We all know about the importance of vegetables, but, what about greens powders…
Do they replace the need for vegetables, or, simply compliment your vegetable intake to add in even more key nutrients and minerals? Today’s post finds out.
Before we dive in, you may be wondering what greens powders are. In short, they are a combination of plants and other superfoods that have been dried and blended into a powder. They contain key health-boosting superfoods such as barley, wheat, and algae, as well as fruits, vegetables, herbs, and probiotics.
Greens Powder vs Vegetables
With the rise of popularity and clever marketing, it may be easy to believe that you can do a straight swap for a greens powder. After all, it sure is easier to consume 1 scoop a day when it contains a mix of 10-15 vegetables.
Sadly, like most things in life, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is…
This remains the case for a greens powder and while they do have a lot of benefits, they are not a straight replacement. If you want to achieve optimal health and vegetable/vitamin/mineral intake, a combination of BOTH is the best way.
Vegetables in their whole form do have certain advantages, such as containing more fiber and helping keep you full, due to their low energy density and high amounts of water. This makes them a vital food group when dieting.
Additionally, anything in its whole, natural form will contain more of a specific nutrient. Although greens powders do still contain plenty of nutrients, some are lost during the processing.
With all that being said, there are some important benefits of a greens powder, which does support its use.
For example, a greens powder contains a wide array of fruits/vegetables, often containing 10 or more varieties per scoop. We know that each vegetable contains different vitamins and minerals, therefore, variety is important.
However, it can be very hard to eat 10 different types of vegetables per day. This is a big pro of a greens powder, as, it gives you that variety and supports your real vegetable intake which realistically may only be 2-5 different types of vegetables per day.
Along with that, they are obviously very convenient, which is important if you are busy, perhaps traveling or going through a period where your fruit & vegetable consumption is below average.
Finally, greens powders are often fortified with higher dose vitamins and minerals that would be hard to realistically consume from whole vegetables alone. This is important, as certain vitamins/minerals are needed in very large quantities to correct a deficiency or optimize our levels.
In summary, greens powders are effective and have a place in your regime, however, they are a separate conversation from whole vegetables and shouldn’t be confused as a replacement!
Here at Nutrition solutions, we use 1st Phorms Opt-Greens 50. It tastes great and has a wide array of vegetables/nutrients.
Click here to read the reviews or learn more.
Rudy Mawer, MS
Sports Scientist & Nutritionist