Unlike collagen powders and other various beauty supplements—which are often targeted to specific aesthetic concerns, including dull complexions and fine lines—greens powders are typically promoted as all-in-one health solutions, and can often incur confusion about what it is they actually do.
So, to help you make sense of all the marketing and determine whether greens powders are actually worth investing in, marie claire consulted Sydney-based dietitian Chloe McLeod for everything there is to know.
What Is Usually In A Greens Powder?
While the colour is arguably the most obvious qualifier for a greens powder, most variations of the supplement tend to feature the same ingredients.
"The ingredients are usually a mix of different dried vegetables, herbs and spices with barley grass, wheatgrass and broccoli all commonly used," McLeod told BAZAAR.
"Some also contain probiotics and different seeds, such as flaxseeds or chia seeds [and some have] also started to add prebiotic fibres as well."
What Are The Benefits Of Greens Powders?
The biggest benefit of adding a greens powder to your diet is less about what it contains, and more about the convenience it offers, from a nutritional perspective.
"It is a way of ingesting more nutrients to up your overall micronutrient intake, similar to a powdered multivitamin," said McLeod.
"The vitamins you're most likely to find in them are from the B group as well as A, K and C."
Do Greens Powders Actually Work?
While a greens powder can be a good way to bolster your micronutrient consumption, they aren't functional as a replacement for a healthy, balanced diet, McLeod emphasised.
"Powders aren't yet at the stage where the complex interactions between different compounds in the foods we eat are able to be replicated," she noted.
"The other thing to think about, is that these powders usually lack fibre, which is one of the most important parts of your fruit and veggies because of how it feeds your gut microbes and keeps you feeling full."
Are There Any Downsides Of Adding A Greens Powder To Your Diet?
Unfortunately, like the celery juice phenomenon, greens powders are often marketed as 'miracle workers', which may lead people to rely too heavily on them for their nutrient intake.
"[Again] while they can be a helpful supplement, they are not a replacement for making great nutritional choices each day," McLeod said.
"I think they can lull some people into a false sense of security. For example, having that extra burger or glass of wine, with the misconception that the green powder negates making lower quality choices. Also, the usual lack of fibre means you are unlikely to feel satisfied."
Who Would Most Benefit From Adding A Greens Powder To Their Diet?
Even though greens powders aren't the 'magical potions' they are often made out to be, that isn't to say that they can't have a place in a well-rounded diet.
"If you're in a phase where your nutrient needs are higher, or you know that your usual healthy diet has not been as on-point of late, they can be a fabulous 'helper'—but still not a replacement for eating your minimum five serves of vegetables each day," said McLeod.
The Best Greens Powders You Can Buy In Australia
The Healthy Chef Green Smoothie Powder 220g, $66.95 at THE ICONIC
An excellent addition to your morning smoothie, The Healthy Chef's greens superfood blend is mixed with probiotics to promote healthy digestion. Its core ingredients comprise organic kale, spinach, apple, wheatgrass, alfalfa, barley and broccoli, which are all supported by a host of gut-friendly extras, including turmeric and ginger extract, among others.
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WelleCo Super Elixir Daily Greens Refillable Caddy 300g, $145 at Adore Beauty
Formulated with 45 premium whole food ingredients, WelleCo's signature greens powder is designed to help your body maintain its optimal pH range so it can function at its best. Its key ingredients include barley grass, wheatgrass, alfalfa and spirulina, as well as pre- and probiotics to aid the digestive system. The additions of açaí, pomegranate, grapeseed and rosehip powders work to promote healthy skin and fight premature ageing.
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Nuzest Good Green Stuff, from $37.95 at Nourished Life
Nuzest's Good Green Stuff formula boasts a potent blend of plant nutrients with added vitamins, minerals, probiotics, antioxidants and phyto-nutrients, delivering over 75 ingredients to support general health, wellbeing and boost calmness and clarity. These include CoQ10, which the body produces naturally for cells to use for growth and maintenance, as levels of CoQ10 decrease with age. It also boasts B-Vitamins to boost the body's energy levels, and a blend of powerful herbs to aid the metabolism.
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Beauty Chef Cleanser Inner Beauty Powder 150g, $64 at Adore Beauty
This advanced super-greens formula contains 45 certified organic bio-fermented fruits, vegetables, seeds, roots, algae, grasses, purifying herbs and digestive enzymes to help support your daily nutritional needs and the body's natural detoxification process.
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Vida Glow Beauty Greens With Pineapple & Mint 210g, $59.95 at Adore Beauty
Comprised of certified organic ingredients, this powder contains a carefully curated blend of plant extracts rich in essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to aid your health and well-being. The presence of probiotics and enzymes benefit the digestive system while pea protein helps you feel full and regulate cravings.
Buy it here