Leafy greens or whole vegetables are super healthy and part of one of the core pillars of our 4 Legs of Fitness model, but they are not everyone’s cup of tea. Thankfully we can supplement our nutrition effectively with greens powders.
In this article, I answer the question about greens powders: what are they and what do they do for your body? I go over detailed health benefits of various different types of green powders, their ingredients, and how to consume them.
What are Greens Powders?
Greens powders are unheated nutritional supplements that can help you obtain the nutrients of leafy greens, fruits, and vegetables. You can consume them with juices, water, smoothies, or other unheated meals. They used to have a grassy or green tea taste, but today's greens powders have a light, clean flavor. They are an excellent alternative if you don't enjoy eating veggies or you're always on the run and don't have access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
Taking high-quality greens powder is a convenient and efficient way to include greens into your diet. Adding chlorella or kelp, which aren't likely to be in your fridge, adds additional benefits. These alkalizing superfoods are full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
There are several brands of greens powders out there; a few of which are vegan. I recommend you choose a powder combination that doesn't have any sugar and artificial flavors.
A lot depends on the brand you pick and the health benefits you're hoping to achieve from taking a greens powder supplement. In most formulas, components are collected, dried, and crushed into powder. In some others, they are juiced and dehydrated first. Powders of the highest caliber are finely milled and readily dissolve in liquids.
What Are Typical Greens Powders Ingredients?
The ingredients in green powder might vary; however, these are the most common examples:
- Leafy greens: spinach, collards, parsley, and kale.
- Vegetables: broccoli, green cabbage, tomatoes, and carrots.
- Broadleaf grasses: wheatgrass, barley grass, and alfalfa grass are examples of broadleaf grasses.
- Nutritional seaweeds such as chlorella, dulse, and spirulina.
- Fibers: chicory root, apple fiber, rice bran, and inulin.
- Mushroom extracts like shiitake and maitake
- Astragalus and holy basil are examples of healing herbs.
- Nutritional extracts: Ginkgo biloba extract and green tea extract
- Antioxidants: goji berries, blueberries, and raspberries
- Sugar replacements made from natural ingredients like stevia and monk fruit
The Health Benefits of Greens Powders
I am a big advocate of eating whole fruits and vegetables. As Precision Nutrition certified coaches, we typically recommend to have five servings of fruits and veggies per day. But if you cannot or do not like consuming unprocessed fruits or vegetables, then high-quality greens powders may provide you with many of the same health advantages as eating them in their natural state. You will not only obtain the nutrients you need, but you will also be able to balance your body's pH and calm your digestive system.
You should be aware that these products have less fiber than fresh fruits and vegetables since it's manufactured from powdered dry grasses. A well-balanced diet is always better than taking a greens powder supplement. Adding greens powder to your diet should only be done after consulting with your physician about your medical history and any health problems you may have.
Before purchasing greens powder, carefully read the label on the reverse. Keep away from brands that employ artificial colors and flavors, artificial sweeteners, thickeners, and genetically modified (GMO) components. To get the most out of your greens powder, use it regularly, ideally daily.
Make Sure You're Getting All the Vitamins and Minerals You Need
Two typical constituents in greens powders; barley grass, and wheatgrass, have been found to promote health.
Researchers have studied wheatgrass for many years and found that it has several health advantages, such as:
- Balances cholesterol levels
- Prevents the onset of inflammation
- Assists in the elimination of aberrant and damaged cells
- Maintains a healthy blood sugar level
- Regulates your Body's pH.
Barley grass, wheatgrass, and other greens powder constituents may help your body's pH equilibrium shift toward alkalinity. Blood pH of 7 is considered neutral. The pH scale goes from 0 to 14, with 0 indicating that your blood is very acidic and 14 indicating that your blood is alkaline. Many health problems arise from acidic blood (pH levels more than 7.8). Greens powder can help you maintain a slightly alkaline blood pH of 7.35 to 7.45.
Your body will secrete neutralizing bicarbonate to prevent your blood from being excessively acidic, to safeguard the pH of your blood. Calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium levels will fall as a result of this buffering process, which removes alkalizing elements from your bones.
Health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, and strokes may occur due to an increase in blood acidity. It means, the more acidic your blood gets, the more likely you’ll have health problems such as:
- Loss of muscle mass (sarcopenia)
- High blood pressure
- A decrease in bone mass (osteoporosis)
- Problems with cognition
- coronary artery disease
That said, the question arises: what can you do to get your pH level back into line?
Increase your supply of leafy greens!
Aim to consume 75 to 80 percent alkalizing foods, and just 20 to 25 percent acidifying food each day. As part of your daily routine, a greens powder drink may assist you in reaching this goal. While you may already be eating a variety of leafy greens, it's worth adding a few more powerhouse greens to your diet.
Additional Benefits That Greens Powders Offer
Greens powders provide better digestion, high energy, and a strong immune system. Each combination is unique, so shop around for the ones that include particular superfoods, ancient grains, and grasses, as well as fruits and vegetables.
Spirulina, or blue-green algae, is one of the most popular superfoods on the market today. Cyanobacterium is the genus name for this blue-green microalga, which is a form of bacteria. Spirulina has been proven to reduce the synthesis of inflammatory signaling molecules, particularly phycocyanin, which is high in antioxidants. Spirulina's high nutritional content not only makes it an alkaline meal, but it also confers several health advantages on the alga. It has been discovered that spirulina is beneficial for those with seasonal allergies, maintains healthy lipid levels, lowers blood sugar, and strengthens muscles. For the first time, researchers at the University of South Florida's Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair have shown that supplementing with spirulina may also protect the brain against oxidative damage that develops with age. As a result of these findings, spirulina enhances neuronal function and decreases inflammation in the brain.
Spirulina also boosts the body's ability to fight off diseases. It has been observed that spirulina considerably enhances the production of infection-fighting cytokines in cultured cells of the immune system. This green superfood's immune-balancing properties have also been studied in-depth in other studies.
Ancient grains should also be on your buying list. Ancient grains are a subtype of whole grains that include quinoa (buckwheat), millet (buckwheat), amaranth (amaranth), flax (farrow), and others. While wheat has been continuously enhanced, these grains have mostly stayed unchanged over the last several hundred years. Individuals with gluten intolerance may benefit from consuming various ancient grains since many are gluten-free. Ancient grains are high in essential nutrients such as B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, and iron, as well as prebiotic fibers and antioxidants that may help maintain a healthy and balanced digestive system.
Grasses are also a good source of fiber. They have a lot of chlorophyll, which gives them their distinctive green hue. Detoxification, wound healing, and healthy blood formation may all be aided by chlorophyll.
As a bonus, grasses include digestive enzymes, which may help those with food allergies and indigestion. Let's take a closer look at a couple of these weeds.
The oldest cereal grain ever produced by humans dates back to 7000 BC and has a wide range of antioxidants. Barley grass is a good source of potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and magnesium. Chlorophyll, amino acids, protein, fiber, and enzymes are also found in barley grass. An enzyme that neutralizes the detrimental effects of free radicals is found in barley grass.
In addition to the B vitamins, vitamin C, and iron, wheatgrass also has calcium and amino acids. Your body cannot produce 8 of the 17 amino acids it needs. They must come from your food. As the master antioxidant, glutathione is found in wheatgrass. Wheatgrass has been shown to prevent oxidative damage to cells in early studies. In other studies, wheatgrass has been shown to maintain healthy cholesterol levels, help regulate blood sugar levels, counter an inflammatory response, and help destroy damaged or aberrant cells. Wheatgrass, like barley grass, is a potent alkalizing agent that aids in maintaining a healthy pH level.
Greens Powders: How to Consume Them
Greens powders may be used with smoothies, soups, and other beverages. It's possible to take the greens powder with various foods like protein pancakes, hummus, smoothies, and porridge. Hot meals and hot tea might deplete the nutrients in this blend; therefore, it's best to avoid them. Dosage recommendations may be found on the packaging. Greens are moderate and harmless, so you may take them more than once a day to get the most bang for your buck.
Leverage the Power of Greens Powders
There is no doubt about the health benefits of greens powders. As always before you decide to choose a greens powders product, first make sure you understand what nutritional challenge you want to solve for yourself and then pick the right product with the right ingredients. Also, do your research about the quality and trustworthiness of the producer.
To make supplementing less annoying, I recommend starting to form a habit. This makes it almost automatic and allows you to stick to a healthy habit in a way that does not suck and brings long-term results. Habit forming is the core of all my health and fitness programs.
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