If you thought that greens were only specific for the herbivores, you are wrong. Green is the color of the latest heath increment and it has taken the supplement market by storm. Available as green powder or a pre-made green drink, it is tagged with loads of health benefits for your body, being a concentrated form of various fruits, vegetables, and herbs.
Well, everybody knows that fruits and vegetables are super foods as regards the health and vitality of your body. Still, there are many of us on either extreme of the balance; some go for a complete vegan style while others are meat lovers. Green foods are the balancing act between the two, signifying the importance of plant energy for those who love their greens and for the ones who rather have meaty meals.
It was once regarded as a gag that people would get so busy that they will have time to eat their meals in the form of a pill. Well, that is not a shaggy dog story anymore. There are not many of us who would get and prepare a load of fruits and vegetables every day as part of a meal. Therefore, green powders are becoming an easier version of incorporating the benefits of fruits and vegetables into your daily routine.
By the way, the Food Pyramid or My Plate developed by WHO recommends a major part of food obtained from plants, as fruit or other parts. Green foods are labeled as ‘super’ for vigor and vitality, how they have come to attain this label, what are the qualities of an eligible green food, and what are the best brands to buy, we will make an attempt at elaborating the topic.
What is green food powder made of?
As already mentioned, green food powder or drink are concentrates of nutrients from plant origin. Usually containing a wide variety of green plants, plant fiber, Spirulina, wheat grass, barley greens, green tea extract, alfalfa, chlorella, and others, the green food delivers a hefty dose of phytonutrients.
Phytonutrients are the chemicals, naturally found in plant and are the hot topic for researchers around the world owing to their health benefits. More than 25000 of these are found in plants, some are natural pigments while others are natural sterols. The research data is gradually growing regarding the role of phytonutrients.
These chemicals act as a barrier in a plant, saving its structure from invading agents as bugs, fungi, and other factors. The same function is applied by these phytonutrients in humans; they act as an added support to the immune function of the body thus lending its hand in preventing disease. Green food powders and drinks are a fun way to get the numerous health benefits of the plant phytonutrients. They add convenience to your routine in so many ways that they may be labeled as ‘lifesavers’ in the near future.
Apart from phytonutrients, the green foods are enriched source of minerals, vitamins, and fiber.
Attributes of a super green powder
Edible items for human consumption must meet the following basic criteria
- Taste/ palatability
- Nutrient content
Where one’s senses can be trusted to rate a green food powder, your sight, and taste, the quality content of a green powder is difficult to judge. Unfortunately, the green foods are not processed through FDA’s scrutiny. With infinite ingredients, making sense of a green powder can be an overwhelming task. Based on customers’ reviews and expertise, some of the qualities that ticket a green powder a green signal are
- The ingredients
- The source of the green ingredients
- The taste
- The cost
The ingredients of a green food powder
The primary structure of all the green powder or drink formulas has a base of green superfoods. Majority of them are incorporated with probiotics and prebiotics (look for a dose of over 4-5 billion) with added digestive enzymes (protease, cellulase, amylase, Papain, Bromelain). Their functions can be enhanced with the use of added vitamins, minerals, herbs, mushrooms and antioxidants (resveratrol, astralagus, green tea extract, and dandelion extract). Many manufacturers add a protein potion to their supplement for catalyzing or upgrading the functions of the green powder.
The final working potency of the green food is enhanced with more of the fervent ingredients. The green base is further divided into
Grasses (alfalfa, barley grass, wheat grass)
Green vegetables (carrots, spinach, broccoli)
Sea vegetables and algae (Spirulina, dulce, chlorella)
With this grading, it becomes easier to judge a green formula. Of course, looking for all the ingredients in the formula would be an unfair mistake. However, you can grade the formula based on the green base, for example; a formula containing only wheatgrass naturally puts it out of the competition, however, partnered with sea vegetables or algae and some good ground vegetables would make it an eligible combo.
It is also important to spot how many grams per serving of green base are served in a formula. While you can find labels with 3-4 grams per serving, go for the ones that deliver a middle or high-end range, i.e., 5-7 grams or 10 grams per serving.
The source of the greens
If the label provides access to the sourcing of the ingredients, read it carefully. The greens are derived either from the whole vegetable or it may be the juice of the vegetable.
The whole vegetable delivers the intact vegetable ingredients. The vegetable is freeze-dried and then powdered. The juice version is the extracted vegetable juice, which is frozen and then dried. The former edition delivers a superior nutritional content than the latter, along with the natural vegetable fiber, so it should be the preferred choice.
The taste of the green food powder or drink
Customers’ reviews have shown that an awful taste of a green food corresponds to its high nutrient content. This is because of the high potency of the algae and vegetables. A not so good flavor also means that the green food is devoid of artificial sweeteners or any other false flavors.
The best thing about the flavor of a green food powder is that they can be camouflaged with orange juice or yogurt etc to turn it into a smooth drink.
The cost of a green food powder
The cost of a green food powder is completely up to the customer’s pocket. The important thing about a green food powder is its cost-effectiveness; is it delivering the nutritive value per serving and how much one pays for that. An acceptable figure would be the one that matches your wallet.
A very simple way to know the cost-effectiveness of a particular green food is described by an expert as
“Know the servings per container, the total grams per serving, the total grams of greens in the product, if it contains enzymes and probiotics, the total cost of the container”
Here an example of the above calculation; if a canister serves 30 servings in total, 12 grams per serving, 7 grams of greens per serving, with a total cost of $39.99, and then the cost of an individual serving would amount to $1.33.
If the above example serves you probiotics too, it is a pretty straight value per drink.
Brands corresponding to the quality characteristics
Some of the brands that met the aforementioned criteria are
- Perfect Food Super Green Formula by Garden of Life
Formulated as capsules and delivering greens from Young Cereal grass juices, it caters for the probiotic health of your gut at a cost of $22.39
- Ben Kim Greens
An impressive blend of sea and land greens, algae, probiotics, digestive enzymes and antioxidants, this super green contains no proprietary blends and can be incorporated into fresh juices.
Some more brand names that must interest the customers are
- Super Green Food++
- Total Living Drink Greens
- Athletic Greens
- Patriot Power Greens
The above-mentioned names are retailed as capsules and powders. It is important to know that while these green powders do not compensate for the vegetable and fruit potion in our diet, they are surely better than having nothing at all.