You probably already know how important it is to get your daily dose of fruits and vegetables.
And the thought of getting all their nutrients from a green powder smoothie might sound amazing, especially if you’re not a big veggie fan.
...But are green powders all they’re cracked up to be?
Or, are they a waste of money?
In this article, you’ll find everything you need to know about green powders including:
- What are green powders?
- How are green powders made?
- Are green powders a waste of money?
- How to pick the right green powder?
- Green powders FAQ.
Let’s get started!
What’s Green Powder?
Green powder is a supplement that contains powdered veggies, fruits, and other plant-based ingredients like:
- Grasses such as alfalfa grass, oat grass, and barley grass.
- Extracts of green tea, grape seed, and cocoa beans.
- Leafy greens like kale and spinach.
- Antioxidant fruits like blueberries, raspberries, and pineapple.
- Digestive enzymes such as bromelain and astragalus root extract.
- Seaweed like spirulina, kelp, and chlorella.
- Mushrooms such as maitake, reishi, and shiitake mushroom extracts.
- Nutrient-rich veggies like carrots, broccoli, and red beets.
- Prebiotics such as inulin, apple fiber, and tapioca starch.
- Probiotics such as Bifidobacterium or Lactobacillus.
- Natural sweeteners like stevia and monk fruit extract.
The number of ingredients, depending on the brand, can vary from 20 to as many as 75 ingredients.
Green powders help you increase the number of nutrients in your daily diet, as they have a much higher concentration in vitamins and minerals than regular veggies.
Many green powder producers claim that their products have numerous benefits like detox, weight loss, improved energy, and immune system strength.
But before we go into more detail about whether these benefits are true, let’s take a closer look at how green powders are made.
How Are Green Powders Made?
The most common way to make a green powder is to dry and crush the ingredients and mix them together.
Some producers might even extract the plants’ juice and then dry this liquid. This can improve the quality of the green powder, and make it easier to dissolve into water.
There are 3 ways in which the ingredients can be dried:
- Spray drying. This is one of the standard methods to dry the plants. However, it involves high heat and oxygen pressure processing, which can damage the enzymes and nutrients.
- Air drying. Similarly to spray drying, this method can involve the use of hot, dry air. This method removes the moisture from the ingredients and can also destroy some of the nutrients.
- Freeze drying. This is the most effective way to preserve the green powder’s nutrients. This method removes water from the ingredients in a frozen state and keeps the cells intact.
You should aim for freeze-dried green powders since they’re more nutrient-dense.
Are Green Powders a Waste of Money?
Green powder prices vary from $20 to as much as $90 for a month’s supply.
So, you might be wondering whether such an investment is worth your money.
Green powders are packed with required daily nutrients and vitamins . However, consuming a large amount of these nutrients doesn’t necessarily mean your body will absorb them all.
If you have an excess amount of a specific vitamin, your body will simply discard it.
And relying solely on green powders just because you don’t like eating your veggies can also be ineffective.
Green powders are beneficial when it comes to closing the nutritional gaps in your diet, instead of relying on them as the main source of vital nutrients and minerals.
So, if you don’t have a healthy diet and lifestyle, don’t expect that a green powder will bring any major changes to your life.
However, green powders are not a waste of money if you use them as a complementary supplement to your already established diet and healthy habits.
If you already...
- Follow a nutritious diet (including fruits and veggies)
- Have a regular sleep schedule (at least 7-8 hours of sleep)
- Get a healthy dose of exercise (3-5 times a week)
Then, a green powder supplement can be very helpful since it can provide the missing vitamins in your diet.
Green Powder Benefits
Some of the common green powder benefits (depending on what ingredients are included in each individual powder) are:
- Increased energy. If your green powder has green tea extract, it will boost your stamina and energize you throughout the day. This is a good alternative to typical energy supplements if you’re looking for something more natural.
- Stronger immune system. Ingredients like spirulina and wheatgrass tend to boost your immune system. You’ll get sick less and recover faster.
- Normalized cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels. Green powders that contain fiber tend to balance your cholesterol and blood sugar. Wheatgrass can also help people suffering from diabetes, and spirulina can lower high cholesterol levels.
- Increased physical endurance. Sprouted grains and spirulina can help you with your endurance during workouts and sports activities.
- Weight loss help. Green powder ingredients like chlorophyll can help you lose weight because it suppresses your appetite.
- Better sleep. If your green powder has veggies like carrots that contain alpha-carotene, it can directly improve your sleep quality.
- Improved gut health. The probiotics and fiber in your green powder can improve the functions of your digestive system. In fact, over 40 different diseases like arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, and depression are related to gut bacteria imbalance.
- Healthier skin, nails, and hair. If your green powder contains alfalfa, you’ll get to enjoy thicker hair, shinier skin, and stronger nails thanks to the vitamins A, C, E, and K that it contains. Hair loss is directly related to a deficiency in those vitamins.
- Anti-inflammatory effect. Green powders can reduce inflammation in your body and even lower the risk of chronic diseases and cancer. People who take a green powder on a daily basis have a significantly lower cell oxidative damage.
How to Pick The Right Green Powder?
To choose the best green powder for your needs, aim for the products that are:
- Organic and non-GMO
- Naturally sweetened
And try to avoid green powders that contain:
- Added sugar
- Artificial ingredients
Always aim for high-quality green powders. A powder that’s organic, non-GMO, and has been freeze-dried will be of better quality.
If you see that the powder has any sort of artificial ingredients and fillers, stay away! It’s not worth your money.
Always give preference to green powders with natural sweeteners to the ones with added sugar.
Added sugar might go under names such as dextrose, rice syrup, corn syrup, fructose, and maltodextrin. Also, avoid artificial sweeteners like sucralose.
Instead, aim for stevia or monk fruit extract since they come from natural sources.
That’s an obvious one!
Since almost all fresh produce contains small amounts of chemicals , the same logic applies to green powders.
And because green powders are a denser version of your regular veggies, they might have higher chemical levels.
These include arsenic, cadmium, lead, and other harmful chemicals. To choose the green powder with the smallest amount of chemicals (the one that is within a safe range), search for green powders that are tested by a third party.
Try Get Your Greens
If you’re looking for an affordable green powder that provides high-quality non-GMO ingredients, try Get Your Greens.
This nutrient-rich powder combines 24 ingredients like veggies, fruits, healthy probiotics, and antioxidants. And it is 100% vegan. It also has no artificial flavoring or added sugars.
Just put a scoop of it in your plain water, smoothie, or juice to feel energized for the rest of your day!
Green Powders FAQ
Q: Are all green powders vegan-friendly?
Not all green powders are 100% vegan because some of the vitamins might be derived from animal-based sources. To make sure that the powder is vegan, check the green powder’s label carefully.
Q: Do green powders have any side effects?
Sometimes starting a green powder formula can upset your stomach because you put so many different ingredients into your body at once.
If that happens, we recommend lowering the dosage, or switching to another green powder.
Also try to avoid green powders if you:
- Suffer from autoimmune diseases like arthritis and multiple sclerosis. If the green powder contains spirulina stay away from it because it might have a negative effect on your disease. That’s because spirulina strengthens your immune system. In turn, your immune cells, or “natural killer” cells, start attacking all perceived threats on a cellular level.
- Have iodine intolerance. Iodine is great for your thyroid gland functions. However, if you have a condition or an allergy that makes you intolerable to iodine, you should stay away from green powders that contain spirulina.
- Have seafood allergies. Since spirulina and other seaweed ingredients come from the sea, they might contain traces of fish that could trigger your allergies.
Disclaimer: Some of the green powder ingredients might react negatively to your medication. If you take a medication or suffer from a medical condition, consult your doctor before starting a new green powder supplement.
Q: What are antioxidants?
Antioxidants are ingredients that neutralize the adverse effects of free radicals that might be in your body. Free radicals are molecules that might be damaging your cells, are often cancerogenic, and are linked to aging.
Q: What diet should I follow while taking a green powder supplement?
Remember that a green powder supplement is not a substitute for a nutritious and healthy diet. Instead, it should complement your diet and help close any nutrition gaps that you might have.
Try to follow a diet that includes:
- Complex carbs. They have more nutrients and break down slower in your body than refined carbs. Complex carb foods include whole grains, peas, and beans.
- Lean meats. They’re a good source of protein and amino acids.
- Healthy fats. Fats that come from avocado, coconut, and olive oil are better than hydrogenated oils (usually used in fast food and other processed foods).
- Antioxidant-rich foods like broccoli, kale, Brussel sprouts, and nuts.
There are many different green powders you can choose from, all of which vary in quality, price, and ingredients.
To get the most out of your green powder, always give preference to high-quality ingredients and make sure you consult your doctor in case you’re allergic or have a medical condition that might interfere with some of the ingredients.
And most importantly, stay strong and healthy!