What are Green Foods?
Green foods were our ancestors’ original vitamin and mineral supplements. They are the most vital alive foods available for sustaining and protecting life. There are thousands of unidentified and non isolated health molecules in green foods that our bodies require. One phytochemical is called the ‘grass juice factor’. It is a water soluble growth molecule that is markedly different from all other vitamins and without it, deficiency symptoms like poor growth, lethargy, dull hair and coat are easily induced in experimental studies. Its availability is limited to whole grasses.
Dehydrated alfalfa contains additional reproductive factors that scientists have not yet been able to isolate and synthesize. Experimental studies show these reproductive factors improve poultry egg production and hatchability of eggs.
Molecules in spirulina, when added to animal feed helps farm animals naturally resist infections. The effect of spirulina alleviates kidney disease from heavy metal poisoning. It also helps to overcome zinc deficiency.
Chlorella contains not only chlorophyll but probiotic compounds that support good health and help to overcome symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
Where can green foods be obtained?
In the summer you can supplement your bird’s diet with green food gathered from your garden or surrounding area. Several list members are already adding these foods to their bird’s diet on a seasonal basis.
What can you offer your birds on the off season?
You could sprout seeds. Many people already do this, but seeds you sprout do not become green food until the leaf begins to form chlorophyll. sprouts are great food but they are seldom green when served. In fact, the nutrition of sprouts would be lost if they were allowed to grow to that point. Sprouts and green foods are actually two different foods.
Another way to supply green foods is to serve them fresh from the produce section of the grocery store. Some examples of green food are spinach, parsley, broccoli, turnip greens, mustard greens, endive, kale, and collards.
There is also a new product on the market that appeals to me because I already use spirulina and wheatgrass. This product is called Barlean’s Greens. It contains the concentrated powdered juice of cereal grasses: kamut, barley, oat and alfalfa. It also contains blue-green algae, icelandic kelp, Nova Scotia dulse, chlorella, spinach, parsley, ground flaxseed, rice bran, and herbal antioxidents: rosemary, green tea, mixed carotenoids, acerola juice, plant enzymes, and the non-green herbs astragalus and schizandra.
Anyone interested in locating a health food store that carries it can visit :http://www.freedompressonline.com
Information derived from an article in ‘the Doctor’s Prescription for Healthy Living’Vol 3 No 4
According to numerous articles I’ve been reading over the past year, synthetic vitamins do not offer the nutrition we have been led to believe they do.
First, synthetic vitamins are not absorbed as well as vitamins found in real food. Maybe it isn’t true that synthetic vitamins are clogging up municipal sewer systems, but reliance on the synthetic vitamin industry is making us lose focus on what nutrition is all about.
Second, synthetic vitamins are not accompanied by companion nutrients found in real food. This fact alone means that many nutrients are being excluded from diets dependent on manufactured food.
Third, there have been studies showing that the synthetic form of some vitamins does not perform as effectively as the real thing. Case in point was the beta carotene/smokers/lung cancer study that I mentioned in a previous post a few days ago….at least I think it was on this list.
This isn’t to suggest that supplementation of some kind isn’t necessary. We are all aware that produce sitting in the markets loses nutrients as it ages. There is also the fact that nutrient depleted soils grows fruits and vegetables that aren’t as nutritious as they were years ago. However, there are natural alternatives to synthetic vitamin/mineral supplements. We find these in nutrient-dense green food supplements that inculde (but are not limited to) wheat grass, barley grass, spirulina, chlorella, kelp, alfalfa, nettle, purslane, etc.
The nutrients in these supplements are not synthetic, are better absorbed by the body, are accompanied by companion nutrients, and they function the exact way they are supposed to function. This is the form of nutrition that life on this earth evolved to assimilate. gloria
Wheat Grass: This cereal grass is specially grown on the fertile plains of Nebraska for human food. It is the tender young shoots of winter wheat preserved by freeze drying, making excellent supplements for baby parrots. Similar in nutrition to sprouted grains, it contains higher levels of phytonutrients like chlorophyll and beta carotene and more minerals. Cereal grasses contribute to a healthier GI tract because of the “honeycomb” structure of the fiber. This structure provides many attachment sites for the good bacteria, resulting in increased populations. This, in turn, improves the ability of the good bacteria to push out the bad germs, resulting in a healthier bird.
I feed fresh wheatgrass and I think the chlorophyll does benefit them (it is a natural antibacterial). There have been quite a few studies on its efficacy (FRESH wheatgrass not dried, powdered wheatgrass) in other animals and poultry, but unfortunately none on parrots. It has been shown to improve fertility in bulls etc in some studies (oh I know someone is going to want me to dig these references up! It was a Univ. in Texas as I recall).
The one great this is that it doesn’t have a spoilage risk like other fruits and veggies. It dries up rather than rots. The birds juice it with their beaks. It is loaded with vitamins, minerals, amino acids, etc. Susanne Russo
You can grow it yourself very inexpensively. The benefits of green plants (live foods) to living creatures is something that cannot be disputed. In fact, the antimutagenic effects of chlorophyll-containing plants has long been a focus of biomedical research. The National Institute of Cancer advises an increase fresh fruits and vegetables in the American diet because of the result of these studies, many of them double-blind placebo trials in animal models. Anyone who needs further confirmation need only search the world medical literature. It is there. Having spent five years as an editor on a leading journal of experimental medicine, I often saw the early stages of new discoveries, discoveries that would not hit the mainstream medical literature (or the 2-minute medical news segment on the television news) for many years if not decades.
Wheatgrass has been a staple of American agriculture for decades. The USDA and affiliated research facilities focus enormous amounts of research and attention to the cultivation of a variety of young wheatgrasses as grazing material for the cattle industry.
Much of the scientific literature suggests that it is not just the chlorophyll that has beneficial effects, but the plant as a whole. The complexity of plantlife can make it difficult to separate out what is having the direct effect, although some studies have shown a direct effect of chlorophyllin, the sodium and copper salt of chlorophyll a. Not only have antimutagenic effects been show, but anti-genotoxic activity of common dietary phytochemicals have been shown in vertebrate animals. It reduced the carcinogenic uptake of the environmental carcinogen dibenzo[a,l]pyrene (DBP) in a controlled study of rainbow trout (Carcinogenesis, July 1998).
When you grow it yourself, you are basically taking it to a level beyond just sprouting the seed (the sprouted seeds are relished by parrots as well by the way). If you worry about mold etc., you can rinse the grass in a solution of water and, yes, GSE 😉
Grapefruit has also been studied extensively and numerous associated articles can be found in the biomedical literature. Although not many studies have been published on its antimicrobial effects, that will surely change soon. For instance, there have been some studies showing the affects of aerobic conditions on the effectiveness of such antimicrobials as benzalkonium chloride and a disinfectant containing GSE (Journal of Applied Microbiology, Dec 1998). This article “assumes” that GSE is a disinfectant against Escherichia coli DSM 682 and Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 6538 and studies what factors could diminish their effectiveness.
Many people know if they are taking certain medications they should not drink grapefruit juice as it increases the bioavailability of some medicines (ie, it is an inhibitor of drug metabolism in vivo). In some cases this can be hazardous, but in many it can possibly benefit (it enhances the bioavailability of the HIV protease inhibitor saquinavir in man, which has an issue with low bioav. in vivo), or can have long-term issues (for instance, in renal transplant patients on long-term cyclosporine therapy). [Pharmacotherapy, 1998 Jan; Br J Clin Pharmacol, 1998]. Citrus flavonoids have been shown to inhibit mammary cancer in rats (Adv Exp Med Biol, 1998).
I do think if someone is skeptical they can either just ignore the emerging evidence and do their own thing, or, if they are the curious type they can dig up the research. Much of it is a bit esoteric (just trying slogging through a J.Exp.Med. article), but you can glean some of the basic from the abstracts or discussions.
I always love the stories about the first men to discover “bacteria”. They were ridiculed: “Invisible organisms that can make us sick? That’s not scientific! How absurd!” There is a great book that has embarrassing quotes from the past where people ridiculed much of what is considered scientific fact today. It can be a very fun read. Of course, you likely won’t recognize the names of those who dismissed new discoveries outright, but you will recognize the names of the people who had announced the discoveries. I won’t list the name of the book here because it may be mistaken as “self-promoting puffery,” although I don’t know the editor, really, and can’t profit from it…but I guess I can’t prove that. Now I must go check how my stock portfolio is doing–I hope winter wheatberries are up today 😉 Vera
Barley Green is a brand name of a whole food supplement made by taking leaves of the Barley plant at their peak of nutrition, juicing them & then drying the powder in such a way as to preserve all the nutrients, including enzymes. Barley Green is available through AIM distributors & I use their product because I am a distributor (by accident, I ordered so much they paid my distributor fees). It can also be ordered over the internet from other distributors. Powdered carrots and beets are also available.
I’m not out to sell Barley Green to anyone (just want you to know why I use one & not the other), so let me tell you about a comparable product that you can find in most health food stores: Green Magma. This product was created by the same scientist that created Barley Green (Dr. Hagiwara) & is very similar to Barley Green. There’s almost no difference in the pricing. The manufacturer of this product is Green Foods (here’s a website: http://www.greenfoods.com) and they also produce other products of various powdered fruits & veggies.
I became interested in these products because my same budgie that’s been egg-bound, will only consume veggies when in the egg-laying mode. Without products like these I wouldn’t be getting any veggies into her. My Quaker eats veggies well, but will not touch any type of greens, so it’s been useful for her too. Now, I take Barley Green & the other AIM products myself, and that in conjunction with a slight change in diet has left me feeling more energetic & I’ve lost weight. Because of the changes I’ve seen in myself, I feel that it definitely benefits my birds.
In general, I think most of the holistic products mentioned on this list are available at health food stores because they’re used for people. In many cases, if a similar product is made specifically for pets, it may not be of the same quality as the human product. However, not all human products are safe for pets & certainly dosages must be adjusted.