Greens powders have gained popularity as a convenient and nutrient-dense supplement that promises a concentrated dose of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
The idea of replacing your meals with a supplement is controversial, but it isn’t new. However, the idea of simply drinking your vegetables, often in more palatable or even delicious flavours, appealed to so many, especially to those who may just be starting out in a dedicated lifestyle of fitness and nutrition.
Is it all just hype, or truly the next big thing for dietary supplements? Let’s discuss the potential benefits and look at the evidence to find out if super greens powders are what they claim to be.
Understanding Super Greens Powders:
Super greens powder is a dietary supplement made from a blend of various nutrient-rich ingredients, including leafy green vegetables, algae, grasses, and herbs. These powdered formulations are typically designed to be mixed with water, providing a quick and convenient way to meet nutrient and vitamin requirements in one go. Do remember that you’d be adding more calories if you decide to mix your powder into a smoothie.
The Benefits and Evidence:
Proponents of super greens powder suggest several potential health benefits associated with its consumption:
- Nutrient Density: In general, nutrient-dense foods should be a staple in your diet for its endless list of health benefits. Super greens powder is marketed as a concentrated source of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, or nutrients naturally found in vegetables. The inclusion of diverse ingredients aims to provide a wide range of nutrients that may support overall health and well-being.
- Antioxidant Support: Many super greens powder formulations contain polyphenols and other plant nutrients, such as vitamin C, E, and K, all of which contain antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help combat oxidative stress, which is linked to chronic diseases and ageing.
- Alkalizing Properties: Some super greens powder products claim to help balance the body’s pH levels by promoting alkalinity. It is suggested that an alkaline environment may support cellular health and reduce the risk of certain diseases. Take note, though, that the concept of alkalizing the body through dietary interventions is a subject of debate, and that there needs to be more studies in the matter.
Considerations and Caveats
When considering the use of super greens powder, several factors should be taken into account:
1. Nutrient Diversity: Super greens powder may offer a wide range of nutrients, but it cannot replace a balanced diet. Whole foods provide a complex matrix of nutrients and other beneficial compounds that may work synergistically to support health. Additionally, these powders lose a lot of natural fibre content due to the way dried fruits and vegetables are grinded up. The American Heart Association Eating Plan recommends that you should have a daily fibre intake 25-30 grams from food, not supplements.
2. Quality and Purity: Not all super greens powder products are created equal. Some formulations may contain fillers, additives, or low-quality ingredients. It is crucial to choose products from reputable brands that prioritise quality and transparency.
3. Individual Needs and Sensitivities: Super greens powder may not be suitable for everyone. Some individuals may have sensitivities or allergies to specific ingredients, and some green powders brands have warned children, pregnant or breastfeeding women and people on medications may be at risk of unwanted interactions with their products.
Greens Powders – A Green Light?
If we have to reach a conclusion on the specific benefits of super greens powders, it’s that there isn’t enough conclusive research on these new supplements that took social media by storm. Evan Reister, a doctor of nutrition science at American University, warns that “larger and longer studies are needed” before someone could confidently back the effectiveness of these powders.
Along with the immense funding for these products, it’s important for us to be aware of the many claims we read online, especially those proclaiming to be the one-size-fits-all solution to health requirements.
In that regard, a DNA test from CircleDNA can help you distinguish facts from fads when it comes to achieving your health and nutrition goals. These genetic reports can give you more than just dietary recommendations based on your body’s optimal response, but also in-depth insights into everyday changes to your lifestyle that specifically work for you.