Even if you have the best intentions to eat a large variety of greens every day, according to statistics, it’s likely that you’re falling short. Between work, family, and life in general, we don’t always have as much time as we’d like to include healthy greens in our diet. Super greens powders are a great way to boost your intake of veggies, fruits, and other superfoods in a convenient, easy way.
That said, while green powders can supplement your overall nutrient intake and help fill the nutrition gap in what’s missing from your food, you shouldn’t use them as a total replacement. The best approach is to combine a daily dose of greens powder with a diet that is also rich in plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits. Why do you need a super greens powder in your life? Let’s take a look.
What is a super greens powder?
You want to add more greens into your diet, but don’t want to grab a bag of spinach, and can’t stand the taste of kale…so what should you do? The good news, a powdered green drink mix may be just what you need. Nutritionists and health agencies everywhere have long proclaimed the benefits of eating your vegetables daily – especially green ones. Yet, it’s a goal that very few of us meet. Despite recommendations to eat two to three cups of vegetables daily, only 1 in 10 adults actually consume that amount, which is unfortunate, because, calorie for calorie, vegetables provide optimal sources of nutrients among any food.
But don’t worry, super greens powders are here to help! What are they, you ask? Superfood greens powders are powdered blends of grasses, fruits, or veggies that provide a nutrient-dense, antioxidant-rich punch to support optimal health, including immunity, blood pressure health, and more. While the majority of your daily nutrients should come from whole, plant food sources, a green powder can fill in the gaps to help you stay healthy and on track.
When is the best time to have a green drink?
Powdered green drink mixes can be enjoyed at any time of day, and added to any cold liquid. Lots of folks like to take them in their morning smoothie. Some find it helpful to drink them during the afternoon, to get a boost of energy to help ward off the dreaded “afternoon slump.”
Aside from being a super-concentrated source of nutrients, the convenience factor is also a plus. A greens powder mix is an easy way to stay healthy while you’re traveling, on the go, or can’t easily access fresh greens and veggies. Pro tip: look for a powdered greens drink mix that comes in single-serve packets, so they stay fresh when you take them with you on the go. Why not make your life a bit easier!
What are the benefits of powered green drinks?
Greens are the health hotshots of the food world. They are low in calories and high in fiber, vitamins, and phytonutrients. Green vegetables are essential for a strong immune system, proper gut health, healthy detoxification, and more. Most importantly, greens help keep your body’s pH in balance, thanks to their alkalinizing properties. But greens go beyond what you’ll find at your local grocery store or farmer’s market. Think chlorella and kelp from the sea. Or barley and wheat grasses from the fields.
Whether you’re among those who are frightened by the sight of broccoli, or you simply have trouble meeting your daily quota due to a hectic schedule, upping your intake of a variety of greens should be an essential part of your health game plan. They can support an already healthy diet with a boost of extra vitamins and antioxidants.
But which green powder mixes are right for you?
Here are some green ingredients you should look for when choosing a high-quality powdered greens drink mix.
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, 8 are considered essential, meaning your body can’t produce them—they must come from your diet. Wheatgrass is a powerful source of glutathione, known as the “master” antioxidant. It’s little wonder that preliminary research has found that it reduces oxidative damage to cells. Other studies suggest that wheatgrass may support healthy cholesterol levels, aid in balancing blood sugar, counter an inappropriate inflammatory response, and induce the destruction of damaged or abnormal cells.1
Barley Grass: Along with vitamins A, C, E, beta-carotene, and B vitamins, barley grass is a rich source of potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and magnesium. Barley grass also provides chlorophyll, amino acids, protein, fiber, and enzymes. Most importantly, barley grass is a source of superoxide dismutase (SOD), a critical enzyme that helps neutralize the harmful effects of free radicals.
Chlorella: These freshwater algae have survived on the earth for over two billion years. The secret to chlorella’s longevity is its fibrous outer wall. Although this defensive wall protects this single-cell alga, it also prevents the body’s ability to take advantage of chlorella’s detoxification benefits. Fortunately, scientists have found that breaking this wall releases chlorella’s natural ability to bind toxins and heavy metals through a process known as chelation. Chlorella also boasts a wealth of vitamins including vitamins B1, B2, B12, folic acid, C, and K. Plus, chlorella is a potent source of minerals, essential fatty acids, protein, and fiber.2
Spirulina: High in antioxidants, spirulina has been shown to inhibit the production of inflammatory signaling molecules. Spirulina is also rich in high-quality protein, B vitamins, iron, copper, magnesium, potassium, and manganese. Not only does this make spirulina an alkaline food, but its rich nutrient profile also gives this alga numerous health benefits as well. Research shows that spirulina supports healthy lipid levels, helps maintain blood sugar balance, benefits those with seasonal allergies, and improves muscle strength.3
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 calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc, boron, and manganese. As a result, this mineral-rich seaweed helps maintain bone density and muscle health.4
Where are the best places to buy super greens powders?
If you are seeking out a good super greens powder green drink mix, you might want to start at your local health food store. They may even have samples you can try. You can purchase a powdered greens drink mix online also. Just be sure to read the ingredient label. Watch out for mixes that have added sugar or artificial flavors or colors. You don’t want to trade health benefits for extra calories or fruity flavored drinks.
Adding a nutrient-dense powdered green drink mix to water, juice, or your favorite smoothie, will help you meet your daily veggie intake, give you a boost of antioxidants, and support virtually every system in your body. Cheers!
- Bar-Sela G, Cohen M, Ben-Arye E, et al. The Medical Use of Wheatgrass: Review of the Gap Between Basic and Clinical Applications. PubMed. 2015.
- Lloyd-Jones, R. Adams, J. McPherson F, et al. Impact of Daily Chlorella Consumption on Serum Lipid and Carotenoid Profiles in Mildly Hypercholesterolemic Adults: a Double-Blinded, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study. Nutrition Journal. BioMed Central, January 1, 1970.
- Karkos P, C Leong, Karkos C, et al. Spirulina in Clinical Practice: Evidence-Based Human Applications. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine. Hindawi Publishing Corporation, 2011.
- International Osteoporosis Foundation. Ten Ways to Boost Your Bone Health at the Kitchen Table. IOF.
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.