Vegetables are very important for the quality of our health. These foods, which we usually avoid as children, contain a variety of health benefits such as being rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other nutrients. Vegetables can also help us avoid major diseases such as cancer and, in general, they can help us live longer, provided that we live an overall healthy lifestyle with proper sleep, proper diet, regular exercise, and good stress management.
Unfortunately, most people do not eat enough vegetables or even avoid vegetables altogether. Not only that, but with the rise of processed foods and fast-food chains, our diets have become more and more unhealthy – hence, leading to a rise of major diseases like diabetes, heart attack, and obesity.
Fortunately, there are a few ways you can consume vegetables if you are not fond of eating them, or if you struggle to eat them all together.
One way – and the obvious way – is to “force” yourself into eating them. However, this is not a good tactic as most non-vegetable eaters won’t force the food that they don’t normally consume.
If you need more veggies in your life, you can consume vegetables by simply taking it in supplement form – often called “greens supplements.” Of course, the fastest way to take them is by pills – you will not taste anything, just swallow the pill, drink, and you’re done. One of the most common ways, though, is to take them in powder form.
However, there is one problem with greens supplements (and supplements in general): Do they work? Are they trustworthy? Aren’t they just a fad?
In this article, we are going to cover just that as well as our choices for the best greens supplements. Let’s begin!
What Are Greens Supplements?
Greens supplements are dietary supplements specifically made to give supplementation to people who do not eat or cannot eat the proper amount of vegetables.
The goal of greens supplements is to give as many vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients the same way eating actual vegetables would.
As a supplement, greens act as a form of leverage to increase your intake of a certain vitamin or mineral you need. Powdered greens come from vegetables, but here are the common ingredients that make up a greens supplement:
- Seaweeds – e.g. chlorella and kelp
- Grasses – oat grass, wheatgrass, barley grass
- Extracts – such as, from green tea, ginkgo Biloba and grape seed
- Antioxidant-rich fruits – e.g. berries like raspberries and blueberries
- Herbs (which are often supplements in themselves!) – e.g. basil and milk thistle
- Fiber-rich foods – e.g. rice bran
- Other types of vegetables – e.g. carrots, tomatoes, cabbage, broccoli
Usually, greens supplements are made with a combination of these, although for some, like herbs, you can buy supplements that are a single source, like milk thistle supplements or ashwagandha supplements.
Greens Supplement Benefits
The benefits we can get from greens supplements are very similar to the benefits we can get from eating vegetables. Below are some of the benefits you can get by eating vegetables or taking greens supplements.
1) Rich In Vitamins, Minerals, And Other Nutrients
Vegetables (as well as fruits) are possibly the best sources of vitamins and minerals. Although you can find the same nutrients in other foods such as meat, only fruits and veggies are packed with these nutrients such as vitamins A, C, and E. They are also key sources of minerals such as zinc and magnesium.
2) Protects Us From Major Diseases
Aside from being rich in nutrients, vegetables and fruits contain phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are active substances that protect us against some diseases – even major ones like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Of course, veggies will not 100% protect us as there are other factors in play, but consuming veggies alongside a healthy lifestyle will significantly reduce our risk of these diseases.
3) They Are Rich In Fiber
Most veggies and fruits hold a decent amount of fiber, but some have more than others. Some examples of these are green peas, artichokes, cauliflower, bananas, apples, and pears. Fiber is good for our gut health, among having a variety of other benefits.
4) Can Be Nutritious Whether They Are Fresh Or “Processed”
Whether you buy your veggies fresh, canned, frozen, or dried, the nutritional value between fresh veggies and frozen ones does not differ, so it is okay however you buy your veggies.
5) They Keep Our Health Intact
Overall, vegetables and fruits simply keep our health intact, thanks to their rich nutrients as well as other benefits mentioned above.
But of course, it is not enough to eat them to make yourself healthy. Ensuring proper sleep, regular exercise, and good stress management method also plays a role in our health.
Different Forms Of Greens Supplements
There are different forms of greens supplements in the market.
Unlike other supplements, the most common form of greens supplements comes in powder form, (also called “greens powders.” You can take these by just mixing them with water, juice, or even adding them to a smoothie.
Other forms of greens supplements include pill and liquid form. Pill supplements work best if you want to avoid the taste of your supplement, but liquid works better if optimum absorption is your concern.
Do Greens Supplements Really Work?
Now, for the big question: do greens supplements work?
The short answer is – yes! Greens supplements do work. So, why the bad reputation?
Supplements often have a bad rep because sometimes people try to make money by selling low-quality supplements. Just as some supplements are false, some supplements are real and they are made to really help you with your health. You just need to find them – that means, do a little research before you stick to one supplement.
Are Greens Supplements Right For Me?
Greens supplements are safe for most people, unless you are suffering from a certain medical condition or if you are pregnant – even though green supplements are nutritious, it may still have negative side effects. In these cases, it’s best you ask your doctor first before taking the supplementation.
Also, greens supplements are never a substitute for actual vegetables and fruits. Unless you really don’t eat vegetables, do not use greens supplements as a substitute for the real food.
Best Greens Supplements
Athletic Greens ($97)
Athletic Greens is formulated with 75 vitamins, minerals and whole food-sourced ingredients, carefully selected for high potency and bioavailability. It’s a powder mix that you can either mix with water, juice, or add to a smoothie of choice.
This blend from Detox Organics is well-known for its benefits. It’s a combination of fresh greens and wholesome fruits and veggies are nutrient-rich and extremely beneficial for your health. It’s made with Kale, Wheatgrass, Chlorella, Spirulina, Beet Juice, and a few other great ingredients.
From the same brand that brings us Your Super Skinny Protein, comes Your Super Super Green Mix. This greens mix is a great option if you are in need of an organic superfood mix. This mix includes Wheatgrass, Barley Grass, Baobab, Moringa, Chlorella, and Spirulina powder, as well as vitamins A, B, C, E, K, Potassium, Folate, Magnesium, Iron and Zinc.
Field of Greens ($58)
Field of Greens delivers a full-spectrum of colors with fruits, veggies, herbs, spices, and more to support and improve well-being. Different colors of fruits and vegetables contain different kinds of phytochemicals – each with their own unique set of qualities, which Field of Greens hits.
Organifi Green Juice ($70)
The priciest supplement on our list, this green juice from Organifi is a great option if you are looking for greens. Designed to nourish your body with vital nutrients and help build better immunity, this blend includes a variety of greens to boost your immune system.
This superfood blend includes 19 green superfoods including grasses, dark leafy vegetables, herbs, algae, and sea vegetables. It’s also a probiotic and enzyme complex, both aiding in digestive health and immune function support.
Alternatives To Greens Supplements
The main alternative to greens supplements is real fruits and vegetables. If you don’t want to take greens supplements but you need more nutrients in your diet just turn towards the source: real fruits and veggies.
If you are thinking about adding greens supplements to your diet, now is a great time to try it out. Greens supplements are easy and safe supplements to test that carry a variety of benefits with it. If you start taking a greens supplements and experience any negative symptoms, contact a medical professional for help.