Red vs. Green Superfood: Does Color Make a Difference?
A proper diet is essential to staying healthy, but meeting those requirements is becoming increasingly difficult. In the United States alone, obesity and heart disease are major issues that affect a huge portion of our population. The surge in obesity is further compounded by the cost-prohibitive nature of healthy foods caused by our country's deteriorating economy.
As a result, vegetables and whole grains are more expensive than a combo meal from the McDonald's drive-thru. This means more people are eating fried foods and raising cholesterol rather than having a balanced diet. Plenty of Americans regularly eat fast food due to personal preference, but the result is the same. Most people need to make urgent changes to their diet to overcome the damage.
There are lots of healthy foods on the market, but there has been a recent fascination with a special type of food called superfoods. Superfoods are lauded for their health benefits and the efficiency with which they provide them. Several superfoods exist today, with many swearing by specific options and how consuming them can profoundly improve your health.
Unfortunately, there are details about superfoods that can confuse anyone who has never used them. One of the bigger questions pertains to the color-coding system for superfoods, particularly green and red superfoods. Despite the contrasting colors, the differences between these superfood types are easily deciphered.
What Are Green Superfoods?
The first thing to know is that the color-coded superfoods are typically focused on powders made from raw superfoods. The superfoods are refined into powder to make supplementation easier for those who cannot add several new items to their diet. Green superfood powders are actually pretty self-explanatory since they are made from superfoods that are typically green in color.
Green superfoods are easy to come by, and plenty of them are for sale in most markets, though not all of them fit with certain palates. The powders tend to have a grassy taste in their base form, so many manufacturers add natural sugar substitutes to curate the flavor and improve the taste. In fact, most green superfood powders have 25 to 40 different ingredients contributing to the final product.
Some of the most common ingredients in green superfood powders are:
- Leafy Greens: Vegetables like spinach, parsley, and kale.
- Seaweed: Spirulina, dulse, chlorella, and kelp.
- Grasses: Barley, oat grass, wheatgrass, and alfalfa grass.
- Nutritional Extracts: Extracts from grape seeds, ginkgo biloba, and green tea.
- Herbs: Basil, astragalus, milk thistle, and echinacea.
- Antioxidant Fruits: Raspberries, goji berries, acai berries, and blueberries.
There are other categories of ingredients that frequently find themselves in green superfood powders, but these are some of the more common. The purpose of combining these disparate ingredients is to compound their individual benefits into a single supplement. Each food used in these powders is a superfood, and combining multiple superfoods enhances our overall health.
As you might have noticed, most of the ingredients have a natural green color (barring a few exceptions like the berries). While the exact ingredients vary by brand, each green superfood powder is so named because the final product retains a green color. The final product is meant to be mixed with water so you can drink the powder and reap the benefits. Of course, this means the question becomes: What are the benefits of green superfood powders?
What Are the Benefits of Green Superfoods?
Green superfood powders combine the best green superfoods on the market, which are so named because they enhance our health. Most superfood powders are designed to confer these benefits en masse without adding each ingredient to our diets. The benefits of each of these foods range from minor to major, but combining them creates a singular supplement that can impart all their benefits.
Superfoods have been linked to health benefits through research, but it can be difficult to accept that a single jar of powder can provide a health boost on such a scale. Fortunately, research has been conducted to assess the health benefits of green superfood powders that cemented their use as dietary supplements. Some superfood powders are so powerful that they serve as meal replacements, offering complete nutrition and enhanced benefits compared to their supplementary counterparts.
The biggest advantage of green superfood powders is that they can stave off chronic illnesses and diseases that cause long-term complications. Many of the ingredients we listed, and several we did not, are antioxidants (powerful compounds that prevent oxidative damage). Free radicals can damage our DNA and trigger an inflammatory response when they enter our bloodstream. The symptoms are painful and unpleasant but can also lead to a chronic illness if the damage is severe enough.
Antioxidants prevent free radicals from causing this damage, and green superfood powders are packed with them. The antioxidant effects of green superfood powders were confirmed in a study involving 10 healthy subjects. The subjects in the test group were given 10 grams of green superfood powder daily for 4 weeks. When the study concluded, the subjects showed a 30% reduction of oxidatively damaged proteins in their bloodstreams.
In addition to protecting against oxidative damage, green superfood powder can enhance our energy levels to help us face the day. Ordinarily, people opt for a cup of coffee since caffeine can energize the mind and body. However, greens powder is ultimately healthier than coffee thanks to all the vegetables and plant matter. The source of green superfood powder's energy-boosting effect comes from the green tea extract present in certain brands.
Green tea has less caffeine than coffee, but the effects are equally powerful with less strain on the body. Green superfood powder with green tea has been proven to increase alertness and help users remain energized.
There was a 3-month study that involved 63 healthy women (who were divided into test and control groups). The subjects in the test group were given 10 grams of green superfood powder that contained green tea extract. Those subjects reported increased energy levels throughout the day, whereas the control group showed no change. These results are extremely promising and are a testament to why green superfood powders are worth considering. That said, there remains the question of their counterpart.
What Are Red Superfoods
Considering green superfoods are nutritional foods that are typically green, it stands to reason that red superfoods are the same thing but red. Psychologically speaking, we are conditioned to view red as a harmful or dangerous color since it is linked to alerts and anger. While this psychological phenomenon is longstanding, not everything red is bad. Like the green superfoods, several natural (red) foods exist that provide major nutritional benefits to our bodies.
Unlike green superfoods, primarily vegetables, red superfoods are primarily fruits with distinctive red colors (though raspberries remain in the green camp through some twist of irony). Fortunately, red superfoods still have a few unique contenders that make them worthy of distinction from their green counterparts. Like green superfoods, red superfoods are often refined into powders by drying out the ingredients and grinding them down.
The biggest difference is the ingredients, which usually consist of:
- Acai Berries (Shared with green superfoods.)
- Red Beets
These fruits all contain powerful nutrients conferred to the final product and offer certain advantages. Of course, we need to examine the effects of red superfoods to understand just how beneficial they can be.
What Are the Benefits of Red Superfoods?
Certain benefits from green superfoods can be found in red ones, primarily the antioxidant effect offered by many green variants. In fact, most of the benefits found in green superfoods are also present in the red ones, making them fairly even rivals. However, the main benefit of green superfoods has always been their ability to energize the consumer. This is absent in red superfoods because none of the powders use tea or any other caffeinated compound.
This gives green superfoods an advantage over their red counterparts but still begs the question of what makes red superfoods so valuable. The biggest benefit cited for red superfoods is the cardiovascular benefits they supposedly provide. Heart disease is the #1 killer in America (possibly worldwide) and is something we have struggled to resolve through modern medicine. The best resource for fighting heart disease is to maintain a properly balanced diet and exercise regularly.
Fortunately, certain compounds promote a healthier cardiovascular system and expedite recovery. While these compounds are not foolproof and might underperform compared to certain pharmaceuticals, natural substances can help reinforce our overall cardiovascular health to reduce the associated risks. As mentioned, red superfoods share their antioxidant characteristics with their green counterparts.
The kicker is that red superfoods seem to be more powerful than green ones insofar as this is concerned. This is because the antioxidants in beets are supported by healthy folate and nitrate concentrations, promoting improved cell growth and function. This means red superfoods promote our body's ability to heal damaged cells and reduce the risk of developing a chronic disease.
Folates and nitrates can help protect against heart disease, but it is important to remember that they cannot cure such conditions. Your best bet is to use red superfoods preemptively if you are concerned about your heart health in the future. The antioxidant characteristics of red superfoods compound this by preventing free radicals from enflaming the tissue around the heart. Now that we have a grasp on what these superfood types are and what they offer health-wise, one question remains: Which is best?
Green or Red: Which to Choose?
Considering both green and red superfoods provide natural health benefits, deciding between the two might be challenging. On one hand, green superfoods keep us energized, reduce oxidation, and can detox the body in a pinch. Meanwhile, red superfoods allegedly reduce the risk of the leading cause of death in America. At an initial glance, it seems like the obvious choice is the heart-healthy option, but that is a big mistake.
One of the biggest misconceptions in the nutritional world is that comparing 2 compounds means one is better. People seek this answer because it helps them determine which product to purchase and which to skip. The issue is neither superfood color is inherently better than the other. Rather, they both focus on different aspects of our health that are equally critical to our survival.
Therefore, rather than picking one, you can employ both and reap the benefits each offers. Mixing red and green superfood powder is perfectly safe so long as you follow the serving sizes for each product. In fact, a few brands pre-package green and red superfood powders together, so you do not have to mix them yourself. Between the two, your health should improve exponentially, and you do not have to play favorites with either. Of course, the question then becomes where to find the supplements.
Finding the Right Blend
Superfoods are lauded as a key resource for staying healthy in a society where processed and fried foods are the most common. Some people need extra help to stay healthy since a lifetime of consuming unhealthy foods has put them at a disadvantage. Green and red superfoods offer benefits that keep us functioning and help us overcome certain health hurdles. Green superfood powder has the added benefit of enhancing our energy levels thanks to the natural caffeine content in some brands. The challenge is finding a green superfood powder with green tea extract so you can enjoy all the benefits.
We at Teami believe that natural compounds, especially superfoods, are among the best resources for maintaining our health. We have created a catalog of natural products to enhance health and beauty (not to mention a wide range of tea blends). Our product list is constantly growing, but one of our favorite options is our Greens Superfood Powder, which contains all the headliner green superfoods (green tea included).
Our blend will energize your body and revitalize your metabolism while providing all the health benefits of kale, spirulina, and other superfoods. We encourage you to visit our website and try our product firsthand. After all, finding the right blend is a Teami effort.
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