Many health experts would agree that a healthy body starts with good nutrition. Nutritious foods and daily activity play a fundamental role in nourishing the cells of the body, and helping you to feel great.
Superfoods are nutrient-rich foods believed to be beneficial for overall health and well-being. They offer high doses of antioxidants and fiber, which can help to boost the immune system and to work against certain illnesses, including:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Insulin sensitivity (1)
Nutritional experts recommend including a variety of superfoods in your everyday diet. Some common examples include: kale, spinach, berries, fish with high omega-3 content, acai, turmeric, and almonds. (2)
However, depending on your allergies, dietary restrictions, or budget, incorporating more fruits and vegetables can be difficult. Powdered greens can help to make this easier. Superfood powders can be added to water, juice, smoothies, and even baked into food to add a quick and easy boost to your diet.
What are superfood powders?
Superfood powders are a blend of nutrient–dense and antioxidant foods. Powdered greens are designed to help people reach their recommended daily fruit and vegetable intake. Superfood powder is usually made from ground–up greens, vegetables, fruits, and, in some instances, seeds and grains.
Organic or not organic?
Although superfood powders are known to come from fruits and vegetables, some conventional superfood powders are not gluten-free and can contain additives and fillers. Many powders contain synthetic ingredients. Some conventional powders also lose nutrient content if they are spray–dried in the heating process.
Certified, organic ingredients can be found in organic superfood powder. This helps the organic powder to be richer in nutrients compared to conventional superfood powders. Additionally, there are no toxins or pesticides. Organic powders also preserve more nutrients, making them a purer product.
Organic superfood powder can be rich in organic fruits and vegetables that have vitamins, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. It can also provide benefits by serving as a prebiotic for digestion and nutritional absorption. (1)
Types of greens and their benefits
As has been addressed, greens powders aren’t all made equally. To find the best one for you, you should first decide what it is that you‘re looking for in your greens. A handful of powdered greens are a good source of micronutrients—however, there are different types of greens and each one affects your body in different ways.
Here are a few key differences:
- Marine Sources: Marine sources are water–based, and include the supplements spirulina and chlorella. Marine-sourced powdered greens are nutrient–dense and their benefits are often used as supplementation. Spirulina has amino acids, calcium, potassium, b-vitamins, and iron. Chlorella has protein, magnesium, B-vitamins and zinc.
- Moringa Leaf: Moringa is commonly added to green powders because of its nutrient-content. It can be taken as is or brewed into tea.
- Grasses: Alfalfa, wheatgrass, and barley grass contain dietary fiber and a wide range of vitamins including vitamin A, vitamin B6, and vitamin C. Alfalfa is rich in vitamin K, zinc, copper, magnesium and vitamin C. Those with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease should exercise caution before using these kinds of powdered greens.
- Fermented Greens: There are several kinds of fermented vegetables, including carrots, beets, parsley, kale and cabbage, which all provide a wide range of nutrients. (3)
Ways to consume powdered greens:
There are many ways in which to consume powdered greens. For optimal results, you should follow the instructions given on the product that you’ve purchased. Some common ways to consume powdered greens are:
- Drinking them as a green juice or smoothie
- Adding them to your breakfast
- Sprinkling them over vegetables
- Adding them to a soup or salad dressing
Be mindful that if you‘re heating your powdered greens, you risk decreasing the nutrient value. (4)
Superfood powder ingredients of which to be cautious
The content of superfood greens differs between brands. Since superfood powders are blended, you should be mindful of the ingredients; a few to watch out for are:
- Artificial Sweeteners: Sucralose, saccharin (94) and xylitol are all artificial sweeteners commonly found in superfood powders. If consumed, these artificial sweeteners can cause several negative side effects such as headaches, migraines, and gastric issues like bloating or acid reflux.
- Artificial Flavors: For those with sensitivities to artificial flavoring, some superfood greens may trigger health issues such as skin conditions and mood swings if ingested.
- Dextrins and Fillers: These ingredients are commonly added to superfood powders by manufacturers to thicken them and to save money. They can cause gastrointestinal stress in some people.
- Gluten: Those with gluten allergies and sensitivities can experience inflammation and other conditions, such as hormonal imbalances, tiredness, and headaches. (1)
Possible benefits of powdered greens:
Between the nutrients and organic ingredients in superfood powder, it has much potential as a supplement for overall wellness; superfood powder may offer a wide range of benefits, including:
- Regulating Appetite: Although superfood powder is not a substitute for fruits and vegetables, it can help to provide up to 30% of your daily intake. If used properly and taken in conjunction with protein, it can help to regulate appetite and to make you feel fuller.
- Build Immune System: Organic superfood can offer antioxidants that are quickly absorbed into the body. Nutrients can help the body to make antibodies that fight against immune-related issues; immune cells sometimes decrease if there is a deficiency in nutrients within the body.
- Boost Your Energy: Superfood powder can provide an increase in energy and boost cognitive power.
- Digestive Health Support: Organic superfood powders have prebiotics that may support gut health and healthy bowel functions. Studies have shown that quality protein intake, such as whey protein isolate, can fight against leaky gut syndrome and inflammation of the gut.
- Anti-Aging Properties: Superfood powder can help to nourish the skin; the antioxidants provide strength and structure. This may work wonders for elasticity and hydration. (1)
Greens powder are also believed to be a good source of: calcium, iodine, selenium, chromium, and potassium. They can also be rich in vitamin C, which fights against heart disease.
Vitamin K, also found in leafy greens, can help to:
- Maintain healthy blood vessels
- Reduce heart issues
- Fight against bone loss
- Promote eye health (5)
Although green superfood powders offer potential health benefits, it‘s important to know that they do not substitute consuming actual fruits and vegetables. Powdered greens are a convenient method to help you to reach a daily intake of multivitamins and minerals, by supplementing what you‘re already eating; this should include a wide variety of foods, including fruits and vegetables.
Since powdered greens vary by brand, you should consult your doctor to help determine which one is best for you. It is also important to consider any medications you are currently taking, as additional vitamins and minerals could potentially interact with your medication and alter the effects.
Before purchasing, always remember to make sure that the powdered greens are sourced from a reputable manufacturer, and that they don’t contain any harmful ingredients.
Disclaimer: This article is based on our independent research. While our team does everything in their power to provide accurate and current information from credible state-run websites and resources, we are not lawyers or legal experts. As such, none of the following information should be interpreted as legal advice. Content on these pages is provided for informational purposes only and those with legal concerns should consult experts within their state, such as the FDA.
1) “SUPERFOOD POWDERS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW“, Source: https://thehealthychef.com/blogs/wellbeing/superfood-powders-what-you-need-to-know
2) “10 superfoods to boost a healthy diet”, Source: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/10-superfoods-to-boost-a-healthy-diet-2018082914463
3) “Green Superfood Powder: Worth It? (+ How to Find a Good One)”, Source: https://wellnessmama.com/124151/greens-powder/
4) “Super Greens: Are Greens Powders Healthy?”, Source: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/super-greens
5) “Greens Powder: Are there Health Benefits?”, Source: https://www.webmd.com/diet/greens-powder-are-there-health-benefits