- Current research supports a shift in focus towards health behaviors, rather than weight, in the pursuit of well-being
- A greens powder may contribute to overall health, and in turn weight management, if taken alongside a well-balanced diet. However, the quality of the greens powder is important
- Although supplements can be a helpful addition to a balanced diet to bolster nutritional intake and bridge any nutritional gaps, it is always best to get our nutrients through whole foods
Many brands in the wellness industry spend millions on marketing strategies based entirely around preying on people’s insecurities. For many people, this can be their body size.
In fact, in 2013, one marketing agency even conducted a study to identify the times of the week that women feel the most insecure about their bodies, and recommended that brands “concentrate media during prime vulnerability moments.” (Source)
This shows just how far brands are willing to go to sell their products, and just how astute consumers need to be when it comes to product marketing.
It also explains why so many wellness products, green powders included, are being touted as some kind of weight management miracle when a lot of the time there is no evidence to back up these claims.
There is no quick fix when it comes to weight management.
What’s more, weight cycling and drastic weight loss can actually be detrimental to health.
Current research recognizes that a focus on health behaviors, rather than weight, in the pursuit of well-being, is likely a better approach. (Source)
With this in mind, let’s look at the ways green powders may contribute to our overall health and how they could be incorporated as a part of health behavior.
What Are Green Powders?
Green powders are dietary supplements made up of a variety of dried and powdered green vegetables that can be mixed into water or other liquids.
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 greens never rely on proprietary blends. All ingredients are listed individually with the amount per serving for each, giving people full transparency of ingredients and dosages.
What Are The Benefits Of A Greens Powder?
It is important to highlight the fact that greens powders are not a substitute for a well-balanced diet and cannot replace the nutritional benefits we get from consuming whole foods.
However, sometimes taking a supplement may be necessary to bridge nutritional gaps. And they can be a good option to further supplement a healthy diet with additional nutrition, especially when so many of us find it difficult to get enough of the goodness of fresh whole foods in daily.
We’ve always been encouraged to eat our greens – and for a good reason too. Green vegetables are nutritional powerhouses. They contain a range of different phytochemicals as well as antioxidants, dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.
Being packed with these nutrients, green veggies can benefit our health.
They have been shown to play a role in preventing:
Despite knowing how good vegetables are for us, the busyness of daily life can make it difficult to maintain healthy routines and ensure we’re consistently getting enough veggies in our diet. In 2019, only approximately one in 10 adults in the U.S. met the daily recommended intake for fruit and vegetables. (Source)
This is where green supplements, such as Human Tonik’s Supergreen Tonik, come in.
While consuming whole foods is always the preferred option for reaching our nutrient requirements, including a high-quality greens powder in your daily routine is a quick and easy way to include a serving of veggies in powder form each day, and increase the nutritional density of your diet.
Not only can 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 than capsules and tablets because of their powdered form.
The powder may also make the nutrients more easily absorbed by the body.
Are Greens Powders Effective?
Although research into the health benefits of greens powders themselves is much more limited than the research into their individual ingredients, there is some evidence to show that certain powders may:
- Increase the nutrient density of the diet
- Improve energy levels (Source)
- Reduce blood pressure (Source)
- Potentially contribute to a healthier immune system (Source)
- Reduce oxidative damage (Source)
It is important to note that results can vary considerably depending on brand and supplement formulation.
Research into the various ingredients commonly found in green powders is more readily available and gives us a good idea of the benefits these supplements may provide.
Looking at weight management as an aspect of overall health, green powder supplements may contribute in the following ways:
Reduction In Inflammation
Inflammation is a normal body process that helps the body defend itself against injury or infection, and, in this way, is extremely beneficial.
However, chronic inflammation, which occurs when high levels of inflammation persist in the body long-term, is damaging.
Chronic inflammation can lead to numerous health problems, including heart disease, arthritis, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer.
Our diet plays a significant role in levels of inflammation in the body.
A diet high in fruit and vegetables, including green vegetables, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids, has been seen to reduce inflammation. (Source)
This is because many of the phytonutrients and antioxidants in green veg and other plants protect against cell damage and can lower inflammation throughout the body. (Source)
These phytonutrients and antioxidants are also present in many greens powders.
Some greens powders also contain sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which have also been seen to positively affect inflammation levels. (Source)
Reducing or avoiding chronic inflammation reduces the risk of developing several diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and non-alcoholic and autoimmune and neurodegenerative disorders. (Source)
Including high amounts of these anti-inflammatory foods in your daily diet has also contributed to weight management. (Source)
I’m getting my daily energy dose from SuperGreen Tonik and It helped me improve my sleep/ recovery. it’s simply delicious!
Increase In Energy Levels
Many people feel tired and lack the energy to perform at their best throughout the day.
There are many things that contribute to reduced energy – lack of sleep, high-stress levels, a sedentary lifestyle, dehydration, and a poor diet.
If we aren’t fueling our body with the nutrients it needs, it simply will not be able to function properly.
Having good energy levels allows us to think more clearly and increases our ability to maintain healthy habits, which over time can lead to better overall health.
If we’re running on empty all the time, how can we expect to feed ourselves nutritious meals or move our bodies in the way that they need?
Aside from eating enough food, the types of food we eat and the nutrients it provides is important to maintaining energy levels. Some important nutrients when it comes to preventing mental and physical fatigue include B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B8, B9, and B12), vitamin C, iron, magnesium, and zinc. (Source)
Ensuring we are getting sufficient amounts of these nutrients daily helps to maintain our energy levels. Green powders often contain most of these nutrients and so can contribute to our daily intake.
Research suggests that micronutrient supplementation can:
- Improve cognitive performance in children (source)
- Improve psychological and cognitive function in adults (source)
- Improve mood (source)
Supplementation with these nutrients has also been seen to reduce physical fatigue in several studies. (Source)
Maintaining healthy energy levels allows us to commit to healthy habits more easily and enhances our ability for self-care. This, in turn, benefits our overall health and is beneficial for weight management.
Support A Healthy Immune System
Maintaining a healthy immune system is imperative for overall health and for feeling good!
While there are many factors that contribute to a healthy immune system such as genetics, age, sleep, and stress levels, diet once again plays an important role.
Examples of nutrients that have been identified as critical for the growth and function of immune cells include vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, selenium, and iron.
Most high-quality greens powders will contain a certain amount of these nutrients and so can contribute to our daily intake, helping to support our immune system. A healthy immune system is essential to our overall health and is also thought to benefit weight management. (Source)
Support Gut Health
Greens powders may also contribute to a healthy gut if they contain polyphenols.
Polyphenols are powerful antioxidants that are found in foods like fruits, vegetables, teas, and spices. Not only do they exert antimicrobial properties against harmful bacteria in the gut but they also act as prebiotics. (Source)
Prebiotics feed the healthy bacteria in our gut, increasing the population of these bacteria and promoting the health of our gut.
Having a healthy gut hugely benefits our overall health and is associated with reduced risk of many chronic diseases. Because our gut is responsible for digesting our food and the proper absorption of nutrients, it influences every system in our body, from immune function to brain health, and is also thought to play a role in weight management. (Source)
How To Choose A Greens Powder?
Millions of results pop up when you search for a green powder online. Here are some things to consider while wading through the results.
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a supplement is whether 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.
Avoid proprietary blends!
I have taken Human Tonik Super Green for almost 2 months now. I sleep deep, have been through Flu/Cold bugs in my house which missed me. Energy Level is higher, which has motivated me to be more active.
Steer clear of products that contain added sugars or filling agents.
Some brands may add sugars to their powders to make them 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 nutritional benefits—another reason to always choose a product listing all its ingredients.
Products that are third-party tested are likely safer.
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), Eurofins, and ConsumerLab.
Human Tonik’s Supergreen Tonik meets the criteria for transparency of formula and third-party testing, it doesn’t contain any fillers, and it has a strong nutrient profile.
Supergreen Tonik contains several nutrients we’ve discussed in this article that may contribute to overall health and weight management.
The variety of greens included provides antioxidants and other anti-inflammatory compounds. Fibre feeds the beneficial bacteria in the gut and may contribute to reduced inflammation.
B vitamins; B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B9 (folate/folic acid), B12 (cobalamin), vitamin C, vitamin D, iron, zinc, and selenium all contribute significantly to immune function and energy levels as well as many other body processes.
For many years and for many people, weight loss has been the ultimate goal. Unrealistic body standards amongst other things have made a lot of people very uncomfortable in their bodies. And so-called health and wellness companies have monetized off this by marketing their products as weight loss tools.
Your body’s weight is largely determined by genetics. Like height or skin color, weight, and body type vary from person to person.
Drastic weight loss and constant dieting actually do your body more harm than good, and there is research emerging to support a focus on health behaviors rather than body weight when it comes to overall health. (Source)
Engaging in healthful behaviors such as eating a varied and nutritious diet, getting regular exercise, prioritizing sleep, and socializing, are the most sustainable ways to maintain overall health and well-being.
Even though supplements cannot provide the same benefits as eating whole foods, they can be beneficial for upping our intake of certain nutrients.
Green powder supplements may contribute to overall health and weight management by providing nutrients and other compounds that help to maintain healthy levels of inflammation, contribute to healthy energy levels, and support immune function and gut health.
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.