The Next Magic Bullet

Green powders, often found with “Super” in the name, are being touted as Miracle powders. As far as the ingredients, the more exotic, the better.  The problem is there isn’t a whole lot of science to back them up.

These powders are a processed form of fresh produce and they have a lower nutrient value.  They have less water and fiber.  By consuming powdered greens, you’re missing out on the satiety factor of fresh fruits and vegetables. They are also missing enzymes needed to absorb nutrients.  For instance, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli contain glucosinolates, a phytochemical known for its anticancer effects.  Powder and supplement forms of cruciferous vegetables do not contain the enzyme myrosinase needed to absorb glucosinolates.

Also note that water soluble vitamins get excreted if taken in excess leaving you with expensive urine.   Fat soluble vitamins do not get excreted and can build up in the body.  It’s difficult to reach these levels with real food, but could be more doable when taking a concentrated powder.

Let’s be real.  Eating whole fruits and vegetables with its complex components (phytochemicals, antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals) cannot be replicated by a powder.  These components are what gives real food its’ health value.

Powders give us the false sense of security that it doesn’t matter what I eat the rest of the day, as long as I’ve had my Super Power Shake or Smoothie.  Supplements aren’t meant to replace food, but rather to enhance current food and nutrient intake.

It is important to eat basic nutrients first from real food, albeit less exotic and trendy than these magic bullet powders.  Rotate fruits and veggies within and throughout the seasons. Choose a variety of colors and cooking preparations.

PRO tip: Try to include a fruit or vegetable with each meal and some snacks.  Breakfast is a great place to start! Add fruits to cold or hot cereal, pancakes, waffles or just as a side.  Fruit salads are a fun way to add in variety with different tastes and textures. Add mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes to your omelets. Consider trying shredded zucchini in your oatmeal or pancakes.  I do this during the summer to take advantage of the garden surplus! Zucchini has a subtle taste and can be added to many meals.  How many Fruits and vegetables did you eat today?

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