If you’ve been on the Instagram Explore page recently, chances are you’ve seen influencers or even friends promoting an array of green powders.
What are green powders?
This “superfood” has been advertised as an ingredient to add to smoothies, drinks, smoothie bowls and sometimes desserts.
The claim behind these powders is that they can be just as good as eating the actual food they’re based on, such as kale, wheat grass, spirulina and chlorella. They’re easy to use and require minimal clean up.
Need more veggies? Add a green powder to your daily intake instead.
Wait, hold on. Can good nutrition really be that simple? Or are these powders just another fad in the supplement industry?
What’s the science?
According to dietitian Jemma O’Hanlon, she believes society should stay clear of green powders. O’Hanlon stated green powders are a “highly processed version of the real thing, and are not really a ‘food’ that we can cook up a meal with.”
To further O’Hanlon’s message, there is a lack of scientific research supporting their health benefits.
Scientific research directs society to consume vegetables that come from the planet rather than ones processed into powders. Eating whole vegetables that come from trees or a garden provide the most benefits.
Do green powders actually work?
They’re advertised to make us feel as if we are doing something good for our body. If we put a scoop into a smoothie, we are under the assumption that we don’t need vegetables for the rest of the day.
In reality, these powders are not a substitute.
What’s missing from green powders?
O’Hanlon states that there are two things that are missing: water content and dietary fiber.
When consuming a whole vegetable, like broccoli, kale, and spinach, the water content and fiber work together in the body to make us feel fuller and promote healthy digestion.
When eating vegetables in a powder form it can be harder on the digestive tract, leading to stomach cramps and bloating.
What are the risks of only consuming green powders?
If you are choosing to only use supplements of any kind, you may be getting too much of one vitamin and too little of others. In other words, this may lead to toxicity and an overall imbalance of nutrition.
Consumers have stated that regular usage of green powders has turned their skin orange. This is because they are digesting too much Vitamin A, leading to hypercarotenemia.
Because it’s a more concentrated form of supplement, you may run the risk ingesting too much vitamin K. This can affect medications and interfere with other medical treatments. If you are pregnant or nursing, it may also be best to avoid these powders as they may contain other ingredients not disclosed on the label.
In reality, it is hard to overdose on whole vegetables, but it’s very easy to misuse supplements.
Remember, if to always inform your physician before adding new supplements to your daily intake.
Although it’s tempting to believe green powders will make our lives not only healthier but easier, you are far better off eating whole vegetables. Keep your money in your bank account and as always, do your research and follow the science. You deserve it!
“Green Powder, Are There Health Benefits?”
“What Are Green Powders and Do You Need Them?”
“The 6 Best Greens Powders of 2021, According to a Dietitian”
“The Food Supplement That Ruined My Liver”
“What Happens to Your Body When You Eat Superfood Powder Every Day?”
“Super Greens: Are Greens Powders Healthy?”