Think back to the days of your childhood. You sat at the kitchen table, glaring at your plate. Maybe you had a traditional, American dinner: something like chicken, mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts. But your eyes and mind wandered to the cookie jar sitting on the counter.
Your mom promised you could have one…ONLY if you ate all your food.
So, what was the problem? Well, the tree-like stalks leered straight into your soul. You kicked and pleaded, maybe even ducked them under the potatoes, but to no avail — you had to choke them down eventually.
As kids, we are somehow conditioned into thinking vegetables are bad. That leads to issues down the road. Actually, some kids were so averse to eating veggies that as grown adults, they still don’t get their servings.
If that’s you, don’t worry. Let’s work together to get your daily green on! Here are some tips on how to do that.
Don’t fight it — embrace the salad.
Salads get a bad rap. Often seen as just a dieters nightmarish and mundane go-to lunch, there’s actually a lot going on in these dishes.
You see, they don’t have to look sad, like a random leaf fell into your lap. Instead, color it up. In fact, Diabetes Forecast (a magazine counterpart of the American Diabetes Foundation) suggests to add some fruits to help supply more nutrients that the body needs.
But you don’t have to add just those. Mix it up. Don’t like lettuce? Try kale and bok choy. Don’t be afraid to add some protein, too: chicken, turkey or vegan options like tofu or Beyond Meat. (The latter is lathered in spices that really complement veggies).
Pro Tip: Add some quinoa for some extra crunch and to help fill you up.
For some people, learning about specific benefits can help ignite a burning, healthy fire.
- Veggies can help supply natural sources of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Tired of having to take so many pills for separate vitamins, like A, C and K? These leafy goods can help. You’d be surprised how much more energy you might have and other benefits from simply adding some to your diet.
- Dark varieties are low in calorie and carbs, but high in satiating quality. If you ever felt like you need to eat too much to actually feel full, these will help fill you up, without adding on excess calories and weight. That brings us to the next and (one of the best) benefits.
- They can also help support weight loss. Well, duh! They can help support healthy digestion and metabolism, which can help drop those lbs.
- Veggies can help support the immune system. We tend to think that only fruits can help give us an immunity boost, but nope. In fact, cruciferous vegetables, like kale, broocoli and cabbage, can help regulated intraepithelial luymphocytes (IELS), which can protect the body from bacteria that live in the skin and intestine lining.
Pretty cool, right?
Craving more interesting and specific info? Give this a read!
Look for daily green-products that you love, not ones you’ll hate.
Part of the problem is that we go into eating greens as if it’s a chore, when it’s not. So, go on a food excursion. Find out your favorite tastes.
So, if you don’t like kale, then you should probably skip over it. You could also force yourself to eat it, but just saying, you’re going to hate your life.
Keep the green train going by finding something more up your alley. Need a suggestion? Swap out some of your favorite snacks with veggie-packed equivalents. This could be one way to help break out of a negative thinking cycle (and help you feel less guilty when snacking). Instead of “cutting something out,” you’re merely swapping or trying new things.
Here’s what we mean. Like to snack on chips during lunch? Try veggie chips or veggie-sprinkled, “power popcorn” (recipe here). Like to sip on shakes? Try green drinks, like our Best of Greens. Containing organic cereal grasses (like barley) and sea vegetables (like spirulina), this synergistic blend packs a delicious taste with some healthy perks too. Plus, we have a Lemon flavored version available for those of you who really hate the tastes of vegetables.
As you can see, you have a lot of options. Find your favorites and keep looking.
Start small and sprinkle up your meal.
You don’t have to go full force, replacing every meal with these healthy colors. In fact, you shouldn’t. Going cold turkey might make you hate the whole process.
Instead, sprinkle up your meal. No, we don’t mean adding that sugary cake topping to your dinner. We mean sprinkling in greens where you can.
The United States Department of Agriculture gives great recommendations for how to do this. Add one serving to each meal that you can. Don’t force yourself to go overboard (it’s not necessary). You can eventually work your way up to the recommended two and half cups.
Here’s a really easy way to start tonight. Having protein and rice for dinner? Add some spinach or bok choy. Eating a soup for lunch? Add collard greens. Eating eggs for breakfast? Add some steamed broccoli for some iron.
Pure Planet Best of Greens
We’re pretty obsessed with spirulina. But because of its nature (you know, being from the ocean and all), we can understand why you wouldn’t be as pumped.
What’s more, recipes for these supplements don’t exactly seem self-explanatory. How exactly can algae be incorporated in your kitchen? Well, there are quite a few ways. In fact, we’ll link you a few recipes below. You might already have the essentials needed in your cabinet (that is–if you already have our blends too).
- Encourages detox of heavy metals
- Helps boost energy
- Can support healthy immune system and bodily reaction to inflammation
- Can support weight loss
Why Our Spirulina?
There are a ton of brands out there. So why should you choose ours? Well, as we’re talking about a plant from the sea, you need to ensure the cleanliness of the product. You should also be wary of the sourcing methods. Luckily, we’ve been pure + true since ’92 (since the day we started, baby). With us, you won’t even have to think twice.
What’s more, we have a diverse variety of nature’s sea-based multi-vitamin. Some people like powders–we have two. Some like capsules–so we have that too. Other places might only offer one, but we offer three different varieties:
- Capsules (vegetarian capsules, of course)
- Choco-mint powder, for those who want an extra “yum” factor
Plus, each comes in a variety of sizes. So, whether you’re a tried + true supplement-head needing a hardy amount for daily use or just a casual looky-loo (no judgements here), we have you covered.
Okay, off our soap-box we go. Enough talk, let’s get to the recipes.
4 Easy Recipes
Decadent smoothies are perfect breakfast go-to’s or afternoon pick-me-ups. When you want a sweet treat, try this recipe. We’ve adapted a tasty recipe created by Natural View Market.
What You’ll Need
- Pure Planet Spirulina (Choco-mint powder mix) – 2-3 tsp, according to taste
- Coconut or almond milk – 1 cup
- Banana (cut into pieces) – Add desired amounts of cut pieces
- Cacao nibs – amount desired for garnish or extra taste
- Pure Planet Spirulina (standard) or other mix – 2-3 tsp, according to taste
- Raw Cacao nibs or powder – 2 tbsp
- Peppermint extract or leaves – 1-2 tsp or up to 12 leaves
- Banana (cut into pieces) – Add desired amounts
- Chocolate protein powder if desired – 1 scoop
- Simply throw ingredients in a blender and blend.
When life gives you lemons… mix them with sea algae? That’s not how the saying goes, but we have a feeling you’re going to love this anyway. It’s a drink that will taste just as good as it looks.
Get the details from the Glowing Fridge and check out the stunning photos.
Vegan Ice Cream
Oh yes, we all scream for ice cream. We specialize in superfood blends, not ice cream-creation, so we’ll let the experts take care of this one. We think our Choco-mint mix would be perfect for these two recipes:
“Mermaid” Breakfast bowl
Yes, this blue-green algae can be perfect for breakfast bowls. In fact, it has been dubbed as a “mermaid bowl” due to the pretty colors of the result. But just be mindful, we’re not all Instagram-baddies with aesthetic know-how. If it doesn’t look as appetizing as the carefully-crafted squares on social media, don’t worry.
This recipe has been adapted from Cooking Light.
What You’ll Need
- Pure Planet Spirulina or other mix – 1 tsp
- Coconut or almond milk – 1/4 cup
- Almond yogurt – 1/4 cup
- Small apple (cored and peeled) – Cut in half or a handful of berries
- Set aside about half of the yogurt (about 3 tbsp).
- Blend remaining yogurt with others ingredients until smooth.
- Pour into a bowl and stir in yogurt that was set aside.
Connect with Us
Have you tried any of these recipes? Tag us on Instagram.
Like what you see? Check out more of our selections.
Let’s be honest–fruit and veggies didn’t quite excite all of us in childhood. It didn’t help that this was the era before foodie culture, when beets were often served straight from the can.
While “beet” certainly rhymes with “feet,” we are way too mature to let anything dissuade us from our love of this earth-made red-purple superfood. In fact, here at Pure Planet we LOVE our beet juice pick-me-ups (keep scrolling to see what we mean).
Here are the top reasons why we have made beets a part of our daily routines.
They can help improve your weight loss milestones.
Live Strong reports that this root vegetable can help you lose weight. And why is that? Well, their nutritional trade-off is among the best of any fruit and veggie. They boast:
- Low calorie density and fat, meaning they are lower-calorie but help you feel full
- Dietary fiber (both soluble and insoluble), which helps digestion
- Vitamin-rich properties, containing magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and iron
Their nitrate-availability also play a role, improving your exercise performance. If you don’t have this red beauty in your weight-loss regimen, you should get to it. They can be added in your salads and burgers, or even in your juices and smoothies. Along with spirulina, this is a must-have.
Beets can be beneficial for your gym goals.
That’s right. Ditch the Gatorade, because this veggie can help you work on your fitness. That’s because it contains a high amount of nitrates. These plant chemicals are especially helpful when converted to nitric oxide. Healthline reports that they help improve mitochondria efficiency, which just means creating more energy in your cells.
Plus, human studies have been pretty positive. One study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, found that the nitrates helped improve performance (1). The randomized, double-blind, crossover study followed 7 men as they consumed beetroot juice every day for six days while completing both low and high intensity workouts.
The root improved oxidation, which may be the reason that the men were able to exercise for longer.
Researchers from Saint Louis University found similar results in their study, published in Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (2). Fit men and women participated in treadmill trials after consuming beetroot and a placebo on a separate occasion. While there was no change in heart-rate, the participants enjoyed lower “perceived exertion,” which helped them run.
Researchers in a different study, published in Acute Topics In Sport Nutrition, found that these benefits are more likely when you consume the veggie about 2 to 3 hours before your exercise (3).
But exercise isn’t the only way beets can benefit your health.
They can help improve blood pressure and lower oxidative stress.
In addition to vitamins, beets contain betalain, which is pigment that gives the veggie its color. Plant pigment chemicals aren’t just for aesthetics, they can also boost health benefits.
In this case, betalain can act as as antioxidant, providing an anti-inflammatory aid. While not many human studies have explored this, nutritionists and holistic health practitioners believe that veggie can help reduce oxidative stress, which in turn, would help with inflammation (4).
Oxidative-properties are one of the main reasons that beets are so great in workout regiments. But this property also makes it great for a healthy blood pressure regimen.
In some studies, beets helps improve lower blood pressure. In the Journal of Nutrition, researchers found that 23 men found improvement when eating bread enriched with beetroot. For this reason, the author’s of the study recommended the veggie to be studied as a new treatment for hypertension.
Getting Your Beets
Most nutritionists recommend getting your beet nutrition from whole foods. That’s why our premium blends are based ONLY from whole foods sources.
If you’re looking for a way to include beneficial beets in any of your regimens, we have two specific mixes:
All aboard the tart cherry hype train. We’ve recently talked about how the bright-red fruit can provide better sleep (with science-backed evidence), but there are barrels more to share about this tart little treasure.
Not only can it help you catch those deep z’s, but it can possibly encourage recovery for athletes post-work, and be a loyal companion to muscles, tendons, joints, injuries, aging and uric acid build-up! It sure is quite the list, so we’re going to keep it simple for today’s blog. Read on to learn more about post-workout, muscles and inflammation.
Tart cherry might help with muscle pain associated with running.
Runners, rejoice! When you’re going hard on the treadmill (or making the rest of us jealous as you stroll down suburban streets), this extract can help keep the bounce in your stride.
In one study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, researchers studied how the dark red fruit’s juice could affect the stressed tension long distance runners feel after a session (1). The randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled trial followed 54 runners both before and after a race. One group of participants consumed tart cherry twice a day for 7 days before their race, while they other took a placebo.
So, what did the researchers find? Both groups reported pain after their trek (obviously, we feel it too just reading about it.) However, the group who ingested cherry juice reported a smaller increase in pain than the placebo group.
So, adding a drop of extract in your water or taking a quick shot of it (like you might with apple cider vinegar) before and after your ellipitcal-sesh may not be a bad idea. It could help with soreness in the long-run.
The juice might also help reduce muscle damage associated with strength exercises.
Okay, so maybe you’re not a runner. If you’re more likely to perform strength exercises, tart cherry can still make up an essential part of your recovery routine.
In one study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, researchers investigated the effects of Montmorency cherry juice and how it affects pain and damage felt after intensive unilateral leg exercises. (2)
Researchers focused the trail on ten seasoned athletes and over the span of two separate tests. The participants consumed the extract 7 days before their exercise and two days after the test. Exercise on both legs were accounted for. Finally, researchers took venous blood samples and analyzing for high C-reactive protein count (an inflammatory marker), total antioxidant capacity, creatine activity and more data related to oxidative muscle damage.
Here’s what they found: the tart cherry juice concentrate helped improve these markers, signaling a reduction in damage that can be caused by intensive lifting.
So, sprinkling this cherry into your water, smoothies or healthy snack on leg day could be a total game-changer for minimizing muscle damage.
It may also help encourage inflammation-reduction.
Because of its antioxidants & anthocyanins, tart cherries’ juice may help your body respond to inflammation.
One study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports studied how its benefits concerning oxidative stress and muscle damage related to inflammation in marathon runners (3). For this trial, participants drank either cherry juice or a placebo before five days before their marathon run and and two days after.
What were the results? The cherry group showed signs (reduced C-reactive protein levels and other markers) of less inflammation when compared to the placebo group. Plus, the group showed higher lipid peroxidation. In English — their muscles were recovering better.
Simple Post-workout Smoothie Recipe
Ready to give tart cherry a try? Besides adding it to a glass of water each day, it can easily work in any smoothie, too.
For this recipe, you’ll need:
- Frozen or fresh fruit (about 1 cup). We recommend pineapple or berries for some tropical feels. You can also go with beets for a oxidative boost. Cherry and beets make a surprising tasty pair. That’s why they’re both ingredients in our Organic Power Beets – Rapid Recovery mix.
- Spinach or kale. Pick an essential green and chop it up. Don’t go over half a cup (you don’t want to overpower the taste).
- Your choice of yogurt or smoothie-base. We love a good non-diary, almond yogurt, but you can adjust to your liking. Just keep it under half a cup. Feel free to also use a protein-blend.
- Tart cherry extract/juice. Obviously, this extract is the star of the show. You’ll want to tailor the amount to taste. We would recommend starting with one or two tablespoons first, then go from there.
- Kuehl, K. S., Perrier, E. T., Elliot, D. L., & Chesnutt, J. C. (2010). Efficacy of tart cherry juice in reducing muscle pain during running: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 7, 17. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-7-17
- Bowtell JL, Sumners DP, Dyer A, Fox P, Mileva KN. Montmorency tart cherry juice reduces muscle damage caused by intensive strength exercise. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2011;43:1544-1551.
- Howatson G., McHugh M.P., Hill J.A., Brouner J., Jewell A.P., van Someren K.A., Shave R.E., Howatson S.A. Influence of tart cherry juice on indices of recovery following marathon running. Scand. J. Med. Sci. Sports. 2010;20:843–852. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0838.2009.01005.x.
Ginseng isn’t new — it’s been used for centuries and not just in the holistic health world. In fact, you could probably find it at your local gas station. Although, we wouldn’t recommend buying it from there. Yikes…
Holistic health enthusiasts, including Gwyneth Paltrow (hate her or love her, she’s here to stay), swear by adaptogens like this herb and their ability to help restore and revitalize the body. And what’s an adaptogen? They may sound artificially-manufactured and scary, but they’re not. Simply, adaptogens are herbs that help the body react to stress. Hence, why truck drivers sometimes buy it from gas stations during long drives.
But does the strain matter? Read on for a quick run-down on this popular herb.
The American Strain
The two most popular strains are Asian and American. We tend to love the American strain, commonly known as Panax quinquefolius (which is the type we use for our potent products). No, that’s not a sequence of letters that we just strung together! Interestingly enough, American ginseng is so beloved by others too, that it’s even grown and sold in other parts of the world.
So, why would someone go out of their way to grow American strains in say, Korea? This is because of the genetic make-up of the herb and how that affects its benefits. Generally, it is believed that the American variety supplies the same stress-relieving benefits as its Asian counterparts, without causing the jitters (1).
Ginsenosides and Why They Matter
Okay…what? We understand if these plant chemicals name went over your head. That’s okay — you don’t have to know too much about them. Just know that ginseng has these little babies to thank for most of its touted benefits (2, 3).
Ginsenosides help distinguish the strains origins. While they are thought to be the driving force in helping to lower oxidative stress and support the cardiovascular system, there’s still a lot of we don’t actually know. What we do know is that the American strain actually has more of these chemicals than the Asian strains. Could this be the reason it’s less jittery? Possibly.
These chemicals may also be the reason why the strain differ slightly from each other. For example, the Asian stains have been used to help beat fatigue, poor memory and erectile dysfunction. Meanwhile, the American strain has been thought to help with anxiety, focus, immune system boosts and even blood sugar. Both contain potential antioxidants that can help the body’s response to inflammation. (4)
Both strains can be found pretty easily, either in capsules or powder form. You can also find them commonly added to green tea drinks. You just want to be careful with these. Premixed drinks most likely contain quite a bit of sugar in them, which is counteractive to they reason you’re even reaching for it in the first place!
At Pure Planet, we harness the power of this herb through natural processes and offer two different varieties:
- Extract: Our extract is based in a minimally processed, pure vegetable glycerin base. This allows you to easily add it to your own teas or even in a glass of water.
- Powder: Ginseng Plus, our unique powder formula, is blended with spirulina for a boost of vitality and immunity-support.
Learn more about our ginseng here.