorophyll might inhibit your absorption of environmental pollutants and also help your body to excrete such pollutants faster.