What are superfoods - and do they really exist?
According to Dr. Christine Horner, superfoods are any nutrient-dense foods that contain high levels of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compunds and more.
For instance, a certain nutrient-packed ‘ green food’ has been shown to kill several different types of cancer cells in the laboratory setting - more on this a little later.
Green foods refer to young cereal grasses like barley grass and wheatgrass. During the early grass stage of their growth, wheat and barley are closer to vegetables than grains. However, as the plant grows, their healthful chlorophyll, protein and vitamin content falls sharply while the level of the indigestible fiber cellulose rises.
Did you know that an ounce of these green foods contains many more beneficial phytonutrients than an ounce of the healthiest green vegetables?
Many experimental studies show that green foods have marked beneficial effects on cholesterol, blood pressure (BP), immune response and cancer prevention. These effects are attributed in part to their high concentrations of chlorophyll.
Barley grass is the seedling of the barley plant. It is usually harvested about 200 days after germination, when the shoots are less than a foot tall.
A concentrated source of nearly three dozen vitamins and minerals, barley grass is rich in vitamins A, C, B1, B2, folic acid and B12 as well as calcium, iron, potassium and chlorophyll. Unlike most plants, barley grass also provides all nine essential amino acids, which your body can't produce on its own.
While there have been no clinical trials of barley grass, in a laboratory experiment at George Washington University, leukemia (blood cancer) cells were exposed to dehydrated barley grass extract. The extract killed virtually all of them.
Next, researchers exposed brain cancer cells to the extract - and it eradicated 30-50% of these cells. And in a third trial, the extract inhibited the growth of three types of prostate cancer cells by 90-100%!
If you don’t feel like growing it yourself, barley grass is available commercially as a supplement both in powder and tablet form. Dried barley grass is easier to handle than fresh grasses, which must be juiced.