What to Know About Greens Powders
Darci Bell

What to Know About Greens Powders

Greens powders have become popular over the past few years. But what are they? And can they provide the health benefits that they claim?  

We had questions about greens powders, so we figured you might have the same ones!  

What are greens powders?  

Greens powders are exactly what their name suggests: powders made from green vegetables. These powders are used as supplements to be added to drinks, smoothies, or other dishes to increase their nutritional value.  

However, the ingredients in these products can change depending on the brand. Many greens powders are made up of finely ground green vegetables. You may also see some of the following names on labels or in ingredient listings:  

  • Moringa, 
  • Wheatgrass, or  
  • Maca powder. 

These products may also have added ingredients such as pre- and probiotics, digestive enzymes, and fiber. [1] With an ever-changing nutrition facts label, it can be hard to know what you are actually buying.  

cup of matcha with a jar of matcha powder sitting to the side

What are the claims?  

There are many different brands, and each one has different ingredients. Because of this, you might see many health claims on green powders. For example:  

  • Powdered fruit and vegetable mixes claim to help reduce blood pressure and increase daily fruit and veggie intake. [2]  
  • Plant-based protein powders are often sold to vegans or vegetarians who are interested in increasing their protein intake. [3]  
  • Matcha (mah-cha) is a type of tea made from powdered green tea leaves and hot water. This powder is commonly marketed to improve brain and heart health. [4]  
  • Moringa (mor-ing-guh) powder is marketed for its possible ability to reduce inflammation in the body. [5] 

Be cautious when reading claims like these. It can be difficult for these products to have enough of an ingredient that is needed to show a benefit.

For example, scientific studies often use concentrated amounts to show the benefits of a certain food. This means that you may not experience the same result when using a product that has smaller amounts. 

green smoothie in a glass jar surrounded by fresh green ingredients

Should I use greens powders?  

As with most supplements, it is important to do your research and talk with a dietitian before considering greens powders. There are some studies that support the health claims of greens powders. However, grinding fruits and vegetables to a powder can lower their nutrient value. These powders are also more costly than buying fresh produce. 

There is still a lot of work to be done to test these products, their ingredients, and their ability to provide health benefits. For now, we recommend focusing on whole fruits and vegetables which offer many health benefits and are important sources of:  

  • Fiber, 
  • Antioxidants, 
  • And vitamins and minerals. 

fresh green produce laid on a black surface

If you are looking for ways to increase your intake of all things green, check out our blog on Dark Green Vegetables! 

 

Written by Darci Bell, RDN, LD | Edited by Leslie Davis, RDN, LD, CDCES and the Nutrition Education Team  

Posted on: June 7, 2021 

[1] Rao et al.   

[2] Zhang, Oxinos, and Maher 

[3] Today’s Dietitian  

[4] Sakurai et al.  

[5] Stohs and Hartman   

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