Green foods most commonly include barley grass, spirulina, alfalfa, chlorella, and blue-green algae. Green foods contain a variety of nutrients. Ingestion of these nutrients seeks to prevent and treat illnesses that may be induced by an imbalance of minerals, enzymes, and vitamins in processed diets.
Barley grass contains large amounts of vitamins C, A, B1, B2, B6, E, biotin, folic acid, choline, pantothenic acid, nicotinic acid, iron, chlorophyll, potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, proteins, and enzymes.
Spirulina is a high-potency freshwater, blue-green algae. Spirulina contains an antioxidant called superoxide dismutase (a scavenger of free radicals), B-complex, vitamins, gamma-linolenic acid, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, boron, molybdenum, manganese, phosphorus, sodium, zinc, copper, amino acids, other phytonutrients with antioxidant effects, and mixed carotenoids. In vitro studies show the pigment in spirulina, phycocyanin, can inhibit cancer colony formation and may enhance the formation of neurotransmitters.
Alfalfa is a well-known herb that is rich in many nutrients (protein, vitamins, and minerals) and chlorophyll (which serves as an antioxidant). It is one of the best adjunctive herbal therapies for arthritis and possesses cancer-preventing properties by inactivating chemicals that can cause cancer. Alfalfa is often fed to animals who need to gain weight.
Chlorella is a warm-water algae that has slightly less protein than spirulina, but more chlorophyll and nucleic acid. It has a touch cell wall that is poorly digested, but may work as a toxin binder.
Chlorophyll, contained in super green foods, may assist the body in healing due to an anti-inflammatory effect. The enzymes contained in super green foods grass are not just those that can aid in digestion and absorption of nutrients from the diet, but may also assist in reducing oxidative injury to damaged tissues. Other proposed beneficial effects of super green foods include anti-tumor effects in laboratory rodents, protective effects against toxin-induced kidney failure, enhanced effects on intestinal microflora, lowering of blood sugar, lowering of cholesterol, improved weight loss in obese people, lowering of high blood pressure, and antiviral activity.
In pets, supplementation with super green foods may also improve skin and haircoat conditions.
Green Foods for Pets
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Shawn Messonnier, DVM
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Shawn Messonnier DVM Past Supporting Member, Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians Author, the award-winning The Natural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats, The Natural Vet’s Guide to Preventing and Treating Cancer in Dogs, and Breast Choices for the Best Chances: Your Breasts, Your Life, and How YOU Can Win The Battle!
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