There has been a rise in popularity across social media for greens powders, but are they good for you?
Greens powders are a dietary supplement that aims to help people reach their daily intake of vitamins and minerals. The University Health Center registered dietitian Sarah Keegan, MS, RDN, LMNT, CDCES, outlines the basics of greens powders to help you decide whether or not to include them in your diet.
What are you getting out of greens powders?
It’s hard to know what you’re getting from greens powders because they don’t always list all the vitamins and minerals. The recommended serving of most greens powder is once a day, and you only get two grams of fiber from that serving. If you follow the recommendation of eating five servings of whole fruits and vegetables a day, you’ll increase your fiber intake to 15 grams. Fiber is essential in aiding digestion and heart health and keeping you feeling full.
Focus on a balanced diet within your means
Greens powders may seem like a quick way to get vitamins and nutrients, but frozen fruits and vegetables are more affordable. Green powders average around $40 for 30 servings, which is about $1.33 per serving. You can get a 12-ounce bag of frozen mixed vegetables for 99 cents which equate to four servings. That’s about 25 cents per serving, making frozen vegetables the cheaper option.
Frozen fruits and vegetables have just as many nutrients as fresh produce, and sometimes even more because they’re frozen at their prime. They’re also quick to prepare and have a longer shelf life than fresh foods.
Greens powders should be a supplement to your diet, not a replacement for nutrients from whole foods. Try to eat as well as you can with the time and money you have, and add a multivitamin to ensure you’re getting the vitamins and minerals your body needs.
Evaluate how you feel
Essentially, greens powders won’t hurt you but don’t expect them to give you everything your body needs. If you choose to supplement your diet with greens powders, take the time to evaluate how you feel before and after taking it. Is it helping your digestion and energy levels like the labels claim? If you do not a change, it might not be worth spending your money on them.
If you need help navigating healthy eating, schedule a telehealth nutrition counseling visit with the University Health Center registered dietitian. The first visit is at no cost if you pay student fees. Follow-up visits can be submitted to private insurance. Call 402.472.5000 to schedule an appointment.