- Bloating is a common digestive issue that can be brought on by a number of factors and can in some cases be alleviated by improving gut health
- A greens powder may be able to contribute to decreasing bloating if it includes ingredients that are supportive of general digestive health
- It is important to choose a high-quality brand of greens powder that is transparent with its ingredients and dosages and is third-party tested
What Are Green Powders?
Greens powder is a food supplement made up of a variety of dried and powdered green vegetables that can be mixed into water or other liquids.
They often include a blend of greens such as kale, spinach, seaweeds, edible grasses and many add probiotics, digestive enzymes, herbal extracts, and fiber.
It is important to highlight the fact that greens powders are not a substitute for a well-balanced diet and simply cannot replace the nutritional benefits we get from consuming whole foods.
However, they can be a great way to supplement your diet with additional nutrition, especially when so many of us find it difficult to get enough of the goodness from greens daily.
What Is In A Greens Powder?
Not only can high-quality greens powders contain a wide range of nutrients in each serving – vitamins, minerals, probiotics, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids – they can also include higher amounts of these nutrients compared to capsules and tablets, because of their powdered form.
Capsules and tablets usually contain up to 600mg of ingredients, whereas some greens powders can provide 10-12g per serving – that’s equal to over 24 capsules!
However, not all greens powders are created equal. Ingredients can vary largely from brand to brand.
The quality of greens powders varies significantly between brands. A lot of supplement companies mask the ingredients in their powder and the quantities of ingredients by labeling their products as proprietary blends.
This makes it very hard for the consumer to decipher what exactly is in the product.
Human Tonik powders never rely on proprietary blends. All ingredients are listed individually on the label with the amount per serving for each, giving people full transparency of the ingredients and dosages in each serving.
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What Are The Benefits Of A Greens Powder?
We all know that greens are good for us. But that doesn’t always mean we’re great at eating them consistently.
Green vegetables really do pack a nutritional punch. They contain a range of different phytochemicals as well as antioxidants, dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.
Due to all these healthful components, green vegetables provide numerous benefits. They have been shown to play a role in preventing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, certain cancers, and improving gut health and brain function.
However, many of us find it tough to get the recommended amount of vegetables into our daily diets – life is busy, and maintaining healthy routines can be difficult.
If you find that you’re scrimping on your veggie intake all too often, you are not alone. In 2019, only approximately one in 10 adults in the U.S. met the recommendation. (Source)
This is why Human Tonik created the Supergreen Tonik, a high-quality greens supplement.
While consuming whole foods is always the preferred option, consuming a greens powder can increase the nutritional density of our diet, giving a quick and easy serving of these wonderful veggies in powder form each day.
Are Greens Powders Effective?
There is evidence that greens powders do confer certain health benefits, based on the ingredients they contain.
Some benefits of greens powders include:
- Increases nutrient density of diet
- May improve energy levels (Source)
- Possible reduced blood pressure (Source)
- Could lead to a healthier immune system
- May relieve constipation
- Could reduce inflammation
- May reduce oxidative damage (Source)
However, these benefits are highly dependent on the quality of the particular greens powder and the ingredients it includes.
As with any health product, many brands are quick to make sweeping claims which can often have little to no evidence to back them up.
This is why transparency of ingredients and dosages is important – if you can see exactly what is in your greens powder and how much of each nutrient you’re getting, you can tell you’re getting benefits from the greens inside.
What Causes Bloating?
Most of us are familiar with that painful and extremely uncomfortable feeling of being bloated.
But what actually causes bloating?
The most common cause of bloating is excess gas in the intestine.
As the bacteria in our gut break down and digest our food, they naturally produce gas. If these gasses are produced in higher amounts than normal, this can lead to the abdomen becoming bloated.
Sometimes the cause of bloating can be as simple as overeating too fast, or the menstrual cycle is another common cause of temporary bloating.
But if you’re regularly suffering from painful bloat, it could indicate food intolerance or other digestive issues, such as IBS.
Some common causes of recurrent bloating are:
There are hundreds of different strains of bacteria in our guts, some strains are beneficial and are often referred to as ‘good’ bacteria, while others are not, often referred to as ‘bad’ bacteria.
Dysbiosis occurs when there is an imbalance of bacteria in our gut, with more bad bacteria than good ones.
Several factors, such as poor diet, high sugar levels, antibiotics, stress, and genetics can cause this.
Many of us have intolerances to certain foods, meaning our bodies find them difficult to digest. Wheat, gluten, and dairy are common.
Regularly eating foods that don’t agree with us can lead to bloating and digestive upset.
Our gut and brain are very closely connected and constantly in contact with each other.
When we go through periods of high stress, our fight-or-flight response is activated, and our digestive system slows down, meaning food isn’t being digested properly.
This can lead to bloating and other symptoms such as abdominal pain, gas, and constipation.
If you aren’t regularly eliminating waste, bacteria can build up in the gut. If the bacteria hang out in the gut for a while, they have more time to ferment what’s there and produce more gas.
During the menstrual cycle, bloating is common when estrogen is high, and progesterone drops. This is because high levels of estrogen are associated with water retention.
If you find yourself bloated around the time of ovulation and before your period, estrogen is likely the culprit.
Can greens Powders Reduce Bloating?
Green powders may be able to contribute to alleviating bloating by playing a role in general digestive health.
Many high-quality greens powders contain ingredients that are supportive of gut health, such as:
These ingredients can help to reduce bloating in the following ways:
Inflammation of the gut lining, commonly caused by gut dysbiosis, can often lead to bloating. (Source)
A diet high in fruit and vegetables, including green vegetables, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids, has been seen to reduce inflammation. (Source)
Many of the phytonutrients and antioxidants in green veg and other plants protect against cell damage and lower inflammation throughout the body.
Studies investigating the effect of dietary fiber on the body and the gut show that fiber also has anti-inflammatory properties. (Source)
As well as this, fiber feeds the beneficial bacteria in the gut, increasing the number of these bacteria and balancing dysbiosis. As dysbiosis is a common cause of intestinal inflammation, balancing dysbiosis can help to reduce inflammation.
Omega-3 fatty acids have also been seen to reduce inflammation in the gut and have been shown to be beneficial in treating and preventing some inflammatory bowel diseases. (Source)
Balancing Gut Bacteria
As mentioned, maintaining a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut is an essential element of both digestive health and overall health.
If the balance of bacteria in our gut is out of whack, with more harmful bacteria than beneficial bacteria, we increase our risk not just of bloating but also various diseases, including inflammatory bowel diseases, irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes, obesity, and cancer. (Source)
These friendly bacteria that naturally live in our gut are called probiotics and they can also be found in certain foods such as probiotic yoghurt, kefir, and kimchi, and in supplement form.
Consuming probiotics is a great way to increase the number of these beneficial bacteria in our gut.
These beneficial bacteria in our guts feed on fiber, so the more fiber we eat, the more these good bugs flourish! In particular, gut bacteria like a specific type of plant fiber called prebiotics.
Prebiotics include greens, whole grains, legumes, bananas, onions, garlic, and soybeans.
Constipation is another contributing factor to feeling bloated.
Constipation occurs when you have difficulty passing or have infrequent bowel movements.
Increasing dietary fiber can help to relieve constipation. (Source)
Fiber gives stool bulk, increasing its weight and size, and also helps speed up food transit in the digestive tract. In doing this, fiber can help to treat and prevent constipation.
Increasing your water intake is also an essential factor in preventing constipation.
How To Choose A Greens Powder?
Searching for a greens powder online can bring up millions of results. With every brand shouting about its product’s seemingly endless list of benefits, it can be hard to weed out the fluff from genuine, high-quality greens powders.
Some things to consider when choosing a greens powder:
- The product is transparent with its ingredients and dosages: By choosing a product that clearly displays each ingredient and its quantity, you know exactly what you are getting with each serving.
- The product does not contain added sugars or filling agents: Some brands may include added sugars to their powders to make them more palatable. If you’re avoiding added sugar for any reason, such as monitoring your blood sugar, opt for a product that uses a natural sweetener such as stevia or monk fruit instead. Some manufacturers add filling agents to their products to bulk them up without providing any nutritional benefit—another reason to always choose a product listing all its ingredients.
- The product is third-party tested: A major concern with greens powder supplements is their potential to contain heavy metals. A greens powder that is third-party tested is sent to an outside organization that tests it to ensure it contains what the label says and does not contain unsafe amounts of heavy metals or other contaminants. Look for third-party certifications from the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF), United States Pharmacopeia (USP), and ConsumerLab.
As well as this, be aware of products whose selling points focus heavily on ingredients such as probiotics and digestive enzymes.
While probiotic supplementation has been seen to benefit the gut microbiome and general health, probiotics as part of a greens powder may not be the best way to include them in your diet.
The bacteria must be alive when they reach the gut for probiotics to work. Precise conditions are required to ensure that probiotic bacteria stay alive during manufacturing, processing, delivery, and storage.
Most strains require protection from high temperatures, oxygen, light, and moisture. If probiotics are accidentally exposed to the elements, in the way they would be in a greens powder, they will unlikely impart any considerable benefit.
When it comes to digestive enzymes, there is currently little evidence to show that there is value in adding plant-based digestive enzymes to products. (Source)
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Is Supergreen Tonik A Good Option For Bloating?
Human Tonik’s Supergreen Tonik meets the criteria for formula transparency and third-party testing. It comes in two flavors to choose from and has a cost per serving of $2 and a 1-year money-back guarantee, making it a good choice if you’re looking to try out a greens powder supplement.
When it comes to bloating, the Supergreen Tonik may be beneficial as it does contain ingredients that are supportive of digestive health.
- Variety of greens – provide antioxidants and other anti-inflammatory compounds.
- Added fiber – feeds the beneficial bacteria in the gut and prevents constipation.
- Spirulina – may balance bacteria in the gut and reduce inflammation (Source)
- Collard greens – contain sulforaphane which has been seen to have anti-inflammatory effects, balance gut bacteria and regulate bowel habits (Source)
- Barley grass – improves gastrointestinal function (Source)
- Dandelion – has been seen to be protective against gastrointestinal disorders (Source)
- Black pepper fruit extract – may increase nutrient absorption and improve digestive function (Source)
How To Include Greens In Your Daily Routine?
One of the main advantages of taking a greens powder is that it is a quick and easy way to increase your intake of greens each day.
But only if you manage actually to take it every day!
Life can be so busy, and we are often so set in our ways that it can be hard to include a new habit into our daily routine.
Here are some ways to make greens supplementation easier:
“Getting my daily energy dose from SuperGreen Tonik”
I’m getting my daily energy dose from SuperGreen Tonik and It helped me improve my sleep/ recovery. it’s simply delicious!
Max Filippov, USA (February 2023)
Make It A Habit
Take your greens powder at a time that suits you, incorporating it into your daily routine.
Perhaps that means leaving it beside your bed and taking it before you leave in the morning or taking it directly after breakfast each day.
You can even drink it in the car on the way to work or on the way home from the gym.
Find what works for you and stick to it.
Make It Delicious
Greens powders are versatile – mix them with juice, coconut milk, or fruit smoothies.
Or get creative in the kitchen – stir them into a vegetable dip, mix them into homemade salad dressing, or add them to the soup.
Make something tasty you can really look forward to!
Don’t Give Up
Life can get hectic sometimes. If you’ve forgotten to take your supplement for a day or two, don’t throw in the towel and stop taking them altogether.
Just start retaking them as soon as you remember.
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If poor gut health is the root cause of bloating, maintaining a healthy digestive system can help to combat it.
Reputable greens powders can be a great dietary addition to increase nutritional density and support digestive health.
Also, remember that other factors such as food allergies, stress, and hormonal imbalances can contribute to bloating too.
If you’re suffering from bloating regularly and don’t know what’s causing it, consult a doctor or healthcare practitioner.
Lucy Brennan is a registered associate nutritionist (ANutr) and freelance writer specializing in health, nutrition and wellness content. She holds a BSc. (First Class Hons) in Public Health Nutrition and has over 4 years’ experience working in health communication, which is where her passion lies.
She has worked in roles with The Irish Food Board and FleishmanHillard PR, on their healthcare team, working with national and international health companies. Using this experience, Lucy now writes content in a freelance capacity. Lucy is dedicated to providing evidence-based content that is both engaging and accessible and inspires readers to make informed choices regarding their health.