Green powders are made from vegetables – but are green powders as good as fresh greens for your body?
Today we’re going to weigh up what each does, the difference, and how you should think about your green powders.
It’s going to be key to getting the most from this healthful supplement and supporting your body, health, and longevity to the max.
What Are Green Powders? What’s In a Green Powder Supplement?
Green powders are a dehydrated and concentrated mixture of plant extracts from various dark green and blue vegetables, fruits, and herbs. They are rich in plant-specific nutrients as well as the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs to perform its most important functions healthily.
The main ingredients in most green powders are Brassicae vegetables like broccoli, kale, cabbage, collards, sprouts, beets, mustard greens, and others.
They also typically include spirulina and chlorella – very nutrient dense forms of algae that fill in many missing nutrients from other plants.
Depending on the product, other Supergreen powders will offer different bonus ingredients.
Choices like astragalus, ginseng, and piperine are all great synergists in these products where they support better absorption of the wide range of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients through the gut.
Are Green Powders As Good As Fresh Greens?
Green powders are as good for most people as fresh greens – but you should get both in your diet. Green powders are higher concentrations of nutrients per calorie but you should still make the habit of getting high-quality plant whole foods into your diet.
Important compounds like fiber and phytochemicals from whole foods can be lost in the processing and concentration process.
Green powders are better than fresh greens because you can get more from less. However, you still need the other compounds and dietary improvements that come from eating more whole foods like dark leafy greens.
Think of green powders as a super high quality multivitamin, mineral, and health support compound.
You don’t stop eating healthy foods because of a multivitamin, so make sure you’re not ignoring important food choices for green powders.
The Difference Between Extracts And The Food Matrix
Green powders provide unparalleled nutrient density, but real foods have a food matrix that might make each ingredient more powerful. This is one more reason you should have both in your diet.
Food extracts are great for concentrating beneficial compounds like the Beta-Carbinols in green leafy vegetables or the DIM they provide.
However, the real vegetable provides fiber and the ingredients may interact in ways that we don’t quite understand.
Studies show that whole foods are better than a single ingredient-matched dose of their main beneficial compounds (e.g. broccoli is better than Beta-Carbinols at the same dose).
It’s not well understood yet but the food matrix is an important part of why whole foods are important – as well as the fiber and water content they provide to support health.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Green Powder A Good Substitute For Vegetables?
No – that’s exactly the opposite of how you should use green powders. They offer a wide variety of nutrients but are supplements and not replacements for eating good vegetables.
The best use of a greens powder is to improve your vitamin, mineral, and other nutrient intake for very few calories in a convenient way. It’s a way of making sure you’re not missing anything, but that doesn’t mean you can – or should – ignore vegetables or dietary quality.
There are things like fiber and food matrix interactions in real food that green powders can’t give you.
They can improve health massively but you shouldn’t neglect your fruit and vegetable intake just because you’re using a greens powder!
Do Green Powders Do Anything?
Yes – green powders are a great low-calorie source of many different nutrients to support and improve health and wellbeing.
They offer a simple option for topping up all your most important nutrients – as well as some ergogenic (quality of life and performance improving) ingredients.
Green powders aren’t always the best choice – sometimes it’s about eating more high quality whole plant foods – but they’re definitely useful and effective.
Is Greens Powder Good For You?
Yes, greens powder is a convenient source of super high density nutrients with very few calories.
If you get a good product from a reputable brand, you’ll be getting plenty of important vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients without any fluff, filler, or heavy metals.
Most people are significantly healthier when using Supergreen powders compared to something like a simple multivitamin which lacks most of the potent beneficial compounds.
Are Green Powders A Waste Of Money?
Most green powders are not a waste of money, though they can be quite expensive.
Super green powders offer a high nutrient density for their calories and size – but they are more expensive than a typical multivitamin.
This is because green powder supplements are more of a quality of life and performance aid than a normal multivitamin, as well as being far more effective and varied in their benefits.
They’re definitely not the cheapest supplement but many athletes and health enthusiasts use green powders because they deliver on their price consistently.
Can Green Powders Reduce Bloating?
Yes – green powders may be one way to reduce bloating if you’re experiencing digestive discomfort.
They’re typically probiotic as well as anti-inflammatory, and can be a great way to get plenty of nutrients with a lower per-meal intake of green veggies (which can cause bloating).
Green Powders Vs Multivitamin – Which is Best?
Green powders are definitely more effective than multivitamins – each ingredient is more effectively absorbed, while the nutrients on offer are far greater in variety and power.
The benefits of green powders extend to performance, quality of life, and more besides.
Multivitamins are cheaper and still relatively effective (especially compared to their price, on cheaper products) but lack the potency and variety of benefits you’d get from a healthy green powder supplement.
Are Powdered Veggies Healthy?
Yes, green powder supplements – which offer a mixture of powdered vegetables in a single powder – are great for health. They’re typically one of the easiest and most well-absorbed forms of many nutrients compared to their fullness and calorie content.
This makes powdered veggies a great choice for improving nutrient intake without eating more – and easy to take with you to work, studies, or other obligations.
Green powders and fresh greens play a different role in your diet – but green powders are as good as fresh greens for the role they play.
They’re easier to use and more convenient, more nutrient dense, but lower in fiber and lacking in the food matrix that makes dark green vegetables so good.
You should find space in your diet for both – though it’s important to remember that green powders are supplements, and green vegetables are food. Real food is your priority, but a high quality green powder can be a huge benefit to your overall health and quality of life.
You Might Like:
- Do Green Powders Expire?
- Are Powdered Greens Good For You?
- Are Green Powders a Waste of Money?
- Superfood Powder Recipes: What To Mix Greens With?
- What to Look for in a Greens Powder
Rohan Arora is a Certified Personal Trainer and Sports Nutritionist and has been actively involved in sports and fitness for over 8 years. He now leads the team of fitness specialists and personal trainers who help people around the world with personalized workout and nutrition plans, along with providing the right information on sports supplements.