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How Effective are Greens Powders?

5 min read time Oct 15, 2021

Description

Eating healthy is the way to go, but it’s not as easy to achieve as you might think. 

Take eating greens, for example–nutritionists recommend you eat them fresh, straight from the garden. 

But how do you get fresh, nutritious produce from crops that don’t grow locally?

That’s where green powders come in. 

Quality manufacturers of greens powders will take your favorite green vegetables and turn them into a healthy powder that you can use year-round, wherever you are.

However, since manufacturers process and turn the greens into powder, some people doubt the nutritional benefits of these foods. This guide tries to put to rest those fears by examining the effectiveness of greens powders.

How effective are green powders?

Nutritionists recommend taking 2-3 cups of fruits and vegetables daily, claiming they: 

  • enhance energy 
  • support a healthy digestive system, and 
  • prevent diseases. 

So, do greens powders work?

Green powders are effective because they support a healthy diet with added vitamins, minerals and nutrition that may not typically be gained from a standard American diet.

Greens powders do have scientific backing. For instance, a 2009 study sought to find the impact of vegetable powder mixes on people with hypertension.

The treatment group that used the nutritional supplement for 90 days recorded a significant reduction in diastolic and systolic blood pressure.1

In a study that ran for four weeks and results released in 2011, a group that took between 3-6 tablespoons of greens powder daily experienced a significant rise in serum antioxidants and drops in lipid and protein oxidation.3

This suggests powders may reduce your chances of contracting chronic diseases due to oxidative damage.

The great thing about nutritional powders is you can mix them into any food, drink, desserts, smoothie, or breakfast cereal to boost their nutritional value. If you have the stomach for it, you can even mix it with water.

Here are some of the nutrients you might find in two tablespoons of a superfood powder:

Nutrient

Nutritional value

Iodine  

100% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)

Calories

40

Protein

2 grams

Calcium

5% of RDI

Iron

20% of RDI

Selenium

70% of RDI

Fat

0.5 grams

Potassium

5% of RDI

Total carbs

7 grams

Chromium  

60% of RDI

You can’t regulate the number of nutrients present in a plant, so it’s not uncommon for plants grown from different regions to contain different nutritional values. That is not the case for nutritional powders.

Manufacturers can control the number of nutrients in greens powders, ensuring they are laser-focused to produce a specific nutrient in a quantifiable amount. That gives you a chance to measure the number of nutrients you have consumed and quantify any deficits.

Do green powders have vitamins?

Apart from minerals, fiber, and other micronutrients vital for a healthy immune system, greens powder products are rich in vitamins. For example, the typical superfood powder may contain the following content of vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K:

Nutrient

Nutritional value

Vitamin A 

80% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)

Vitamin C

80% of RDI

Vitamin K

60% of RDI

 

Further, some of the powder supplements contain healthy servings of vitamin B, vitamin B12, and vitamin K2.

  • For example, organic carrot powder not only contains vitamins B and C, but other vitamins such as Thiamin, Vitamin E, Riboflavin, Beta Tocopherol, Niacin, Vitamin K, and Alpha & Beta –carotene.
  • For leafy greens powder, try broccoli powder or wheatgrass powder. They are chockfull of vitamin C and E, supplemented by other vitamins like B-6, choline, and vitamin A.
  • If you’re into fruit-based vitamins, you can’t go wrong with the apple or blueberry juice powders. As you would expect, they are strong sources of vitamin C, with a splash of vitamin B1, B2, and E.

Alternatively, you can opt for the ultimate superfood fusion that features a potent mix of powerful fruits, berries, greens, and roots in one handy package. That means you get a truckload of nutritional vitamins, including Vitamins A, B, D, C, E, and K.

Can you replace vegetables with green powder?

Quality greens powders come from nutritious whole vegetables that are high in nutrition. The best case scenario is to eat whole foods in their natural form. While this isn't always possible, largely because of seasonality, green powders can be a valid replacement.

As the name suggests, whole food powders come packed with their entire nutritional values, something you cannot achieve with nutritional supplements. For instance, greens powders have their water content stripped off.

Additionally, whole foods in their raw form come jam-packed with soluble and insoluble natural fiber. To circumvent this, some nutritional powders have added fiber, such as rice bran and apple fiber, but they’re not in the same caliber as natural fiber.

Moreover, it’s easy to overdose on greens powders, which can be toxic. In addition, they can react negatively with some medication.

It’s difficult to overdose on whole foods or for them to cause an adverse reaction with medicines.

Further, it’s easy to concentrate on one brand that offers one class of vitamins while neglecting others.

While it’s tempting to stick to greens powders because they’re packed in convenient containers and are available any season of the year, you should only use them as supplements. If you want to maintain optimal health, stick to a healthy diet of:

  • Nuts
  • Whole fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Legumes

Although they come second to fresh produce, greens powders are a great way to supplement a healthy diet. If you cannot achieve the daily-required diet of three cups of fruits and vegetables, a convenient way is topping it up with nutritional powders.

Is it OK to drink green smoothies every day?

Smoothies are tasty and yummy, a feature that may tempt you to take them daily. However, if they contain a high concentration of added sugars, they can be unhealthy if taken constantly.

What’s more, store-bought smoothies use artificial sweeteners and sweetened dairy products, which can contribute to uncontrolled sugar intake.

That shouldn’t mean you can’t take smoothies daily–you just have to learn how to control the ingredients. Measure the amounts of green powder you mix in the smoothie to strike the right balance of the ingredients to counteract any added sugars.

A great suggestion is to include green leafy superfood powders such as kale powder and spinach powder. In their wholesome form, green leafy vegetables contain proteins that can help keep your blood sugars in check while controlling hunger and cravings.

Green smoothies are great for daily intake as they help you hit the daily dietary requirements. The calcium, fiber, phytochemicals, and vitamins A, B, C, E, and K are excellent for reducing your chances of developing chronic diseases such as type-2 diabetes and cancer.

Are greens powders effective?

Green superfood powders contain healthy amounts of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that are vital for maintaining a healthy diet.

Green powders, which include your favorite green leafy vegetables, allows you to take your favorite smoothie daily without worrying about spiking sugar levels or neglecting to get your recommended daily nutrition. While greens powders aren’t intended to substitute all your whole fruits and vegetables, green powders provide the next best alternative when fresh produce isn’t readily available.

Visit the Z Natural Foods website today to purchase your favorite superfood powder.


References


  1. The effect of fruit and vegetable powder mix on hypertensive subjects: a pilot study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2732245/ 
  2. Zhang John, Oxinos George, & Maher H. John (2009). The effect of fruit and vegetable powder mix on hypertensive subjects: a pilot study. Journal of chiropractic medicine, 8(3), 101–106. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcm.2008.09.004.
  3. Rao V, Balachandran B, Shen H, Logan A, Rao L. In vitro and in vivo antioxidant properties of the plant-based supplement greens. Int J Mol Sci. 2011;12(8):4896-908. Epub 2011 Aug 3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21954333/.
  4. USNews. 2017. What Are Greens Powders – and Do You Need Them?. [online] Available at: https://health.usnews.com/wellness/food/articles/2017-11-17/what-are-greens-powders-and-do-you-need-them.  [Accessed 12 October 2021].
  5. Steen, Juliette, 2016. Can Green Powders Really Take The Place Of Vegetables?. [online] HuffPost UK. Available at: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/we-found-out-if-green-powders-can-really-take-the-place-of-veg_n_61087614e4b0999d2084fcf8. [Accessed 12 October 2021].
  6. Shortsleeve, Cathy, 2018. Are Smoothies Healthy? Here’s What the Experts Say. [online] Time. Available at: https://time.com/5447846/are-smoothies-healthy/. [Accessed 12 October 2021].

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