Greens powders are an efficient (and delicious) way to get your daily greens, and there are a lot of options on the market. With their increased popularity, we’re seeing many new greens powders hit the shelves with wide-sweeping claims about their benefits. Quality seriously matters when it comes to selecting the best greens powder. We dug into the science behind greens powders and found some of the best products (and some to steer clear of) while examining their potential role in a healthy diet.
Best Greens Powders Reviewed by a Dietitian
Why Take a Greens Powder?
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, adults should consume 1.5-2 cup-equivalents of fruits and 2-3 cup-equivalents of vegetables daily.1 Greens and green leafy vegetables are an important component of those recommendations.
It’s no secret that fruits and vegetables are a vital part of a well-balanced diet, yet only 12% of us meet our daily needs.2 Maybe it’s a matter of taste preferences, or perhaps life gets so busy that we just overlook adding some color to our plates. Regardless of the reason, many of us are missing out on our recommended greens intake.
While dietitians value the importance of meeting your needs through whole foods, we also like to keep it real. Sure, eating a variety of fresh fruits and veggies each day provides you with a plethora of nutrients and high-quality fiber. Still, we’d be setting pretty steep expectations if we said you have to meet 100% of your needs through whole foods alone every single day. Enter: greens powders.
What Are Greens Powders Good For?
Consumption of green foods such as kale, collard greens, bok choy, and spirulina (read more about the benefits of spirulina), among many others, has been linked to a reduced risk of cancer, heart disease, and type II diabetes.3,4,5 Greens are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber (fiber is very important to gut health), but if we fall short of our recommended intake, we’re missing out on all their impressive benefits.6
Taking a greens powder can supplement the nutrients we’re missing in our diet. Consumer Lab’s 2022 product review shows that greens and whole food powders contain multiple nutrients, including carotenoids, antioxidants, amino acids, enzymes, nucleic acids, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.7 These nutrients are essential for many biological functions, including disease protection, energy production, and digestion support.
Unfortunately, greens powders are often labeled with various health claims, many of which have not been backed by research. Let’s break down some common health claims:
Can Greens Powders Help With Weight Loss?
Greens powders can help promote weight loss, but not in a magical way by any means. Instead, greens powders can help support a healthy digestive system, which has been shown to influence weight.
Recent research examined the relationship between the gut microbiome and body weight and found that using dietary agents (prebiotics/probiotics/synbiotics) reduced body mass index (BMI).8
Some greens powder supplements include prebiotics and probiotics in their ingredients, helping to support a healthy gut. Add that to their vitamin and fiber content, and you have a recipe for gut success.
Do Greens Powders Help With IBS?
Speaking of gut health, some companies claim that greens powder can help symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In reality, many greens powders contain fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols (FODMAPs), which can worsen IBS symptoms.9
Some people with IBS even have difficulty with prebiotics and probiotics. If you have digestive problems, it’s important to read the ingredients thoroughly and discuss any potential contraindications with your doctor.
Can Greens Powders Alkalize My System?
Many companies claim that greens powders have an alkalizing effect on the body by adjusting your blood’s pH level. However, according to Consumer Lab’s report, “there is little evidence to suggest that an acid-producing diet is the foundation of chronic illness or that food consumption will easily change the pH of your blood.”
In fact, the human body tightly regulates the pH of its blood between 7.35 and 7.45 using a complex system of checks and balances. The foods you consume will briefly increase or decrease the pH of your urine or saliva but will not affect the pH of your blood.7
Is Taking a Greens Powder Supplement Worth It?
Adding a greens supplement to your wellness routine can provide many health benefits, but it’s important to remember that your nutrition needs are unique to you. Talk to your doctor or registered dietitian to determine the impact of greens powders on your health.
In general, some potential health benefits of greens powder can include:
Immune System Support
Greens powders are packed with vitamins and minerals that support a healthy immune system. For example, many greens supplements contain selenium which can help your immune system fight infection.
Chronic Disease Prevention
Specific vitamins have been shown to have antioxidant properties. Vitamins C and K, found in many greens powders, can help prevent cell damage from free radicals.10,6 If left unchecked, this cell damage can lead to chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
The health benefits of chlorella, a blue-green algae that's found in many greens powders, has shown beneficial effects against chronic diseases such as hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes.11 You may notice a decrease in your triglycerides and total cholesterol if you include greens powders in your routine.
Eye and Cognitive Health
Nutrients found in green leafy vegetables have been shown to play a significant role in eye health, especially for age-related eye disease.12 Furthermore, research has shown that just one serving of green leafy vegetables daily can help slow cognitive decline with aging.13
What is the Best Organic Greens Powder?
Consumer Labs tested 20 greens powder products for levels of arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury, as well as pesticides and microbes. Of the 20 products tested, 16 met their quality criteria. The four products that failed to meet Consumer Labs’ standards either contained significant levels of heavy metals or failed the disintegration test.
We compared the Consumer Labs’ extensive research against our standards for our Organic Authority Approved Seal to narrow down the list and provide you with three of the best organic greens powders on the market.
Top Choice: Ora's Easy Being Green – Superfood Greens Powder
Ora's Superfood Greens Powder is a favorite here at Organic Authority (we sell it in the Organic Authority shop). It has a delicious citrus flavor that makes it a delightful addition to your well-balanced diet. With over 20 veggies, grasses, algae, and herbs (like Triphala and Ashwagandha!), this superfood powder delivers antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals in just one small scoop.
It’s certified USDA organic and non-GMO and is free from artificial colors, sweeteners, flavors, and preservatives. In addition, it’s soy-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, and it is vegan-friendly.
Runner-up: Garden of Life Raw Organic Perfect Food Green Superfood
This greens powder from Garden of Life is made from the juice of multiple organic grasses, including barley, alfalfa, oat, wheat, and kamut grasses. Within one hour of harvest, the grasses are cold-temperature dried to ensure that the nutrients stay intact and are not degraded by heat or transit.
Garden of Life’s Green Superfood is vegan-friendly and certified organic by the USDA. In addition, it’s a non-GMO product free from artificial colors, sweeteners, and flavors. In fact, the product’s few ingredients are traceable back to the seed, and it is third-party tested.
We Also Love: Dr. Mercola Organic Fermented Greens
In addition to its blend of organic grasses (wheat, barley, alfalfa, and oat), this greens powder contains concentrated vegetable, sprout, herb, and algae ingredients. With such a vast array of nutrient-dense ingredients, Dr. Mercola’s Organic Fermented Greens are full of vitamins and minerals.
It’s certified USDA organic, and it’s soy-free and non-GMO. It is said to have a green tea-like flavor with a lingering non-sugar sweetness. Just one teaspoon can boost your nutrition intake for the day.
What is the Best Time of Day to Take Your Greens Powder?
Once you’ve picked the right greens powder for your individual wellness needs, you might wonder, “Ok, now what?” Incorporating greens may look different for everyone, so there isn’t just one ideal time to recommend for maximum benefits.
However, just like any new habits, consider adding them to your day at a time when you can be most consistent with them. Perhaps a glass of water mixed with your greens powders can be a refreshing start to your day.
Advice From a Registered Dietitian
Although greens powders are concentrated versions of fruits and vegetables, they should not replace the colorful portions of your meals. Greens powder can be a beneficial supplement in your routine, but it should not replace whole foods. (Read: eat your salad!)
Aim to meet your nutrition needs through whole food sources first, and if you need a little extra support, go for the greens. If you’re crunched for time, adding greens powder to your morning smoothie is a great way to pack your on-the-go meal with quality nutrition. You can even use the supplement to give your baked goods a boost of vitamins and minerals.
Also, it’s extremely important to discuss new supplements with your doctor or registered dietitian. Most important to note, the vitamin content in greens powders may affect certain medications.
If you're already a regular greens powder aficionado, share your routine in the comments below. If you're still considering adding a greens powder to your wellness regimen, did this guide help inform your choice? We'd love to know your experience, so leave a comment.
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From the Organic Authority Files
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