Health & Habits
5 Benefits of Taking a Daily Greens Powder
Posted February 23, 2022
There are many conflicting opinions on what constitutes a healthy diet these days, but there's one thing that virtually every expert agrees on: we should all eat more greens.
If we walk through any health food or supplement store today, we’ll likely see greens powders on the shelves, and for good reason. With our on-the-go lifestyle and limited time to prepare salads and sautéed veggies, these powders are an appealing option to help us meet our daily needs in a convenient way. While prioritizing fresh produce is a superb option, greens powders can be a great supplement, especially for those with little or no access to whole foods.
Fruits and vegetables are necessary for our daily vitamin and mineral boost, yet despite this, only one in ten Americans receive the daily recommended amounts. Dark, leafy greens in particular are among some of the healthiest foods we can eat given their ability to ward off disease and keep us both looking and feeling our best.
Greens powders were designed to supplement our diets - not take the place of a daily intake of such foods. They can be consumed simply by mixing in water, or for optimal consistency and taste, blended in a smoothie alongside healthy fats like avocado, chia seeds, nut butter, or others to absorb the powder’s fat-soluble vitamins. These and other nutrient-dense ingredients will also maximize the nutrient intake and flavor.
The ingredients in greens powders are packed with properties such as polyphenols, vitamins, and antioxidants, and many formulations commonly include:
- Leafy greens: Kale, spinach, collard greens, parsley
- Cruciferous vegetables: Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower
- Other vegetables: Beets, carrot,
- Sea vegetables: Spirulina, chlorella, kelp
- Grasses: Wheatgrass, alfalfa grass, barley grass
- Mushrooms: Reishi, shitake, maitake
- Antioxidant-rich fruits: Acai, goji, blueberries
- Adaptogenic herbs: Ashwagandha, rhodiola, astragulus
- Spices: Turmeric, ginger, cinnamon
Adding greens powder to our diet can go a long way toward improving our health. Apart from helping attain our daily recommended intake of vitamins and minerals, these powders have other immense benefits:
1. Supports Detoxification
Greens powders can support detoxification by providing our body with nutrients and phytonutrients with intrinsic antioxidant properties to help carry out natural cleansing functions. For example, spinach is a rich source of folate and betaine, while spirulina offers methionine, an essential amino acid. Folate, betaine, and methionine are compounds that play a vital role in a natural detox process in the body called methylation. Also, cruciferous vegetables and artichokes promote the production of glutathione, one of the most important antioxidants for detoxification and helping protect the body from free radicals. They also help maintain the body's levels of a compound called metallothionein. One study suggests metallothionein can attach to heavy metals like lead, mercury, and cadmium and help remove them from the body.
2. Improves Gut Health
Greens powder is high in fiber and vitamin C. Fiber acts as food for our beneficial bacteria, allowing them to thrive and produce short chain fatty acids such as butyrate. Butyrate has a natural anti-inflammatory effect on the gut, supporting our immune health. The trillions of beneficial bacteria that inhabit our gut must be fed to support not only their growth and development but also the long term health of our microbiome. Vitamin C also acts as an antioxidant and strengthens our gut barrier function against potential pathogens.
3. Supports Hormone Balance
A specific class of vegetables, called Brassica (or cruciferous) vegetables often make up the foundation of greens powders. These vegetables - including broccoli, brussels sprouts, collard greens, kale, turnips, and cauliflower - help balance hormones in our body, specifically estrogen. Researchers from one study done in postmenopausal women found that certain phytochemicals in cruciferous vegetables can help remove estrogen byproducts.
4. Helps Balance pH
A typical Western diet is full of processed foods and too many carbohydrates that can decrease the body’s pH, creating a more acidic environment. A high acid load, as it's called, may make us feel less vibrant and healthy. Research shows that greens powders can help neutralize acids, decrease our overall acid load and contribute to improved health.
5. Helps Maintain Healthy Blood Pressure
Greens powders are rich in minerals such as calcium and potassium, which are excellent for blood pressure management. Additionally, the high concentration of magnesium is essential for protein manufacture and muscle function (including the heart). High levels of magnesium in the body also improve blood flow.
The nutritional benefits of spinach (again) come into play in this instance. Spinach powder is rich in nitrates, which may help maintain our blood pressure levels and reduce our heart disease risk. Greens powders are also rich in iron, which optimizes blood cell health and oxygen transport throughout the body. Lack of iron causes anemia, resulting in smaller blood cells and consequently impacting blood pressure and volume.
When combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle, greens powder may provide a variety of far-reaching health benefits. The antioxidant effects alone provide long-term protection from the foods we eat, workouts we endure and pollution in our daily lives. The combinations of vitamins and minerals in these powders provide us with vitality, and Organic Greens from Vedge makes obtaining these nutritional benefits that much easier. Labeling and sourcing are critical when choosing a greens powder, so the USDA Organic seal ensures there are no fertilizers, GMOs or antibiotics used in production. The list of whole food ingredients offers a wide variety of superfoods providing a boost of energy and immune defense. Also, unlike other powders that have a ‘grassy’ taste and texture, the mixed berry flavor makes the once dreaded task of “eating our veggies” something to look forward to.
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