Pie-in-the-sky promises are all too common in the health and wellness industry. From diets that claim to give you a six-pack in six weeks to herbal remedies that guarantee to zap your headaches in an instant, it can be tough to know what’s real and what’s not.
But there are some supplement ingredients that are scientifically proven to do what they say they will. Green powders are one such example.
So, what are the health benefits for green powders, and can they make a difference in how you look and feel? Let's dive in and find out.
What are green powders?
Green powders are supplements that contain a concentrated dose of various nutrient-rich greens, such as spirulina, chlorella, wheatgrass, and kale. They also often include other healthy ingredients like fruits, vegetables, probiotics, and enzymes.
The idea behind green powders is that they provide an easy and convenient way to increase your intake of nutrient-dense greens, which are often lacking in the average diet.
Greens are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients that can offer a range of benefits for your physical and mental health.
Health benefits of greens powders
As with any new addition to your wellness regimen, you want to make sure that what you're taking is actually worthwhile. So, what are the potential health benefits of taking greens powders?
Reduces risk of chronic disease
The nutrients in greens powders may help to reduce your risk of chronic diseases like cancer. This is due to the presence of antioxidants and other phytochemicals, which can protect your cells from damage by reducing inflammation.
In one study, participants who took two tablespoons of a green powder supplement for 4 weeks had lower levels of inflammatory markers by 30%.
Maintains healthy blood pressure
The nutrient-rich goodness in green powders can also help to keep your blood pressure in check. This is thanks to their high potassium and calcium content, which has been shown to lower blood pressure by relaxing the walls of your blood vessels and arteries.
Researchers found that taking two tablespoons of green powder lowered both systolic and diastolic blood pressure by 8% in people who had high blood pressure.
Many green powders will claim to improve energy, but a certain ingredient is required for this to be true. That ingredient is caffeine, and it's found in green tea extract, one of the most common greens powder ingredients.
A 3-month study concluded that taking one tablespoon of green powder with green tea extract every day significantly increased energy levels in a group of healthy women. However, you could likely get that same energy boost from drinking a cup or two of green tea.
Your liver is responsible for filtering out toxins from your body, and the ingredients commonly found in green powders—like betaine, methionine, and folates—can give it a much-needed boost.
Cruciferous veggies like broccoli, for example, increase the production of antioxidants needed to protect your body from the damaging effects of environmental toxins and free radicals.
Balances blood sugar
Because green powders are a potent combination of powerful ingredients, they can help to regulate blood sugar levels and keep them in a healthy range. By optimizing insulin and blood sugar levels, green powders can help to reduce your risk of developing diabetes.
Improve heart health
Folates and omega-3 fatty acids have long been proven to help prevent heart disease. And green powders contain both of these nutrients in super-concentrated form.
In addition, many green powders are also made with magnesium and nitrates that can improve heart health by relaxing blood vessels and lowering blood pressure.
Balances PH levels
Acidosis is a condition in which your body's pH levels become too acidic. This can lead to fatigue, confusion, shallow breathing, nausea, and other health problems.
Because of the prevalence of a high-processed, high-carb diet in the Western world, acidosis has become a very common problem. Fortunately, the alkalizing effect of green powders can neutralize acidity and restore your body's pH levels to a healthy balance.
Unfortunately, most of the natural fiber found in common green powder ingredients is killed during the manufacturing process. However, many of these nutrient supplements come with probiotics that can help to relieve constipation.
Probiotics are live bacteria that promote a healthy balance of gut flora, which is essential for proper digestion and regular bowel movements. Studies show that regularly taking probiotics can improve digestion and relieve constipation.
Improves skin health
Green powders are a veritable treasure trove of nutrients that are essential for healthy skin. These include vitamins A, C, and E, as well as zinc and selenium.
Vitamin A is important for cell turnover and skin repair, while vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can protect your skin from damage by free radicals. Regularly consuming both of these nutrients can help to improve your skin's texture, tone, and overall health.
Improves ability to adapt to stress
Like many of these benefits, an improved ability to adapt to stress depends on the ingredients found in your green powder. In this case, you'll want to look for adaptogens like ashwagandha, Rhodiola, and American ginseng.
Adaptogens are a class of herbs that help the body adapt to stress by reducing the effects of cortisol, the stress hormone. Studies show that taking adaptogenic herbs can help to improve your ability to handle stress, both physically and mentally.
To sum it up
While they can't replace a plate of whole foods, green powders are an effective way to give your body a boost of essential nutrients. When used in conjunction with a healthy diet and lifestyle, green powders can help improve your overall health in a number of ways—from supporting detoxification and balancing blood sugar levels to relieving constipation and improving skin health.
If you're looking for a convenient way to improve your health, consider adding a green powder supplement to your diet. Consider talking to your doctor first before starting any new supplement, especially if you have a health condition or take medication.