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What Are Super Greens and What Is in a Typical Super Greens Powder?

There are many different greens powders (also called ‘supergreens’) on the market nowadays - offering a variety of different ingredients and touting a range of different health benefits.

What Is In Super Green Powder

So, what’s actually in a typical supergreens powder?

As you can imagine, they can differ greatly between brands, however, in this article we will take you through some of the key players you can expect to find in most blends


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What Are Super Greens?

A super green powder is a nutritional supplement that’s made from a combination of ingredients, including leafy greens, vegetables, seaweed, digestive enzymes, probiotics, and other superfoods.

Super greens powders often have a very high nutrient profile, containing vast amounts of vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and other compounds which may have several health benefits, including:

  • Supporting immune health
  • Reducing blood pressure
  • Increasing energy levels
  • Improving cognitive function
  • Reducing the risk of chronic illness

And more.

Unfortunately, research into the benefits of super green powder is still limited, however, early studies appear promising.

For example, one 90-day study in 40 participants found that taking ten grams of a specific greens powder per day could reduce blood pressure by approximately eight percent.

A further study found that another greens powder containing a green tea extract elicited a notable increase in the energy levels of the group participants.

Most super greens powder contain ingredients that contain a high amount of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that may reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases.

One four-week study found that when the ten participants took ten grams of greens powder a day, they lowered the blood levels of oxidatively damaged proteins by 30%.

Oxidative stress can severely alter the structure and activity of proteins in our bodies and may even lead to cell death. Oxidative damage is caused by lifestyle factors such as a lack of exercise, an unhealthy diet, smoking, and alcohol consumption.

When the cells and tissues are damaged by oxidative stress, the risk of developing diseases such as cancer and diabetes increases.

Although there is evidence to suggest that super greens powder reduces oxidative damage to proteins, not enough research has been performed to confirm just how effective it is at preventing the development of chronic illnesses and diseases.

Again - all of the studies listed above are promising in their own right, but they are very small and need to be replicated in larger and more thorough test groups.

What Is In Super Greens?

The ingredients in super greens powders will vary by manufacturer, however, let's look at some of the most common ingredients in a greens powder, and the average nutritional breakdown.

Common Super Greens Ingredients:

Some of the most typical ingredients in most of the best super greens powders will include:

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Alfafa
  • Broccoli
  • Pea Protein
  • Spirulina
  • Wheatgrass
  • Ginger
  • Carrot
  • Barley Grass
  • Sea Greens
  • Chlorella or chlorophyll
  • Parsley
  • Chicory
  • Watercress
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Many super green powders also contain probiotics. The most common probiotics added to super green powder typically include:

Lactobacillus (L.) Rhamnosus

This type of bacteria is found naturally in the intestine and belongs to the family of bacteria that produce the lactase enzyme.

This enzyme is responsible for breaking down the sugar that occurs naturally in lactose, turning it into lactic acid.

This probiotic is thought to benefit the digestive system in a number of ways. For example, if you’re on antibiotics, research indicates that this probiotic may reduce the occurrence of antibiotic-induced diarrhea by around 10%.

It may also protect against other types of diarrhea, including gastroenteritis-related diarrhea, traveller diarrhea, and watery diarrhea.

L. Acidophilus

This is one of the most common types of probiotics, and it’s usually found in yogurt, supplements, and fermented foods.

It also lives in our intestines and plays an important role in human health. Lactobacillus Acidophilus may have several health benefits, including:

  • Lowering Cholesterol: L. Acidophilus may help lower cholesterol. One study found that taking this alongside another probiotic for up to six weeks reduced the presence of LDL cholesterol in the body. However, it also reduced the amount of ‘good’ (or HDL) cholesterol in the body.
  • Prevent/Reduce Diarrhea: Some studies have shown that probiotics, including L. Acidophilus may reduce and prevent diarrhea.
  • Improve IBS Symptoms: One study of 60 participants found that taking L. Acidophilus, alongside another probiotic, reduced the bloating associated with IBS. Another study also found that this probiotic reduced the amount of abdominal pain experienced by IBS sufferers.

Bifidobacterium Lactis

This species of the bifidobacterium family is most commonly used in food products, and it’s found in large numbers in the human gut.

In the gut, this bacteria may help with digestion and the absorption of various minerals and vitamins. Some strains of this bacteria can also produce folic acid (or Vitamin B9), and others can transform minerals into more bioavailable forms.

In addition to various strains of good bacteria, super greens powders often contain a range of plant-based digestive enzymes such as:

Amylase

This enzyme helps the body break down carbohydrates, and it's made by the glands around your throat and mouth.

Papain

This proteolytic enzyme is extracted from the fruit of the papaya plant. It breaks down proteins into smaller fragments, which are also called amino acids or peptides.

Protease

This enzyme is made by animals, plants, fungi, and bacteria, and it catalyzes (speeds up) proteolysis, which is the breaking down of proteins.

Cellulase

Cellulase is an essential enzyme that converts cellulose into glucose or disaccharide. In the human body, cellulase can control blood sugar levels by converting cellulose into beta-glucose, preserving balanced cholesterol levels.

Lipase

Lipase is another enzyme in the human body that is used to break down fats. Lipase helps the body break down and absorb fats in the intestines. Lipase is usually produced in the mouth, pancreas, and stomach.

Other Super Greens Benefits

1. Supported Immune Health

Super greens powders contain a wide range of vitamins and minerals essential for a healthy immune system. Vitamins C, D, and K, present in these powders, can help strengthen the immune system and protect against viruses.

2. Reduced Risk of Chronic Diseases

Vitamins C and K, which are potent antioxidants, can lower the risk of chronic diseases over time. One study found that a diet rich in green leafy vegetables was associated with a decreased risk of heart disease.

3. Enhanced Digestive Health

These powders also provide fibre, crucial for maintaining gut health. People who consume these powders may experience reduced bloating and gas, as well as a more regular bowel movement.

4. Better Cognition

Research has shown that super greens powders can improve cognitive function and mental clarity. A study discovered that the consumption of polyphenols, which are abundant in super green powders, can lead to enhanced cognitive performance in healthy adults.

5. Facilitates Detoxification

Chlorella is a potent ingredient present in super greens supplements known for its ability to facilitate detoxification. It's a plant-based source of vitamin B12 and has been found to be helpful for detoxification.

6. Hormone Balance

Super green powders, packed with probiotics and nutrient-rich ingredients, can potentially support overall thyroid health and hormone balance by providing essential micronutrients such as iodine, iron, and selenium. The gut's health can influence the availability of these micronutrients, and probiotics may have a beneficial impact on thyroid hormones.

Super greens powders and supplements offer countless potential benefits, but, to get the most out of them, it's important to choose a high-quality supplement that is free from heavy metals to maximize the benefits.

Super Greens Side Effects

  1. Abdominal Pain: Many super greens powders contain fiber, which can cause gastrointestinal discomfort and abdominal pain.
  2. Changes in Blood Pressure: Supplements that contain caffeine or green tea extract and other stimulants can elevate blood pressure in some individuals.
  3. Allergic Reactions: Common allergens found in greens powders include wheatgrass, spirulina, and chlorella. Symptoms can range from itching and hives to difficulty breathing.
  4. Not for Everyone: While super greens powders can be beneficial, they may not be suitable for everyone. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should consult with their doctor before taking these supplements, as should individuals with pre-existing health conditions or on medication.

How To Take Super Greens Powder

How To Take Super Greens Powder

Ready to make super green powder a part of your daily routine?

Most super greens powders should be consumed once a day, and generally speaking - no more than two scoops should be used.

One scoop is usually enough, but dosages can vary between brands.

One of the many great features of a super greens powder is its incredible versatility - meaning it can be easily taken in many different ways, including:

  • Mixed into water
  • Mixed into fruit juice
  • Added to soups
  • Added to tea
  • Mixed in with a pre-workout formula
  • Mixed into smoothies
  • Sprinkled on your breakfast
  • Added to yogurt
  • Baked into a cake

There are no right or wrong times of the day to take it, however, to reap the full benefits many experts recommend taking your greens powder in the morning on an empty stomach for optimum nutrient absorption.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you drink greens powder while breastfeeding?

When considering taking greens powder while breastfeeding, research is essential to ensure safety for both mother and baby.

Some powders may be safe, while others may contain ingredients that pose risks to the baby's health. Avoid powders with chlorella or kola nuts, which can cause heavy metal detoxification or contain adaptogens.

However, some powders may support a woman's body during pre-conception, pregnancy, and breastfeeding. Consult a doctor or healthcare professional before adding any supplements to your breastfeeding routine.

Does super greens help with weight loss?

While there isn't concrete evidence that super greens directly aid in weight loss, they contain fiber that can speed up metabolism and burn calories.

Plus, they're low in calories, making them a great addition to a weight loss-focused meal plan. Combining super greens with a regular exercise routine can also support weight loss efforts. 

So, while they may not be a magic weight loss solution, super greens can certainly contribute to a healthier lifestyle and support weight loss goals.

Can super greens make you bloated?

Super greens are a fantastic source of essential nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants that can do wonders for your health.

However, if you're new to taking green supplements, you may experience bloating after consumption. This is because the fiber and probiotics in these powders can cause gas and bloating. But don't worry! This is a common side effect that usually subsides quickly.

In fact, super greens can even help promote bowel movements and improve gut health, making them an excellent option for reducing bloating in the long run.

Which super greens powder is the best?

We've reviewed several super greens powders and found that Athletic Greens, Vital All-In-One, True Protein Greens, and White Wolf Nutrition Greens are some of the best on the market.

These powders are packed with essential nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants to support overall health and well-being. 

If you want to know more about these products, be sure to check out our article on the top 4 super greens powders in Australia.

The Bottom Line

A high-quality super greens powder should be brimming with a range of nutrient-dense ingredients such as vegetables, vitamins, minerals, probiotics, enzymes and more (check out Athletic Greens or Vital Greens for two excellent examples).

If you want an easy way to make sure you’re hitting your recommended daily intake of nutrients, adding a scoop of super green powder to your favourite drink or recipe may be one of the most effective ways to do it... along with a healthy and balanced diet of course!



Darcy Ogdon-Nolan

Holding a Bachelor Of Science (Hons.) combined with close to a decade now in the health food and wellness industry, I believe I'm uniquely positioned to provide a depth of knowledge and first-hand experience on emerging health products, trends and ideas! From greens powders and medicinal mushrooms through to protein powders and workout nutrition - I'm particularly interested in what modern science can uncover about what human cultures have been using to treat ailments for millennia!

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