It is not a secret that many people do not consume enough vegetables. In order to make up for this deficiency, they now consume greens powder. Many brands claim that the product can support the body’s immunity, detoxification, energy levels, and improve wellbeing.
But if you are wondering if there is any scientific research backing these purported advantages, you are not alone. We have put together this information for you to know whether the powder is healthy or not.
What is Greens Powder?
It is a dietary supplement that is mixable with water and any other liquid. It has a slightly grassy taste and green hue. Some super greens powder brands add natural sugar alternatives to improve the flavor.
Generally, the product contains 25 to 40 different ingredients or more. This varies from one brand to another. The ingredients include the following:
- Fruits containing high antioxidants – acai and goji berries, raspberries, blueberries
- Grasses – alfalfa grass, oat grass, wheatgrass, barley grass
- Other vegetables – green cabbage, tomatoes, carrots, beets, broccoli
- Seaweed – kelp, dulse, chlorella, spirulina
- Leafy greens – parsley, collards, kale, spinach
- Extra fiber – apple fiber, inulin, rice bran
- Natural sugar alternatives – extracts from monk fruit and stevia leaf
- Mushrooms – extracts from shiitake and maitake mushrooms
- Herbs – milk thistle, echinacea, astragalus, holy basil
- Digestive enzymes (plant-based) – protease, papain, lipase, cellulase, amylase
- Probiotics – Bifidobacterium lactis, L. acidophilus, L. rhamnosus
- Nutritional extracts – extracts from ginkgo biloba, grape seed, and green tea
The manufacturers of super greens dry the fresh produce and then ground them into powder. Some ingredients are juiced and dehydrated, or some components are extracted. A new trend ferments or allows the ingredients to sprout, which increases the vitamin levels. It also helps to disintegrate compounds that may interfere with mineral absorption.
Most of the formulations are vegan, organic, and non-genetically modified. But you still need to check the label to get the details. The prices of each product differ based on the ingredients it contains.
The nutrition content of greens powder varies by brand. One tablespoon, on average, contains the following:
- Vitamin A – 60 percent of daily value
- Iron – 18 percent of daily value
- Carbohydrates – 6 grams
- Protein – 3 grams
- Calories – 45
Super greens are also a viable source of:
Furthermore, the powder often contains high vitamin C levels. This is linked to the healthy functioning of the immune system, healthy skin, and protection from heart diseases. You may want to check out https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-c-benefits to read about the benefits of vitamin C.
Potential Benefits of Consuming Greens Powder
Since the powder is produced from dried vegetables and fruits, some essential nutritional content such as fiber diminishes before the final product is ready. It is important to note that super greens do not substitute a balanced diet. It cannot also replace the health benefits of consuming whole meals.
On the contrary, doctors assert that the powder is a good means of supplementing healthy diets with boosts of antioxidants and extra vitamins. But excessive consumption of some vitamins can result in health issues. It may even interact with some medications.
Therefore, you should discuss with your healthcare provider before including any dietary supplement in your diet. You also need to choose a product from a reliable brand. The potential benefits of taking greens powder include:
1.Prevention of Chronic Diseases
When used consistently, greens powder can prevent chronic diseases. Since it contains vitamins K and C, which are effective antioxidants, it can help to fight free radicals that damage cells in the body. This form of cell damage is called oxidation, a process that is related to the occurrence of diseases like heart disease and diabetes.
2.Promotes Cognitive and Eye Health
Leafy greens contain vitamin K and it has several health benefits like preventing the loss of bone density due to aging, reducing the risk of heart ailments, and maintaining the blood vessels. This vitamin may also reduce the occurence of dementia caused by age and encourage good eyesight.
3.Maintains Optimum Blood Pressure
The minerals in the product such as potassium and calcium are linked to optimum blood pressure. In a clinical study, respondents who consumed a daily serving of the powder experienced a reduction in both diastolic and systolic blood pressure.
4.Supports the Immune System
The greens powder contains a high level of minerals and vitamins which help to keep the immune system in a healthy condition. For instance, vitamin A contains anti-inflammatory properties for immunity enhancement. Selenium also helps to fight infections that may want to weaken our immunity.
The Potential Risks of Consuming Greens Powder
Consuming greens powder helps to enhance healthy dieting. It adds extra minerals and vitamins to ensure that we are meeting the recommended levels. But the nutrients it contains and the required amount for consumption varies by brand. Therefore, ensure you ask a doctor to prescribe a formula that will suit your health.
There are other factors to consider when including this powder in your diet. They include:
1.Breastfeeding or Pregnancy Concerns
Greens powder contains herbs and other nutritional supplements that may pose risks for breastfeeding or pregnant women. And the effects of the supplements are not well-known.
Some brands add an extract from green tea, wheatgrass, and other herbs. These may cause side effects like headaches and nausea. It may also result in allergic reactions, but you can check out this article to know how to handle such allergies.
3.Interaction with Medication
Vitamin K may interact with some medications, including drugs for weight loss, cholesterol medicines, and antibiotics. It does not also go well with blood-thinning medications. Therefore, if you are taking any anticoagulant, you must be careful when consuming vitamin K on a daily basis.
Certain lab tests discovered that some brands contain heavy metals like lead. When you consume it in high quantities, it can reduce your energy level and cause damage to organs in the body.
Super greens powder is becoming popular because of its numerous health benefits. It provides minerals and vitamins that the body requires for optimum wellbeing and health. Unfortunately, the dietary supplement comes with some side effects. But you can find a way around it if you experience allergies.