Green superfood powder supplements have become very popular as efficient ways to increase the intake of the many important the vitamins and minerals in vegetables.
This is because many people do not get the recommended amount of vegetables in their diets on a daily basis.
These supplements boast the positive health effects inherent to a diet rich in vegetable content.
Most powders can simply be added to water or in other liquids, such as fruit juices or smoothies.
Many green supplements contain many combinations and varieties of vegetables, sometimes up to 75 ingredients in one powder alone.
Here is a list of some of the most common vegetables, leafy greens, fruits, herbs and vitamins that are typically combined into powders:
Leafy greens: parsley, kale, spinach and collard greens.
Vegetables: broccoli, green cabbage, tomatoes, beets, carrots.
Fruits: raspberries, blueberries, açaí, and goji berries, which are all rich in antioxidants.
Grasses: seaweeds (kelp, chlorella, spirulina), wheatgrass, alfalfa grass, and barley.
Sugar substitutes: stevia, monk fruit.
Each brand has a unique combination of these and many other ingredients, such as digestive enzymes and other plant-based herbal extracts.
The fresh ingredients, usually advertised as purely organic and vegan, are dried and then ground into powders.
Alternatively, some of the ingredients will first be juiced and then ground into a powder.
The trick is to check with each brand, ingredient by ingredient, and see what the pros and cons of each.
It may be more beneficial to invest in a product with less ingredients and a focus on a specific function, such as antioxidant rich, or improving digestion.
When a single powdered supplement has 40 to 50 ingredients, the efficacy of each ingredient should be questioned.
Is it really possible to ingest 50 unique foods in one glass of water while receiving the full benefits of each ingredient?
While theoretically highly questionable, brands that do not attempt to maximize the number of ingredients, and instead hone in on specific categories of foods, can have a more holistic impact.
We’ve all been guilty at some point in our lives of trying to do too much, and thses powders can suffer from the same kind of overextension.
Most of these supplements certainly add much needed vitamins and minerals, but not all brands are made the same and not all of them have the enormously positive impact as they claim.
For example, eating a raw vegetable has a very high nutritional impact because when the food is still completely intact, every nutrient is still bioavailable and present.
After grinding into a powder, the chemical composition and structure of that same vegetable has been altered, which could change the overall effectiveness (taken on an ingredient by ingredient basis).
Some foods can be safely ground into powders and ingested with minimal destruction of the underlying nutritional components, such as grasses, seaweeds, mushrooms, and some leafy greens.
But other foods are simply better eaten fresh, such as fruits, berries, and most cruciferous vegetables, so as to maintain the nutritional structure.
While many people claim that these supplements have drastically improved their health, it is important to take each claim with a grain of salt and ask yourself: “By drinking this am I trying to shortcut my way to a healthier lifestyle?”
Another common concern is that an overwhelming blast of nutrients can have a negative long term effect.
For example, taking a supplement with 700% of the daily value of multiple ingredients, and over 100% in several others, what would happen if you didn’t take the supplement for a week, or even a month?
Powders that simply “over-do it” with the quantity of ingredients can lead to an imbalanced and hyperactive body response.
If your body is used to having such a huge volume of nutrients it will become dependent on that volume and can have trouble to adapt to when there aren’t as many nutrients available (product is out of stock, long shipping times, etc.).
I had a roommate who used to drink a powdered juice every morning, and within 3 or 4 months his skin had literally turned green.
This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I could see that he really took his new dietary hobby to heart, and I wondered what would happen if he stopped taking them for a period of time.
This information is not to deter the general use of these powders, but instead to take a balanced approach and not buy in too quickly to advertising hype that promises more than it can deliver, or delivers more than is even necessary.
Greens and superfoods
Greens and superfoods go hand in hand because of the many naturally occurring nutrients in leafy green vegetables and herbs.
There is no agreed upon definition for a “superfood”, but it is generally used in the context of a food that is especially rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
The most commonly mentioned ones are kale, specific types of mushrooms (reishi, chaga), wheatgrass, blueberries, and certain probiotics like raw milk.
Green superfoods have become more and more popular in recent years because of the quantity of vitamins that a person is able to ingest compared to eating the same food raw.
Many people live accelerated and busy lives, and they provide a very welcome energy boost for this type of lifestyle.
Greens and superfoods powder
Despite the possibility of overwhelming the body with too many nutrients in one serving and becoming dependent upon that quantity, greens made into powders have excellent potential in helping to balance out nutrient deficient diets.
Many basic vegetable, fruit and herbal foods found in grocery stores are deficient in their naturally occurring nutrients mainly because of added pesticides as well as weak soil that does not contain sufficient vitamins and minerals.
These powders can be a great addition to a weekly routine to help solve this problem.
Many people have commented about the bitter, bland or grassy taste of these powders, so getting creative with the ingredient mixtures can be a fun way of improving your diet.
For example, if the taste is off-putting, many people add their favorite tasty foods, like bananas or strawberries, for added sweetness, and raw milk to create a delicious smoothie or shake.
Green superfood powders have enormous potential for improving nutrition for all age groups, though it is important to take a balanced approach.
Many supplements maximize their output, but the quality of the ingredients may be being sacrificed for quantity.
By keeping this in mind it is possible to counteract the difficult situation of not having enough quality vegetables available in one’s diet, and to boost one’s immune system, digestion and energy levels in the process.