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Are Green Powders A Waste Of Money? Things You Must Know 2022

amita fotedar

Updated on - Written by
Medically reviewed by Melissa Mitri, MS, RD

are green powders worth it

Green powders are worth it for you as they are extremely beneficial for addressing nutrient gaps in your diet. A good green powder offers a myriad of health benefits[1] such as promoting heart health, weight loss, reducing the effects of aging, improving energy levels, and even reducing the effects of aging

Green powders are dietary supplements consisting of several health-promoting ingredients:

  • Probiotics[2] – aid digestion and help maintain gut health
  • A base of antioxidant-rich grasses (typically wheatgrass, barley grass, spirulina, and/or chlorella) – high in nutrients and antioxidants. 
  • Powdered algae – antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and brain-protective properties
  • Vegetables – important source of potassium, vitamin A, dietary fiber, folate, and vitamin C.
  •  Fruits – critical to meet body’s vitamin and mineral needs
  •  Seaweed – good for thyroid health
  •  Digestive enzymes  – essential to nutrition and overall good health
  • And more

Green powders are typically designed to boost your energy and help you pack in additional nutrients your body might be lacking. 

The green powder is consumed by mixing into water, other juices, or smoothies, to create a low-calorie, but nutrient and vitamin-rich drink.

That being said, let’s explore and read more about green powders, how they work, and how to maximize the health benefits without heavily relying on them.

Are Green Powders Worth It?

The real answer to this question is actually both ‘a yes’ and ‘a no.’ It is important to understand that not all green powder brands can be trusted sites for ensuring complete nutrition. Only some are worth your money. 

Greens powders comprise 30-40 or even more ingredients[3], which vary by brand. These ingredients commonly include:

  • Seaweed – nori, dulse, sea lettuce, kelp, chlorella, spirulina
  • Grasses – Alfalfa grass, barley grass, oat grass, wheatgrass, 
  • Other vegetables – Beets, broccoli, green cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, green cabbage
  • High-antioxidant fruits  – Blueberries, raspberries, goji berries, acai berries
  • Leafy greens – Collard greens, spinach, kale, moringa, parsley
  • Nutritional extracts – Ginkgo biloba extract, grape seed extract, green tea extract
  • Herbs – Holy basil, astragalus,echinacea, milk thistle
  • Probiotics: Lactobacillus (L.) rhamnosus, L. acidophilus, Bifidobacterium lactis
  • Plant-based digestive enzymes – Cellulase, lipase, amylase, papain, protease
  • Extra fiber – Apple fiber, Rice bran, inulin
  • Mushrooms – Maitake mushroom extract, shiitake mushroom extract
  • Natural sugar substitutes – Monk fruit extract, Stevia leaf extract

To determine the number of superfoods your green powder supplement contains, it’s important to look at the SFP (Supplement Facts Panel)[4] with a critical eye. The SFP helps you to decide whether or not a particular green powder is worth your money.

An average reputed brand green powder supplement offers about 5,000-7,000 mg[5] worth of superfoods per serving. This much appears to be a lot of superfoods, but a quality green powder supplement provides as much as twice that amount. 

If you choose a top-shelf green powder that contains the maximum number of superfoods (say more than 30), it’s completely worth every penny. Green powders are not a waste of money if used as complementary supplements to your already established healthy dietary patterns.

Benefits Of Green Powders

The nutrients in greens powder supplements can contribute to a host of health benefits including

Healthy Blood Pressure

Green powders are rich in nutrients like potassium, magnesium, and nitrates. These nutrients help manage heart rhythm disorders, improve blood flow and support healthy blood pressure[6]. These minerals also aid in balancing the high sodium effects that could trigger high blood pressure.

Support Hormone Balance

A variety of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale, collards, turnips, etc. often make up the foundation of greens powders. Certain phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals present in the green powders are associated with maintaining a healthy balance of hormones[7].

Support Detoxification

Green powders are rich in nutrients like folates, betaine, and methionine that play an essential role in the body’s natural detox process. For example, cruciferous vegetables – one of the ingredients in a green powder, promote the production of glutathione[8], a powerful antioxidant that safeguards the body from free radicals, harmful toxins present in our environment.

Increase Nutrient Density Of Your Diet

It is usually impossible to eat the recommended five servings of all vital nutrients per day. Green powders are one of the richest sources of vital minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and carotenoids. These carotenoids are also called rainbow nutrients[9] as these nutrients come from colorful foods).

Green powders offer a simple way to improve the nutrient density of your diet. This also allows the consumption of a concentrated mixture of fruits and veggies without too much effort. 

One tablespoon of greens powders comprises as many as 30 plus different veggies, fruits, and superfoods.

Balance Blood Sugar

Greens powders contain ingredients that help optimize insulin[10] and blood sugar responses. They may help in reducing blood sugar levels, improving glucose tolerance, and stimulating the secretion of glucose-dependent insulin. Basically, green powders may support healthier blood sugar management and are beneficial in effectively managing both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

Support Brain Health

Green powders may be helpful in improving cognitive function and boosting brain performance[11]. Green supplements are rich in nutrients like zinc, vitamin K, magnesium, lutein, folate, copper, iron, and beta-carotene that are crucial for nerve signaling, enhancing learning, and preserving memory.

Protect Heart Health

Green powders are rich in minerals and vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and folates that may aid in heart disease prevention[12]. Magnesium and nitrates present in the green powders may help improve blood flow in the body and maintain pressure levels that may reduce heart disease risk.

Help Balance pH

Green powders may help regulate the body’s pH by neutralizing acids[13] that build up when consuming a highly processed, high-carbohydrate diet. The green supplements may lower your overall acid load, and doing this can contribute to improved health. A balanced pH can lead to better overall bone health, as well. Increased acidity makes for poorer bone structure leading to osteoporosis.

Do Green Powder Supplements Really Work? 

Green powder supplements can work when you choose a supplement with the right combination of ingredients at the appropriate dose. You may be wondering “is kale powder good for you?” Powdered kale is a frequent ingredient in greens powders. Part of the reason green powders work is the ingredients in them. The benefits of kale include vitamin A, folate, and omega-3 fatty acids it contains. And, this is just one ingredient.

There’s a reason the ingredients in the green powder supplements are classified as “superfoods[14].” These ingredients have earned that title because of the health benefits they offer. Superfoods are picked at their optimal ripeness and include many veggies that picky eaters won’t frequently eat.

Supplementing your daily diet with green powder serves as extra insurance that you are getting enough nutrients.  It may be difficult to get enough of these nutrients, even if you are someone who eats fruits and veggies every day. There are three major reasons for this.

Reason 1

Green powder supplements consist of pre-juiced fruits and veggies such as brussels sprouts and raw kale that provide a higher concentration of phytonutrients in comparison to raw fruit and veggie consumption. This is the reason juicing of veggies and fruits has become such an enormous health trend. But, the way most superfoods are packaged is by “freeze-drying” them to preserve nutrients.

For instance, most people don’t eat five servings of kale, broccoli, and spinach in one sitting. The major reason for this is that eating too many leafy greens at one time can sometimes cause diarrhea.  However, drinking juice made from five servings of these veggies may be more feasible and easier to digest. 

Reason 2

High-quality and branded green powders often contain a significant amount of probiotics and digestive enzymes. Probiotics are health-friendly bacteria that allow your body to properly digest, absorb, and make use of all the phytonutrients the green powder superfoods provide.

Conclusion

There is ample evidence that the brands of green powders that are high quality and reputable really work. These brands of green powder supplements contain the maximum number of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and ingredients that are non-genetically-modified and are organic. Therefore, you should select a green powder that comprises a significantly above-average quantity of superfoods. Your green powder supplement should also contain natural digestive enzymes and probiotics to aid with proper digestion and absorption of the superfoods.

Depending on your dietary and health requirements, green powders could be a cost-effective option to maximize your nutrient intake. On the other hand, if you do not need extra nutrition and are quite healthy, then greens powders could be a waste of money. 

It all comes down to your personal situation that determines your need for a green powder supplementation and what nutrition your body needs considering the health issues you have. 

Always speak to your doctor or a registered dietitian if you have concerns related to your nutritional health.


+ 14 sources

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amita fotedar

Written by:

Amita Fotedar, Ph.D.

Medically reviewed by:

Melissa Mitri

Dr. Amita Fotedar is an experienced research consultant with a demonstrated history of working in elite research institutes such as the UNDP. She has a Ph.D. in Life Sciences, and a Post Graduate Diploma in International Studies from International Pacific University (New Zealand Campus), and has also achieved certification in Climate Studies from Harvard University. She has done a MicroMasters specialization in Sustainable Energy from The University of Queensland (Australia). She is also a co-founder and research consultant for a New Zealand-based sustainability and environmental services entity. Dr. Amita Fotedar firmly believes in the mantra of "health is wealth" and has a special interest in health and wellness topics. She is a freelance writer who covers health-related topics and is a lead author for many health publications and websites.

Medically reviewed by:

Melissa Mitri

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