Greens is basically just the much cooler name for “vegetable powder”, i.e. (dehydrated) fruit and vegetables in powder form – often enriched with superfoods such as acai, chlorella & Co. Many of the manufacturers promise that this will help you optimize your personal micronutrient intake. Vitamins and minerals act as co-enzymes for many metabolic processes. For our body to function properly, we need them.
Superfood versus local food: Which is better?
“Some brands produce the green powders without any flavour at all, others add special flavours to their product to make it more palatable,” says our supplement specialist Mic Weigl . The man from Regensburg has a sports food store where he sells more than 50 brands.
How to use the healthy greens in the kitchen?
For one thing, you can simply mix the powder with water and drink the green drink pure. If this is too boring for you (or if you don’t like it in this form) you can also spice up other dishes with the powder.
Greens are easy to use, for example very easy as a drink mixed with water © Magdalena Paluchowska / Shutterstock.com
Because a spoonful of greens can be smuggled into many meals, making them even healthier. For example, you can add a little extra health to your smoothies or smoothie bowls, homemade Nicecream (banana-based vegan ice cream) or even give your omelette a new, green coat of paint. This not only looks great, but also increases the vitamin content of the respective dish.
What advantages do greens have over fresh fruit and vegetables?
In modern, often stressful everyday life, optimal nutrition is a great challenge for many athletes. For example, people who travel a lot on business do not always have the opportunity to prepare their fruit and vegetables fresh. For the green drinks, on the other hand, you only need a little water.
How to make the perfect smoothie
You can also drink the drink faster than you can eat a cooked vegetable meal. “With a single vegetable powder drink per day, your micronutrient requirements are already covered on a large scale,” explains expert Weigl. Sounds pretty practical, doesn’t it?
Fruit or greens? Why not both? © voloshin311 / Shutterstock.com
Doesn’t anyone need to eat fruit and vegetables anymore?
Yes, of course! Just because of the fibre and the natural processes involved in eating solid food (chewing and digesting), you should consume the 5 portions of fruit and vegetables recommended daily. Weigl: “The greens are a kind of insurance to have sufficient micronutrients in your diet at all times.” So consider the vegetable powder drinks rather as an upgrade of your already healthy diet. However, the powders are not a complete substitute.
You are not supposed to eat a complete diet like an astronaut.
When is the best time to eat or drink vegetable powder?
Definitely not before training. This can cause stomach irritation. In addition, various studies suggest that you should not take supplements with increased levels of vitamins and antioxidants either immediately before or after training. The risks: increased production of free radicals, reduced insulin sensitivity and inhibited strength gains.
So always make sure that you treat yourself to the greens either a few hours before or after training.
As a woman, do I really need supplements to build muscle?
Expert tip: “I would consume the greens like a beverage with a meal. If you take them on an empty stomach, the concentrated amount of nutrients can also make digestion difficult.” So you should test how well you tolerate the Greens on a day off.
Smoothie Bowl with greens: we like that! © YipunJJ / Shutterstock.com
How is the “green food supplement” produced?
The manufacturers either boil the water out of the vegetable powder or use the freeze-drying method. The freeze-dried extracts are the ultimate in quality. The reason: micronutrients such as vitamins are sensitive to heat. This valuable content can therefore be lost when they are boiled out. The less heat manufacturers use, the higher the quality of their product. It is therefore worth taking a look at the nutritional value table, which in most cases also lists important vitamins and minerals.
What should I look for when buying greens?
- Price and quality: Depending on the manufacturer, the ingredients and of course the price of the vegetable powders also differ. Whereby also the ingredients used can be decisive for the price. For example, algae (a real superfood, by the way) such as spirulina or cholerella, are much more expensive for the manufacturer to buy than wheatgrass powder. Therefore greens with a high algae content, for example, will generally be more expensive.
- ingredients: Green is not necessarily healthy. Just think about green gummi bears. So be sure to study the ingredient list of green supplements. The Clean Eating principle applies here: the fewer artificial additives, the better! Because your body can easily do without them.
- Vitamins & minerals: Good vegetable powder contains not only vitamins, but a whole range of different micronutrients. The nutritional value table (back) provides information.
- Taste Tastes are different: Either you like the product – or you don’t. If the pure green drink is too intense for you, mix your spoonful of vegetable powder with your smoothie at the beginning – you can also increase the quantity and slowly get your palate used to the greens.
© Chepko Danil Vitalevich / Shutterstock.com
Are there additional features for high quality greens?
None obvious. In production processes that reduce the number of micronutrients, the manufacturers of food supplement powders add synthetic vitamins and minerals. Typically, these are vitamin C, B6 or B12, which must appear separately in the list of ingredients. The problem with this: “Some people react allergically to the artificial additives and get skin impurities, for example,” explains expert Weigl.
By the way: You can find even more tips from Mic on the subject of nutritional supplements & Co. on Youtube at www.micsbodyshop.de .
Green smoothies are so healthy
Our recommendation: These 10 greens are worth their money!
- Greens from BioTech
Exciting taste mix, from which the tomato stands out above all. The greens also convince with a combination of green, white and black tea.
Price 13,26 Euro/100 g
- Superfood Cocktail from Athletic Greens
Delicious vanilla and pineapple aromas dominate here. Top: The powder made of a total of 75 ingredients contains only freeze-dried fruit and vegetables.
Price 30,27 Euro/100 g
- Greens & Juice from FA Nutrition: Lemon
The fresh lemon taste spices up the micronutrient mixture. Also included: the two popular Superfoods Goji and Acai berries – mmh!
Price 4,98 Euro/100 g
- Supergreens from Biotona (about Body Attack) The organic superfood powder contains the detoxifying super-algae chlorella. Flavour tip: best drunk in a smoothie with banana.
Price 13,00 Euro/100 g
- Greens Freak by Pharmafreak (about Gigas)
The sweet apple taste is pleasant and unobtrusive. Hawaiian spirulina powder and 12 other immune boosters round it off.
Price 9,44 Euro/100 g
- Greens from Pro Fuel: Wild Berry
In terms of taste, fruity-berry notes combine with the natural sweetness of Stevia. This is accompanied by a freeze-dried nutrient mixture.
Price 14,54 Euro/100 g
- Greens by Zec+ Nutrition: neutral taste
This is where classics like barley grass meet exotics like Siberian ginseng. For real greens fans this is even an option, for vegetable grouches it’s ideal in a smoothie.
Price 9,97 Euro/100 g
- Superfood Greens from Peak: Watermelon
Greens mix that supports your digestion with enzymes and probiotic bacteria. The watermelon flavour keeps its promise.
Price 7,12 Euro/100 g
- Complete Greens from Bulk Powders: Peach Melba
Contains a varied superfood selection, from kale to oregano. The summery aroma of peach comes just in time.
Price 8,25 Euro/100 g
- Vita Greens & Fruits from Scitec: Pear Lemon Grass
It goes straight to the bulb. Fun aside: fruity pear taste from many organic ingredients. The contained Reishi mushroom additionally stimulates your immune system.
Price 4,98 Euro/100 g
The 4 best recipes with vegetable powder
Recipe for “Green Nicecream” with greens
2 very ripe, frozen bananas, 1 handful of fresh spinach, 1 EL Greens mix, 50 ml coconut water, 1 TL Mix the honey in the blender at medium speed and place in a bowl. Now put the mixture into the freezer and let it freeze at least. Serve with toppings according to your personal taste. Our Insta-Girl’s favourites: fresh raspberries, hazelnut pieces and chia seeds.
Recipe for the green “Shrek Omelette”
Whisk 4 eggs, a little salt and pepper with 2 TL Greens mix in a bowl with the whisk. Then add some coconut oil to the pan and heat it up. Then fry the omelette in it briefly on both sides so that it is no longer raw and still juicy. Then simply roll it up and fix it with a toothpick if necessary. Perfect for a high-protein dinner!
Recipe for “cookie with greens cream”
Lightly heat 200 g oat flakes with 150 ml milk in a saucepan and mix to a paste. Fold 1 crushed banana into the oatmeal dough, form the cookies on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 10 minutes until crispy. For the green cream mix 1 EL Greens mix, 1 avocado and 1 TL Honey in a bowl. Spread the resulting mixture on the cookie.
Recipe for “Green Chia Pudding with Berries”
6 EL Chia seeds, 150 ml almond milk, 1 banana, 1 handful of spinach and 1 EL Greens mix. Of course you can also mix the whole thing with a blender. Now put the mix in the fridge for 1 hour so that the chia seeds thicken. Then divide into 3 portions. Keep 2 handfuls of blueberries ready for the fruit layer. Now layer the green pudding and the berries in a glass. Et voila!
Conclusion: vegetable powders are practical, but not a substitute for real vegetables
The worse the general state of your diet, the more your body benefits from the green supplements. But as the name “food supplement” implies: the greens merely represent a sensible Addition to normal, healthy eating. Fresh fruit and vegetables are therefore still obligatory every day. For those who already eat healthy anyway, the powder is still a useful “back-up” in case of stressful situations and you need an extra vitamin boost.