- Super Greens: Are Greens Powders Healthy?
- Health Benefits of Greens Supplements: Are they Worth the Hype?
- What to Look For In a Greens Supplement
- Best Greens Supplement Ingredients
- How Greens Powders Are Made
- Health Benefits of Greens Supplements
- Greens Supplements vs. Fresh Produce
- How to Use Greens Supplements
- Common Questions / Advice About Greens Supplements
- Final Thoughts
- What you need to know about green powder supplements
- The ingredients
- The research
- The verdict
- How to get the most out of green powder
- Super Greens: Are Greens Powders Healthy Or Just Hype?
- 5 Science-backed Reasons You Should Eat More Vegetables Every Day
- What Are Greens Powders?
- Common Health Claims About Greens Supplements
- Will a greens supplement prevent chronic diseases?
- Can greens powders detoxify your body?
- Is Will drinking a greens powder boost my immune system?
- Do greens supplements help you burn fat and lose weight?
- Should you take a Greens Powder Supplement?
- Why You Shouldn’t Take A Greens Powder
- Wondering What I Do?
- My Favorite Super Greens Powder
- Wrapping It Up
- Are You Still Confused About What Supplements Work And What To Avoid?
- Are Superfood powders worth it?
- 9 Reasons Powdered Greens Are Worth Your Money
- Balance Your System With Greens
- 9 Reasons to Use Powered Greens
- 1. They boost your energy levels.
- 2. They are incredibly versatile.
- 3. They are convenient.
- 4. They are easily absorbed so you get the most nutrients.
- 5. They help prevent chronic disease.
- 6. They are highly concentrated.
- 7. They reduce inflammation.
- 8. They keep your skin glowing.
- 9. They can aid in fat loss.
- Tips for Buying and Using Greens Powders
- Pleasing the Palate
- Invest in Your Health
- Ask the Diet Doctor: Greens Powders vs. Green Juices
- 3 Best Green Juice Superfood Powders (Our Review for 2020)
- Common Questions About Green Juice Superfood Powders
- What to Look For in a Green Juice Powder
- Understanding the Label
- Why Choose a Green Juice Powder
- Modern Lifestyles
- Three Best Green Juice Powders (Our Review for 2020)
- The Verdict
Super Greens: Are Greens Powders Healthy?
The nutrients and plant compounds in greens powders may support overall wellness when used in combination with a healthy diet and lifestyle.
For example, greens powders are typically high in vitamins A and C, which help support immune function (7, 8).
Additionally, probiotics added to greens powders may support immune function and digestive health. However, the value of added plant-based digestive enzymes is uncertain (9, 10, 11).
Greens powders have been tested in a few small studies, but results can vary by brand and supplement formulation.
Additionally, product manufacturers typically fund these studies, which increases the risk of bias. Therefore, it’s best to keep a healthy degree of skepticism.
May Help Prevent Chronic Disease
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions of plant compounds in greens powder may help reduce your risk of chronic diseases.
In one four-week study in 10 healthy people, two tablespoons (10 grams) of greens powder taken daily lowered blood levels of oxidatively damaged proteins by 30% (1).
Preventing damage to blood proteins like enzymes is important, as they perform functions that help protect you from cancer and chronic diseases (12).
In another 90-day study in 40 people with high blood pressure, two tablespoons (10 grams) of greens powder taken daily decreased both systolic and diastolic blood pressure by about 8%. The control group observed no improvement (13).
Still, more studies are needed to confirm these possible benefits.
May Improve Your Energy
Some greens powders claim to boost your energy. Yet, they’re generally low in calories and, therefore, don’t necessarily supply much energy.
However, some of these powders contain compounds that may help you feel more alert and energetic, including green tea extract, which contains caffeine and plant compounds that support the burning of calories (14).
In a three-month study in 63 healthy women, those taking one tablespoon (10 grams) of greens powder containing green tea extract daily reported significant increases in energy, while the placebo group reported no change (15).
Still, this is only one study that needs to be replicated. It’s also uncertain whether a greens powder without green tea extract would provide the same benefits.
Some greens powders claim to help with detoxification and make your body more alkaline — meaning higher on the pH scale of zero to 14.
However, consuming greens powder won’t affect your blood pH, which your body tightly controls within a narrow range of 7.35–7.45 (16).
On the other hand, your urine pH fluctuates within a broader range of 4.5–8.0. Eating greens and other vegetables can slightly elevate urine pH, making it more alkaline (2, 16, 17).
Some researchers speculate that small increases in urine alkalinity may help your body get rid of toxins, such as pesticides and pollutants. However, this hasn’t been well studied in humans (16, 18, 19, 20).
Eating greens powders may still support detoxification in other ways. For example, when your liver detoxifies certain compounds, damaging free radicals are generated. Greens powders are rich in antioxidants, which can help combat these free radicals (21, 22, 23).
Summary Greens powders may enhance overall wellness, support immune function and help reduce chronic disease risk. More research is needed to confirm other potential benefits, such as increased energy and detoxification.
Health Benefits of Greens Supplements: Are they Worth the Hype?
Table of Contents
I know what you’re hoping. By taking greens supplements, you want permission to never eat your leafy greens kale and spinach again. I have good (and bad) news. Super greens powders aren’t exactly meant to replace eating fresh fruits and vegetables. But greens supplements do offer a convenient, hassle-free way to get more nutritious superfoods into your diet. A key mistake people often make is to shop for a greens supplement with a laundry list of interesting-sounding ingredients. Sure, there may be 31 superfoods in one scoop, but you probably aren’t getting much bang for your buck (i.e. very little true nutritional value). In this article, I’ll cover what you should be looking for (and avoiding) in a greens supplement. I’ll also explain how greens powders are made and why they’re so great for a healthy diet.
What to Look For In a Greens Supplement
Once you read this, the best greens supplement will be easy to spot. I say this because supplements have little regulation by the FDA. Companies trying to make a quick buck and that don’t provide anything of value will hide behind confusing labels. Avoid any mention of “proprietary blend” without a list of actual ingredients. This is just legal spin to not disclose ingredients. Another big red flag is a laundry list of ingredients. A huge list of superfoods, roots, fruits, vitamins and minerals, and herbs is not the perfect greens supplement. Massive 30+ ingredient lists seem impressive, and reviews often glow over this trend, but in actuality provide no real benefit because there is such an insignificant serving of each. Just like in conventional food, the order of ingredients matters. The United States Food and Drug Administration dictates ingredients on labels be ordered from the largest to smallest amount in the product. (1) While researching, I checked out a recommended “greens supplement” from a major retailer. They didn’t specify the amount of each ingredient. Instead, they listed them at the bottom in accordance with FDA policy. The first ingredient was rice flour, then, a big list of greens in powdered form. Because of an unclear label, customers don’t know if the product contains 92% filler ingredients. Always look for USDA certified organic greens powder. This ensures the items listed are free of synthetic additives like pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and dyes. In addition, they can’t be processed using industrial solvents, irradiation, or genetic engineering. (2) A certified organic greens powder will also be non-GMO, which is important — since alfalfa grass is one of the 10 GMO crops produced widely in the US.
Best Greens Supplement Ingredients
Adaptogenic herbs help you deal with stress and recovery to return to a more normal hormone balance. But for the best vegetable powder, stress relief isn’t enough.
Some consider ashwagandha the king of adaptogens.
It provides increased cardiorespiratory endurance. Even if you’re already training and are a generally fit person, you can see (and feel) significant improvements after adding 600 milligrams of high-quality ashwagandha root extract to your routine. (3)
Trying to get an edge in the weight room? 600 milligrams of ashwagandha a day proved to deliver a greater ability to build muscle. Measurements increased across arms and chest in a 2015 study and showed a marked reduction in muscle damage while increasing testosterone. (4)
Ashwagandha can be beneficial for sexual health as well as fitness.
Men taking ashwagandha saw a 57% increase in sperm motility and a whopping 167% boost in sperm count. Women observed taking 600 milligrams daily saw substantial improvements in arousal, lubrication, and orgasm. (5, 6)
With so many positive effects on the body, ashwagandha is a no brainer for a greens powder blend.
*Ashwagandha can lower blood pressure. If you’re taking blood pressure medication, please speak with your doctor before adding this supplement or trying to replace current medications.
With vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E, wheatgrass is a powerful antioxidant ingredient that can help reduce your risk of major diseases.
But green supplements aren’t just a way to add random veggies in your diet. An organic greens powder provides an opportunity for a source of vitamins with targeted benefits, such as antioxidants.
Oxidative stress occurs when free radicals accumulate in the body and cannot be gradually reduced. This causes a greater likelihood of degenerative diseases like arthritis, cataracts, cancer, and autoimmune disorders.
That’s why antioxidants are so important. They combat oxidative stress and can either be produced naturally or introduced into the body in the form of supplements or food. (7)
Specifically, wheatgrass might help target a particular type of free radical called malondialdehyde (MDA), a known carcinogen.
In animals, wheatgrass significantly reduces MDA levels that signify oxidative stress and the antioxidant level of patients with cancer. It also increases the body’s main antioxidant, glutathione while simultaneously bring up vitamin C levels. The body uses vitamin C to fashion blood vessels, muscle, cartilage, and collagen in the skeletal system.
Increasing vitamin C, wheatgrass enhances your skin and body’s healing abilities. (8, 9)
Another animal study gave rats with high cholesterol wheatgrass juice. They observed that the wheatgrass was just as effective as a drug commonly prescribed for high cholesterol, atorvastatin. (10)
Diabetic rats showed lower blood sugar levels after receiving wheatgrass, pointing to a possible natural helper for managing the disease. (11)
Chlorophyll (in wheatgrass) shows tremendous promise in the treating of inflammatory conditions or related diseases. (12)
Many greens supplements typically have either wheatgrass or barley grass because they are so comparable in benefits and nutrition.
With all these benefits shown in so many studies, wheatgrass needs conclusive human research done. I wouldn’t dismiss the animal studies, but they leave us awaiting answers about dosage and efficacy in humans.
One of the most nutrient-dense foods is a type of blue-green algae that commonly thrives in either fresh or saltwater. Spirulina, often found alongside another common algae chlorella, has the added bonus of being studied in human trials.
One such study says, “Spirulina supplementation induced a significant increase in exercise performance, fat oxidation, and GSH concentration and attenuated the exercise-induced increase in lipid peroxidation .” (13)
This means that subjects taking spirulina were more physically powerful, burned fat faster, and produced more antioxidants to offset the oxidation that happened during and after workouts.
Spirulina in your greens supplement may be a promising way to naturally manage diabetes and glucose metabolism, while also reducing liver fat and protecting the heart. It even seems to have a greater effect with increased cholesterol levels. (14)
Seasonal allergies plague millions of people every year. One compelling reason to make sure spirulina is in your greens supplement is that it has a strong effect on allergic rhinitis (seasonal allergies).
In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, consuming spirulina drastically helped treat nasal discharge, sneezing, congestion, and itching. Scientists still don’t know the inciting mechanism, just that it worked. (15)
Spirulina is also an amazing plant-based source of protein too, with four grams of protein in every seven grams of powder (one tablespoon). A great option for vegan dieters.
Did you know that you are a host to hundreds of different types of microorganisms and most of them reside in your gut? Don’t panic, because they actually help you.
A complex group of bacteria, yeasts, and viruses make up your microbiome or gut flora. Together, they are so important that some scientists are calling them the “forgotten organ.”
Like any part of your body, your microbiome needs attention. A simple round of antibiotics can wipe out a majority of your bacteria and cause a serious imbalance in your gut health.
Probiotics are consumable live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your digestive system. Some can even produce digestive enzymes to help break down food.
What better way is there to keep up healthy bacteria levels than by including probiotics in your daily greens supplement?
Several studies show that probiotics fight irritable bowel syndrome, gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and other indicators of poor digestive health. (16, 17, 18)
How Greens Powders Are Made
After a supplement manufacturer receives the whole food raw ingredients for greens powders, they can choose a couple of options to make the final product.
In most cases, the most nutritious choice will be to dehydrate the whole plant, then crush it into powder form.
I say “most nutritious” because most of the foods used in greens supplements carry benefits throughout their entire structure. By dehydrating the plant as a whole, you only lose the fiber content but hang onto the rest of the beneficial compounds.
However, some ingredients have just one or two powerful compounds that are more easily extracted, then dehydrated. For example, the active compounds in milk thistle and ginkgo biloba are almost always extracted before they’re dehydrated.
The best greens powder will probably use a combination of these methods depending on the ingredients included.
Keep in mind that these processes will influence the taste of your final greens supplements. Whole plant dehydration makes for a less tasty shake. In fact, one reason manufacturers extract part of a plant before dehydrating it is simply to offset the bitterness.
It’s also a good idea to get organic greens powder. Otherwise, you can’t know for sure that your product is unadulterated and free from dangerous pesticides. Most greens supplements are dairy and gluten-free.
I don’t know if you have the time to prep and consume several servings of superfood vegetables every day… But I don’t. Since most of us don’t have the resources to eat as many raw (and often rare) veggies as you can find in just one serving of greens powder, these supplements can fill in the gap.
Health Benefits of Greens Supplements
I want to start with a caveat here: there is little to no scientific research on green superfood powder benefits. There are many reasons for it, but the basic one is that every company’s blend is so varied that it would be nearly impossible.
Instead, we have to glean the benefits of greens supplements from studies about what happens when people eat more vegetables. We’ll talk more later on the differences between powders and whole vegetables.
So, what do greens do for you?
First of all, the best superfood powder cannot replace eating whole vegetables. We’ll talk more about that later. If your plan is to ditch the whole veggies altogether, greens powder won’t live up to that need.
But there are plenty of benefits to taking super greens, particularly if you stick to greens supplements with just a few nutritious ingredients.
1. Greens supplements can support healthy weight management.
It seems almost comical to say it, but eating more vegetables commonly results in a healthier weight. (19)
Some of this benefit comes from the fibrous nature of many veggies—but not all of it.
See, when you fill your caloric quota with vegetables rather than, say, cupcakes, you’re getting a lot more nutrition for a lot fewer calories.
Put simply, greens are very low in calories and help with healthy weight management. Adding a greens supplement to your smoothie achieves this benefit, too.
2. When you use a greens powder, you’re improving your antioxidant profile.
As I mentioned earlier, greens supplements should contain ingredients high in antioxidants and phytonutrients, like ashwagandha and wheatgrass.
Most people know that antioxidants are good for your health. Still, there’s not a lot out there that tells us directly how eating vegetables influences how many antioxidants are hanging out in our bloodstreams.
That’s why scientists in Norway conducted an experiment to see what more vegetables did to the blood of their subjects.
They discovered that, by eating more vegetables, participants showed significantly higher antioxidant levels in their blood than the average of the large control group. Researchers noted higher plasma (blood) counts for alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin in the veggie eaters. (20)
Since greens supplements retain the antioxidants found in their original ingredients, you can expect to gain this antioxidant benefit when you use greens powders.
3. More vegetables in your diet can reduce your risk for many chronic diseases.
To understand how greens supplements may help you stave off disease, let’s talk for a moment about standard diets and how they’re causing more disease.
Opposed to the landscape less than a century ago, many Westerners eat diets full of sugars, refined carbohydrates, and processed foods. However, this doesn’t line up with our evolutionary needs — our bodies grew to expect magnesium, potassium, fiber, and other common things found in vegetables.
This mismatch between our biological needs and how we actually fuel our bodies result in a condition called “dietary acidosis.” (21)
Essentially, this type of metabolic acidosis happens when you don’t get enough alkaline foods in your diet.
Sadly, this type of metabolic acidosis has just recently been recognized in the scientific community. (22)
Now, back to greens supplements.
You may not get fiber from greens powder, but you’re sure getting plenty of alkaline calories and disease-fighting antioxidants.
Plus, green plants all contain chlorophyll. This nutrient helps to alkalize your blood, improving your ability to fight off infection and disease. (23)
These facts, together, suggest that adding a greens supplement to your daily smoothie can help keep your body in top disease-busting performance.
A diet high in antioxidants, alkalizing foods, and chlorophyll may help reduce your risk of: (24, 25, 21)
- Heart disease and stroke
- Bone disease (osteoporosis and sarcopenia)
- Skeletal muscle loss
- Eye disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Greens Supplements vs. Fresh Produce
Greens supplements and fresh produce: what’s the relationship here? Can greens supplements substitute fresh vegetables?
The short answer: no.
Few things beat a fresh, colorful salad doused in olive oil.
But that doesn’t mean a good supplement can’t help.
Think about it this way:
- Less than 10% of adults meet their daily vegetable intake (26)
- Only 12% of adults meet the daily fruit intake recommendations. (26)
Most people just aren’t eating enough fruits and veggies (in both quantity and variety), but a convenient, high-quality superfood supplement can help bridge the gap and add more key nutrients to the diet.
In a greens supplement, the missing ingredient in comparison to fresh produce is fiber. Fiber plays a major role in:
- Healthy digestion (27)
- Preventing heart disease and metabolic syndrome (28)
- Weight loss (29)
- Diabetes prevention (30)
Because of this, it’s impossible to unravel the complex relationship between fiber and other important compounds found in green vegetables.
So, what does greens powder do?
- Greens supplements give you a significant serving of more vegetables than most people could (or would) reasonably eat in one day.
- By using a high-quality, nutrient-dense greens powder, you can reap the benefits of superfoods that you probably can’t buy fresh, like ashwagandha or spirulina.
- Greens powder provides your body with a ton of antioxidants and alkalizing compounds such as chlorophyll.
- Your body more easily digests greens powder than whole vegetables, so it can be a good middle-ground for people who have digestive issues.
But what doesn’t greens powder do?
- Greens supplements cannot replace fresh sources of fruits and vegetables altogether.
- There’s less fiber in a greens powder, so it isn’t able to give you that all-important advantage of eating vegetables.
- You can’t be totally sure if your greens powder retains all the nutritional punch of the original vegetable since extraction and dehydration can possibly reduce nutrient loads.
Essentially, it’s important to remember that greens powders are supplements, not substitutes or meal replacements. They give you an extra few inches in your race to a better diet, but they’re not going to get you over the finish line.
How to Use Greens Supplements
Greens supplements come with a scoop in the canister to help you portion out exactly one serving. Most people drink their greens supplements in water or coconut water, but the taste can sometimes be off-putting unless the manufacturer has used sugary fillers.
But what is the best green powder drink?
Do you like the taste of greens? Amp up the taste of a matcha green tea latte.
Need to hide it? Greens powder goes great with a morning smoothie. Combine it with chia seeds, almond milk, berries, and even some goji berry powder for a power-packed breakfast.
Some people enjoy greens powder mixed into seltzer water. This one can be tricky, though: Make sure you put the powder into an empty glass, then very slowly add the seltzer water so that the bubbles don’t make the powder spill over the glass.
As a workout companion, try your greens powder along with some coconut water, lemon juice, and raw honey. Some manufacturers even add B vitamins to their greens product. The use of vitamin B12, 6, or 3 provides higher energy levels and will help you to get through a strenuous gym routine.
I would definitely think about flavor combinations before adding some greens powder to your chocolate protein shake. Fruit flavors like apple, banana, or strawberry might pair better. Use your favorite milk or milk substitute for extra calcium or protein.
Try some of these recipes intended to inspire your new favorite greens drink:
- Extra-Thick Mint Chip Superfood Smoothie
- The Pituitary Relief Green Smoothie
- The Lean Green Salad Machine (Salad Dressing) — veggies with your veggies, anyone?
Common Questions / Advice About Greens Supplements
Are they worth the money?
Greens supplements are worth the money you spend on them — if you’re getting a supplement with only a few major ingredients.
If you get a greens powder that has so many ingredients you lose track, you’re not truly getting much of an advantage from the supplement. Instead, get plenty of bang for your buck by using a greens powder rich in veggies you might not otherwise be able to eat.
What is the best greens supplement on the market?
The ultimate greens supplement on the market is one that is sourced from only USDA-certified organic vegetables, has a few vital raw ingredients, and may even contain probiotics to help support a healthy immune system.
A greens supplement won’t replace all your veggies — but it’s one way to majorly increase the range of your vegetable intake, making it a hassle-free way to include more superfoods in your diet.
Search for greens powder with a few robust ingredients, like ashwagandha, wheatgrass, spirulina, and (in some cases) probiotics.
When whole green vegetables are dehydrated to make a greens supplement, you lose the fiber content but retain a host of antioxidants and alkalizing compounds.
This means a greens supplement can help promote:
- A healthy body weight
- Antioxidant intake and status
- A decreased risk for illness and or disease
Just don’t try replacing all the veggies in your life with a greens powder. Supplement, don’t substitute.
What you need to know about green powder supplements
It’s the latest nutrition essential and sounds ideal: mix two teaspoons a day into water, milk or non-acidic juice, drink and then rest assured that your body is getting the nutrients it needs. So are superfood powders made from vegetables all they’re cracked up to be?
“A green powder supplement is like a multivitamin on steroids,” nutritionist Teresa Boyce says. “They offer you all the vitamins and minerals of a multi but with added nutrients such as probiotics, prebiotics, detoxification nutrients and disease-protective antioxidants.”
Green powder supplements claim that a two-teaspoon serve offers up to 81 of the vital ingredients our body needs every day. They also promise to optimise health and vitality, and where once green powders were the domain of health-food stores, they can now be bought in supermarkets and chemists.
Boyce believes these green powders are beneficial supplements whether you have a healthy diet or not, however, they’re best used to “supplement a healthy diet”.
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Green powder supplements are nutrient dense. Image: iStock.Source:BodyAndSoul
Powders come in varying shades of green and are fairly fine, making them easy to digest, and can be added to water, smoothies, juices or any beverage.
The ingredient lists are usually long and impressive and include land vegetables and grains such as wheatgrass, spinach, broccoli and beetroot; aquatic plants and algae like kelp, spirulina and chlorella; probiotics and enzymes such as lactobacillus acidophilus and coenzyme Q10; herb and spice extracts including dandelion, wolfberry and ginger; and vitamins and minerals.
Scientific evidence on green powders is hard to come by, but there have been preliminary studies into ingredients such as chlorella and spirulina.
A 2009 Japanese study suggested chlorella could be effective in fighting major lifestyle diseases; it was found to reduce body-fat percentage and blood-glucose levels and help those suffering from type 2 diabetes, obesity or heart disease. Other research claims that green algae such as spirulina are nutrient powerhouses, packed with twice as much protein as spinach as well as antioxidants and nine essential amino acids.
Nutrition Australia spokeswoman Aloysa Hourigan says the supplements are concentrated sources of nutrients, but may not be necessary for people who have a healthy diet with the recommended five serves of veg a day (the equivalent to 2.5 cups of cooked veg or four to five cups of fresh veg).
“These supplements have a lot of nutrients in them, but they’re not a magic nutrition pill that fills all the gaps in your diet,” Hourigan says.
Boyce agrees that diet is paramount and says the bulk of it should be whole foods and seasonal produce. “Supplements aren’t to replace foods but to enhance our nutrient profile. In an ideal world we’d all eat organic food, drink purified water and breathe clean air. However, this isn’t the case, and that’s why there’s a place for green supplements to be incorporated into a healthy diet.”
How to get the most out of green powder
Choose wisely, Boyce says. “Do your research and use a quality green powder with a range of nutrients,” she adds. “Take the recommended dose and be consistent. Taking a green supplement once in a while won’t provide the optimal health benefits seen in taking it daily.”
These 3 plant-based comfort food breakfast recipes will start your day right
Fit girl Katie Williams shares these sweet as ideas to kickstart your day. Add these creamy green smoothie, berry coconut porridge, and golden latte recipes to your daily menu.
Super Greens: Are Greens Powders Healthy Or Just Hype?
Nutrition is a field that is debated as ferociously as politics and religion. Followers of paleo, keto, vegan, low-fat, and low-carb incessantly argue about who’s diet is the best and why. However, there’s one aspect of nutrition that almost everyone agrees upon eating more vegetables is a good thing. It’s no mystery as to why. Research on diets that are rich in vegetables consistently shows that eating your veggies may boost heart health, prevent cancer, and reduce the risk of early death.
5 Science-backed Reasons You Should Eat More Vegetables Every Day
- Vegetable intakes were associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and all-cause mortality. (R)
- Eating more vegetables is associated with a lower risk of colorectal and oral cancers. (R, R)
- Eating more vegetables (not necessarily variety) is associated with lower risk of heart disease. (R)
- Sulfurofane-rich broccoli sprouts reduces UV-induced skin damage in mice. (R)
- Beetroot juice was found to significantly lower systolic blood pressure. (R)
Another important reason that health and nutrition experts promote a vegetable-rich diet is that so few people eat as many as they should.
In fact, a 2017 study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that an overwhelming majority of Americans are skimping on their vegetables. The researchers discovered that only 9% of Americans are meeting the US dietary guidelines of one and a half to two cups of vegetables per day. (R)
This is a major issue because recent research from Imperial College London found that eating 10 servings of vegetables (and fruits) is the magic number to shoot for. Specifically, researchers discovered that eating 10 servings of vegetables and fruits per day led to a:
- 24% reduced risk of heart disease
- 33% reduced risk of stroke
- 28% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease
- 13% reduced risk of total cancer
- 31% reduction in premature deaths
Enough with the research. I think you get the point that eating your veggies is a solid approach to boosting your health and preventing chronic diseases. And it’s a recommendation that is backed by serious science as well as your favorite online nutrition guru. You might think, “Ok Ted, but that has to do with eating actual vegetables. So what about greens powders that celebrities like Drew Barrymore and Zac Efron and supermodels are obsessed with?” Great question.
What Are Greens Powders?
Let’s first talk about what greens powders are and what they contain. Greens powders are dietary supplements that you can mix into water or other liquids. This is important to point out because they’re designed to supplement your diet—not to replace eating vegetables and fruits. These supplements have a lot of nutrients in them but they won’t make up for a lack of nutrition in your diet. Greens powder formulations vary by brand but generally have 25–40 or more different ingredients. These commonly include:
- Leafy greens: Kale, spinach, collard greens, parsley
- Cruciferous vegetables: Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower
- Other vegetables: Beets, carrot,
- Sea vegetables: Spirulina, chlorella, kelp
- Grasses: Wheat grass, alfalfa grass, barley grass
- Mushrooms: Reishi, shitake, maitake
- Antioxidant-rich fruits: Acai, goji, blueberries
- Adaptogenic herbs: Ashwaganda, rhodiola, astragulus
- Spices: Turmeric, ginger, cinnamon
Greens powder products will also add things like probiotics, enzymes, and more to their ingredients list. The ingredients used in these supplements is generally dried and then ground into powder. Some of them may be juiced and then dehydrated, or extracted from whole foods.
Some companies are using sprouted or fermented ingredients. This increases nutrient availability and breaks down compounds that can block absorption. (R, R, R) Greens powders are usually vegan and contain organic as well as non-GMO ingredients.
The price and quality of greens powders vary a lot depending on the product. Many of them also make exaggerated claims about their products. So make sure you read the rest of this article to separate fact from fiction with regards to greens powders.
Common Health Claims About Greens Supplements
In this section, we’re going to examine some common health claims made by companies selling greens powder supplements. This way you’ll be able to separate the facts from the fiction and make an educated and informed decision about whether you should take one of these supplements or not.
Will a greens supplement prevent chronic diseases?
After reading about the disease-fighting powers of eating more vegetables, you might immediately ask if a greens powder would perform the same way. Great question. Unfortunately, we don’t have the same level of evidence to support this idea. That said, there are a few studies that looked into the effects of greens supplementation on health biomarkers. One study gave 10 grams (roughly two tablespoons) of greens powder every day to 10 health subjects. Researchers found that the blood levels of oxidated proteins decreased by 30% in four weeks. .
In another study, researchers gave 10 grams (roughly two tablespoons) of greens powder every day to 40 people with high blood pressure for 90-days. They found that the systolic and diastolic blood pressure dropped about 8% in the greens supplement group while the control group didn’t show any improvement. While more studies are needed to say for sure, it’s a good bet that adding a greens powder to your supplement arsenal might make a difference—especially if you’re failing to eat the 10 servings of vegetables and fruits every day.
Can greens powders detoxify your body?
This is a million-dollar question. Especially the detoxing types that are always searching for that weird detox trick that will make their belly disappear. The truth is detoxes and detoxing supplements are big business. It’s easy to understand why. We’re inundated with man-made chemicals in the modern world. These are substances that never existed before in nature and have been produced and introduced into our lives at a fast pace.
This is a million-dollar question. Especially the detoxing types that are always searching for that weird detox trick that will make their belly disappear. The truth is detoxes and detoxing supplements are big business. It’s easy to understand why. We’re inundated with man-made chemicals in the modern world. These are substances that never existed before in nature and have been produced and introduced into our lives at a fast pace.
Although we’d like to believe that government agencies like the US Food and Drug Administration have our safety as their priority, there’s growing concern that large companies are capable of undermining the truth about the published evidence regarding the safety of all the man-made chemicals in our environment. The suspicion is that these companies may be trading lives for profits.
On the other side, we have alternative health proponents make strong statements about how the toxins in our environment are the real cause of the obesity crisis, cancer rates, and other health issues that plague the modern world.
Personally, I think the truth is somewhere in between. More specifically, I believe that the best way to “detox” your body is to get rid of excess body fat—and environmental chemicals definitely don’t cause that. Eating too much food does.
Secondly, your liver is what removes toxins from your body. So neither juices nor eating extra vegetables will detoxify your body. With all that said, there are definitely some greens powders that contain ingredients that have scientific evidence to support your body’s natural detoxification process (in human biology they’re called biotransformation pathways for you physiology nerds).
These supplements all have strong scientific evidence supporting their role in detoxification:
- N-Acetyl Cysteine (R)
- Glycine (R)
- Milk Thistle (R)
- Spirulina (R, R)
While you won’t find many (or any) greens powder supplements with NAC and glycine in them, several have milk thistle and spirulina included as ingredients. So it’s plausible that supplements containing these compounds can help you get rid of toxins in your system but they need to be included in the proper amounts.
Is Will drinking a greens powder boost my immune system?
Many greens powders do contain ingredients that are linked to boosting immune system function. Ingredients that contain sufficient amounts of Vitamins A, B-6, C, E, zinc, and selenium have the potential to boost your immunity. Other ingredients like astragulus, reishi (lingzi) mushroom, holy basil, and chlorella can increase your immune system function as well.
Do greens supplements help you burn fat and lose weight?
Let me get this out of the way right now. Taking a greens powder without changing your nutrition or exercise routine will NOT lead to weight loss. Only dialing in your food intake in line with your activity levels will do that. Now that we have that important message out of the way, a greens supplement may help you to lose fat in an indirect way.
If you’re overweight or obese, you’re creating more free radicals and pro-inflammatory chemicals than someone who has healthy body fat levels. Because of this, getting in shape will be more difficult due to chronic levels of inflammation. Chronic inflammation has been linked to joint injuries, low testosterone levels and an impaired ability to gain muscle.
In a 9-month study done on postmenopausal women and strength training, the women’s belly fat levels correlated with inflammation levels. The women who had the highest amount of belly fat, had the highest levels of inflammation and had the hardest time changing their bodies with exercise.
In plain English, this means that if you’re fat, there’s a very strong chance that you have higher levels of inflammation than you should. This can lower your energy levels, make it harder for you to recover from exercise, and increase the chances that you’ll injure a joint when you’re pushing yourself in the gym. (R)
I’m mentioning this because a randomized controlled trial found that taking a greens powder supplement decreased inflammation levels and improved circulation in obese women who were exercising. (R)
This could indirectly lead to fat loss through lowering inflammation levels and allowing for greater recovery from exercise. But again, taking a greens powder and expecting to lose weight without any change in your nutrition or activity levels ain’t going to happen.
Should you take a Greens Powder Supplement?
Let’s answer the question that you may have on your mind right now after reviewing all the above information. Should you take a greens supplement or not? Well, it depends.
If you’re eating a diet that easily includes 10 servings of the highest nutrient-density vegetables and fruits, then you may not get much from a greens supplement. Most of us aren’t, right?
So, if this is your case, then a greens supplement may help—especially if you have excess body fat levels and are looking for an easy way to get more greens and other nutrient-dense foods in your diet. Just don’t expect it to do all that much for you if you’re not willing to change your lifestyle.
Why You Shouldn’t Take A Greens Powder
Don’t take a greens powder thinking that it’ll eliminate the need to eat fresh fruit and vegetables. There are two things that are missing from superfood powders: the water content which real vegetables contain, and the dietary fiber, which are abundant in all vegetables. Missing the fiber means that you’re missing the hunger-curbing power that eating vegetables and fruits contain. Although it’s tempting to believe that the powdered form of vegetables are just as good, you’re far better off eating the original whole food.
Also, forget a greens powder if you’re looking for a magic pill to help you get your health back. Approaching superfood powders or any other supplement as a panacea for whatever health problems you have is a sure sign you need a complete mindset shift around how you approach your health.
Wondering What I Do?
Personally, I use greens powder supplements. I know a ton about nutrition. If you’ve seen my before and after photos in my Success Story section on my website, you know that’s true. However, I still don’t eat as well as I could eat—especially when I’m hard at work for my clients, recording podcasts, and writing articles like this. Instead of lying to myself and saying that I’ll just eat better, I accept where I’m at and drink my greens. It’s easy and there are proven benefits to eating more greens—even if they’re dehydrated greens in a powdered supplement.
On top of that, I just feel better when I drink greens juices or powdered greens supplements. Maybe it’s the placebo effect. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m drinking a grassy-tasting beverage that is strictly for my health and obviously not for the taste. Or maybe it’s the fact that it’s easier for our bodies to absorb the nutrients from juices and powdered supplements than it is to digest raw and cooked vegetables. Whatever the reason is, I’m going to keep doing it until I feel like I’m not getting the results I want.
My Favorite Super Greens Powder
In case you’re wondering which powder I use, I’ll cover that and more here. First let me say that I’ve tried probably a dozen or so greens and superfood powder supplements. And I’ll tell you that there are a lot of high-quality powders on the market. The biggest issue that you’re going to run into is taste. Some of the higher-quality ones are very, very difficult to get down. And that’s coming from me—a person who eats things like natto, drinks straight green juice with no fruit to sweeten it up, and chews big chunks of raw ginger when I feel a sore throat coming on.
So on taste alone, there is only one winner in my opinion and that’s Organifi. I think it’s the highest-quality greens supplement that you’ll actually drink. Another reason I like Organifi is that you can buy single serving Go Pack that you can take with you while you’re travelling instead of filling zip lock bags full of grassy-smelling green powder. But don’t take my word for it. If you’re interested in trying Organifi, go to www.organifi.com and use the code TED20 to receive 20% off your first order. Keep in mind that this is a limited-time offer for readers of the Legendary Life podcast.
Wrapping It Up
I hope I helped you understand the importance of good nutrition and if you want to boost your energy, reduce inflammation and feel better take advantage of this special discount that I got from my favorite Greens Powder and order today. One more thing: don’t wait for things to settle down. For the kids to be old enough, for work to calm down, for the economy to recover, for the weather to cooperate, for your bad back to let up just a little…
Regardless of whether you can afford fancy superfood supplements or not, do something today…take a walk with some friends, go for a bike ride, do some bodyweight squats, drop and give me as many push ups with good form as you can or hold a front plank for as long as you can. The thing is, people who make a difference never wait for just the right time. They know that it will never arrive.
Instead, they make their ruckus when they are short of sleep, out of money, hungry, in the middle of a domestic mess and during a blizzard. The best time to get your health and body back is TODAY.
Are You Still Confused About What Supplements Work And What To Avoid?
We know that upplements are big business. But it’s not like you can trust supplement companies. They have one goal: to convince you to buy their supplements.
Each month, we get hundreds of messages and emails from listeners who are frustrated. They’re sick of misinformation and harmful marketing hype. They just want to know what’s a waste of money and what works. They’re looking for guidance on the right supplements to help them achieve their specific health goals.
So Ted combined his 20 years of experience as a fitness trainer and health coach to help you figure out exactly what to take.
The Ultimate Supplement Guides are the result. He’ve taken our decades of knowledge and experience and summed it up in a series of practical guides, with each focused on a specific health goal – burning fat, building muscle, sleep, memory and focus, jointys, and much more.
Are Superfood powders worth it?
A spirulina shot in your smoothie, some baobab in your cupcake or some maca in your flapjack. A few years ago this would have sounded like a different language. The market for ‘superfoods’ has gone crazy and for those of you on Instagram, whole feeds exist of smoothies containing up to five powders at a time.
Green powders have been around for a long time but when my local Tesco set up a whole shelf dedicated to ‘superfoods’ it made me stop and think. No longer the playground for elite celebrities such as Gwenyth Patrow and Elle Macpherson, miracle powders are being aimed at us mortals. How did we ever survive without them?
We’re being led to believe that we need their enzymes, antioxidants vitamins and minerals. They’re marketed as magic bullets that will keep us healthy and free from disease. The more exotic the better – I’m half expecting an ancient root, handpicked in Narnia with a totally unpronounceable name to be hitting our shelves soon. Of course it will be ridiculously priced which obviously means its really good for us, despite the fact there will be no actual science to back it up.
Are these superfoods doing us any favours?
They’re not a ‘get out of jail free’ card. You can’t have a hedonistic weekend and expect your maca, spirulina and chia energy ball to be making much of a difference!
The important thing is to get the basic nutrients in first. A lot of people are shunning real food and relying on ‘superfood’ smoothies that don’t actually provide the nourishment we need. It’s also unnatural for the body to rely on liquids. We need to eat properly to digest properly and fully assimilate all the nutrients. It all begins in the mouth with chewing. This stimulates our digestive enzymes that help us absorb the good stuff from our food. Take away these enzymes and we end up with very expensive urine – it’s not physically possible to absorb nutrients without enzymes and these are stimulated by proper digestion, starting with eating actual food.
People were able to be healthy before the arrival of ‘superfoods’. That’s not to say these powders aren’t powerful, it’s just that we can get everything we need from less exotic and trendy foods such as broccoli, beetroot, seeds, apples and avocados.
None of the superfood powders contain nutrients that can’t be found in other, cheaper, everyday foods. And research has not shown superfoods to be any better for us than more familiar foods such as almonds that come with a wealth of scientific evidence supporting their role in health. Take Maca, primarily used for hormone balancing. It costs up to £20 for 300g but our hormones would benefit far more from a tub of hummus and some broccoli stalks for a fraction of the price.
The label ‘superfood’ is a marketing invention, not a nutritional term. A lot of the information is pure hype. They may be packed with nutrients but there is only so much we can absorb. Who knows if we are actually benefiting at all. It’s unlikely that these powders will harm your health (although maybe your bank balance) but mostly the claims are unsubstantiated by science and it’s highly unlikely they will magically transform your health.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet of colourful fruit and veg, healthy fats and quality proteins has been scientifically proven to improve health. It’s what we’ve been doing for millennia; it works. You absorb food so much better in its whole form and have the added benefit of fibre, essential to health and protective against disease.
A good example of the potential pitfalls comes with algae such as chlorella and spirulina. They are powerful chelators, that’s why they work so well, binding to toxins and heavy metals, helping to remove them from our systems. But, they can also bind to minerals such as zinc and magnesium and if the environment in which they grow is polluted, they are very effective at binding with the toxins. We then consume these toxins so being absolutely sure of the clean quality of the product and using them carefully is paramount.
That’s not to say I don’t have a cupboard full of various powders, partly because I’m lucky enough to get sent freebies to try and partly because I go into a feeding frenzy every time I enter Wholefoods and can barely leave the shop without having to re-mortgage my house (there should be an ‘option to pay by installments’ notice at the checkout).
But I use them with care, choosing to nourish myself with real food and sometimes adding small amounts of high quality powders to smoothies. I don’t know if they work and certainly don’t rely on them to be healthy but can’t help being slightly sucked in by the hype!
We hope you enjoy this blog post, let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on social media – we’re on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. And don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter to receive a monthly update of our recipes, nutrition tips and expert advice.
The approach of spring inspires renewed dedication among fitness enthusiasts everywhere—and, inevitably, a whole lot of sponsored ads from Instagram influencers pushing nutrition products to help you achieve them. That includes green powders from companies like Beachbody, Athletic Greens, and Amazing Grass, which promise to “deliver key minerals and vital phytonutrients,” help “overcome nutrient deficiencies,” and make you “feel amazing every day,” all by you simply mixing some of their product with water.
Which, sure. Who doesn’t want to feel amazing every day, especially if all it takes is powder, water, and a shaker bottle to combine the two? “Green powders are basically broken-down vitamins, minerals, and other components of vegetables,” says Miami-based nutritionist and dietician Julie Rothenberg. “Some of them include other enzymes and probiotics.”
Green powders are not, however, just broccoli on steroids that you don’t have to cook. “When you think about the benefits that come with having fruits and vegetables, you’re getting vitamins and nutrients and phytonutrients,” explains Rothenberg. “You’re also getting water and fiber, and when you use these green powders to replace vegetables, you’re not getting any fiber.” In other words: Be wary of using these products in lieu of actual food. You still have veggies to eat.
When shopping for a green powder, first take a look at what is actually in them, and if you see any mention of “proprietary blend” on the label, set it back down on the shelf. FDA regulations require manufacturers to list out all of the ingredients in a given product, but the “proprietary blend” loophole doesn’t require the company to list out the amount of said ingredient—which means you may have a vague sense of what you’re putting into your body, but no idea as to how much. “Anything that has any sort of dye or coloring or additive—those are things that you’d want to steer clear of, too,” says Rothenberg. “Really, anything you can’t pronounce.”
For companies that are more transparent, it’s equally important to look critically at the amount of any active ingredient when making a decision. In that regard, some green powders can vary drastically. Take Amazing Grass’s Organic Supergreens Powder, for example. “When you actually look at the ingredients, you’re not really getting that much of a boost of anything but vitamin K,” explains Rothenberg. “Even the amount of vitamin C—which is pretty heavy in many green vegetables—is only four percent of your daily need. To me, that says you’re not getting that much of a benefit from these things.” A serving of the company’s similarly named Green Superfood powder, by contrast, contains 57 percent of your recommended daily vitamin C allowance.
10 Things Zedd Can’t Live Without
9 Reasons Powdered Greens Are Worth Your Money
by: Yuri Elkaim
How many servings of greens have you had this week?
If you’re like most people, the answer is probably simple: not enough.
It can be difficult to squeeze in enough servings of greens, and the consequences pile up fast. Fatigue, lack of energy, inability to concentrate, and weight gain are just a few of the negative effects of a poor diet.
Not only that, but loading up on junk foods – fried, sugary, and/or processed – can lead to a build-up of acid in the body, making it the perfect environment for fostering bacteria and inflammation.
The solution is simple: eat more greens!
Balance Your System With Greens
Because greens are alkaline-forming, they can help quickly flush out that excess acid, leaving you with a well-balanced system and more energy.
Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to get in the servings of greens you need through food. Between work, family, and life in general, we don’t always have as much time as we’d like to spend in the kitchen.
Enter powdered greens, one of the latest superfoods to hit the market.
Powdered greens are an easy, convenient, and effective way to get in the greens you need to keep your body healthy.
9 Reasons to Use Powered Greens
Still not convinced?
Here are the top powdered greens benefits and why I recommend them as a worthy investment for your health:
1. They boost your energy levels.
Getting in your greens puts your body back in balance by reducing the acid overload and increasing your intake of healthful alkaline-forming ingredients.
This makes it even easier for your body to get the nutrients it needs from the foods you eat, which translates to a quick surge in your energy.
If you are constantly feeling run down or tired, give green powders a try and watch your energy skyrocket almost immediately.
2. They are incredibly versatile.
Traditionally, powdered greens are most often blended up in smoothies or added to drinks. This is great, because it’s a fast and easy way to up your intake of greens while masking the taste with other ingredients as well.
However, the options are pretty much endless when it comes to incorporating powdered greens into your diet.
Add a scoop to your pancake batter or eggs for a delicious, supercharged meal. Alternatively, powdered greens can give a nutritious punch to soup, mousse, hummus, or even salad dressing.
For a few other ideas of how to add powdered greens to your diet, check out my list of 12 greens powder recipes.
3. They are convenient.
Obviously one of the biggest benefits to supplementing your diet with a greens powder is the convenience factor. While you should definitely still be adding fruits and vegetables into your diet as much as possible, it can be a real struggle to calculate ways to squeeze in the healthy greens your body needs each and every day.
Cocoa Greens. Recipe here.
If you’re pressed for time (as most of us are), a scoop of greens powder is an awesome alternative to spending time in the kitchen or at the grocery store.
Powdered greens take most of the work out of it and provide you with another thing you don’t need to worry about.
4. They are easily absorbed so you get the most nutrients.
Opt for a good, high-quality powdered greens supplement and you’ll be getting greens that are highly bioavailable.
This means that you’ll be getting a concentrated dose of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, allowing you to maximize the health benefits from your powdered greens so they can get to work immediately within your body.
5. They help prevent chronic disease.
There’s a good reason dark leafy greens are commonly recommended to promote health; in addition to being an excellent source for a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, they are incredibly rich in antioxidants and carotenoids.
These compounds work to deactivate free radicals in the body, preventing oxidative damage to our cells and keeping us healthy.
Dark leafy greens, like the ones found in powdered greens, are often cited for their benefits on heart health and cancer prevention.
They have been known to reduce the risk of blood clots, regulate triglyceride and cholesterol levels, and slash the chances of developing cardiovascular disease. Also, greens have been shown to promote healthy cell division while spurring cell death of cancer cells and inactivating carcinogens (1).
When whipping up a batch of kale salad every day doesn’t sound realistic or appealing, powdered greens are a great option to take advantage of the disease-busting benefits of leafy greens.
6. They are highly concentrated.
When it comes to powdered greens vs. fresh greens, powdered greens have the upper hand if you’re looking to get the biggest nutritional bang for your buck.
One ounce of greens powder can actually contain more than a pound of greens in total. That means you’re squeezing several servings of greens into a little bit of powder, making it easier than ever to get in the amount you need (2).
And how do powdered greens stack up to powdered greens capsules? Turns out, powdered greens are the clear winner. In fact, a single scoop of powdered greens contains what you’ll find in 30 to 50 powdered greens capsules.
7. They reduce inflammation.
Inflammation can exacerbate preexisting conditions, like cancer, obesity, arthritis, and diabetes. It can also cause a lot of undesirable side effects, like fatigue or chronic pain.
Over time, chronic inflammation takes a serious toll on the body and can even lead to the development of chronic disease.
Greens can be a powerful tool when it comes to inflammation. Not only are they alkaline-forming, which can help reduce inflammation caused by acid overload, but they are also rich in antioxidants, which help fight free radicals and alleviate inflammation.
Greens are also brimming with magnesium and vitamin E, both of which possess potent anti-inflammatory powers. Powdered greens are an excellent way to harness the beneficial anti-inflammatory effects of greens.
8. They keep your skin glowing.
Green powders provide a host of benefits from the inside out – literally!
Many of the ingredients found in powdered greens are rich in vitamins A, C, and E, all of which support skin health.
Plus, they promote improved blood circulation, which keeps you looking fresh, healthy, and radiant.
9. They can aid in fat loss.
In addition to holding onto fat, fat cells have actually been shown to hold onto excess acid too. This mechanism keeps that extra acid from attacking other cells in your body and damaging your health.
When you neutralize the body’s pH by ingesting more alkaline-forming foods – like green powders – it finally allows your body to get rid of those pesky unwanted fat cells.
Tips for Buying and Using Greens Powders
Powdered greens are an investment when it comes to your health. Naturally, you want to pick the best option to get the most from your money and maximize the potent health benefits on your body as well.
In your search for a quality powdered green, look for blends with minimal amounts of fiber in the mix.
While fiber is definitely a necessity in our diet, it’s not something that should be found in your powdered greens. Many manufacturers add fillers or opt for cheaper leaf powders to minimize cost.
Skip the alfalfa or barley leaf powder, which is mostly composed of cellulose (fiber) and go for greens processed from the juice of the plant to ensure optimal absorption.
Also look for companies that have minimal processing to avoid contamination and preserve their nutrient profile.
My Energy Greens Blend is a great option as it is meticulously grown and harvested carefully in a clean environment when its nutrients are at their peak. A bit of searching online can help you find other safe and quality blends as well.
Pleasing the Palate
Finally, let’s not pretend that powdered greens are so delicious that you’ll be eating them like candy.
It’s true: many greens powders have a bit of a raw, grass-like taste. However, masking the taste is easy with a bit of creativity.
Green Colada Smoothie. Recipe here.
If you’re adding powdered greens to your smoothie, pair it with a fruit with a sweeter flavor, like pineapples or mango, to disguise the taste of the greens. And if your smoothie recipe also includes fresh greens, now may be the time to stick to spinach or other varieties with a more neutral taste.
Add your greens to dishes with a strong flavor that will easily overpower the taste of the powdered greens. Chocolate baked goods are a great choice if you have a sweet tooth and Indian food is perfect for hiding the taste of powdered greens in your main course.
Invest in Your Health
Ultimately, it’s hard to put a price tag on good health.
While I always recommend getting your nutrients from foods first, if it’s hard for you to meet your quota for intake of greens, you should definitely consider investing in a green powder and taking advantage of the myriad of health benefits.
If you feel like you’re getting enough in your diet, it never hurts to have some “health insurance” built into your diet.
Give powdered greens a try and see for yourself how much better you feel. Chances are, you’ll wonder how you went so long without it.
Ramp Up Your Energy
Feeling tired, groggy, and lethargic? Or like you need a nap every day?
You’ll be amazed at how a few simple changes in your routine will help you become revitalized and energized.
Learn a few easy tricks to make the most out of your day in my Double Your Energy Report. You’ll love how you feel!
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Yuri Elkaim is one of the world’s most trusted health and fitness experts. A former pro soccer player turned NYT bestselling author of The All-Day Energy Diet and The All-Day Fat Burning Diet, his clear, science-backed advice has transformed the lives of more than 500,000 men and women and he’s on a mission to help 100 million people by 2040. Read his inspiring story, “From Soccer to Bed to No Hair on My Head” that started it all.
Ask the Diet Doctor: Greens Powders vs. Green Juices
Q: Are greens powders as nutritious as green juices?
A: When deciding whether to drink your greens cold-pressed or powdered, there are important distinctions to keep in mind. Despite their similar names and ingredients, greens powders or supplements are rather different from fresh-pressed green juices, which makes it difficult to determine a clear nutritional winner between the two.
Fresh green juices contain the juices of a variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbs that have been extracted most commonly by cold pressing. Juicing has become an extremely popular way to consume the healthful components of these ingredients in large quantities very quickly. In the cold pressing process, fiber and roughage is stripped out, leaving behind carbohydrates, water, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. In a previous piece, I discussed the benefits and drawbacks of juicing. Most importantly, there are no magical health effects of drinking your greens compared to eating them. Also remember that these beverages are not zero calorie.
Thanks to green juices’ recent rise in popularity, there are many commercial pressed juice offerings to choose from. Each manufacturer has their own unique process, but as long as this includes cold pressing fresh fruits and vegetables without exposing the foods to heat, you should not experience any notable degradation in vitamins in green juices. Just make sure to buy from a company that cold presses the juice fresh on-sight or in-store.
RELATED: The 7 Best-Tasting Green Juices
The main difference between greens juices and powders is the calories. Greens supplements are the powdered remains of fruits, vegetables, and herbs that have been either freeze- or light-dried, so the end product is essentially calorie-free or very low-calorie. The light drying process seems to be preferable to freeze-drying (if you have the choice), as the freezing process can diminish the content of vitamins like pantothenic acid and folic acid. Additionally, greens supplements will often contain a wider variety of ingredients, as sourcing the ingredients for the supplement isn’t limited to what can be easily pressed and juiced.
Whether you consumer your fruits and veggies in juice or powder form, the main benefit of consuming high amounts of produce is the alkalinizing effect on your diet. Some research suggests that it is important for different aspects of health, such as bone health, to balance the acidic foods in your diet (e.g. grains, protein foods, dairy, and legumes) with alkaline foods (e.g. vegetables and fruits). A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition suggests that greens supplements can be an efficient way to tip the acid/base status in your body to an optimal balance. Plus, their ease of use and portability make them a good option for people who travel a lot and have trouble getting in many servings of fruits and vegetables when on the road.
Overall, while both greens supplements or green juices can play a beneficial role in your diet, don’t expect either to make or break your weight-loss or wellness efforts.
- By Dr. Mike Roussell
3 Best Green Juice Superfood Powders (Our Review for 2020)
Last Updated on December 18, 2019
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At a Glance: Our Picks for the Best Green Juice Superfood Powders
- Organifi Green Juice Super Food Supplement
- Athletic Greens Premium Green Superfood Cocktail
- Super Greens Powder Premium Superfood
I have spent so much time this year experimenting with different superfoods to boost my energy and lose a bit of weight.
If you’re like me, you are probably overwhelmed with the number of options available for quick, healthy foods, and you just want to know which product you should buy.
Fortunately, I’ve done the work for you. Specifically, in this article, I will cover the three best green juice powders that I’ve discovered.
I will also talk about green juice powders in detail. I’ll go through the pros and possible cons of each so you can figure out which one might be right for you.
Hopefully, by the end of this article you will have a better idea of the characteristics that you are looking for in this type of product, and will be able to narrow down the options to your personal favorite.
(Plus, I will give you a recommendation of my personal favorite that you can try today for free.)
Let’s get to it…
Don’t have time to read the entire review?
Now, if you’re a busy person who doesn’t have time to read this entire review, then we’ve simplified everything.
Here is a quick table to shows provides a quick rating of our favorite green juice super foods.
Common Questions About Green Juice Superfood Powders
Why isn’t all of the nutritional information on the label?
If you look on the label of a lot of green juice powders, you may notice that they are either missing nutritional information or don’t list the precise amounts of the various ingredients in their products. One reason for this is that many companies use proprietary formulae that they do not want to be duplicated. To prevent this, they lump the ingredients together to keep their recipes a secret.
Additionally, nutritional information is often missing because the manufacturer of the product charges the supplement company money to take the necessary steps to precisely determine the nutrient content of the product, which can be very expensive.
Why are some green juice powders so much more expensive than others?
While some green juice powders may only set you back about $20 per bottle, others cost upwards of $150. The reasons for this vary. Some ingredients cost more money than others, which is then reflected in the price you have to pay for the product. Other times, the company spends more money on marketing and then charges the consumer for that expense.
The cost to manufacture a green juice powder product will depend on the size of the bottle and the cost of its ingredients. Keeping this in mind, you may be able to judge how much value you are getting out of the product you are interested in buying.
Are green powder juices safe for pregnant women?
Green powder juices are not designed to be harmful, and therefore are very likely to be safe during pregnancy. Including greens in your diet during pregnancy is a healthy way to get the best nutrients to your growing baby. While some formulas do contain stimulatory herbs, they are usually present in much smaller doses than you would take when in pill form.
But remember, you should always talk to a doctor first, and have your doctor look at the ingredients to make sure none of them are considered to be substances that might be harmful during pregnancy. Because there can be so many different ingredients in different products, it’s hard to say for sure that any green juice powder would be safe for everybody’s situation.
What to Look For in a Green Juice Powder
You should mainly be concerned with three characteristics when you are buying a green juice powder:
- Quality of ingredients
While they may not be in your personal order of importance, these factors are all likely to impact your decision in some way.
For example, if you are used to drinking green juice powders, you may be most interested in nutrient density and have a preference for certain ingredients, and have little concern about the price of the product.
Understanding the Label
The labels on green juice powders can certainly be confusing. However, they all typically have the same types of ingredients listed on them. Most of them include the following:
A base: This is usually some type of grass, such as wheatgrass, barley, or alfalfa. They also usually have lecithin and beta-glucans.
Digestive enzymes: Digestive enzymes are used to help your body digest the product and properly absorb the nutrients. The digestive enzymes are especially important if your gastrointestinal system is sensitive and you want to be able to improve the nutritional impact of other ingredients that are in the product.
Probiotics: Probiotics are bacteria that are great for gut health. Here is a useful video on the benefits of probiotics.
Fiber: The fiber in these powders is typically taken from fruits. While having a good amount of fiber is healthy because it can keep your digestive system running well, consuming too much can deplete other important nutrients.
Herbs: Herbs are added to these products to boost your immune system and energy.
Greens: The most commonly used greens are spinach, bok choy, kale, and parsley. However, sometimes broccoli sprouts are used as well.
Seaweeds/algae: These are both common and healthy. Aim for drinking a powder with at least 300 mg of seaweed, including spirulina and chlorella.
Why Choose a Green Juice Powder
Remember, you can’t out-supplement a poor diet. It is important to use green juice powder along with a healthy diet and lifestyle. So, why should you choose a green juice powder to fit your lifestyle at all?
There are many reasons that even a seemingly healthy diet by itself still might not give you enough micronutrients and antioxidants. Over the last century, industrial farming has decreased the amount of nutritious topsoil that contains important minerals.
The soil no longer contains beneficial bacteria that are able to grow the healthiest foods for our bodies. This means that the vegetables that are available to us have less mineral density than they used to. This reduction of minerals and the use of fertilizers and pesticides to create our produce can all contribute to the development of the disease.
Additionally, healthy hunter-gatherer humans who were alive centuries ago were able to eat a much wider variety of produce than what is made available to us today. They were able to consume up to 20 species of fruits and vegetables per day, and 100 species each year.
In contrast, the supermarket vegetables that we eat these days have been bred to be uniform in size and shape, contain more sugar, and have less bitterness. This all equates to fewer micronutrients and phytonutrients in our current produce than vegetables grown in the wild. The vegetables in our stores have also traveled hundreds of miles before they reach our tables, where they have lost nutrients throughout the way.
Our modern lifestyle with stress and pollutants further depletes our nutrition. We have an increased need for micronutrients to stay healthy and keep our bodies free from the chemicals that we are exposed to each day.
As we all know, it is best to get nutrition from whole food sources. However, this is not always possible. Because a greens supplement is able to give your body the vitamins it needs from nutrient-dense whole food sources, using a green drink powder is a great way to make sure that your body is getting all of the micronutrients and antioxidants that it needs.
While our soil may be depleted from vitamins and minerals, the sea is not. Many greens supplements include marine sources of nutrients as well.
Three Best Green Juice Powders (Our Review for 2020)
There are a lot of options out there for green juice powders, but some clearly have more value and benefits than others. Here are the three best juice powders on the market today.
Organifi – Green Juice Super Food Supplement
This is my preferred product because of its minty taste. It comes with a 30-day supply of water-soluble powder so you can just dissolve it in water and take it for an on-the-go breakfast. The proprietary blend in this product gives you energy and supplies your body with the nutrients it needs to get through the day.
This powder is made with gently dried organic greens and doesn’t require a juicer or much time to prepare. With only 24 calories per serving, this powder delivers two grams of protein, with 5100 mg of alkaline greens and 1450 mg of superfood blend. It has 2 mg of iron and 31 mg of calcium as well.
While some consumers may notice that the jar the product comes in is much larger than the amount of powder in it, it is important to remember that the weight of the powder matches what is on the label. Further, while it says it comes with 30 servings, I was actually able to get 36 servings out of the powder provided.
Organifi Green Juice is a product that is strictly a superfood powder. While some other formulas may add ingredients such as probiotics, enzymes, and antioxidants, this powder is purely vitamins and minerals. Some other brands even add protein to help make their products more of a meal replacement, but this powder is to be used strictly as a superfood supplement.
- Free from gluten, soy, and GMOs
- Supports the immune system
- Has a pleasant minty taste
- Moringa and ashwaghanda root are rare, expensive, and beneficial ingredients
- Contains no fillers
- Reduces brain cell degeneration
- Emphasizes rejuvenation
- Does not have a texture once it is dissolved
- No aftertaste
- More expensive than other products
- Difficult to completely dissolve without a whisk or blender
- It does not have any probiotics or digestive enzymes
- May cause digestion issues during initial use
- Not the most potent green drink available
- Contains sugar
And if you’d like to learn more Organifi, watch this video where Drew Canole explains why he created his product and what ingredients go into it. Learn more about Organifi green juice here.
Athletic Greens Premium Green Superfood Cocktail
While this green juice powder is the most expensive, it is also the most nutritious compared to other brands. This proprietary blend is derived from a combination of tried and true plants, fruits, herbs, and mushrooms. The powder provides both multivitamins and minerals through the power of freeze-dried fruits, vegetables, and plants. With this perfect balance of natural vitamins and minerals, it encourages a healthy immune system.
Unlike some other powders that have a grass clippings taste, Athletic Greens has taken the time to create a product that is enjoyable. It is more than just whole food nutrition backed by science—it is sweet, delicious, and smooth.
There are no harmful chemicals, artificial colors, sweeteners, flavors, preservatives, or added sugar. There are also no GMOs, herbicides, pesticides, gluten, wheat, corn, dairy, lactose, sucrose, egg, dextrose, yeast, peanuts, or animal products of any kind.
This powerful supplement contains no less than 75 high-quality ingredients with each serving, which gives your body more nutrients than you would be able to get from a typical diet. It is formulated so anyone can take it, including those who follow a vegan and Paleo diet.
- One of the most complete products available
- Each batch goes under stringent testing
- Provides a variety of nutrients
- Packs a punch of nutrition with each serving
- Available in convenient packets
- Dissolves easily
- May cause indigestion
- Powder is very fine, so some can escape the container when you open it
- Contains a lot of Vitamin C, which is not necessarily needed
- May cause birth defects
- Has a gritty aftertaste
Super Greens Powder Premium Superfood
Among the green juice powders reviewed today, this one is the most affordable. It’s a great product for health-conscious individuals who want to boost their immunity, strengthen their digestion, detoxify their bodies, and increase their energy.
Super Greens Powder Premium Superfood is one of the most comprehensive green powders available. It contains over 40 superfoods that include 10 strains of probiotics, organic greens, vegetable-based digestive enzymes, and antioxidants. These all ensure that your body is functioning on clean energy and your gut absorbs all the nutritious benefits.
Super Greens is great when mixed with plain water or juices, or made into a smoothie. All you need to do is to scoop, stir, and enjoy.
Unlike other powders that leave an aftertaste, the makers of Super Greens took care to give their formulation a natural and tasty berry flavor. It is sugar- and gluten-free and provides 5.5 grams of dietary fiber, 10 billion CFUs of probiotics, and 3450 mg of organic greens per serving. It is also made from purely vegan and non-GMO ingredients.
- No added sugar.
- Vegan formulation.
- The digestive enzymes ensure that most of the nutrients are absorbed.
- Contains powerful antioxidants.
- Affordable and good for 30 servings.
- Difficult to dissolve; might need a mixer to blend really well.
- Excessively sweet for some people.
- Contains a very high dose of Vitamin A, around four times higher than the recommended daily value.
- May cause sleeping difficulties when taken close to bedtime.
- May cause diarrhea.
- The texture and color of the powder is not what most users are used to when it comes to green powders.
The clear winner of these options is the Organifi Green Juice Super Food Supplement. This is because it is enjoyable to drink and also has all of the nutrition that your body needs to stay healthy and support your immune system. This powder is vegan, so it is suitable for everyone’s needs.
It boosts energy, rejuvenates skin, reduces stress, and even helps you save time by being able to quickly dissolve the powder in water or any liquid of your choice. It also contains all of the amino acids that the body needs to work at its optimal level. With morninga, mint, chlorella, spirulina, beets, matcha green tea, wheatgrass, ashwagandha, turmeric, lemon, and coconut, this powder provides a lot of value for its price.
Often, it is the taste that ends up winning a product over for people. With Organifi Green Juice Super Food Supplement, you will be able to enjoy the taste each day without having to dread drinking it. This makes the product enjoyable and healthy at the same time.
To learn more about this product, I encourage you to watch this video to see if Organifi is the right green juice powder for you.
Stop spending hours and lots of money on expensive ingredients to make your juice every morning. Try the Organifi Green Juice Super Food Supplement to save time and money, and feel your best as soon as possible.
And finally, if you’re still on the fence and not sure where to get started, then I encourage you to take advantage of the free trial offer by Organifi where you can test three packs of their product for free (plus the cost of shipping.)
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249 Shares Summary Reviewer Steve ScottReview Date 2017-11-02 Reviewed Item Green Juice Powders Author Rating 5