Veggie powders are promoted as an easy way to pack a day’s worth of fruits and veggies into a single drink. But do they really work?
While they aren’t a replacement for meeting the recommended 2-3 servings of vegetables per day, green powders can help close nutritional gaps.
1. Add it to your breakfast
Many green powders include adaptogens like ashwagandha, immune support blends and pro and prebiotics, to boost digestive health and immune function. These nutrients, along with a high-quality protein and healthy fats, can help you feel full and energized throughout the day.
While green powders can be a great addition to your diet, they can’t replace fruits and vegetables. They can, however, fill in nutrient gaps for people who struggle to meet the recommended 2-3 servings of veggies per day.
A popular way to use green powder is in smoothies. Try one of these recipes that hides 1 to 2 cups of leafy greens in each drink!
Another option is to add green powders to soups and stews. A scoop of vegetable powder can be added to this white bean chicken chili recipe, this veggie-packed beef stew and even this bread soup recipe to increase the amount of dark leafy vegetables in each meal.
Just make sure to choose a powder that isn’t made from juiced vegetables, as this will remove the fiber that can aid in weight loss and chronic disease prevention. Also, choose a greens powder that is free of any added sugar (the leading source of added sugar in Americans’ diets), as this can be counterproductive to your health goals.
2. Add it to your lunch
It’s best to get your vitamins and minerals from whole foods, but if you struggle to meet the recommended 2-3 servings of vegetables daily, green powders can help. These powdered supplements contain dehydrated, leafy greens and often have added nutrients like fiber, adaptogens (like rhodiola and ashwagandha), immune support blends or pre and probiotics.
The taste of these supplements can be a challenge, and many consumers report that they can have an earthy or grassy, sometimes even bitter flavor profile. “I would never recommend that people only use a greens powder, but they can be a helpful tool for those who find it difficult to fill up on fruits and vegetables due to their schedule or because of food allergies,” says Hartnett.
To mask the bitterness of a greens powder, you can add it to savory meals or smoothies. For example, mix your favorite vegetable dip with a scoop of green powder to make it more nutritious. It’s a great way to add vegetables and boost the protein in a dip that can be taken to work for lunch or to a gathering with friends.
Another option is to mix your greens powder with a glass of water, low-sugar fruit juice, plant-based milk or no-sugar-added coconut water. If you choose to do this, make sure your liquid is not too hot or too cold to allow for proper absorption of the nutrients.
3. Add it to your dinner
Eating enough vegetables and fruits on a daily basis can be challenging for many adults. This greens powder blend is a convenient way to help meet your vegetable needs with a mix of 13 organic ingredients including spirulina, wheatgrass, broccoli, kale, and apple. It is also an excellent source of antioxidants that can help support your health. Plus, you won’t have to plug your nose to knock it back since this greens powder is a light but refreshing Green Apple Sorbet flavor!
Most importantly, this vegetable powder contains only 100% ground and dehydrated veggies – no fillers or other unnatural additives. And, it is made in the US using a patented process.
The best greens powder will have a variety of different veggies to deliver more nutrition than just one type of veggie. It should have a mix of both green and red vegetables, as well as be high in fiber to help you hit your daily goals. Look for a formula that also provides probiotics and/or prebiotic nutrients to maintain healthy gut bacteria.
And, be sure to check the label for the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) score. This measurement tells you how powerful the antioxidants are in a specific food or supplement and can help you compare products to find one that is most effective. And remember, greens supplements should be used to add to, not replace, whole foods.
4. Add it to your snacks
Ideally, we should fill up on whole fruits and vegetables at every meal throughout the day. But that takes a lot of time and energy to buy, wash, chop, cook and prep them – especially when it’s hot outside. Using vegetable powders to add them to your beverages is a convenient way to give yourself the nutrition you need without the effort.
When choosing a green drink powder, look for ones with dark leafy greens as the foundation of the ingredients list. Also, choose one that is high in dietary fiber. This will help you get closer to your recommended daily intake of 25 to 34 grams per day as advised by the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Mixing a green powder into your snacks can be fun and delicious. Try mixing it into a protein shake or adding it to your favorite homemade smoothies or juices for an added health kick. Alternatively, you can mix it into homemade popsicles. If you’re a fan of energy balls, you can also incorporate the powder into them for an extra dose of nutrients.
Adding powdered veggies to your meals can also be helpful for those who have texture issues. For example, you can use veggie powder in your favorite recipes like meatballs or veggie burgers to boost their nutritional value without changing the texture.