Greens Powder Supplements: Benefits, Risks and Best Brands
If you don’t eat a good amount of fruits and vegetables each day, then you are probably not getting enough of all the vitamins, minerals, trace elements and phytonutrients that your body needs to maintain optimum health.
A normal sedentary person should eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. But athletes, bodybuilders, and anyone else who trains hard on a regular basis, will need more like 7 – 10 servings per day. But very few people get anywhere near this amount.
So to make up for the shortfall, many people take a multivitamin supplement. But the problem with most multivitamins is that they are made in a lab from isolated and/or synthetic ingredients. And these don't provide anything like the benefits you will get from consuming real whole food nutrients, as in many cases the body cannot absorb and utilize them properly. Also, many mulitvitamins are seriously underdosed in a number of important nutrients, or they may be missing them altogether.
So a much better idea is to use either a whole food multivitamin, or alternatively a superfood greens powder supplement. So in this article I’ll describe some of the benefits, as well as the possible risks, of taking a greens supplement, and I’ll also suggest a few of the best brands that you might want to consider using.
How many servings of fruit and vegetables do you eat per day?
What are Greens Powder Supplements?
Greens powders are dietary supplements that you can mix into water or other fluids. They are made from plant products that are dried and then ground into a powder, and they generally contain a multitude of ingredients, including vegetables (broccoli, kale, spinach etc.), aquatic plants (chlorella, spirulina and kelp), cereal grasses and herbs. They may also contain fruits, prebiotics, probiotics, enzymes and added vitamins and minerals.
Greens supplements are available in tablet or capsule form, as well as powder, but it's a bit inconvenient to take large numbers of pills each day, so for that reason I would always recommend the powders, as these can simply be mixed with water or juice, or added to your whey protein shake, and taken once or twice each day.
Greens supplements contain a wide array of vitamins, minerals, trace elements, enzymes, antioxidants and healing phytonutrients in their natural form, and they provide a convenient way to make up for any shortfall in the amount of fruits and vegetables in a person's diet. But, on top of that, many of the ingredients they contain may provide health benefits beyond what would be achieved by simply eating more vegetables.
Benefits of Greens Supplements
People who eat a lot of fruits and vegetables have a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, various types of cancer, dementia and many other diseases. And if you supplement your diet with a greens powder, you can derive similar benefits. But apart from that, taking a good quality greens supplement daily can give you the following additional benefits:
- Improved pH balance – helps counteract the effect of acidic foods such as protein, grains and dairy
- Reduced Inflammation
- Protection from free radicals
- Better digestion
- Improved immune system function
- Better skin condition
- Faster recovery from exercise and injury
- Reduced post-exercise muscle soreness
- Better sleep
- More energy
Risks of Greens Supplements
As with any supplement (or most other products for that matter) there are a few possible risks associated with taking greens supplements. Firstly, there is a risk of contamination with toxins or harmful bacteria. And because dietary supplements are not very well regulated, you can never be completely certain that what is on the label is what’s actually in the product.
Also some vitamins and minerals can be dangerous when taken at high levels, so it’s possible that if you consume large amounts of these products, it could put you at risk of toxicity. And some herbs can interact with certain types of medications as well.
But all of these risks can be virtually eliminated if you make sure you only buy from highly reputable companies, choose organic products, and never exceed the maximum recommended dose. And if you take any medications it’s always worth checking that none of the ingredients will interact with them.
Best Brands of Greens Supplements
The best greens powders contain organic or wild sourced ingredients and are GMO free. They contain no artificial sweeteners, or other synthetic ingredients, and they are processed at low temperatures in order to preserve the enzymes and other nutrients they contain. Also, certain ingredients (such as grasses) should have their juices extracted by cold-pressing before drying, as this releases the nutrients from the plant fibers, making them much more bioavailable.
So the greens powder I most recommend is . This contains 12 superfood ingredients, all of which are organic and GMO free. The ingredients include spirulina, chlorella, turmeric, matcha Organifi Green Juice Powdergreen tea and ashwagandha (an adaptogenic herb).
As well as providing a huge array of micronutrients, this product is a powerful detoxifier and anti-inflammatory. It also supports the immune and circulatory systems, helps combat the effects of stress on the body, gives you more energy and assists with weight loss. It tastes quite good for a greens powder too - if you like the taste of mint that is.
The next best is probably . This contains 75 whole food ingredients, most of which are organic, and all are processed without heat. As well as containing a superfood complex, Athletic Greens also contains a blend of herbs, mushrooms, adaptogens, digestive enzymes, probiotics and a multivitamin and mineral complex. Athletic Greens
Specifically formulated for active people, Athletic Greens is excellent for gut health, as well as detoxification and stress support. It also gives you more energy and helps boost the immune system too. It tastes quite good as well. The downside is that it is expensive, however, but it's probably worth it, especially if you are looking for something that gives you virtually everything you need in one supplement.
Other excellent choices of greens supplements include Vibrant Health Green Vibrance, Garden Of Life Perfect Food, Patriot Power Greens and Nested Naturals Super Greens. And, as all greens supplements are different, it makes sense to alternate between two or three different brands rather than sticking to the same one all the time.
So, while it's true that no supplement can take the place of a healthy balanced diet, and you should always try to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables every day, it’s equally true that a good quality greens powder supplement, taken daily, can make a very positive contribution to anyone’s diet and overall long-term health.