It’s no secret that most people don’t eat enough vegetables.
Greens powders are dietary supplements designed to help you reach your daily recommended vegetable intake.
Product labels claim that greens powders can support your body’s immunity, energy levels, detoxification and more — but you may wonder if science supports these purported benefits.
On average, one scoop (10 grams or two tablespoons) of greens powder contains (6Trusted Source):
- Calories: 40
- Fat: 0.5 grams
- Total carbs: 7 grams
- Dietary fiber: 2 grams
- Sugars: 1 gram
- Protein: 2 grams
- Sodium: 2% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
- Vitamin A (as beta-carotene): 80% of the RDI
- Vitamin C: 80% of the RDI
- Vitamin K: 60% of the RDI
- Calcium: 5% of the RDI
- Iron: 20% of the RDI
- Iodine: 100% of the RDI
- Selenium: 70% of the RDI
- Chromium: 60% of the RDI
- Potassium: 5% of the RDI
This powerful supergreen is generally low-calorie, but mixing them with something other than water may add calories.
supergreen don’t always list the content of all vitamins and minerals. They generally aren’t as complete as a standard multivitamin and mineral supplement.
In some cases, greens powders are formulated as meal replacements, which makes the product more nutritionally complete and higher in calories.
Though not quantified on the label, greens powders are generally high in polyphenols and other plant compounds that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory functions (1Trusted Source).
Do you often feel like you have a million-and-one things to do and that you’re always rushing around trying to play catch up? If so, an unwelcome bout of fatigue is the last thing you need! Tiredness and fatigue can be caused by a variety of factors, including lack of sleep or more serious health complaints. If you are concerned, you should ensure you visit a medical professional; however, it may be that the lethargic feeling you have become accustomed to is due to a vitamin deficiency. Both vitamin C and magnesium contribute to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue.
Fatigue can affect you both physically and mentally and it should not be confused with drowsiness. Fatigue is due to lost energy and signs include lack of motivation, easily tiring once an activity has begun or difficulty concentrating. Strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, broccoli and red peppers are all sources of vitamin C, while spinach, cabbage and kale will provide magnesium to your diet.
Another benefit of magnesium is that it contributes to electrolyte balance, and while we all know that we want to bring balance to our bodies, often we’re unsure what that really means.
Our bodies are full of minerals; they can be found in your blood, urine, tissues and other fluids and if these minerals have an electric charge, they are known as electrolytes. Electrolytes are responsible for helping to balance the water levels in your body, ensuring your body’s pH levels are balanced, and moving nutrients to, and waste from, cells. Electrolytes also ensure your nerves, muscles, heart and brain function as they should.
Maintains Muscles, Bones and Teeth
Talking about muscles, magnesium also contributes to normal muscle function, as well as to the maintenance of normal bones and teeth. When we talk about muscles, it’s easy to think of the body-builder physique, but don’t forget that your muscles are actually responsible for enabling movement throughout your entire body. Humans have around 700 muscles attached to their skeleton and many major organs also contain muscle tissue. Muscle tissue is the only bodily tissue that is able to contract and move other parts of the body. As well as allowing movement, muscles also help us to maintain posture, move substances around the body and generate body heat.
Teeth and bones are made from various mineral substances and are quite similar in terms of composition, but you may be interested to learn that your teeth are actually stronger than your bones. Despite this, if you were to break a tooth, it would not regenerate and repair in the same way a bone does, and as you age, your bones and teeth will naturally begin to weaken. That’s why it’s important to ensure your diet is rich in nutrients that help to maintain normal bones and teeth.
Keeps Your Psyche in Check
Both vitamin C and magnesium contribute to normal psychological function, but what exactly does this mean? Psychological function actually refers to how people utilise their senses to inform a decision or perceive the world around them. Intuition, emotions and the ability to think rationally play a role in psychological function, and consciousness is also closely linked. If you are daydreaming, tipsy, half asleep or poorly, your level of consciousness may have been compromised and this will affect your ability to function at full psychological capacity. If your psychological function has been compromised for some reason, decision-making and interpreting situations can become more challenging, leading to poor choices, injury or regrets.
Upholds Your Immune System
A compromised immune system can open you up to all sorts of illnesses, colds, flu, viruses and diseases that quite frankly you can do without. We have all been built with an immune system so that we can fight off pathogens such as infectious bacteria and parasites. Our bodies are full of cells that work hard to remove invaders and foreign tissue, and exposure to more pathogens helps us to build immunity. When invaders, known as antigens, enter the body, cells create antibodies to latch on to the antigen to inform other cells that it needs to be removed. A copy of the antibody remains in the body so that if the same antigen appears later down the line, the antibodies can latch on quicker than before.
If you’re keen to ensure your immune system keeps on functioning as it should, you’ll want to ensure your diet is rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C helps to maintain the normal function of the immune system.
Assists Collagen Formation
When you think of collagen, you may immediately think of your skin and how collagen can help slow the signs of ageing, but collagen is an amino acid protein that’s present throughout the body, including in your bones, gums, connective tissues and blood vessels.
The role of collagen is to hold the body together. It works a bit like scaffolding, providing strength and structure to cells. There are actually over sixteen different types of collagen and one type acts as a protective covering for delicate organs. As you age, natural collagen production decreases and that’s why it’s important to ensure your diet is rich in vitamins like vitamin C; vitamin C contributes to normal collagen formation for the normal function of blood vessels, bones, cartilage, gums, skin and teeth.
Normalises Your Nerves
Magnesium and vitamin C contribute to normal functioning of the nervous system. Your nervous system is responsible for transmitting signals and messages across the body in order for an action to occur. It is a bit like having built-in electrical wiring and without this complex method of communication, humans would struggle to interpret internal messages and their bodies would shut down. We all have three nervous systems: central, peripheral and autonomic.
The central nervous system connects the brain, spinal cord and retina, the peripheral nervous system is made up of sensory neurons that connect the central system to your limbs, and the autonomic nerves connect the central system to your major organs. If your nervous system breaks down, you will experience functional difficulties; these could be physical or mental, internal or external.
Protects Your Cells
You may have heard that antioxidants are good for you, and the reason people go mad for foods labelled as antioxidants is because they contain vitamins that help to protect the cells in your body from oxidative stress. Vitamins C and E are both antioxidant vitamins, and vitamin E is commonly found in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds and leafy green veg.
Oxidative stress occurs when there is an imbalance of certain molecules in the body. Molecules with one or more unpaired electrons occur naturally in the body, but poor diet and environmental irritants such as pollution and pesticides can also create these molecules. Antioxidants are also naturally produced by cells and they are responsible for neutralising these molecules. Oxidative stress occurs when there are not enough antioxidants to neutralise these molecules.
Oxidative stress is not always harmful, a small amount can actually be beneficial, but long-term exposure can damage cells and cause premature ageing or life-changing conditions.
While we’re on the subject of cells, you may be interested to learn that magnesium can also be of benefit, playing a role in the process of cell division. Cell division is a process that constantly takes place inside of your body; in fact, nearly two trillion cells divide every day! Cells divide and produce replica cells to replace dead or damaged cells (such as broken skin) and to encourage growth. This process is regulated by the cells themselves, which communicate via chemical signals so that they know when to start and stop dividing; this is essential for healing and for growth.
Maintains Your Metabolism
The term metabolism refers to a chemical process that occurs inside your body to keep it functioning. It affects cells, organs, your breathing and of course, digestion. In order to take place, this process requires energy and every individual requires a minimum amount of energy in order for the processes to go ahead. This energy is gained from food; carbohydrates, fats and proteins are all energy-yielding nutrients because they provide energy to the body.
As well as using energy in order to metabolise food, your metabolism also releases energy taken from the food so that you can pursue activities, and any excess energy will be stored for times of need. If you want to make sure your energy-yielding metabolism functions as it should, look for food that’s high in vitamin C and magnesium; both these nutrients contribute to a normal energy-yielding metabolism.