Health & Wellness

Do Greens Powders Really Work? Marie Claire Investigates

A dietitian breaks down what you need to know

Although multivitamins and health supplements have been popular amongst wellness enthusiasts for quite some time, there’s arguably none more prominent than those highly Instagram-able greens powders.

Unlike collagen powders and other various beauty supplements—which are often targeted to aesthetic concerns, including dull complexions and fine lines—greens powders are typically promoted as all-in-one supplement. So there’s often confusion about what it is they actually do.

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.

McLeod, who has over 14 years of experience focusing on gut health, food intolerance and sports nutrition, said greens powders can help increase your overall intake of micronutrients, including folate and other B vitamins.

“While they can be a helpful supplement, they are not a replacement for making great nutritional choices each day,” McLeod said.

Here, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite green powders to shop in Australia, as well as McLeod’s insights on frequently asked questions about greens powders.

Greens Powders To Shop In Australia

MRM Nutrition, Organic Moringa Powder

MRM Nutrition, Organic Moringa Powder, $19.52 at iHerb

MRM Nutrition Organic Moringa Powder is a premium health supplement that harnesses the natural power of Moringa oleifera, a highly nutritious plant packed with Amino Acids, Vitamins A, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium. This 8.5 oz (240 g) jar of finely ground, organic Moringa powder offers a convenient and easy way to incorporate this superfood into your daily routine.

the-healthy-chef-green-smoothie

The Healthy Chef Everyday Greens, $68.95 at Healthylife

An excellent addition to your morning smoothie, The Healthy Chef’s Everyday Greens is a nourishing blend of antioxidant rich greens enriched with L-Glutamine and probiotics supporting gut health. 

WelleCo Super Elixir Daily Greens

WelleCo Super Elixir Daily Greens Refillable Caddy 300g, $145 at Sephora

Formulated with 45 premium whole food ingredients, WelleCo’s signature greens powder is designed to help your body maintain its optimal pH range so you can feel at your 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

Also available at: 

green powder

Greens + Collagen Formula, $59.99 at JSHealth

Get your daily greens plus an added collagen boost with this nutrient-rich powder that’s packed with vitamins C, E, K, folate, phytonutrients and antioxidants. This double-dose vitamin supplement supports everyday wellness and energy levels as well as reducing the signs of ageing and promoting youthful-looking skin.

Also available at: 

Beauty Chef Cleanse Greens Powder

Beauty Chef Cleanser Inner Beauty Powder 150g, $65 at Sephora

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.

Also available to shop at: 

mister-jones-greens-powder

Daily Beauty Greens, $59.99 by Mister Jones

Crafted by naturopaths, the Daily Beauty Greens powder by Mister Jones supports gentle detoxification, natural collagen production, gut health, and energy levels.

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 marie claire.

“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?

From a nutritional perspective, the biggest benefit of adding a greens powder to your diet is the convenience it offers, rather than exactly what it contains.

“It is a way of ingesting more nutrients to up your overall micronutrient intake, similar to a powdered multivitamin,” McLeod said.

“The vitamins you’re most likely to find in them are from the B group as well as A, K and C.”

According to the Australian government’s healthdirect website, different types of vitamin B help your body’s metabolism function better and are essential for cellular processed. Importantly, the B group of vitamins need to be consumed regularly because they can’t be stored in your body like some other essential vitamins and nutrients.

The other vitamins McLeod said are common in greens powders also have specific benefits. Vitamin A supports immunity, eyesight and reproduction, vitamin K is important for blood and liver function and vitamin C helps your body absorb iron and is important for healthy skin, bones and connective tissue, according to healthdirect.

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.”

There is also limited research on the health benefits of taking a greens powder supplement, although one small US study in 2009 did show promising results for lowering blood pressure when half the subjects took a specific greens powder.

Are There Downsides To 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.

“I think they can lull some people into a false sense of security,” McLeod said.

“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 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.

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