If you’ve been hit by endless ads on IG plugging greens powders, we’re in the same boat. Often added to smoothies, acai bowls, and water, these trendy supps from brands such as Thorne, Athletic Greens, and HUM Nutrition seem to offer an all-in-one fix for essential vitamins and minerals.
These powdered nutrients are made from a variety of leaves and fruits dried out and ground up. Probiotics, adaptogens, and antioxidant-rich algae, like spirulina and chlorella, are often added to the mix, and these blends supposedly pack all the micronutrients found in their ingredients. One serving typically promises to do things like boost energy, support immunity, and improve gastrointestinal function.
One note: They’re not approved by the FDA in the same way food is, says WH advisor Amanda Baker Lemein, RD. Before you swap your salads for green shakes, find out if they can help you meet your daily requirements.
First off, are greens powders healthy?
They can be, but not in the same way that whole foods are in providing nutrients. The beneficial nutrients you’ll get from whole foods, like fiber and vitamin C, may be lost in the production process. Plus, you absorb nutrients from real eats more easily. That being said, it is possible to get a bigger serving of a vitamin, especially if synthetic ones are added.
What are greens powders good for?
Probiotics in many blends may add to the good bacteria your body needs to help keep the bad kind in check and digest food, while prebiotics “feed” these beneficial microorganisms. And research has shown probiotics may be helpful for constipation and diarrhea. So, you may reap some benefit by taking powdered greens that have these ingredients. Cool!
The nutrients in our diet work to aid our immune function—specifically, vitamin C, B vitamins, and zinc—but a healthy immune system depends on other factors, too, such as sleep and stress. And it’s not fully known how nutrients added to a supplement are used in the body. “The absorption of nutrients in supplements may depend on how well a supplement dissolves in the body,” says Lemein. They likely won’t hurt you, however, so that’s positive.
Best Greens Powders
Bloom Nutrition Green Superfood Mix
There’s a reason Bloom has nearly 20,000 positive reviews on Amazon. This mix boasts energizing spirulina, digestive enzymes, probiotics, and more. Many reviewers also sing praises about the reasonable price and the improvement it brought to their bloat and GI discomfort after consuming it for a month.
Athletic Greens AG1
Athletic Greens is one of the buzziest powdered greens brands at the moment, featuring a blend of 75 vitamins and minerals. “I’ve been taking AG1 for over four months now, and I’ve noticed my GI symptoms like bloating or pain after a meal have improved,” says WH executive health and fitness director Jacqueline Andriakos. “I also am less reliant on my morning coffee—this stuff feels like a little energy boost in a bottle.”
Thorne Daily Greens Plus
Fans of this product speak highly of the robust ingredients list and transparent nutrition labeling. Users also love the slightly minty flavour to help mask the natural and often bitter taste of greens.
Garden of Life Raw Organic Perfect Food Green Superfood Juiced Greens Powder
This mix is as close to fresh veggies as you can get. Made from 40 types of certified USDA organic plants juiced and dried within an hour of harvesting, it’s packed with essential nutrients like vitamins A and K, folate, and calcium, among others. And it has no added sugar.
HUM Raw Beauty Greens Superfood Powder
Feeling tired all the time? The adaptogenic blend, which includes known energizers such as rhodiola and ashwagandha, in this greens powder will give you the pick-me-up you need. Bonus: It has a mint chocolate flavour, which one happy user says makes their smoothie taste like a chocolate milkshake.
SAKARA Organic Protein + Greens Super Powder
If you don’t have time to whip up a protein shake and one with your greens in the morning, try this two-in-one product. The pea, hemp, pumpkin seeds, and sesame proteins form a complete protein, which means it provides all nine amino acids your body doesn’t make.
Can greens powders cause any side effects?
A heads-up for anyone taking warfarin: Look out for vitamin K in any green products, as upping your intake can affect how this medication is metabolized and make it less effective. Check with your doc if you are on this blood thinner or have any allergies.
This information was pulled from a poll. At their website, you might be able to discover the same material in a different format or more details.
Also note that heavy metals and contaminants have shown up in some products, says Marisa Moore, RDN. So, look for third-party testing seals, such as from NSF, an international standards org.