Green powders are dehydrated greens that can be mixed into a morning smoothie or juice.
Do you drink green powders every day?
You might be overdoing it with the anti-oxidants.
Why I do not recommend green powders
What are green powders?
Green powders are dehydrated "super-foods" like spinach or kale that turn into a fine powder. This powder can be mixed into beverages like water, juice, and smoothies for easy consumption on the go. People will typically use green powders to ensure that they get polyphenols, or nutrients from plants. in their diet. So, what are polyphenols, and at what point can you overdo the amount of them you are putting in your body?
Let's take a closer look at polyphenols
Polyphenols are phytochemicals (what is found in natural plant food) that have antioxidant properties. These antioxidants work to prevent free-radical damage, a byproduct of a normal, healthy metabolism. Free radicals can lead to early aging because it causes cells to form incorrectly. So you definitely need to be consuming foods high in antioxidants. However, if you are already consuming a decent amount of polyphenols, it is likely that green powders may push you over the edge. Too much of anything is never a good thing.
What can go wrong if over-consumed?
There have been several studies that have proven that those who consume antioxidants as 1-5% of their overall diet are more likely to have detrimental health effects. Look at what happens if one has too much beta-carotene for example.
Beta-carotene is an organic, orange, antioxidant commonly found in plants like carrots and broccoli. There have been studies that have shown having too much in one's system can significantly raise the likelihood of cardiovascular disease. There was a study that looked at smokers; some who took beta-carotene supplements and one's who didn't. Surprisingly, those who took the supplements had a higher chance of developing lung cancer than those who did not.
Another issue that can occur is heavy metal toxicity. This is when consumes heavy metals that can be found in things like fish, non-organic produce, and even dental fillings. These heavy metals may be dangerous even in low concentrations. Heavy metal toxicity may be caused by environmental pollution, water contamination or the use of household items that have traces of metals. Consuming these metals leads to low energy, mood swings, and cognitive changes.
Does the consumption of green powders yield the same result as eating a salad?
Short answer, no.
Studies can not provide any information as to whether or not consuming processed food, like greens powders, would yield the same results as eating a whole food product, like a salad. Here's why:
1. When food goes through the digestion process, it exposes the active compound to acidic conditions that can promote a chemical transformation. If the polyphenol is transformed it may not have the activity of the original compound.
2. The compound would also be exposed to basic conditions. Gallbladder secretions from the small intestine can also trigger a chemical transformation of the supplemented powder.
3. Gut bacteria also can transform the compound.
4. It is unlikely that enterocytes (intestinal cells) have a dedicated transporter for the polyphenol compound, so it hard to say how much of it will be absorbed.
5.If the compound is to be absorbed, it is likely to be present in low concentrations in the blood stream.
6. The compound also had to be absorbed by the cells, which has a similar issue to that of the enterocytes (intestinal cells). It is unlikely that the compound will make it inside of cells with high concentrations to provide the body nutrients.
Do you need to be consuming green powder daily?
No, you do not need to mix green powders with your smoothies every morning. It is unlikely that consuming these powders will give you any benefit from the polyphenol extracts. Whole foods provide much more nutrition support. So, if you are concerned you are not consuming enough antioxidants from the food you are eating, definitely don't jump to mixing green powders into your drink. You would be much safer receiving guaranteed nutrients from whole foods which do not contain the same heavy metals or processed compounds that may have harmful effects on your health.
Still have questions? Click the button below to ask in the Facebook group and see if yours gets answered in the weekly live Q&A!