Vegetable Supplements & Powdered Greens
Last week we received a great question from one of our community members – Angie wrote in:
Would it be possible to talk about vegetable supplements like the powders?? So many fit people I know put them in smoothies or juices to get their greens in. I sometimes struggle with getting all the veg in. Below is a picture of the brand I am curious about. Protein powders also have been suggested in my baking. Can you please elaborate on pros and cons?
Ivana, co-founder of Healthcare Evolution, weighs in:
Answering the question whether powdered greens/green supplements are good or someone should take them isn’t a straightforward yes or no. But, hopefully the following will give a bit more info regarding this topic.
Green supplements are designed and advertised to meet your daily fruit and vegetable intake, and it is fairly good for exactly that. It is there to top you up. It’s easy to assume that a supplement which is made of vegetables is good for you, and should be the next best thing to eating the actual vegetables, but there are a few things to consider…
PROS TO VEGETABLE SUPPLEMENTS:
- Provides lots of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties depending on the makeup of the mix used – which can help in improving long term health
- Great for travelling when fruits/veggie intake is usually lower
- Could improve energy if it has green tea or caffeine ingredients in it
- Low calorie
- Contains high amounts of vitamins and minerals
- Could have enzymes and probiotics as well
- May have added sugar for better taste
- There is not a lot of evidence out there on vegetables and their benefits in terms of long term health – although there will be claims made
- Could have contaminants, pesticides, etc. depending on how the vegetables/fruits were grown
- Doesn’t have water or fiber which food would have – missing out on that benefit
- Too many different blends and brands out there to compare which one is best
DO YOUR RESEARCH
There are claims that veggies/fruits are more alkaline (most basic) than meats, dairy and grains, and adding more veggies/fruits will help to restore the acidic balance of the body which leads to better recovery of your muscles and longevity of health… These claims are backed up with experiments of testing urine that was successfully made more basic after a diet high in veggies or green supplements. The body has a great buffering system in place, which is tightly controlled, and is much more accurate when checking the blood than checking the urine. Urine is always more acidic and can easily be changed depending on what food you eat because we eliminate a lot of our body’s waste through our kidneys (urine). So LONG STORY SHORT – this claim isn’t true.
LOOK AT THE INGREDIENT LIST
Also, when we look at the ingredient list, the items which are in highest quantities are always listed first, and the amount shown last have the least amount. I went on the company website to see if i could find what was actually in your blend, and this is what I found.
Looking at the ingredient list, the first 3 are carrots, apples and beets. As far as I know, they don’t have any extraordinary health claims. They are very affordable and are probably added for fillers. The ingredients that are interesting with some health benefits are spirulina and the cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cabbage, kale, collard, spinach, moringa leaves (because of their antioxidant properties). These are much further down the list, so I don’t know how much is actually in there. There are generally 20+ ingredients in this blend, and the serving size is fairly small, so you may get the vitamin content, but not necessarily the actual benefit from the individual ingredients. Many of the ingredients are also not uncommonly found at the grocery store, so you can probably just incorporate more of the things you actually like into a smoothie or on its own and get the additional benefits.
What I did like about the product is based on the website they use organic food to make the powder, no GMO foods, they test for trace metals, and they test their batches for bacteria, mold and pathogens. So, it appears to be a higher quality product from the manufacturing end.
Overall, the product you are currently using is a quality product, but unless you really are below your daily intake for veggies, it is redundant in terms of the variety of vegetables you are getting from the mix. If you take a good multivitamin, you should be getting what you need in terms of a top up. If you do like using the powders, here are a couple of articles that provide some guidance as to what to look for in green supplements. I don’t have one I would recommend over another, but if you have more questions we will do our best to provide you with more answers – just make sure to ask!
Hope this helps!!