Back in the day, we used to get our greens at the produce market!
Now with the proliferation of greens supplements, you can get that super nutrition in a powder form, or powder compacted into pills or capsules.
Combinations of plants that have been dried and blended into a powder, green powders are designed to help you easily score an array of health-boosting vitamins and minerals. Exact ingredients vary by brand, but common ones include wheat grass, spirulina (algae), chlorella, kale, kelp, pineapple, beets, ginseng, and green tea extract. Many brands also contain pre- and probiotics as well as digestive enzymes. Mix the powder into your beverage of choice and you’re good to go.
Why Greens: ?
According to green powders labels, pretty much everything can be crammed into these formulations.. A lot of companies brag about improved immunity, energy levels, exercise performance, nutrient absorption, fat loss and hormonal health.
Many common greens powder ingredients have been linked to improved exercise endurance, diabetes control, and blood stabilizers. Many studies have indicated that an intake of increased greens supplements did reduce blood pressure.
In the end, the consumption of these formulations have been linked to longer, healthier lives, and green powders are designed to help you get the vegetables and herbs you need.
However, this approach is not meant to be a substitute for vegetables in your daily diet. You need the live enzymes and fiber. “Greens powders should only be used as an addition to a diet that’s rich in whole foods, including fruits and vegetables. So make sure you get a couple of servings of fresh fruits and vegetables every day.
After all, the body reacts quite differently to whole foods than it does to isolated vitamins. And, while green powders do contain many whole foods (in extract form), eating broccoli powder and beetroot extract is still very different from eating a plate full of broccoli or beets, Sheth says. And most green powders also contain a pretty generous helping of isolated, lab-created compounds.
Sheth explains that whole foods have a synergistic effect, complementing each other and boosting how well the body can effectively absorb and use their nutrients. For instance, in one Advance in Nutrition review, researchers concluded that lycopene from tomatoes was more beneficial at improving cardiovascular health compared to lycopene from supplements. Meanwhile, numerous studies have found that multivitamins pack minimal benefits compared to whole, nutrient-rich diets.
The Fine Print You Need to Read
Before you buy, you need to realize that the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate supplements, green powders included, and it only steps in when multiple case reports link a supplement with adverse effects or even death. Yikes.
So, it’s up to you to make sure that any greens powder contains what it actually says it does – and nothing else. After all, in one Consumer Labs study, a third of green powder supplements marketed as all natural and healthy, were found to be contaminated with heavy metals such as lead and arsenic. Things to avoid there !
To be sure of a safe product, make sure your choice is certified through a third-party lab such as NSF. They test product ingredients for safety and purity – and attest to exactly what’s listed on the ingredient label, which is atached to the container.
If the ingredients listed are not recognizable to you, chances are you don’t want in your body.
When it comes to supplementation, more isn’t necessarily better. Serving sizes are generally as small as 1 tablespoon yet still contain several times your daily recommended intake of vitamins C, E and various B vitamins – and labels recommend taking multiple servings per day!
You can easily consume an excess of what your body can absorb. Sometimes less is more. I frequently take fewer than the recommended amount suggested by the company because I know any excess full be flushed out of my body. The more pills or capsules you take the more money they make.
For example, while many studies have associated excessive beta-carotene intake with cancer and over supplementation of vitamin A to liver damage, one study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology suggested that supplementing over the long term with high doses of vitamin B6 and B12 may significantly contribute to the risk of lung cancer in men.
Just to be safe, I recommend discussing your options with your primary doctor and choosing a blend that doesn’t contain more than 100 percent of your daily recommended intake of any vitamin. If that means stopping yourself at half of a serving per day, so be it. As it turns out, that could help both your taste buds and budget.
You’ve settled on one to try . .
No matter how complete your greens powder’s nutritional label is, it’s always best to use it as a supplement add-on rather than as your main produce source. The U.S. Department of Agriculture suggests filling half of every serving you eat with fruits and veggies; that should equal eating 2.5 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit per day. It’s really easy to steam some spinach with olive oil and garlic in a frying pan, or steamer on top of your stove for a quick side dish and is an extremely healthy way to get your fix of fresh greens as, It’s available just about everywhere these days due to improved farming methods all year around.
Our busy lifestyles demand quick cooking techniques like this. Then you can always combine your cream powdered supplements and tomorrow’s movie with the banana/batteries pineapple any other fruit in season. Fortunately like the spinach, these fruits are available all year round.
Be sure to see my reviews to follow and how I reviewed the various green powder supplements, tablet, pills and powdered blends that I have personally tried over the years. My recommendations will save you a lot of trial and error.
Thanks for reading,