Given our busy lifestyles and the availability of fast food and takeouts, it should come as no surprise that our meals are not as nourishing as they perhaps should be. Fruits and vegetables are severely low on our priorities in our daily meals.
Due to this trend super greens powders have been gaining rapid popularity and are marketed as a dietary supplement that can help fulfill all your daily nutritional needs.
What do super greens actually do? Can they deliver what they promise or are they simply another health fad?
What are Super Greens?
Super greens are dietary supplements that are made from a variety of fruits, vegetables and other nutritional foods.
Depending on the brand of super greens, the ingredients used will vary. Here are some of the commonly-used ingredients in super greens (1):
- Leafy greens: Parsley, kale, spinach and collards
- Other vegetables: Carrots, cabbage, beets, soy sprout, tomatoes and broccoli
- Seaweeds: Spirulina, chlorella, kelp and dulse
- Edible grasses: Barley grass, wheatgrass, alfalfa grass and oat grass
- Fruits: Acai berries, raspberries, goji berries, acerola berry and blueberries
- Extracts from nutritional foods: Ginkgo biloba extract, green tea extract, licorice root extract and grape seed extract
- Edible fungi: Shitake or maitake mushroom extract
- Natural herbs: milk thistle, holy basil, astragalus and echinacea
- Probiotics: Lactobacillus (L.) rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium lactis and L. acidophilus
- Digestive enzymes from plants: Protease, amylase, lipase, papain and cellulase
- Fiber: Apple fiber, rice bran and inulin
In order to make super greens powders these ingredients are usually dehydrated and blended into powder form.
Super greens powder can be easily consumed by mixing it together with water or served as a smoothie.
Typically you can expect the greens drink to have a tinge of fresh-grass-flavor. It is also common for companies to add natural sweeteners to enhance the taste of their products.
Still feeling a little put off by the taste of greens powders? There are ways to improve the taste though, for the best-kept secrets to making super green powders tasty.
Depending on the quality of the ingredients and production method of super greens, prices will differ. On average, you can expect one serving (10-12 grams) of super greens powder to cost between 22 cents to 3 dollars. Keep in mind that sometimes it is better to pay more for a quality supplement that will benefit your health — as you can be sure of the quality of the ingredients.
How Nutritious are Super Greens?
Super greens powders tend to be low-calorie supplements that are packed with vitamins, minerals and also harness the antioxidant properties of fruits and vegetables.
Due to the different types of ingredients in each super greens product, the nutritional profile will differ. One serving of super greens powder typically contains:
- Calories: 40 kcal
- Carbohydrates: 7 grams
- Protein: 2 grams
- Fat: 0.5 grams
- Sugars: 1 gram
- Vitamin A (as beta-carotene): 80% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
- Vitamin C: 80% of the RDI
- Vitamin K: 60% of the RDI
- Calcium: 5% of the RDI
- Potassium: 5% of the RDI
- Sodium: 2% of the RDI
- Iron: 20% of the RDI
- Iodine: 100% of the RDI
- Selenium: 70% of the RDI
- Chromium: 60% of the RDI
- Dietary fiber: 2 grams
As you can see, super greens have a very rich nutrient profile. It’s reassuring that this nutrition can be accessed with just one scoop. This saves the need to buy excessive amounts of fruits and vegetables to meet our daily vitamins and minerals requirement.
What do Super Greens do?
As a dietary supplement, super greens are meant to act as a ‘nutritional insurance’ to your diet.
Often, if we find ourselves not eating sufficient fruits and vegetables, this may leave us deficient in certain types of nutrients which can be detrimental to our health in the long run.
Super greens are meant to fill this deficiency in our diet which can be easily achieved by just taking one scoop per day.
That said, super greens are not meant to replace all the fruits and vegetables in your diet.
In order to remain productive and healthy, a well-balanced diet filled with whole fruits, vegetables, protein, and grains should always be your number one priority — taking shortcuts may lead to nutritional deficiency elsewhere.
Apart from ensuring that we meet our daily nutritional needs, super greens may have additional health benefits too.
For example super greens may help with boosting energy levels naturally. Research has found that people who consumed 10 grams of greens powder daily saw an increase in energy levels (2).
This could be attributed to one of the powerful ingredients in super greens powders – green tea extract. Green tea extract naturally contains low levels of caffeine which could play a role in influencing one’s energy levels.
Additionally, the long-term consumption of super greens may reduce the risks of contracting chronic diseases. Studies have found that taking 10 grams of green powder per day resulted in a decrease in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure among people with pre-existing high blood pressure condition. Improving health markers like blood pressure levels could reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes (3).
Super greens are also packed with antioxidants, which help protect our cells from the oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Such oxidative damage to cells has been found to be linked to cancers and, therefore, the reduction of such damage could lower the likelihood of contracting them (4).
Super greens may also improve your body’s ability to detox. Being made from dark leafy greens and other vegetables can cause the urine’s pH to become more alkaline. Increasing urine alkalinity may increase the body’s capacity to get rid of toxins (5).
The Ingredients in Super Greens matters
As previously mentioned, different brands will likely include different ingredients in their super greens formula — this is what sets the mediocre super greens apart from the superstar super greens!
Simply put, the higher the quality of the ingredients, the more beneficial it might be for your health.
Just think about it, let’s say brand X only uses ordinary vegetables to make their super greens powder, how beneficial do you think it will be?
Although likely to still contain the vitamins and minerals from the vegetables used – thus fulfilling your daily micronutrient requirements – if you compare it to another brand that includes healthy natural herbs or other superfoods in their super greens formula, you are more likely to access more of the potential health benefits. An easy choice to make!
This is why ingredients matter, and that is what sets SuperGreen Tonik apart from ordinary super greens brands — our ingredients.
Not only do we ensure that you hit your daily amount of required vitamins and minerals, we also recognize the importance of supporting your brain health.
As such, we have included the best nootropic ingredients for optimal brain health:
- Ashwagandha Root Extract (500 mg)
- Bacopa Monnieri (300 mg)
- Rhodiola Rosea (300 mg)
- Ginkgo Biloba (240 mg)
- L-Tyrosine (200 mg)
- L-Theanine (250 mg)
Ashwagandha root is a medicinal herb with various health benefits. Research has shown that adults who took 300-500mg of Ashwagandha root extract per day saw an increase in memory, reaction time, and ability to focus, indicating enhanced brain functioning (6).
Additionally, ashwagandha has other health benefits such as decreasing blood sugar levels, elevating testosterone levels in men and reducing inflammation in the body.
Bacopa Monnieri is another traditional herb used in Ayurvedic medicine. Consuming 300mg of Bacopa Monnieri daily is thought to support brain health as it can improve visual processing speed, learning rates, and the ability to memorize (7).
Rhodiola Rosea is a herb that can enhance cognitive capacity. For example, individuals who were given tasks and asked to perform them under physically and mentally demanding conditions saw significant enhancements in task performance capabilities after consuming Rhodiola (8).
Gingko Biloba is a supplement derived from the gingko plant. Gingko is said to be packed with various antioxidants that may also improve measures of cognitive abilities such as motor performance and emotional evaluation (9).
Super greens can be considered brain foods to have a deeper understanding of the wonders of these natural herbs and how super greens can help improve brain health.
With all these ingredients that support brain health carefully selected for our SuperGreen Tonik, it is hard to deny that it could do more than just fulfill your body’s nutritional needs. There is no longer a need to take additional brain supplements.
As you can see, not all super greens are created equal.
Compare SuperGreen Tonik to other super greens and you can clearly see the difference.
Super greens with a better profile of ingredients should be able to do more for you, and therefore you should be able to gain access to more of the health benefits from consuming them.
Not only should your super greens ensure that you get all the required micronutrients for daily health, it should also offer benefits to other aspects of your health (e.g. facilitating detoxification, enhancing brain health and fortifying the immune system).
This can only be achieved by choosing brands that include the best types of ingredients in their formula.
While high-quality super greens may cost slightly more, you should always see health as an investment in your future.