Green powders are thought to improve general wellness, improve immunity, help fight infection and disease, and deliver a super boost of vitamins.
Green powders can be bought in most health stores, and they’ve become incredibly popular in recent years. But what exactly is in green powders, and are they really any good for your health?
We have all the answers right here.
What Are Green Powders?
Unsurprisingly, green powders are made up of lots of healthy, green, plant-based supplements (hence their very distinctive color and taste).
Green powders usually contain plenty of leafy greens such as seaweed and spinach, and they may also contain additional grasses and veggies, probiotics, fruits, nutritional extracts, and more, depending on the manufacturer.
Other ingredients can include:
- Mushrooms such as Shiitake and Maitake
- Extra fiber like apple fiber and inulin
- Plant-based digestive enzymes, including papain, cellulase, lipase, and amylase
Green Powders: Nutrition And Health Benefits
So, there’s no denying that green powders contain some pretty healthy ingredients, but are there any actual benefits to taking them?
Well, before we take a closer look at the nutritional benefits of green powders, there’s one crucial thing to remember: not all green powders are made the same.
The ingredients can vary wildly between manufacturers and brands.
However, according to this report, 10g of green powders will usually contain:
- 40 Calories
- 7g of Carbohydrates
- 0.5g of Fat
- 2g of Dietary Fiber
- 1g of Sugar
- 2% of the RDI of Sodium
- 2g of Protein
- 80% of the RDI of Vitamin A
- 5% of the RDI of Potassium
- 60% of the RDI of Chromium
- 80% of the RDI of Vitamin C
- 5% of the RDI of Calcium
- 20% of the RDI of Iron
- 70% of the RDI of Selenium
- 100% of the RDI of Iodine
Green powders are often low in calories; however, they don’t always list their entire vitamin and mineral content.
On average, you can expect to receive fewer vitamins and minerals than in a standard vitamin or mineral supplement.
What The Science Says
Green powders may be a relatively new addition to the health market; however, researchers have examined their effects and collated a few evidence-backed benefits.
May Help Balance Hormones
The primary ingredient in most green powders is ‘brassica’, or cruciferous vegetables. These veggies can include brussel sprouts, kale, bok choy, arugula, collards, cabbage, and more.
The science shows that the phytochemicals found in most cruciferous vegetables can help balance hormones by removing estrogen byproducts.
This particular study was performed on postmenopausal women and proved effective.
Detoxifies The Body
Over time, toxins in our bodies can lead to illness and disease. However, the right nutrients and antioxidants can help cleanse our bodies and reduce our risk of diseases.
There are many antioxidants involved in detoxification; however, glutathione is one of the most important.
Research has shown that cruciferous veggies can help promote glutathione production and protect the body from free-radical damage.
Could Balance Blood Sugar
One study looked at the effects of green powders and carbohydrates on our blood sugar levels and discovered that the powers could help improve both insulin and glucose responses.
Keeping your blood sugar levels within the target range could help prevent serious health problems such as blindness, kidney disease, and heart disease.
Could Protect Heart Health
In one study, researchers examined a group of 40 participants taking veggie and fruit powders for three months.
They discovered that when they mixed the powder into water and drank two glasses a day, the participants benefited from notably lower blood pressure.
This could have big benefits for cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Are Green Powders Better Than Veggies?
Green powders have some undeniable benefits, but how do they compare to the real thing?
If you’re thinking of replacing your raw veggies with green powders, we have one word of advice for you – don’t.
Green powders are not designed to act as a substitute for real vegetables, and there are particular health benefits you can only get from real vegetables.
You’ll always be deficient in some way if you rely on green powders to maintain your health. Here’s why.
The big one is fiber. In their whole form, ‘real’ fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of fiber.
Although extra fiber can be added to green powders, you’ll get nowhere near the natural amount you would in your real veggies.
You’re also likely to feel pretty hungry after consuming green powder.
When you eat real veggies, you’ll benefit from the chewing motion and high water content, promoting a sense of fullness and satiating your hunger.
This is something that green powder can’t replicate.
However, if your diet is LOW in fruits and vegetables, consuming green powder can be a great way to boost your intake.
Just remember not to use it as a complete replacement for the real.
How Should You Consume Green Powder?
Green powders are usually mixed with water, or they can be added to juice or smoothies.
If you want to be a little more creative, you can also consume green powder in the following ways:
- In your overnight oats
- Sprinkled over a salad
- Added to a salad dressing
- Mixed with milk or a milk alternative, like oat or almond
- In a fruit sauce or even a cake
However, if it’s Vitamin C you’re after, just remember that exposing your green powder to high heat may destroy some of the nutrients.
If you want to get as many nutrients as possible, it’s best not to expose your green powder to heat.
The Bottom Line
Yes, green powders are good for you. Green powders have some undeniable health benefits, and they can be a fantastic addition to a balanced diet.
However, green powders do not have all the same nutrients as natural vegetables, so they should not be used as a replacement.
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