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what makes a good greens powder

what makes a good greens powder
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A good greens powder can seem like a lifesaver when it comes to getting enough vitamins and minerals. But choosing one can be particularly hard – especially with the overwhelming number of brands on the market today.

So how on earth do you decide? And what does make a good green superfood powder?

We’ve made things a whole lot easier in this guide on what to look for and our top recommendations.

 

The Best Ingredients to Look for…

 

1.      Green Powders

Spirulina

What is it? Spirulina is a marine plant which has a great green blue colour. It’s a common ingredient in many superfood powders and for good reason!

Why should I have it? The benefits of spirulina include anti-inflammatory properties, building immunity and improving resistance to viral infections. If you’re looking to avoid a cold this winter – you’re in luck!

In terms of composition, this ingredient is a highly digestible protein which contains all the main amino acids you need. It’s also full of phytonutrients, beta-carotene, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals like calcium and iron! [1][2]

 

Wheat Grass

What is it? Wheatgrass is primarily used as a concentrated source of nutrients that is prepared from the newly sprouted leaves of the wheat plant.

Why should I have it? Wheat grass is another key addition to most blends that has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, immunomodulatory, antibacterial and anti-aging properties. [3]

 

Chlorella

What is it? Chlorella is a great supplement that with a healthy diet can aid balance in the body and detoxifying. [4]

Why should I have it? Chlorella is a key supplements to help detox the body and has been associated with reductions in blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar.

 

Barley Grass

What is it? Barley Grass powder is a superfood powder that is high in key vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants and enzymes.

Why should I have it? In addition to having a great amino acid profile, it contains a high amount of vitamin C which can help support the immune system and fight off infections.

 

Alfalfa

What is it? Alfalfa is a herb and a source of vitamins A, C, E, and K4 and minerals including calcium, potassium, phosphorous, and iron.

Why should I have it? Alfalfa contains key vitamins and minerals and is also high in bioactive plant compounds such as phytoestrogens, flavonoids and alkaloids.

 

2.     Healthy fats, Essential Fatty Acids & Fibres

Flaxseed Powder

What is it? In your superfood powder it’s great to get a good source of healthy fats. Flaxseed powder is a great ingredient that is made from milled flax seeds.

Why should I have it? Flax powder is loaded full of nutrients. It is a great source of omega-3, a good source of protein, fibre and ligands, making it great for overall heart health.

 

Chia Seeds

What is it? Chia Seeds have become super popular and are now a commonly consumed food, full of health benefits.

Why should I have it? The chia seed is another seed jam packed full of omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, proteins, calcium, iron and antioxidants.

 

Cacao Powder

What is it? Cacao powder is a raw, unprocessed powder, made from the natural cacao bean.

Why should I have it? Apart from improving taste, raw, unprocessed cacao powder is a good addition to a superfood powder supplement. Cacao is full of antioxidants and one of the most antioxidant rich foods. It’s a great source of vitamins and minerals including iron and calcium as well as other phytonutrients that can benefit health.

 

3.     Prebiotics and Probiotics

Inulin or Chicory Root Powder

What is it? Inulin powder is a pre biotic type of fibre that is synthesised from the chicory root.

Why should I have it? Pre biotics are a great way to nourish the bacteria in your gut and help aid digestion. The best thing about pre biotics is that they are unaffected by temperature and stomach acid. This means you can get the all the benefits regardless of the product it’s in. Inulin is also a great addition to help keep you fuller for longer and support weight loss. Because it’s a fibre you can help meet your fibre intake goals whilst optimising digestion and nutrient absorption.

 

Probiotics Blend

What is it? Probiotics are types of friendly bacteria that can aid digestion in the gut.

Why should I have it? Probiotic can really supercharge a greens powder by helping to relieve digestive discomfort and symptoms of IBS. Keep an eye out for probiotic blends in your green supplement but be sure to make sure they are LIVE blends. Probiotics need to be alive in order to be effective.

 

4.     Digestive Enzymes

What are they? Digestive enzymes are naturally found in the stomach but can be lacking due to lifestyle factors.

Why should I have it? Consuming digestive enzymes can help aid the digestive process. The main enzymes to look for are:

Lipase: fat breakdown

Amylase: carb breakdown

Protease: protein breakdown (bromelain is an enzyme mixture including proteases).

 

5.     Herbal Ingredients

Other ingredients that we commonly find in effective powders include herbal ingredients. Some common additions are:

Maca Powder

What is it? Maca is a powder from a Peruvian root that is used a lot in superfood supplements.

Why should I have it? Maca is full of minerals and some vitamins but its often thought it may help with hormone regulation and imbalances. This includes aiding in stress, supporting adrenal and sexual health.

 

Milk thistle

What is it? Milk thistle is actually and ingredient that comes from a purple flower that is used for natural treatments.

Why should I have it? Milk thistle is used to aid liver function and detoxification.

 

Dandelion root

What is it? This is a common ingredient that can be eaten and cooked and is used in as natural medication and in herbal teas and remedies.

Why should I have it? contains vitamins A, B, C, K and E and is also a source of iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium. Many people consume dandelion for stomach upset and water retention issues.

 

Matcha Powder

What is it? Matcha is a concentrated powder that is part of the green tea family.

Why should I have it? Matcha is high in natural caffeine and can help support energy levels, reducing the onset of tiredness and fatigue.

 

Tumeric

What is it? Turmeric's is a compound that contains bioactive curcumin.

Why should I have it? Curcumin has antioxidant properties that is thought to reduce inflammation and support cardiovascular health.

 

Plant Based Proteins

What is it? Plant based proteins include proteins from seeds and plants. Some common proteins are hemp, pea, brown rice, quinoa, sunflower and peanut proteins.

Why should I have it? Having plant-based proteins in your superfood powder is great for increasing protein intake to support your body and active lifestyle, as well as supporting your immune and nervous system.

 

Take Home Message

A good greens powder supplement should never replace real food, however they are a great concentrated way to consume more vitamins and minerals. There are many different blends available so look out for the ingredients mentioned in this article that can specifically benefit you. Our top selling green superfood powders include:

  1. Green boost
  2. Vitality Switch
  3. Super greens by Prana ON
  4. Beauty Greens by Vida Glow
  5. Prebiotic Greens by Amazonia


[1] Capelli, B. and Cysewski, G. (2010). Potential health benefits of spirulina microalgae*. Nutrafoods, 9(2), pp.19-26.

 

[2] Belay, A., Ota, Y., Miyakawa, K. and Shimamatsu, H. (1993). Current knowledge on potential health benefits of Spirulina. Journal of Applied Phycology, 5(2), pp.235-241.

[3] Rana, S., Kamboj, J. and Gandhi, V. (2011). Living life the natural way – Wheatgrass and Health. Functional Foods in Health and Disease, 1(11), p.444.

 

[4] Mason, R. (2001). Chlorella and Spirulina: Green Supplements for Balancing the Body. Alternative and Complementary Therapies, 7(3), pp.161-165.

 

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