Have you ever seen a weak elephant or sickly rhinoceros? These powerful animals live only on plants. Never underestimate the power of green foods in your diet, including that of greens in beverage form.

You already know that green foods contain an abundance of free-radical-fighting nutrients. But did you know that greens also help restore alkalinity to your body? The pH scale is from 0 to 14. A pH below 7 is acidic. A pH above 7 is alkaline. An acidic body is a magnet for disease, say many physicians and holistic experts. And a body can be made acidic by different kinds of foods, including animal-based foods.

Cancerous tissues are acidic. Healthy tissues are alkaline. Alkaline vegetables include: alfalfa, barley grass, beet greens, broccoli, cabbage, celery, chlorella, cucumber, spirulina and wheat grass. All of these greens can be consumed in beverage form for a quick, concentrated way of absorbing their health benefits, which of course include bringing your body to a more alkaline state.

All plants contain chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is what makes vegetation green, and it is a hugely powerful cleanser of body toxins including heavy metals. In your body are hydrocarbons. These are the results of your exposure to pesticides, food additives and other synthetic agents. Chlorophyll "wipes off" the hydrocarbons that are built up on the walls of your cells. It aids in clearing saturated fat deposits from arteries, and cleanses the liver.

So now you know why greens promote health in a way that animal-based foods simply cannot. But what about energy? If you're a fitness enthusiast or competitive athlete, energy is very important to you. And if you're a fitness professional, you need to help your trainees acquire lasting energy levels all throughout the day. There's a way to do this. Eat and drink green! Yes, plants, despite most being very low in calories, will give your body more energy.

Chlorophyll can increase the body's supply of oxygen. This alone will yield greater energy. Plus, green beverages provide quite a bit of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) activity. ATP is what makes muscles work. When you achieve muscle failure in the gym, the working muscle's ATP supply has been momentarily depleted. The oxygen that greens provide also goes to the brain, which will help keep you alert throughout the day.

Preparing green drinks

If you have a juicer, any vegetable can be converted to beverage form. The best approach is to juice a mixture of greens, such as a cocktail of broccoli, carrot and apple.

Cabbage. If you juice this, drink it within one minute, or its valuable amino acid glutamine will begin to decay. If pure cabbage juice results in gas, then add carrot and celery to it next time.

Celery and cucumber. These by themselves may taste bitter and bland, so mix in some carrots and apples.

Leafy greens. Add some of these to all of your green juices for an extra punch of chlorophyll.

Green beverages from drink mixes

Popular powder mixes for plant drinks usually consist of wheatgrass, barley grass, kamut grass, sprouted alfalfa, spirulina, and watercress. Choose mixes that contain "live flora." If this isn't on the label, see if it has enzymes, since these make the drink easier to digest.

Also, make an effort to buy green drink mixes that have been cold-processed, because heat processing knocks off many valuable phytonutrients (plant nutrients).

Whole foods stores and health food stores have quite a selection these days of various green drink beverages. Green supplements in tablet form are not recommended because, usually, the tablets are huge, and in order to get the equivalent of just one serving of green supplement powder, you'd have to swallow literally a handful of these huge pills.

Healthy Food Tips: Greens for Energy

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