How Clean Are Your Greens? - Wakunaga of America


How Clean Are Your Greens?

Thanks to influencers on TikTok and Instagram, powdered green drink mixes have become the newest, trendiest way to boost your health. But, while these products might be packed with nutrients, they aren’t a magic bullet. That’s because you can’t sip your way to good health while still practicing an unhealthy lifestyle. That said, including a powdered greens drink mix as part of a nutritious diet can be a healthy way to up your intake of superfoods.

What Are Greens Drink Mixes?

Powdered greens drink mixes are dietary supplements that can be mixed with water, juice, or other liquids. These products typically contain dehydrated greens such as chlorella, spirulina, or wheatgrass. Some drink mixes also include fruit and vegetable powders along with vitamins, minerals, or other nutrients. These products are designed to be a convenient way to fill nutritional gaps.

Why You Might Need More Greens

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a whopping 90 percent of Americans aren’t eating the recommended number of fruits and vegetables each day.1 And that’s a problem since these foods are a rich source of antioxidants that help to fight free radicals that can contribute to a wide variety of chronic diseases.2  But can powdered greens drink mixes help users meet their quota? When taken as a way to supplement a healthy diet, studies suggest that greens drink mixes may indeed support good health and wellbeing. In fact, in one study involving 63 healthy women, those using a powdered greens drink mix for 12 weeks reported having more energy and greater wellbeing.3

Adding a powdered greens drink mix to a healthy diet may also help guard against disease by lowering risk factors and improving the body’s defenses. For instance, research has shown that green supplement powders can improve immunity by raising antioxidant levels and lowering the amount of toxins in healthy individuals. In one small study, consuming a powdered greens drink mix daily for four weeks increased the participant’s serum antioxidant levels by 30 percent.4 In the same study, researchers found that the plasma malondialdehyde levels dropped in those taking the greens drink mix. Malondialdehyde is a biomarker that indicates high levels of cell-damaging oxidative stress. Reducing it helps cells respond to diseases more efficiently.

Another investigation, this one conducted by Austrian scientists, found that obese pre-menopausal women who consumed a powdered greens drink mix for eight weeks had significantly less body-wide inflammation and oxidation—two major risk factors for disease. What’s more, the greens group also experienced better blood flow in their capillaries (known as microcirculation). This is critical since these tiny blood vessels help transport nutrients and oxygen throughout the body.5

And one 90 day pilot trial found that participants who drank a powdered greens drink mix daily experienced a significant reduction in their blood pressure. In fact, their systolic blood pressure decreased from 140.4 mmHg to 128 mmHg and their diastolic blood pressure dropped from 90.2 mmHg to 83.1 mmHg.6

Quality Counts

As you can see, supplementing with a greens drink mix can be a wise addition to a healthy lifestyle. But not all powdered greens drink mixes are created equal. Some products can contain up to 70 different ingredients. And while these ingredients might be things your body needs—think vitamins, minerals, herbs, probiotics, and even protein—you likely won’t get high enough amounts of many of these good-for-you ingredients to move the needle when it comes to improving your health.

Worse yet, some powdered greens drink mixes contain sugar or artificial sweeteners in an attempt to improve their taste. You may also find that your green drink powder contains soy, nuts, or other allergens. And some products include additives like preservatives or anti-caking agents.

To ensure you’re getting the nutrients you want at levels that will do a body good, it’s critical to check the Supplement Facts label. And make sure to drill down to the bottom of the label to see what additional ingredients may be included. While some of these, like food starches or antioxidants, are benign, you may want to avoid products that include sweeteners or synthetic additives.

What to Look for In a Greens Drink Mix

So what should you look for in these sip-able supplements? To get the most out of your powdered greens drink mix, sometimes less is more. While it can be beneficial for your drink mix to include a handful of superfoods like blueberries, broccoli, green tea, kale, or ancient grains, here are the core ingredients to search for on the product’s label:

  • Barley grass. Along with vitamins A, C, E, beta-carotene, and the B vitamins, barley grass is a rich source of potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and magnesium. Plus, it provides chlorophyll, amino acids, protein, fiber, and enzymes. If that weren’t enough, barley grass is also an excellent source of superoxide dismutase (SOD), a critical enzyme that helps neutralize the harmful effects of free radicals.7
  • Brown Rice. Brown rice is an excellent source of prebiotic fiber that supports digestive health by encouraging the growth and activity of healthy gut bacteria. What’s more, this good-for-you grain is rich in magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, thiamin, niacin and vitamin B6, and manganese.8
  • Chlorella. This unique single-celled freshwater algae possesses powerful detoxification properties that help to bind toxins and heavy metals through a process known as chelation.9 Chlorella also boasts a wealth of nutrients including vitamins B1, B2, B12, folic acid, C, and K. Plus it’s a potent source of minerals, essential fatty acids, protein, and fiber.10
  • Inulin. This type of fiber, which comes from chicory root, is an excellent source of prebiotics. While these naturally-occurring carbohydrates can’t be digested or absorbed by humans, they are the perfect fuel to support the growth of friendly bacteria in your digestive tract.11
  • Kelp. This common seaweed is rich in B vitamins, which play a critical role in cellular metabolism. Because it absorbs nutrients from its surrounding environment, kelp contains more than 15 amino acids and is also a great source of iodine, calcium, magnesium, copper, boron, zinc, and manganese.12
  • Spirulina. This blue-green microalgae, which is high in antioxidants, has been shown to inhibit the production of inflammatory signaling molecules.13 Spirulina is also rich in high-quality protein, the B vitamins, iron, copper, magnesium, potassium, and manganese.14
  • Wheatgrass. This juice bar staple is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and E, as well as iron, magnesium, calcium, and amino acids. Among its 17 amino acids, eight are considered essential, meaning your body can’t produce them—they must come from your diet. It’s also a powerful source of glutathione, which is known as the “master antioxidant.”15 Little wonder that preliminary research has found that wheatgrass reduces oxidative damage to cells.16

Along with these specific nutrients, it’s also wise to search out a powdered greens drink mix that contains mostly organic ingredients and is GMO-free. Finally, avoid products that contain sugar, allergens, or synthetic additives to ensure you’re getting the cleanest, greenest powdered greens drink mix brimming with nutrients your body needs.


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  11. Hughes RL, Alvarado DA, Swanson KS, et al. The prebiotic potential of inulin-type fructans: a systematic review. Advances in Nutrition. 2022;13(2):492-529.
  12. Seaweed, Kelp, Raw. Food Data Central, USDA. 2018.
  13. Wu Q, Liu L, Miron A,et al. The antioxidant, immunomodulatory, and anti-inflammatory activities of Spirulina: an overview. Archives in Toxicology. 2016;90: 1817–1840.
  14. Spirulina Powder. Food Data Central, USDA. 2020.
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This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.