By Sarena-Rae Santos, Natural Health Blogger
Greens. We hear the word everywhere, green juice, green smoothie, green powder, but what exactly is it?
Greens are edible plants, typically leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, arugula, collard greens, cabbage, lettuce, mustard greens, broccoli rabe, and more.
Then, there are other greens, such as seaweeds like nori, kelp, chlorella, and spirulina. We also have green tea, broccoli, cucumber, cilantro, celery, and more.
With that said, it’s pretty self-explanatory what each is. Green juices, smoothies, and powders are all made from greens. People commonly look for green powders in-store and online to quickly make green juices and smoothies at home. When buying these things in-store or online, be careful about greenwashing and double and triple-check all the ingredients.
At the end of this post, keep an eye out for my greens powder recommendation and some delicious recipes.
General Health Benefits of Greens
Green juices, smoothies, and powders are brimming with health benefits that we can all enjoy, no matter what our dietary lifestyle entails, because, let’s face it, we can never have too many vegetables.
Depending on the brand and quality of the greens you choose depend on what benefits you will see and the nutritional value they bring to your diet. Since it is a plant-based food, it would be high in vitamins A and C and fiber. For this section, I will focus on greens powder.
May Support The Immune System
Since plants are brimming in vitamins A and C, it’s safe to say greens are, too, no matter what you’re using. Vitamins A and C help support the immune system (1,2). Vitamin A helps many types of cells respond to the immune processes (3) while also supporting and helping develop immunity “big hitters” such as the killer T cells (4). Vitamin C is not only linked to boosting immunity but appears to provide various health benefits on cellular functions of both the innate and adaptive immune systems (5).
May Help Prevent Chronic Disease
Greens powders are generally high in polyphenols and other plant compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties (6). These antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties help prevent oxidative stress, which can result in chronic diseases, such as cancer and heart disease (7). Additionally, the dietary fiber found in greens can aid in maintaining a healthy weight and decrease your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and some types of cancer (8).
For instance, a four-week study of 10 people who took two tablespoons (10 grams) of greens powder daily had a 30% reduction of oxidatively damaged proteins in their blood levels (9). In another 90-day study of 40 people with high blood pressure who took two tablespoons (10 grams) of greens powder daily had about an 8% decrease in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. In contrast, the control group saw no improvements (10).
May Improve Your Energy
Some greens powders contain compounds that may help you feel more alert and energetic, such as green tea extract, which contains caffeine and plant compounds that support burning calories (11). A study of 63 women who took one tablespoon (10 grams) daily of greens powder containing green tea extract reported a significant increase in energy. In contrast, the placebo group reported no change (12).
My Green Powder Recommendation
I love Earthley’s Greens Powder, combining traditional greens like spirulina and kelp with green tea and nutrient-rich herbs for energy and wellness. High in vitamin and mineral content, this powder boosts your daily nutrition. Enjoy a natural energy boost, improvements to gut health, and an overall feeling of wellness. A complete list of ingredient and their health benefits include:
- Kelp is rich in a wide variety of vitamins and minerals (including A, B-complex, C, and E, as well as omega-3 fatty acids), supports thyroid health, and may lower the risk of some types of cancers (13,14,15).
- Spirulina is immune-supporting, anti-inflammatory properties, rich in protein, rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals, may have anti-histamine effects, lowers the risk of some types of cancer, anti-inflammatory properties, may lower blood sugar and cholesterol, and promotes gut health (16,17,18).
- Alfalfa is rich in several vitamins and minerals (especially vitamin K1) and can help balance blood sugar and reduce inflammation (19,20).
- Spinach can help lower blood sugar and cholesterol, reduce the risk of some types of cancer, promote healthy metabolism, and is rich in important antioxidants (21,22,23).
- Lemon balm protects brain health, reduces stress, may reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, may improve sexual health (especially in women), and may protect against some types of cancer (24,25,26,27).
- Green tea is rich in antioxidants, promotes cognitive function, may reduce the risk of some types of cancer, lowers blood sugar and cholesterol, reduces stress, and improves symptoms of anxiety (28,29,30,31).
You can use greens powder to make juices, smoothies, and even ice cream. Some great ways to use greens powder are:
- A Greens Smoothie featuring a delicious pineapple-ginger juice based, mango, spinach, and Earthley’s Greens Powder.
- Add it to homemade salad dressing such as Italian Dressing or Caesar Dressing.
- Add it to homemade soup such as Chicken “Not Noodle” Soup or Broccoli-Potato-Cheese Soup.
Disclaimer: This post is not intended as medical advice. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, and nothing in this post is intended to diagnose, treat, or cure anything. If you have questions, please do your own research or seek advice from a health professional.