Green foods for immune support

As we pass through the short days of winter, which also brings the cold and flu season to those of us in the northern hemisphere, our thoughts may turn to fortifying ourselves with a good diet, making it as healthy as possible till that day when the arugula sprouts in the garden or the new crop of berries arrives (ok, getting a little poetical here!)

Anyway, here are NYBC suggestions for green foods and green/red foods combinations, which many use to boost the nutritional content of their diet when that boost is most needed:

Organic DAILY 5 (Jarrow). A mix of greens and reds (fruits). Used as directed, it is a 30-day supply, at $23.40/month. It is a blend of high quality, organic (USDA seal) fruits and vegetables, rich in antioxidants such as proanthocyanidins.

Each single (6 g) scoop provides 3,240 mg of a blend of organic fruits and vegetables, including apple, carrot, raspberry, strawberry, cranberry, blueberry, beet powder acerola powder, broccoli and spinach. In addition, each scoop includes 1,720 mg of organic flax seed powder as well as 110 mg of a blend of organic barley grass, wheat grass and oat bran powders.

Green Vibrance is a more complex mix of probiotics, greens, and immune supportive nutrients. The list of ingredients is long, so please follow the link to see how this green food supplement is structured. A month’s supply is $38.50, and a 60-day Green Vibrance is also available for the savings-conscious. (The large size will save you about 20% off the one-month version, if our calculations are correct.)


Chlorella: a green food with benefits

Chlorella, a green food supplement derived from algae, has grown in popularity in recent years due to some striking new research on its potential benefits, especially for people susceptible to insulin resistance/diabetes or hypertension (high blood pressure). It’s also been studied recently for its potential use in eliminating toxins such as mercury from the body, and for its potential as a chemopreventive agent against liver cancer.

See the NYBC entry for more details:


A 2011 lab study found that chlorella had the ability to significantly improve insulin sensitivity, improving the digestion of sugars. The study authors suggest that chlorella may therefore be useful as an additional therapy for people with insulin resistance or pre-diabetes.

In a 2009 report on a study involving 80 patients, researchers found that “Chlorella significantly decreased high-normal blood pressure and borderline hypertension, and is a beneficial dietary supplement for prevention of the development of hypertension.”

Y. J. Chiu, et al. Improvement of Insulin Resistance by Chlorella in Fructose-rich Chow-fed Rats. Phytother Res. 2011 Feb 10. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3379.

M. Shimada et al. Anti-hypertensive effect of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-rich Chlorella on high-normal blood pressure and borderline hypertension in placebo-controlled double blind study. Clin Exp Hypertens. 2009 Jun;31(4):342-54.

See also Journal of Toxicological Sciences 2010; 35(1): 101-105 (for chlorella’s ability to eliminate mercury from the body; and J Zhejiang Univ Sci B. 2009 Jan;10(1):14-21 (for chlorella’s chemopreventive effect against liver cancer cells).

Women’s Blend – multivitamin from Super Nutrition

Some information about Women’s Blend from Super Nutrition, which also produces the Super Blend and Opti-Pack multivitamins.

Here are some excerpts from the Super Nutrition description of this multi:

This is a food-based multivitamin, enriched with organic green foods and herbs.

–Includes a robust B-Complex formula to increase energy throughout the day
–Immune supporting, anti-aging antioxidants
–Bone support – 1,000 mg Calcium, 600 mg Magnesium, 1,000 IU Vitamin D, 3 mg Boron and 1,000 mg Vitamin C
–Heart Healthy – 1,000 mcg Folic Acid, 200 mg Vitamin B6, 200 mcg Vitamin B12 plus 400 IU Vitamin E
–Enriched with 600 mcg Biotin & 100 mg GLA
–Special female herbal blend with Pau d’Arco, Peony, organic Nettles and Rosemary
100 mg 5:1 Vitex extract*
–Special flower petal blend, featuring Red Rosebuds
–200 mg Vitamin B6 to help reduce PMS*
–6 tablets per day

*Here’s some additional information, supplied by Michael Mooney at Super Nutrition in response to our request:

> Vitex for PMS.  A placebo-controlled study showed that 20 mg of Vitex extract reduced PMS 28> percent better than placebo. Women’s Blend has 100 mg of 5:1 extract.

> 200 mg B6 reduced PMS 79 percent of the women in a PC study, 100 – 160 reduced it 68 percent.


Pro Greens and Green Defense: green foods plus select botanicals plus probiotics

NYBC stocks two supplements that provide an array of nutritious green foods and select botanicals (such as gingko biloba) combined with probiotics. ProGreens has the wider spectrum of greens, botanicals and probiotics, while Green Defense is the purchasing co-op’s basic greens + select botanicals + probiotics product. As you’d expect, they vary in price as well, with Green Defense being about half the price of Pro Greens. Both are one-month supplies, so we are talking about a daily expense of a little more than a dollar (for Pro Greens), or about 50 cents per day (for Green Defense).

ProGreens (NutriCology). This contains greens together with a wide spectrum of probiotics to support gastrointestinal health.  Used as directed, this is a 30-day supply.

Each serving (approximately 8.8 grams) contains:
Organic Wheat grass powder 350 mg
Organic Barley grass powder 350 mg
Organic Alfalfa grass powder 350 mg
Organic Oat grass powder 350 mg
Organic Spirulina 1,000 mg
Chlorella (cracked-cell) 350 mg
Dunaliella salina 40 mg
Dulse powder 30 mg
Licorice root powder 100 mg
Eleuthero Root Extract 130 mg
Pfaffia paniculata (Suma root powder) 60 mg
Astragalus root extract 60 mg
Echinacea purpurea leaf and stem extract 60 mg
Ginger root powder 5 mg
Soy Lecithin (99% oil-free) 2,000 mg
Wheat sprout powder (gluten-free) 350 mg
Acerola berry juice powder 200 mg
Beet juice powder 200 mg
Spinach powder (1.5% octacosanol) 150 mg
Royal jelly (5% 10-HDA) 150 mg
Bee pollen 150 mg
Flax Seed powder 500 mg
Apple pectin and fiber 500 mg

Total count non-dairy probiotic cultures: 5.0 billion
Lactobacillus group (L.rhamnosus A, L.rhamnosus B,
L.acidophilus, L.casei, L.bulgaricus) 3.5 billion
Bifidobacterium group (B.longum, B.breve) 1 billion
Streptococcus thermophilus 500 million
Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) 500 mg
Milk Thistle extract (80% silymarin) 60 mg
Ginkgo biloba leaf extract 20 mg
Green tea extract (60% catechins) 20 mg
Grape pip extract (92% proanthocyanidins) 20 mg
Bilberry extract (25% anthocyanidins) 20 mg
Green Defense (Jarrow). This is a mix of greens with a probiotic to support gastrointestinal health as well. Used as directed, it’s a 30-day supply.

Each single (6 g) scoop provides:
Grasses and Algaes – 980 mg
The following are organic:
Barley Grass Juice
Quinoa Grass
Oat Grass Juice
Wheat Grass Juice
[The remainder are not organic]
Vegetables – 1,430 mg
Spinach Juice Powder
Broccoli Juice Powder
Tomato Powder
Beet Powder
Botanicals – 320 mg
Tiger cane extract (Resveratrol source)
Milk Thistle Extract
Citrus Bioflavonoids
Green Tea Extract
Grape Seed Extract
Ginkgo biloba
Ginger Root
Fibers – 2,760 mg
FOS (Fructooligosaccharide)
Rice Bran Powder
Apple Fiber Powder
Probiotic Metabolites – 60 mg
Metabolin (Propionibacterium shermani)

Pro Greens and Green Defense can be added to juice or water. Drink immediately; best taken on an empty stomach. More than one scoop per day may be used if desired. Pregnant or lactating women considering taking more than one serving per day should consult their healthcare practitioner prior to use.

Super Blend from Super Nutrition

Super Blend is a comprehensive multivitamin enriched with organic green foods and herbs. NYBC members choose this multivitamin for its very wide spectrum of high-potency anti-aging nutrients, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phyto-antioxidants–a combination that can simplify supplement-taking by fulfilling multiple needs in one formula.

Some highlights of Super Blend:

100 mg alpha-Lipoic acid; 30 mg CoQ10; 75 mg N-Acetyl Cysteine; 100 mg Quercetin;18 phyto-antioxidants, including Grape Seed & Skin extracts, Lutein, Lycopene, Ginkgo Biloba, Green Tea extract; the prime antioxidants Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Beta-Carotene; a potent B-complex formula; bone health support – 1,000 mg Calcium, 600 mg Magnesium, 1,000 IU Vitamin D and 1,500 mg Vitamin C; for cardio support – 1,000 mcg Folic Acid, 1,000 mcg Vitamin B12, 200 mg Vitamin B6 and 800 IU Vitamin E. Suggested use is 8 tablets per day.

Note: NYBC stocks Super Blend – No Iron. In keeping with its non-profit mission, the NYBC co-op price is the lowest we’ve seen for this formula–$43.