The Ultimate Guide to Greens Powder | Wakunaga of America
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The Ultimate Guide to Greens Powder

A greens powder is a dietary supplement that can help you reach the daily recommended intake of leafy greens, fruits and vegetables. It can help boost your nutrient intake, particularly if you’re someone who dislikes eating vegetables or you’re constantly on the go and have limited access to whole fruits and vegetables.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

What Is a Greens Powder?

Ingredients of Greens Powder

Benefits of Taking Greens Powder

How To Take Greens Powder

Smoothie Recipes


 Drinking powdered greens is an easy and effective way to include high-quality greens in your daily nutrition routine. It’s also a means to increase your consumption of greens you aren’t likely to have in the fridge, such as chlorella or kelp. These alkalizing superfoods are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants while offering a host of other benefits.

Read on to learn more about what greens powder is, what it’s made of, the benefits of using it, and more. We’ve even included smoothie recipes to help you and your family get started on using greens powder in your diet every day.

What Is a Greens Powder?

greens powder image glass

Greens powder is a type of food supplement that can be mixed into juices, water, smoothies, or other unheated foods. They often taste grassy, or like green tea. Today’s greens powders are light and clean tasting, not the heavy grainy taste you may recall from the 80s. 

Most greens powders are vegan and non-genetically-modified, but it depends on the brand. Look for a powder mix without added sugar or artificial flavors. It is always a good idea to read the labels to know exactly what is and is not, in your greens mix. 

Ingredients of Greens Powder

Greens powder can contain many different ingredients, depending on which brand you choose and what health goals you have in mind. In some formulations, ingredients are harvested, dried, and ground into powder, but some are juiced and dehydrated before they are turned into powder. The best quality powders are highly ground into a fine powder that dissolves quickly in liquids. 

Ingredients differ but greens powder may typically include:

  • Leafy greens such as spinach, collards, parsley, and kale
  • Vegetables such as broccoli, green cabbage, tomatoes, and carrots
  • Grasses such as wheatgrass, barley grass, and alfalfa grass
  • Sea nutrients such as kelp, chlorella,  dulse, and spirulina 
  • Fiber such as chicory root, apple fiber, rice bran, and inulin
  • Mushrooms such as shiitake and maitake mushroom extract
  • Herbs such as milk thistle, astragalus, and holy basil
  • Nutritional extracts such as ginkgo Biloba extract and green tea extract
  • High-antioxidant fruits such as goji berries, blueberries, and raspberries
  • Natural sugar substitutes such as stevia and monk fruit

Benefits of Taking Greens Powder

Healthy foods on wooden boardA good quality greens powder can give you the benefits of eating whole fruits and vegetables and perhaps more since it can contain extras such as nutritional extracts, herbs, and seaweed. Not only will you get the nutrients you need, but they can help to balance your body’s pH better, soothe your digestive system, boost your metabolism, and more.

Note, however, that greens powder is made from powdered dried grasses, vegetables, and fruits, so it doesn’t provide the same amount of fiber as eating fresh vegetables and fruits would. Although greens powder can boost your health, it’s not the same as eating a well-balanced diet. Talk to your doctor about your medical history and health concerns before deciding to add greens powder to your diet.

In general, always make sure to check out the label on the back before buying greens powder. Avoid brands that use artificial colors and flavors, artificial sweeteners, thickeners, and GMO ingredients. Once you find the right greens powder for you, take it daily to feel the greatest benefits. 

Get The Nutrients You Need

A daily green drink can give you the minerals, vitamins, and other micronutrients you can get from eating super greens such as leafy vegetables, fruits, and more.

Greens powders typically have high levels of vitamin C, which can boost your skin health and protect you against heart disease. Minerals such as potassium and calcium can also promote good blood pressure.

Certain grasses that you can find in greens powders, such as barley grass and wheatgrass, stand out for their health-boosting qualities.

Ultimate Guide Superfood Green Drink

Barley grass, for instance, has a variety of antioxidants and also contains the following:

  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Phosphorus
  • Beta-carotene
  • B vitamins
  • Vitamins A, C, and E
  • Magnesium

It’s also capable of:

  • Boosting immunity*
  • Improving digestive health*
  • Promoting cardiovascular health*
  • Lessening fatigue*
  • Acting as an anti-inflammatory*

Wheatgrass is another important greens powder staple. Like barley grass, it’s a superfood that can improve your well-being. It contains:

  • Vitamins A, C, and E
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Iron
  • 17 amino acids, including eight that are essential, which means your body can’t produce them
  • Glutathione, which is a powerful antioxidant

Wheatgrass has many years of research behind it and has been shown to offer numerous health benefits, including:

  • Support healthy cholesterol levels*
  • Fight inflammatory responses*
  • Support the destruction of abnormal and damaged cells*
  • Balance blood sugar*

Balance Your Body’s pH

Greens powder can also help you to balance your body’s pH. Certain ingredients in many types of greens powders, such as barley grass and wheatgrass as discussed in the previous section, can tip your body’s pH balance towards alkalinity.

When applied to your health, pH measures how acidic or alkaline your blood is, with 0 being the most acidic, 14 being the most alkaline, and 7 being neutral. When your blood is too acidic (above 7.8), it can lead to a host of different health issues. By drinking green powder drink mixes, you’ll be able to help keep your blood slightly alkaline, between 7.35 and 7.45.

Otherwise, your body will have to protect your blood’s pH by secreting neutralizing bicarbonate to stop your blood from getting too acidic. Key alkalizing minerals will be pulled from your bones in this “buffering” process, leading to plummeting levels of important minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium.

This means the more acidic your blood gets, the more likely you’ll have health problems such as: 

  • Muscle wasting (sarcopenia)
  • High blood pressure
  • Bone loss (osteoporosis)
  • Stroke
  • Cognitive problems
  • Cardiovascular disease

So what can you do to rebalance your pH? Get more greens! The goal is to make sure that 75 to 80 percent of the foods you eat are alkalizing and only 20 to 25 percent are acidifying. Including a high-quality powdered greens drink as part of your routine can help you reach this goal. Besides the usual leafy greens, you’re likely familiar with, there are a few more “powerhouse” greens you should consider adding to your regimen.

Super Greens And More

Greens powders offer multiple health benefits from digestion to energy to maintaining  healthy immune system function. Since every blend is different, you should look for greens powders that specifically contain superfoods, grasses, fruits and veggies, and ancient grains that help you met your health goals. 

Superfoods. Spirulina, blue-green algae, is a freshwater plant that is probably one of the most talked-about superfoods today. This blue-green microalga is actually a type of bacteria called cyanobacterium. High in antioxidants, especially phycocyanin, 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, its rich nutrient profile also gives this alga numerous health benefits. Research shows that spirulina supports healthy lipid levels, helps maintain blood sugar balance, benefits those with seasonal allergies, and improves muscle strength. A study at the University of South Florida Center of Excellence for Aging & Brain Repair has shown that spirulina can also help shield the brain from the oxidative damage that accumulates as one ages and may help reverse declines in learning and memory.1 Specifically, spirulina improves neuronal function, lowers inflammation in the brain, and reduces levels of chemicals linked to oxidative damage.

Spirulina also helps pump up the immune system. Researchers at the University of California, Davis found that adding spirulina to cultured immune system cells significantly increases the production of infection-fighting cells called cytokines.2 Other research shows that this green superfood balances the immune response.

Ancient Grains. Another ingredient that should be high on your list is ancient grains. You can think of “ancient grains,” as kind of a sub-type of the whole grain, and this sub-type includes varieties of quinoa, millet, buckwheat, amaranth, chia seeds, farrow, spelt, and flax. We can trace the roots of grains back to the beginning of time but unlike wheat, which has been constantly bred and modified; these grains have largely been unchanged over the past several hundred years. Many ancient grains are actually gluten-free, making them a good choice for those who have gluten allergies. Ancient grains contain lots of essential vitamins, particularly B vitamins, minerals like magnesium and potassium, more amounts of iron, and they also, most importantly, contain protective elements like prebiotic fibers and antioxidants, which can help keep your gut healthy and balanced.

Grasses. As discussed above, grasses are rich in minerals and vitamins as well as antioxidants. 

They also contain a lot of chlorophyll, which is what gives them their signature green color. Chlorophyll can promote detoxification, healing of wounds, and healthy blood production.

Additionally, grasses have digestive enzymes, which can reduce hard-to-digest or toxic materials in food and boost wellness in people with food allergies and indigestion. Let’s break down a few of these grasses.

Barley Grass: Boasting an array of antioxidants, barley was the very first cereal grain ever cultivated by humans, dating back to 7000 BC. 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.

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 wheatgrass 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. Like barley grass, wheatgrass is a powerful alkalinizing agent that supports balanced pH.


Learn about what inflammation can do to your body and how green drinks can fight against inflammation on this podcast episode with Dr. LaValle.


Prebiotics. The foods that nourish your microbiota are known as prebiotics and they consist of nondigestible fiber. This fiber acts as fertilizer that stimulates the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. Prebiotics are found in many fruits and veggies, such as green bananas, soybeans, and artichokes, and in foods that contain resistant starch. High-quality powdered green drink mixes also may contain fiber or inulin (such as chicory root), which means that the powdered drink mix contains a good source of prebiotics that will help boost good gut bacteria.

Although they sound similar, prebiotics shouldn’t be confused with probiotics, which are live yeasts and bacteria that are good for your digestive system. Probiotics are certainly important and can boost your gut health, but prebiotics are equally as important for your health. Prebiotics can promote the growth of probiotics and improve the survival rate of probiotics as they go through your digestive system.

How To Take Greens Powder

You can add greens powder to your smoothies, soups, and drinks. You can also add greens powder to food such as protein bars, hummus, popsicles, and oatmeal. It is best to not use it on hot foods or in hot tea, as the heat can diminish the nutrients. Follow the instructions on the package for dosages.  Greens are generally mild and safe so you can double the dosage or take it two or three times a day for an added nutrient boost.  

How Can I Get My Family to Drink It?

kids drinking green juice

We all know how hard it can be to get kids to eat vegetables. Fortunately, vegetable powder drinks made with greens powder will make it much easier for your kids to get the nutrition they need from vegetables without having to actually eat the vegetables themselves.

By adding a spoonful of greens powder to your soups, drinks, smoothies, and more, your kids will get the extra nutrients they need for healthy growth. And getting them used to greens at a young age helps to build a healthy lifelong habit.

Here are more tips to get your kids into greens powder:

  • Let your kids pick out their own cup or bowl. This will make them more interested in drinking soups, smoothies, and other drinks with a greens powder.
  • Create smoothies that you know they’ll love. For example, you can add 100% cocoa powder to add a chocolate flavor many kids enjoy. You can also try adding fruits like mango, peaches, and pineapple, and spinach, which is the mildest tasting green. Additionally, adding flax or coconut milk can make the mixtures more creamy, which is perfect for many smoothies and soups. 
  • Start by adding smaller amounts of greens powder. If your kids don’t like the flavor of greens powder, you can start getting them into it by adding smaller amounts first. You can start with a quarter teaspoon and increase it to a full teaspoon over the next two or three weeks.

Super Smoothie Recipes

Here are some smoothie recipes to get you started. You can also check out these tips to add more green nutrition to smoothies, snacks and treats for your family.

Green & Black Shake

This kid-friendly chocolaty shake is so tasty that your kids will never know it’s good for them!

This serves one person.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk 
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder 
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • ½ medium banana
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds 
  • 1 teaspoon powdered greens drink mix
  • 1 cup ice, if desired.
  • A few drops of stevia, if desired.

Directions: 

  1. Add ingredients to blender and process to desired consistency. 
  2. Serve immediately.

 

Pumpkin Spice Protein Shake

This Starbucks-Esque shake is rich in beta-carotene and will give you a great dose of greens. It serves one person.

Ingredients: 

  • ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond or coconut milk 
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder 
  • ½ medium banana 
  • ¼ cup canned pumpkin, plain 
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin spice 
  • 1 teaspoon ground flaxseed
  • 1 teaspoon powdered greens drink mix
  • 1 cup ice, if desired.
  • A few drops of stevia, if desired.

Directions: 

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and process until desired consistency. 
  2. Serve immediately.

Green Goodness Protein Shake

This smoothie is perfect for fruit lovers and will be a favorite with your kids. If you want this smoothie to be sweeter, you can use natural sweeteners such as monk fruit, stevia, or erythritol.

This may be too sweet for some people. If that’s the case, take out one of the three fruits that are used here. For example, you can make this with just six strawberries (or fewer), or just half a cup of frozen pineapple chunks.

This serves one person.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw spinach, chopped
  • ½ avocado, peeled and pitted
  • ¼ cup frozen mango chunks
  • ¼ cup frozen pineapple chunks
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond or coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon powdered greens drink mix

Directions:

  1. Put the ingredients in a blender. 
  2. Blend until you reach the thickness you want.
  3. Add more liquid as needed to achieve the desired thickness. 
  4. Serve immediately.

 

 

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.


References

  1. Bachstetter A, Jernberg J, Schlunk A, et al. Spirulina promotes stem cell genesis and protects against LPS induced declines in neural stem cell proliferation. PLOS One. 2010; 5(5): e10496.
  2. UC Davis study showsspirulina boost immune system. University of California – Davis Health System. 2000; https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2000-11/UoCD-UDss-3011100.php

 

Related FAQs

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Q

Are your Kyo-Green products organic?

Our Kyo-Green products are not USDA-certified organic. However, they are all non-GMO verified.

Q

Are your Kyo-Green products suitable for vegans?

Yes, all of our Kyo-Green products are suitable for vegans.

Q

Should I take your Kyo-Green products with food?

You can take our Kyo-Green products with or without food. Many of our customers take our Kyo-Green products mixed with water or their choice of beverage such as juice, plant-based milk, smoothies, etc. Just don’t mix them with hot water or add to foods that are cooked as the heat may degrade the nutrients.

Q

Where are your Kyo-Green products manufactured?

Our Kyo-Green Greens Blend is blended in Japan and packaged in the USA. The other Kyo-Green products, Harvest Blend and Sprouts Blend, are manufactured and packaged in the USA.