Growing up a common phrase we heard around the dinner table was “eat your vegetables as you want to grow strong and healthy don’t you”? Honestly I wasn’t sure as I was choking down peas that I couldn’t stand. Things like Zucchini and squash which also were on my not preferred list seemed to endlessly pop up out of the garden and make their way to the dinner table. Unfortunately I didn’t have a dog I could give them too slyly under the table so I had to dip them in anything I could find to hide the taste. For the record peas still do not make it onto my plate to this day. On a side note I found this learn to read book featuring the same topic so that’s a handy illustration.
So what to do about the endless work of trying to get fruits and greens into our children and ourselves and do we really understand why it’s important. After I thought about that a bit it seemed like a blog post was in order. In full disclosure I have a favorite fruits and greens product and I happen to be writing for the Simpy Nutrients Blog that sells it. I always like to be up front about that and there is no pressure to like the same fruits and greens product I do. Hopefully we’ll learn something together as we explore this topic further.
Why Fruits and Greens Matter
A recent analytical study of over 142 research publications found that the largest reductions in health risks were associated with individuals who ate roughly 10 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
From a Harvard study “A diet rich in vegetables and fruits can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some types of cancer, lower risk of eye and digestive problems, and have a positive effect upon blood sugar, which can help keep appetite in check.” Those are all great benefits. If we summed them up a high level list might look like this:
- Prevent and reduce the risk of significant disease
- Support healthy GI tract function and digestion
- Support energy production and vitality
- Supports immune system function
- Help to regulate and control blood sugar levels
- Supports hormonal balance and a healthy lipid profile
- Naturally alkalize the body
They do this and more in a lot of ways but one way is because the fruits and greens we eat contain Micronutrients. Micronutrients are nutrients that living beings require in smaller quantities to ensure we can be healthy and function. These include substances such as minerals, vitamins and polyphenols (all of which may serve antioxidant roles in the body). They are really important.
- Polyphenols are found most abundantly in whole foods such as dried spices, fruits, vegetables, red wine, and cocoa
- Polyphenols play an important role in preventing and in reducing the progression of diabetes, cancer, and neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases
- Polyphenols also play an important role as a prebiotic, increasing the ratio of beneficial bacteria in your gut, which is important for health, weight management, and disease prevention
Antioxidants as a group help protect the cells in your body from free radical damage. If your body does not get adequate protection, free radicals can become rampant, causing your cells to perform poorly. This can lead to tissue degradation and put you at risk of diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease, for example.
Get Your Food Rainbow One Way Or Another
So we’ve recapped why fruits and veggies are important at a high level so as they say in the south….How you gonna get you some? There’s a great article about eating the rainbow (and they don’t mean skittles) over on the Food Revolution Network. That’s method number one is eat your way to fruit and veggie nirvana. If you have trouble consistently eating a diverse enough food supply, you have picky children or you are the picky one (no judgement here), my favorite alternative is Nutridyn’s Fruits and Greens. My executive summary without sounding like a commercial for the product is that it:
- Provides a diverse blend of plant based micro-nutrients which is the goal of what I’m going for
- Has a 4-strain blend of probiotics to promote a healthy gut which saves me from taking a separate probiotic
- It’s generally low calorie
- It mixes well in many liquids including smoothies
- Tastes great which can be a hard thing to find. My favorite flavors are Espresso, Strawberry Kiwi and Berry.
I started off with the starter kit which allowed me to try all ten flavors to see what I liked. If you just want to know what the most popular flavors are they are Berry and Strawberry Kiwi. We do find that a lot of people like Espresso to maybe try and replace a morning cup of coffee and Chocolate is also very popular. Please note there can be some flavor confusion and here’s why.
There are 9 Flavors: Berry, Chocolate, Chocolate Peppermint, Espresso, Grape, Green Tea/Melon, Original Mint, Pink Lemonade & Strawberry Kiwi but that’s not all. If you prefer yours sweetened with Monk Fruit there is a Blackberry Tangerine and Chocolate Flavor. That makes a total of 10 flavors, two of which are sweetened with monk fruit.
So What’s In It?
Let’s read some labels shall we? Below the labels I’ve included some highlights of important fruits and vegetables contained in the Nutridyn Fruits and Greens flavors to highlight some of the goodness.
SuperFruitox Flavors — Berry, Pink Lemonade, Grape, and Strawberry & Kiwi
SuperFruitox Antioxidant Blend
Raspberry Fruit Extract, Black Raspberry Fruit Powder, Blackberry Fruit Powder, Papaya Fruit Powder, Plum Fruit Powder, Strawberry Fruit Powder, Cranberry Fruit Powder, Kiwi Fruit Powder, Watermelon Fruit Powder, Pomegranate Fruit Extract, Quercetin Dihydrate, Grape Seed Extract, Blueberry Leaf Extract, Acerola Berry Powder, Bilberry Fruit Extract, Bromelain, Black Cherry Fruit Extract, Organic Acai Berry Powder, Organic Pomegranate Fruit Powder, Organic Raspberry Fruit Powder, Organic Bilberry Fruit Powder, Organic Blueberry Fruit Powder, Lycium (Goji) Berry Powder, Mangosteen Fruit Powder, Noni Fruit Powder
Digestive Enzyme and Probiotic Blend
Fructooligosaccharides, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Protease, Amylase, Lipase, Cellulase, Lactase, Papain, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium breve Vegetable Antioxidant Blend
Carrot Root Powder, Beet Root Powder, Radish Root Powder, Purple Cabbage Leaf Powder, Japanese Knotweed Root Extract, Green Tea Leaf Extract, Ginger Root Powder, Turmeric Root Extract, Kale Leaf Powder, Kelp Powder, Chlorella Cracked Cell Wall Powder, Alfalfa Herb Powder, Spirulina Powder, Broccoli Head Powder
Oat Bran Powder, Apple Fruit Powder, Aloe Vera Leaf Powder, Prune Fruit Extract
SuperVegetox Blends — Chocolate, Espresso, Chocolate Peppermint, and Mint
SuperVegetox Antioxidant Blend
Organic Spirulina Powder, Organic Carrot Root Powder, Organic Broccoli Leaf Powder, Organic Cauliflower Bulb Powder, Organic Spinach Leaf Powder, Organic Parsley Leaf Powder, Chlorella Cracked Cell Wall Powder, Green Tea Leaf Extract, Japanese Knotweed Root Extract, Turmeric Root Extract, Organic Beet Root Powder, Kelp Powder, Kale Leaf Powder, Alfalfa Herb Powder, Alfalfa Concentrace® (Trace Mineral Complex)
Fruit Antioxidant Blend
Pomegranate Fruit Extract, Grape Fruit Extract, Quercetin Dihydrate, Acerola Cherry Powder, Grape Seed Extract, Blueberry Leaf Extract, Concord Grape Fruit Powder, Bromelain, Lycium (Goji) Berry Powder, Mangosteen Fruit Powder, Noni Fruit Powder, Acai Berry Powder
Digestive Support Blend
Organic Cinnamon Bark Powder, Organic Aloe Vera Leaf Powder, Apple Fruit Powder, Amylase, Lipase, Cellulase, Lactase, Papain, Protease, Licorice Root Powder
Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Bifidobacterium longum, Lactobacillus rhamnosus
Also known as the Lycium berry, this fruit contains more iron than spinach and more vitamin C than oranges (per serving). Goji is also rich in zeaxanthin, a chemical closely related to lutein that supports healthy eye function. Moreover, Goji has been shown to have positive effects on the immune system and inflammation.
This antioxidant-rich fruit is high in vitamin C, vitamin K, polyphenols, and potassium. Research has shown that pomegranate consumption can support healthy blood pressure and cardiovascular function by promoting healthy endothelial function.
This variety of cabbage contains astonishing amounts of micronutrients,with over 100% of the daily value of vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin K per 100 grams. Kale also contains a class of rare compounds called glucosinolates that help detoxify the body by activating important enzymes.
This berry may be small in size, but it packs a punch of anthocyanins that is unmatched. Anthocyanins are a class of antioxidants found in plants that have been shown to support healthy blood lipid levels. They also help with digestion, weight loss, immunity, energy levels, and longevity.
This perennial plant gives curry dishes their distinctive taste and golden color. Turmeric has been used in traditional medicine throughout Asia for thousands of years, thanks to its unique compounds called curcuminoids. Curcuminoids act as antioxidants and support the immune system. Research also suggests that curcumin can help maintain healthy circulation and support joint health.
Chlorella is an exceptionally nutrient-dense algae containing plentiful amounts of vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, and B6. It is also a rich source of vital minerals, such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc. Recent clinical trials suggest it may also support healthy blood pressure, blood lipid levels, enhance the immune system function, and wound healing.
This tall evergreen and flowering tree shrub has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries as a means of supporting gastrointestinal function. Noni contains a large amount of alkaloids, compounds that help lower blood pH and maintain an alkaline state; in turn, alkaloids have a variety of beneficial properties in humans, especially with regards to vascular and immune function.
The raspberry contains a multitude of potent phytochemicals with therapeutic properties in the human body. Such phytochemicals include ellagic acid, catechins, and quercetin, which have been shown to support healthy inflammatory response. Furthermore, raspberries are rich in essential micronutrients, such as vitamin C, folic acid, iron, copper, and magnesium.
Kelp is a large brown seaweed rich in micronutrients such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, and iron. It also a large amount of iodine, and support digestion.
This white, fleshy fruit is renowned for its refreshing taste and bounty of micronutrients, particularly magnesium and manganese (which are commonly lacking in typical Western diets).The polyphenols (called xanthonoids) have been shown to support healthy immune, pancreatic, and cardiovascular function.
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