With an ingredient line up consisting of organic kale, spirulina, wheat grass, spinach, alfalfa, barley grass, chlorella, parsley and broccoli, there’s no denying the abundance of superfood in one, easy to drink, supplement. Drink it down and be on your way! You don’t even have to spend time preparing, chopping, rinsing, and cooking the whole food counterparts!
But can a greens powder really replace vegetables in your diet?
Even though this powerhouse greens powders pack an impressive ingredient deck; they often still fall short in comparison to fresh fruits and vegetables. One big difference is the lack of fiber in many greens powders. Some greens powders will sneak in added fiber in the form of inulin which can actually cause distention and bloat due the fermentable properties of starchy ingredients. In short, it’s not the same wholesome fiber source you get when you consume various fruits and vegetables.
Furthermore, by solely relying on greens powders, you risk missing out on the vast array of vitamins, minerals and plant-based nutrients of their whole food counterparts. Greens powders alone often work in isolation, providing single nutrients.
So, are greens powders necessary? No, as long as you’re eating a very vegetable rich diet that consists of the recommended serving size of five cups of fruits and vegetables per day!
But who is doing this?
That’s where greens powders can prove very beneficial. Not as a replacement for, but as a supplement to a diet rich in wholesome foods. Supplementing with a greens powder can actually help boost your intake of essential vitamins and minerals and promote overall health and well-being. We still recommend consuming as many whole foods as possible and vegetables in addition to the greens powder to get the most benefit from it. Continuing a diet of soda pop and fast food with a once a day serving of greens won’t cut it!
Nowadays there are so many greens products on the market, so how do you choose one?
The ingredient deck is crucial. The very first ingredients should be actual green powder vegetables. If you can find it, choose one with organic greens, like Protea Nutrition’s Vibrant+ greens and reds powder.
Stay away from powders with a bunch of additives too. Oftentimes, greens powders will try to mask their vegetable tastes with artificial sugars and sweeteners like sucralose, maltodextrin and xylitol. These chemicals only serve to cause more stress on the body and gut, which is counterproductive to the very reason you want to include a greens powder in the first place! Instead, look for powders sweetened naturally with stevia and/or monk fruit as is the case with Vibrant+.
You don’t have to love the taste, either, but it shouldn’t be torture. Greens powders are going to taste more “earthy” in comparison to a sugary fruit juice. The best ones, the ones without all the artificial sugar and crud, should taste more wholesome! But it’s important to find one you like and can tolerate. You’re much more likely to continue to take it that way. Vibrant comes in a light and pleasant Pina Colada flavor!
So bottom line, while greens powders aren’t meant to replace fruit and vegetables, they can work as a supplement to a healthy diet to provide increased vitamins, minerals and nutrients without having to choke down 5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day.