Superfoods

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Wouldn't it be great if there were easy-to-digest "super foods" that could provide nearly all your necessary daily nutrients? Many people claim such substances already exist, in the form of wheat and barley grass, spirulina, chlorella, bee pollen, royal jelly, concentrated sprouts, and medicinal mushrooms. These products are attracting attention as alternative supplements for people who prefer to get their nutrition from food instead of synthetic vitamins and minerals.

The market for superfoods has grown enormously, and consumers face a dizzying array of products that claim to increase energy, improve mental and physical stamina, and cleanse the system of unwanted toxins. What is the difference between these superfoods, and how should you go about choosing those that are best suited to your needs?

Although superfoods differ, all of them are concentrated sources of vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids, enzymes, cell salts, and other healthful substances in either pill or powder form. Rainbow Light, a Santa Cruz, California-based manufacturer of vitamin and herbal supplements, markets a combination product called Living Source Superfood Complex. These unique tablets are a concentrated blend of spirulina, chlorella, bee pollen, wheat and barley grass, and other foods and herbs. The company claims that this supplement can provide a natural energy boost. Because the tablets are so easy to digest, they don't need to be taken with food.

Why is the Rainbow Light Superfood formula effective? To answer this question, it helps to break the formula down into its components. Many of the ingredients in this product (wheat and barley grass, spirulina, and chlorella) are green, and green foods are prime constituents of many superfoods.

For years our mothers and grandmothers have stressed the importance of eating greens. In addition to being an important source of fiber, green plants are naturally rich in vitamins, minerals, and chlorophyll, a powerful blood cleanser and antiseptic that helps heal and regenerate tissue. In nature, grass is the basis for life for many creatures. With the advent of superfoods like wheat and barley grass, humans can also reap its benefits, without having to chomp on freshly mowed clippings!

Although there are now many companies manufacturing green products, Pines International was the pioneer. The Lawrence, Kansas-based company has been promoting the nutritional value of its organically grown wheat grass since 1977. The wheat grass, which is dried at low temperatures to maintain enzyme activity, is extremely nutritious. Three rounded tablespoons of powder or 20 tablets per day (10 grams) provides more than two grams of high-quality vegetable protein, in addition to twice the fiber of bran, more than twice the iron of spinach, half the Vitamin C found in a small orange, and only 29 calories.

Wheat grass is also one of nature's best sources of beta-carotene, which is converted by the body to Vitamin A. The medical establishment believes that beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant that may protect the body against some types of cancers. A 1982 report by the National Academy of Sciences entitled Diet, Nutrition and Cancer states, "Epidemiological evidence is sufficient to suggest that foods rich in carotene or Vitamin A are associated with a reduced risk of cancer." Dr. Charles Simone, physician and author of Cancer and Nutrition, adds, "Beta-carotene is the most potent free radical neutralizer or scavenger known today...Beta-carotene appears to block the process by which a normal cell can turn malignant."

Pines harvests its grasses when they are at their nutritional peak, and then packages them in amber glass, nitrogen-packed bottles that protect the delicate nutrients from sunlight and oxygen deterioration. Due to the high chlorophyll content, both Pines Wheat Grass powder and Green Energy (a combination of wheat and barley grass powder that dissolves instantly in water or juice) are rich green in color.

Pines employees and farmers own more than 75 percent of the company, and nearly half of the profits go to an educational foundation that supports the development of organic farming. The company claims that nearly everyone (especially students, athletes, vegetarians, and dieters) can benefit from wheat and barley grass. Pines products are especially useful for those who live in regions where it is difficult to obtain fresh greens, and for backpackers and travellers who want the convenience of enjoying their salad in the form of a pill or a drink. Although wheat grass comes from the same plant that eventually grows the grain, used in breads and baked goods, it doesn't contain gluten, so even those with wheat allergies can usually tolerate it.

Pleasant-tasting barley grass is a good choice for those who like to drink their greens. One of the most popular brands of barley grass is Green Magma, manufactured and distributed by the Green Foods Corporation in Torrance, California. The firm adds wheat grass, brown rice, and kelp to the organically grown barley grass to make its tasty drink, which has been enjoyed for over 20 years in Japan.

The young barley leaves are squeezed (not chopped) to extract the fresh juice. Using a patented process that doesn't involve heat or freezing, the juice is then spray-dried into a fine green powder, which can easily be mixed with cool water or juice to make a refreshing and nutritious drink. World-class athletes like award-winning triathlete Colleen Cannon claim Green Magma helps them recover after strenuous exercise. This may be because the highly alkaline substance can help block lactic acid build-up, which is responsible for muscular fatigue.

Green Magma has received some unfavorable publicity in the past few months over its use of maltodextrin. The company admittedly sprays its fresh barley juice with maltodextrin, which prevents discoloration and acts as a stabilizer and delivery agent. Although maltodextrin, a plant polysaccharide derived from corn starch, is classified as safe by the U.S. FDA, Green Magma's recent disclosure of its use created a stir among diabetics who were worried that it might upset their metabolism. However, the company reassures diabetics that maltodextrin is a polysaccharide, not a sucrose-like sugar.

Wakunaga of America Co., Ltd., which makes the popular line of Kyolic garlic supplements, has recently developed a product similar to Green Magma called Kyo-Green. It contains organically grown wheat and barley grass, Bulgarian chlorella (a form of algae), brown rice, and kelp. According to the company, the product brings the best of land and sea together, because grass is the base of the food chain on land, while kelp and algae are indispensable for life in the oceans. The grasses contain chlorophyll, beta-carotene, and minerals. The brown rice offers energy-enhancing carbohydrates, while kelp is a natural source of trace minerals and iodine. Chlorella is a treasured algae that is a rich source of chlorophyll and amino acids. The company claims that this chlorella is especially rich in minerals because it grows from natural hot spring waters in the Black Sea region of Bulgaria.

Simple algae, which rapidly reproduce under the proper conditions, were the original life forms on Earth. Algae such as spirulina, chlorella, and blue-green algae are loaded with nutrients. Spirulina, which thrives in lakes and ponds, was a dietary mainstay of the Aztecs and other ancient cultures, who harvested it in the wild. This nourishing food, which is low in fat and calories, is over 60 percent vegetable protein and is one of the world's richest sources of beta-carotene, providing 10 times more beta-carotene per serving than carrots! It also contains gamma linolenic acid (GLA), a nutrient essential for the formation of hormones that few foods contain. Vegetarians can appreciate the fact that spirulina contains twice the Vitamin B-12 content of liver. It is also rich in iron, calcium, RNA, DNA, and trace minerals. And unlike some other superfoods, spirulina is easy to digest because of its soft-walled cell structure.

Spirulina is an environmentally safe product that doesn't deplete the soil or pollute the land. Although it grows naturally in the wild, most of the spirulina available today is cultivated. Earthrise, based in San Rafael, California, is the granddaddy of spirulina cultivation and the world's largest commercial producer. The company grows its high-quality spirulina in huge ponds on a farm in a remote area of the southern California desert. Trace minerals are added to the pond water to enhance the nutritional quality. No pesticides, herbicides, preservatives, or additives are used. During the growing season, the fresh spirulina is harvested daily and dried quickly at a low temperature to insure no valuable nutrients or enzymes are lost.

In addition to straight spirulina, Earthrise produces combination products. One of their newest of- ferings is AquaHerbal Greens, a 50/50 blend of spirulina and chlorella with a bit of rose hips and ascorbic acid added to maximize the nutritional benefits. This powerful combination, which allows consumers to reap the benefits of both algae, is available in both tablet and powder form.

Another popular Earthrise product is EnergyRise. This caffeine-free energizer contains spirulina, bee pollen, and an array of vitamins, minerals, and herbs that the company claims can not only promote energy, stamina, and mental alertness, but can also combat stress. Earthrise doesn't recommend EnergyRise as a daily supplement, but advises that people use it when they require extra energy and stamina, such as prior to a rigorous athletic workout or before an important business meeting.

Protein-rich spirulina, which contains no fat or sugar, can help dieters because it delivers nutrients that satisfy hunger. Earthrise manufactures a diet product called Light Appetite, which contains spirulina, vitamins, GTF chromium (to assist the pancreas in assimilating sugar), I-phenylalanine (an appetite-supressing amino acid), sea kelp (to stimulate the metabolism), and lecithin and apple cider vinegar to burn fat. Earthrise advises dieters to take Light Appetite one hour before a meal with a large glass of water. It can also be used to replace a meal or snack.

High quality combined with low price is the specialty of Microlight Nutritional Products, based in Bay Center, Washington, a mail-order service that offers two grades of spirulina as well as bee pollen. Kona-Hawaiian Spirulina comes from the pristine Kona coast, an area known for its ideal growing conditions. The spirulina is spray-dried at low temperatures in a unique no-oxygen chamber to protect oxygen-sensitive nutrients and is available in powder and tablets. Microlight's Crystal Freeze-Dried Spirulina is freeze-dried by the pharmaceutical method and contains 65 percent protein.

One of the most economical ways to buy spirulina is to purchase it in bulk at a natural foods store. Dry spirulina powder must be stored correctly. Since it can absorb moisture from the air if it is left open, it should be tightly sealed when it's not in use. It doesn't require refrigeration, but should be stored in a cool, dry, dark place. The powder, which has a distinctive flavor, can be blended into fruit or vegetable drinks or mixed directly into foods. It is particularly tasty in soups, salads, sauces, or bread, and it is delicious when sprinkled directly on popcorn. Since heat can damage its nutrients, it's best to cook the spirulina as little as possible.

Some firms market drink powders with spirulina as a highlighted ingredient. One of the most popular is Spiru-Tein, manufactured by Nature's Plus, a well-known Long Island, New York-based manufacturer of vitamins. The company was the first to combine spirulina with soy protein to create a high-quality powder that could be used for energy, dieting, or sports nutrition. This tasty vegetarian supplement, which also contains bee pollen, oat bran, and lecithin, comes in chocolate, vanilla, banana, or strawberry. The powders mix instantly in juice or milk and are available in natural food stores in cans or convenient single-serving packets.

Rainbow Light believes spirulina is so valuable that it includes the substance in most of its products. Rainbow Light cultivates its spirulina in Kona, Hawaii, where the year-round sunshine, moderate temperatures, and sea breezes create an ideal growing environment. In addition to its Superfood formula, spirulina is highlighted in the company's Complete Nutritional System and Three-Way Stress Management formulas. Like Earthrise, Rainbow Light includes spirulina in a diet formula (Spirulina Herbal Diet) and an energy product (Ultra Energy Plus). It also features the ingredient in a new product called Rainbow Nectar, a high-energy, low-calorie powder that can be used as an instant breakfast or meal replacement. The vegetarian formula contains no dairy or refined sugar and comes in four flavors -- banana creme, very berry, chocolate dream, and vanilla bean.

Another superfood power drink comes from a small Vermont-based company called New Chapter, which also manufactures a line of high-quality supplements from food-grown sources. Herbal Ambrosia contains concentrated extracts of fruits, herbs, flowers, and seeds. It comes in two flavors -- Super Greens and Super Fruits. The Super Greens formula has freeze-dried spirulina and barley grass, while the Super Fruits contains vitamin-rich freeze-dried fruits. Both also contain Chinese royal bee jelly. The company recommends mixing one tablespoon of either powder into juice or soymilk for a delicious and nutritious drink.

Chlorella is a freshwater, single-celled, green microalgae that has been around for over 2.5 billion years. Scientists hypothesize that chlorella has survived into modern times due to its inherent ability to effectively repair its own DNA. In ideal environments, chlorella multiplies quickly, quadrupling itself every 17 to 20 hours.

Although chlorella has been the rage in Japan and the Pacific Basin for over 20 years, it is just beginning to attract attention here. Chlorella is an extremely concentrated whole food, containing 60 percent protein and 19 of the 22 amino acids. It has nearly twice the protein of soy and eight times that of rice, as well as an astonishing amount of chlorophyll-over 20 times the content of alfalfa, nearly 10 times that of spirulina, and 8 times that of wheat grass. Chlorella also has high amounts of RNA and DNA (nucleic acids that insure healthy cell metabolism and renewal), and it contains more than 20 different vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin B-12, beta-carotene, iron, and zinc. Scientific studies (primarily in Japan) have found that chlorella helps detoxify the body of pollutants such as heavy metals and pesticides.

Besides its high price, the main problem with chlorella is that it can be hard to assimilate. In its natural state, chlorella has a tough cellulose cell wall that protects the delicate nucleus inside. In order to make the product digestible, this cell wall must be fractured and cracked. One effective method is patented by a Japanese company called YSK International, distributors of Sun Chlorella. YSK grows its own chlorella and then pulverizes the cells into tiny bits with glass plates. No heat or chemicals (which can damage the delicate enzymes) are used in the process. Sun Chlorella is available in tiny tablets or individually wrapped packets of granules, which are best dissolved in water or juice.

Many companies are jumping on the chlorella bandwagon. Country Life, a Long Island, New York-based manufacturer of vitamin and herbal supplements, recently introduced its Country Garden line of supplements manufactured with broken-cell chlorella and other whole food concentrates. The line consists of six formulas -- multivitamin, multimineral, digestive, diet, resistance, and cleansing. The multivitamin and multimineral formulas contain spirulina as well as chlorella, and the resistance formula contains reishi and shiitake mushrooms. All are attractively packaged in recyclable boxes that protect the light-sensitive chlorella.

Solgar, another Long Island, New York-based manufacturer of vitamin and herbal supplements, has recently unveiled Earth Source, which contains spirulina, wheat and barley grass, chlorella, and bee pollen, among other nutrients. The formula is particularly noteworthy due to its inclusion of friendly digestive organisms such as acidophilus, bifidus, and bulgaricus. Earth Source tablets also contain essential fatty acids in the form of borage and sunflower oil, as well as Siberian ginseng, an herb that allegedly helps the body adapt to physical and environmental stress.

A newcomer on the superfood scene is blue-green algae, a replenishable microalgae found in abundance in a few freshwater lakes in America. It grows prolifically in Upper Klamath Lake, a remote, mineral-rich lake in southern Oregon fed by rivers, streams, and underground springs. Unlike many other superfoods, this algae grows in the wild. During the summer months, it reproduces itself almost daily, and three companies harvest it fresh from the lake. Two are multilevel marketing firms; the third is the Mt. Shasta, California-based company Klamath Blue Green, which sells its products in natural food stores for about half the cost of the multilevel marketers.

After Klamath harvests the algae, it freeze-dries it to preserve the vital nutrients. Blue-green algae is nearly 65 percent assimilable protein with all the essential amino acids in virtually identical ratios to those required by the human body. It is rich in vitamins (especially B-12), minerals, and beta-carotene. It is the richest source of chlorophyll known, containing even more than chlorella. And unlike chlorella, blue-green algae has a soft cell wall which makes it easy to digest. Klamath claims that its blue-green algae has a 95 percent assimilation rate.

Some people have expressed concern about how the harvesting of the naturally occuring algae affects the ecological balance of the lake. Company president and founder Fred Lewis says that Klamath has researched this issue. He points out that algae is an ecologically renewable food source that replenishes itself daily and that the company harvests the nutrients from the surface of the lake (where the algae is thickest) in order to minimize any negative impact.

When profits begin rolling in, Klamath plans to set aside a percentage for humanitarian projects around the globe. Lewis says he is particularly interested in introducing blue-green algae to developing nations, who can use it as a primary food source.

For years, people have been buzzing about the benefits of products from the bees. Aside from honey, pollen is probably the best known of all the bee products. The bees gather it from trees, wild flowers, and other plants and carry it back home to feed the colony and build honeycombs.

Bee pollen is one of nature's most perfect foods. It contains 16 vitamins, 16 minerals, 18 enzymes, 18 amino acids, and 28 trace elements, including fatty acids, hormones, carbohydrates, and trace minerals. It has been used for years by Olympic athletes to increase energy and improve stamina and endurance. Many who suffer from airborne allergies report that local pollen helps them by strengthening their immune systems to fight off the allergens. Externally, bee pollen has been found to help fight acne, smooth wrinkles, and moisturize dry skin.

Many companies manufacture bee pollen products. One of the best-known is Health From the Sun, which markets the popular Bee Pollen From England products in sunny yellow boxes. The company uses a patented cold-temperature process to separate the pollen from contaminants and by-products. The company markets a bee pollen extract that absorbs quickly for instant energy. It also manufactures bee pollen in capsule-like pods that are individually wrapped and sealed for maximum freshness. Their Rocket Fuel, which has been a top-selling energy extract for more than a decade, contains bee pollen and 11 other herbs.

Other popular Health From the Sun products include Energy Shake, a milk and egg protein powder that contains 96 nutrients, including 200 mg of bee pollen per serving. The powder, which can be mixed with milk, juice, or water, comes in vanilla, carob, or plain flavors and contains no artificial flavors, colorings, or preservatives. Buzz Bytes, Energy Bytes, and Bright Bytes are bite-sized energy lozenges that get the bee pollen into the system sublingually. These effective "candies" contain no sugar.

Speaking of candy, the Phoenix, Arizona-based CC Pollen Company markets two delicious bee-pollen-laden bars -- the President's Lunch and the First Lady's Lunch. According to a company representative, the bars were created in 1983 for former president Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy. Ronald Reagan has been enjoying bee pollen since the 1950s. CC Pollen went to work to develop a bee pollen bar fit for a president.

The President's Lunch contains bee pollen, oats, honey, peanut butter, sunflower seeds, raisins, and kelp. The First Lady's Lunch includes almonds and dates instead of raisins and peanut butter. Both contain 260 mg of pollen, only 150 calories, and no sugar or sodium. Although we now have a new president, Air Force One apparently still orders the bars for Secret Service agents to snack on. The firm also manufactures a variety of other products that contain pollen, propolis, and royal jelly.

An economical way to procure bee pollen is by mail order from Microlight Nutritional Products, which offers one-pound jars of this superfood for less then half the price of other brands.

Royal jelly is the seemingly miraculous, pearLy-white substance that turns an ordinary worker bee into the queen bee. Because of her diet of royal jelly, the queen grows to twice the size and lives up to 40 times longer than the other bees who share the hive. She has incredible stamina and is a reproductive dynamo who lays up to 2,000 eggs per day. Royal jelly is a royal superfood, containing virtually every nutrient necessary to the health of the human body. It is particularly rich in protein, vitamins (especially pantothenic acid), enzymes, and other micronutrients that aid in cell regulation.

Although royal jelly is still a curiosity here in America, it is well known throughout the rest of the world. The Chinese and Latinos have long appreciated the value of this gift from the bees, and the British royal family takes royal jelly regularly.

Studies indicate that royal jelly can rejuvenate the hormones, help retard the aging process, halt the growth of bacteria, and assist the immune system in fighting off disease. It can also help provide physical and mental energy and stamina.

Royal jelly can be taken as a regular dietary supplement. In its pure state, it must be handled carefully because it loses its activity when exposed to air, room temperature, or sunlight. Companies generally mix it with honey to stabilize it. When it is prepared this way, there is no need to keep it refrigerated. Users can add a teaspoon of the royal jelly/honey mixture to tea or spread a spoonful of it on toast in the morning. Royal jelly is also available in extract form in individual vials that can be mixed with juice or enjoyed plain.

Premier One Products, an Omaha, Nebraska-based company, sells royal jelLy raw and in capsules. Montana Naturals International, Inc., out of Arlee, Montana, manufactures the Montana Big Sky line of bee products in both tablets and capsules in a variety of potencies. Their bee pollen is harvested from bees that frolic in the Big Sky region of Montana.

Propolis is a sticky, glue-like substance gathered by honeybees from the resins of certain trees. The bees use propolis as a natural cement to patch holes or cracks in the hive. The propoils also keeps the hive sterile and free from germs -- an astonishing feat considering the fact that roughly 50,000 bees cram each bee hive, where the temperature is approximately 95 degrees with 90 percent humidity, making it a perfect breeding ground for mold, mildew, and bacteria.

Propolis is greenish-brown with an aromatic smell and a bitter taste. Recognized for its antiseptic, antibacterial, and antifungal properties, this natural antibiotic was used for centuries before penicillin was invented. The Greek physician Hippocrates used to administer it as a salve to heal sores and wounds, and it effectively treats sore throats, colds, and gum infections. Montana Naturals (Montana Big Sky) even suggests using it on warts and herpes.

Since propolis is not water soluble, it is usually extracted in alcohol and sold as a tincture. It can be purchased, however, in capsules, chips, and powder form. Beehive Botanicals Inc., the oldest and largest producer of propolis in the U.S., even makes a propolis chewing gum. This great-tasting gum contains honey and zinc gluconate to help sooth irritated throats. Its spearmint flavor makes it an effective breath-freshener.

Beehive Botanicals, Inc., markets an entire line of fine propolis, royal jelly, pollen, and honey products gathered from northern Wisconsin. Particularly distinctive are their bodycare products, which are free from mineral oil and artificial colors and have not been tested on animals. They make a propolis skin cream blended with honey and vitamin E and a conditioning shampoo formulated with bee pollen, honey, comfrey, and vitamin E. Their propolis lip balm, which contains beeswax, vitamin E, and coconut oil, is particularly effective at moisturizing and soothing chapped, dry lips. And their propolis toothpaste, which contains no artificial sweeteners, preservatives, or harsh abrasives, has natural antibiotic properties that help fight bad breath and gum disorders.

Certain mushrooms are also attracting attention as superfoods. Although most Americans give little thought to mushrooms, in Asia they are highly revered for their medicinal value. In general, mushrooms are very nutritious. They are a good source of B vitamins, especially niacin and riboflavin, and they rank the highest among vegetables for protein content.

Some mushrooms are sought after for their medicinal properties, such as the reishi (ling zhi in Chinese) mushroom. The ancient Chinese emperors were convinced that it helped assure longevity. Modern scientific studies attest to its ability to lower cholesterol and high blood pressure, reduce stress, strengthen the immune system, neutralize allergies, and improve circulation.

The main problem for those who want to take advantage of the benefits of reishi mushrooms is that their tough, chitinous cell walls must be cooked or processed in some way in order for the nutrients to be released. In the past, reishi mushrooms were simmered for many hours to make a strong decoction and then drunk as a tea. The mushrooms themselves, which are tough, woody and indigestible, were never eaten. Mushroom Products International, located in Blaine, Washington, offers another solution in its innovative product Reishi+. The mushrooms are laboratory-cultured on an organic soybean base and ground into a fine powder, which unlocks the active compounds and makes them more digestible. Reishi+ is very concentrated -- the company recommends taking two to five capsules daily with meals.

Another medicinal mushroom and superfood is the shiitake. The shiitake is very popular in Japan, where the flavorful mushroom is a mainstay in the diet. Prized for its nutritional value, it contains 18 amino acids (including 7 of the 8 essential ones), over 30 different enzymes, and various B vitamins. In its sun-dried form, it is one of the few vegetables with high levels of vitamin D.

Perhaps most importantly, shiitake mushrooms contain a unique polysaccharide called lentinen, which is considered responsible for many of their healthful properties. Shiitake mushrooms have been researched extensively, and their ability to reduce cholesterol is well-documented. Mushroom Products International has a high-potency, concentrated shiitake extract on the market called Shiitake+, which contains shiitake mushroom mycelium and reishi mushroom extract.

A final word must go to biodynamically grown supersprouts. Supersprouts are grown hydroponically in special chambers, where the nutrients and the light are controlled to enhance the antioxidant qualities of the plants. Several companies are cultivating these concentrated wheat sprouts, which they claim can retard the aging process, reduce inflammation of muscles and joints, speed healing time from injury or surgery, and increase mental alertness.

Young plants, particularly newly sprouted seeds, contain high levels of antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, and methionine reductase. Of particular importance to cellular health, these enzymes are the body's first line of defense against naturally occurring free radicals. Free radicals are produced by environmental air and water pollution, pesticides, radiation, and stress, and some researchers believe that they are directly responsible for much of the cellular and tissue damage hum ans suffer. "When there is excessive oxidation and a deficiency of antioxidants, the excess free radicals are free to create havoc in the body. They are involved in aging, immune diseases, cancer, and, of course, chemical sensitivities and allergies," states Abram Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D., a physician who has extensively researched chemical sensitivities.

Biotec Foods, based in Honolulu, Hawaii, has been manufacturing a line of high-quality antioxidants made from concentrated sprouts for more than 15 years. They market various formulas, including Cell Guard, Jet Stress, Extra Energy Enzymes, Runher's Edge, and Ageless Beauty. Over a quart of organically grown wheat sprouts goes into each caplet of Cell Guard, one of their most popular formulas.

Biogenetics Food Corporation, located in Scotts Valley, California, grows its concentrated sprouts in strictly controlled hydroponic growing areas. It harvests them when enzyme values are at their peak and dehydrates them at a low temperature to preserve enzyme activity. Biogenetics markets two products -- Bioguard and Bioguard Plus. Bioguard is recommended for energy and cellular maintenance, while Bioguard Plus can be used for the immune system and tissue and membrane conditions. The company stresses that biodynamically grown sprouts differ from the ordinary sprouts available in health food stores in that they are much more concentrated and contain far more antioxidant enzymes.

Yoga Journal L.L.C.

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By Susan Jacobs

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