Is there a difference between eating greens and using a powder to mix them up?
Scrolling through TikTok, it doesn’t take long to see an influencer mixing up greens and superfoods powders (like Bloom). It’s a little reminiscent of the cold-pressed green juice phase, which Well + Good said rose to popularity in the mid-2000s.
Now instead of buying bottles of juice or stopping by the local juice store, consumers are purchasing online powders — similar in look to protein powders — and using frothers to mix them up with water.
As green powders rise in popularity, it’s worth asking — is drinking green powder the same as eating greens?
Is a green powder the same as green juice?
They’re different. Green powders are typically made by drying out several different types of fruits and vegetables and then they’re made into a powder, according to EW Motion Therapy. Green juice is made by pressing fresh vegetables and fruits into juice by using a juicer or a blender.
Green powders usually contain ingredients like spinach, spirulina, broccoli, wheatgrass, shitake mushroom extract and more. According to Healthline, these powders can have anywhere from 25 to 40 ingredients depending on the brand.
Are green powders good for you?
Yes, in context.
Green powders shouldn’t be a substitute for vegetables. According to the UNL Health Center, green powders can be a good supplement to your diet especially when it comes to reaching intake levels of vitamins and minerals. It’s still important to eat fruits and vegetables.
Around 10% of American adults eat enough fruit and vegetables as it is, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While powdered greens can’t take the place of whole vegetables, they are a way to get some nutrients from them, per Today. Vegetables can be rich in fiber while powders are usually lower in fiber.
Your doctor can help you decide if green powders are good for your lifestyle.
How to eat more vegetables and greens
There are some simple ways to eat more vegetables and greens on a daily basis. One way to do this is to pick a specific time each day such as before eating your main course at dinner to eat a salad.
Eating a salad with dark leafy greens, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes and other vegetables can be an easy way to incorporate more vegetables into your diet. If convenience is important, bagged salad is a good way to increase your vegetable content.
Another way to eat more vegetables is to add vegetables to dishes you’re already eating. If you like making scrambled eggs in the morning, add a handful of diced peppers or spinach. If you like eating pasta, toss in some broccoli. If you like eating tacos, add some purple cabbage on top.
Try to snack on vegetables and greens instead of other foods. Consider eating carrots and celery with hummus for a snack or having a quick salad with some greens, chickpeas and lemon juice. You could also substitute half of your typical snack for some vegetables.
Think about reimagining dessert. While zucchini bread and pumpkin bread are some obvious choices for how to incorporate vegetables into dessert (and they have natural sweetness), you can also try to make make mousse from pumpkin, sweet potatoes and avocados.
Ingredients in green juice compared to green powders
Green juices tend to have fewer ingredients when compared to green powders. One of the most popular green juices is from a brand called Suja — it has the following ingredients: “organic cucumber juice, organic celery juice, organic grapefruit juice, organic green chard juice, organic green leaf lettuce juice, organic lemon juice, organic kale juice, organic spinach juice, organic parsley juice, organic mint tea (purified water, organic peppermint tea leaf, Organic spearmint tea leaf).”
A popular green powder from Bloom called Greens & Superfoods lists the ingredients for the original version as: “Chicory root fructo-oligosaccharides, organic flax seed, apple fruit powder, organic barley grass powder, organic spirulina powder, organic wheatgrass powder, organic alfalfa leaf powder, organic chlorella powder, blue agave inulin, bifidobacterium bifidum, lactobacillus rhamnosus, lactobacillus acidophilus, organic carrot powder, beet root powder, kale leaf powder, blueberry powder, spinach powder, broccoli powder, ginger root 5:1 extract, cranberry fruit powder, strawberry fruit powder, raspberry fruit juice powder, tart cherry fruit powder, elderberry fruit extract, acai fruit extract, Goji berry, horseradish tree leaf, grape seed extract, matcha green tea leaf, maltodextrin, amylase, amyloglucosidase, protease, acid protease, cellulase, lipase, licrorice root extract, rhodiola root powder, American gingseng root extract, ashwagandha root powder, astragalus root powder, eleuthero root powder and stevia leaf extract.”
Green juices also differ from green powders in terms of calories and absorption. Well + Good said green powders tend to be lower in calories and sugar, but that depends on the brand. The two also differ in absorption. Green juices can be absorbed fairly easily. “Your body should also easily process fine powders, although studies have shown that they may not retain some of the important enzymes needed for absorption. “