The Power of Legit Green Superfood Drinks

All the health benefits of vegetables packed into one delicious greens powder fruit drink – too good to be true?

Well, it isn’t a magic bullet if that’s what you’re looking for.

Turns out: vegetables are just as nutritious and healthy for what they contain; as they are based on the food items they substitute [1, 2].

But that doesn’t mean adding a quality greens drink to your diet isn’t going to make you feel better and support your overall healthful goals [3].

You just need to have proper expectations for what a green superfood powder can do, and why getting in old-school regular veggies is still important. That’s exactly what we’re going to cover here for you, so that you can effectively increase the quality of your dietary nutrition.


Setting Clear Expectations on Green Superfood Drinks Vs Regular Veggies

#1 Increase your total vitamin, mineral and anti-oxidant intake

While greens powders do not count as a direct-replacement for vegetable intake, they do make quite good multivitamin powders [4].

This means a greater quantity and variety of vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants in your diet that you wouldn’t otherwise get.

Greens drinks are often formulated with ‘exotic’ superfoods that you traditionally wouldn’t know where to buy (or how to cook, for that matter).

Examples of nutrient-dense superfoods include:

  • Chlorella [5, 6]
  • Spirulina [7, 8]
  • Turmeric [9, 10]
  • Moringa [11, 12]
  • Carrots and Beets [13]

Even in powdered form these superfoods can add depth to your nutritional portfolio [14].

Bottom Line: Greens drinks can offer you a natural and more bio-available multivitamin that is also loaded with antioxidants and enzymes.

#2 Increase Fiber Intake (to a degree)

Fiber is the supporting structure that makes up the majority of dry weight in fruits and vegetables [15].

You likely recognize the name as one in the same with colon cleanses and constipation remedies – but that’s only one application for this plant based macronutrient.

In reality, fiber is largely responsible for digestive health as a whole.

Getting the correct types of fiber – soluble and insoluble, resistant starches, lignin and inulin – all contribute to the big process happening in your little belly [16, 17].

And of particular interest to greens drinks, is that fibers are hardy and don’t break down as easily as vitamins and anti-oxidants do while becoming powdered products [18, 19].

Here are some of our favorite dietary fiber sources and benefits:

  • Acacia fiber has been found to have a therapeutic effect on irritable bowel syndrome when taken in conjunction with Bifidobacterium lactis [20]. This same fiber source can be an effective weight loss aide when taken regularly in large dosages [21].
  • Green Banana Flour is a delicious source of probiotic friendly RS2 resistant starch, inulin, and insoluble fiber making this ingredient a prebiotic powerhouse [22, 23, 24].

Prebiotic: not to be confused with probiotic, prebiotic refers to fiber that nourishes and stimulates healthy probiotic flora [25].

Green banana flour supplementation has been found to improve metabolic syndrome in women [26], improve intestinal permeability in children [27], and may reduce risk of inflammatory bowel disease (in a rat study) [28].

  • Jerusalem artichoke fiber is an inulin rich fiber that is noted for its many applications [29, 30]. Of interest to us, is its prebiotic benefit and potential suppression of pathogenic bacteria [31].

Inulin, is studied for its ability to stimulate the immune system, enhance mineral absorption, and prevent constipation [32]. This fiber source is similar too and works well with chicory root.

  • Chicory root fiber is studied for its unique inulin and oligo fructose contents [33]. It shares many of the same benefits as Jerusalem artichoke as a prebiotic fiber [34].
Bottom Line: Gut-healthy fibers are a significant reason why vegetables are so healthy, ensure your greens drink doesn't skimp out.

#3 replace a sugar-drink (ideally)

Just like the foods you eat, the types of liquids that you drink matter just as much as the ones you avoid.

Replacing a sugar-loaded soda (or sugar-loaded orange juice), with a low carb greens drink could seriously pay you back by avoiding unnecessary calories and insulin spikes.

There is a total lack of research on this particular perk, but the anecdotal evidence alongside vegetable-replacement strategies is convincing.

Bottom Line: Replacing a sugar-drink or pseudo-healthy juice with a greens powder is a great way to improve nutrition while reducing calories.

Note: Unlike other supplemental ingredients, there is very little research performed on fiber (both positive and negative) [35, 36]. Likely because use cases are typically anecdotal and have only recently risen in popularity in proportion to a declining American diet.

Summary:

Greens drinks support a healthy lifestyle through increasing micronutrients, aiding digestion, and replacing sugary drinks – which may reduce inflammation, bodily stress and improve longevity.


But You’ll Still Need Fresh Veggies and Fruits

Greens drinks are great, but they cannot completely substitute fresh vegetables in your diet.

In fact, the general rule still applies: the more veggies you can eat a day, the better.

That’s because no one does it better than Mother Nature, and our entire biology has evolved to live off of what was originally placed on this planet.

Fresh veggies will always win based on:

  • Higher quality vitamin, mineral, antioxidant and enzyme content
  • Large amounts of naturally hydrated fiber
  • Appetite suppression and substitution for calorie-dense foods
But if you can't get in those 5 servings a day, then greens powders offer a powerful aid in daily nutrition.

    How to Introduce Greens Drinks into your Lifestyle

    The exact time to take your greens drink isn’t as specific as other supplements due to its whole-body effect. However we lean towards drinking your greens alongside your first meal of the day – whether that be breakfast or lunch.

    This is a good time to benefit from a green drink’s acidity lowering effects [35].

    But remember, a greens drink should not replace your first large glass of water for the day [36], nor should it replace fruits and vegetables that you are able to regularly obtain in your diet.


    Our Recommendation: Prebiotic Greens: Aquatic Greens + Fiber

    prebiotic greens

    We’ve proudly made our own green superfoods drink here at TL: Prebiotic Greens.

    We didn’t over-complicate anything. Instead, we found the most nutrient-dense greens available and added significant dosages of them: Chlorella and Spirulina, at 3 grams each.

    But nutrient dense greens are only half the story, we also knew that our product had to have genuine, prebiotic fiber.

    That’s why Prebiotic Greens also contains a fully disclosed blend of: acacia fiber, green banana flour, Jerusalem artichoke and chicory root fiber.

    View Prebiotic Greens right here.

    Summed together: Prebiotic Greens contains larger doses of more effective ingredients, designed to outperform label-stuffed, proprietary, micro-dosed competitors… All in one delicious, naturally flavored and artificial-everything free drink.

    Common Questions and Answers

    Q - What should I watch out for in greens powders?

    A – There are many things to watch out for in greens drinks, our top list would be:

    • Avoid greens drink that makes promises to the moon and back.
    • Avoid greens drinks that use proprietary blends.
    • Avoid greens drinks that claim to be a direct substitute for vegetables.
    • Avoid greens drinks packed with sugar.

    Q – How do greens powders compare to fruit juices?

    A – Fruit juices often contain excessive amounts of sugar, while greens drinks contain less sugar and more nutrient-dense plant particles.

    Q – Are there pesticides and herbicides in greens powders?

    A – Many organic plant-based products have been exposed for containing harmful pesticides and herbicides, even though they shouldn’t [37, 38]. This is common in leafy greens and grasses, and is a supporting reason for why we chose aquatic greens in Prebiotic Greens, as opposed to pastured greens.

    Q – Is there caffeine in greens / superfood powders?

    A – Many greens powders do contain caffeine either through cocoa or guarana. TL Prebiotic Greens does not contain caffeine or other stimulants.

    Q – Why is vegetable eating so rare, if it’s so important?

    A – Fruits and vegetables expire quickly and are easily overlooked in our fast-paced lives. This, paired with a decline in nutrition education has resulted in most people not being able to quantify the benefits of vegetables [39, 40]. Luckily, healthy eating can be taught in both young and old populations [41, 42, 43].

    Q- How do green powders compare to kombucha?

    A – They are totally different things. Kombucha, is primarily used for adding probiotic bacteria to the gut, while greens drinks are a source of nutrition and prebiotic fiber.

    Q – How do green drinks compare to apple cider vinegar?

    A – Apple cider vinegar’s nutrient density is not something we’re interested in disputing (we're not believers). However, specific types do deliver gut-healthy bacteria and may also aid health through changing PH [44]. Greens drinks on the other hand are nutrient dense by design.

     

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