What are super greens and are they actually good for you?

woman adding wheat grass green powder
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While eating whole foods is always your best option, not everyone can consume their daily vegetables and nutrient-dense foods. That might make reaching for a couple scoops of super greens the next best thing.

Super greens are dietary supplement powders you can mix into water, food or other ingredients to help you meet your daily vegetable intake of vitamins and minerals. Proponents say they boast a healthy combination of ingredients to support your body’s immune system and energy levels while meeting your nutrition requirements.

Most super greens generally contain 25-40 different ingredients, often including leafy greens, like kale, spinach and collards; grasses like wheatgrass or alfalfa; high-antioxidant fruits such as blueberries and raspberries. Since fiber can be lost during processing, some brands add it back, in addition to adding probiotics or natural sugar substitutes like monk fruit or stevia leaf extract. Everything is dried out and ground into a fine powder.

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Dubbing these mixes “super greens” follows a trend of calling some ingredients “superfoods,” but there’s no real nutritional or medical definition for either. Foods marketed as superfoods do tend to be possess certain desirable compounds, such as antioxidants or fatty acids, in abundance, but it’s good to keep in mind that the term “superfood” originated with a marketing campaign to get people to eat more bananas during World War I.

There’s also currently no universal definition of a super green powder, so each one on the market speaks to different needs. There’s also a lack of scientific research determining exactly how they add value to a diet. If you are someone who already eats quite a bit of leafy greens, you probably don’t need super greens. However, if your diet is all over the place, or lacking vegetables, and you aren’t in the habit of taking a daily multivitamin, you might want to consider adding some to your routine.

Best Super Greens Buying Guide

When shopping around for the best super greens, there are a few helpful things to consider. First, think about how you plan to use it. Will you scoop the powder into your morning smoothie or be sneaking it into baked goods?  If it’s energy-boosting, you’ll want to consume your super greens in the morning so the formula won’t disrupt your sleep.

Some green powders have strong odors and tastes, even when mixed with other ingredients, so that’s another factor to look out for, especially in customer reviews.

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Look for products that match your food preferences, such as being 100% organic, non-GMO or vegan.

Different products focus on different needs. Some might be solely adding vitamins, minerals and enzymes to your diet to boost your immune system, while others might be focused on increasing energy. When shopping for the best super greens, compare the prices of super green powders by determining the price per serving instead of the number of ounces per container.

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Whenever possible, look for super greens that have undergone independent third-party testing. That way you’ll have a better idea of quality and safety. If you have a powder that contains ample vitamins and you take a multivitamin, you may want to check in with your doctor. Too much of certain vitamins, such as vitamins A, D or E, can have negative effects on your health.

About the Author

Emily O'Brien

Emily is a freelance writer who loves connecting the dots among facts and finding obscure little details to weave in throughout her work. Whether she's interviewing Olympic athletes, small business owners, dessert cookbook writers, or world-renowned architects, she's passionate about shining the spotlight on good people doing remarkable work. More.

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