It can be difficult in this day and age to maintain a strong, healthy body. One simple solution is to increase your intake of vegetables, but even this can be challenging. One workaround to this problem is to work “greens tablets” into your diet. We’ll go over what exactly greens tablets are and how they can help you keep your lifestyle healthy and sustainable.
What Are Greens Tablets?
Greens tablets are dietary supplements that can be mixed into water and other liquids to help improve diet and give people their daily recommended doses of vegetables and other nutrients. There are many ingredients added to greens tablets in order to ensure a varied, balanced intake of multiple food types.
- Grasses: barley, alfalfa, oat, and wheat
- Seaweed: dulse, chlorella, kelp, spirulina
- Leafy Greens: collards, kale, parsley, spinach
- Other Veggies: carrots, green cabbage, tomatoes, broccoli
- Fruits: raspberries, acai berries, goji, blueberries
- Probiotics: lactobacillus, rhamnosus, acidophilus, Bifidobacterium lactis
- Extracts: green tea, grape seed, ginkgo biloba
- Mushrooms: maitake extract, shiitake extract
- Herbs: echinacea, astragalus, holy basil, milk thistle
- Digestive Enzymes: papain, cellulase, protease, amylase, lipase
- Fiber: rice bran, inulin, apple fiber
- Sugar Substitutes: stevia leaf extract, monk fruit extract
The ingredients in greens tablets are typically dried then ground, though they can also be juiced then dehydrated or simply extracted. Recently, makers have begun to ferment ingredients; this process provides greater levels of vitamins and destroys compounds which inhibit mineral absorption.
The tablets are also typically vegan, as well as non-GMO and organic, though there are exceptions to these generalities which will be shown on the product label. One scoop of these tablets generally costs anywhere from thirty cents to a dollar.
Ingredient Composition is Paramount
Greens tablets vary in nutritional content depending on brand and size. Calories can also be added by mixing them in something other than water. Tablets are also usually not as complete as a multivitamin or mineral supplement, though some are formulated as meal replacements which enhances the nutritional value and adds an adequate number of calories to replace a full meal. Tablets are high in polyphenols and other compounds which possess high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory levels.
One scoop of greens tablets contains, on average:
- Calories: 40
- Fat: 0.5 grams
- Total carbs: 7 grams
- Dietary fiber: 2 grams
- Sugars: 1 gram
- Protein: 2 grams
- Sodium: 2% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
- Vitamin A (as beta-carotene): 80% of the RDI
- Vitamin C: 80% of the RDI
- Vitamin K: 60% of the RDI
- Calcium: 5% of the RDI
- Iron: 20% of the RDI
- Iodine: 100% of the RDI
- Selenium: 70% of the RDI
- Chromium: 60% of the RDI
- Potassium: 5% of the RDI
Not Recommended as Vegetable Replacement
Though the power of greens tablets is being widely touted by the media and some health junkies, there are have been few peer reviewed studies confirming the positive effects of these tablets. However, the nutrients and compounds in the tablets certainly do support general body health and the efficacy of such nutrients increases when paired with a healthy diet and active living. Vitamins A and C, for instance, are plentiful in greens tablets and have been proven to support healthy immune function.
In addition, probiotics aid in immune function and digestive health, though the full range of these enzymes is not known for sure. While only a few small studies have been conducted, and these by product manufacturers, researchers have a generally positive outlook on greens tablets and their effect on providing the body nutrients and aiding in general health functions.
Greens tablets have been shown to help lower the risk of chronic diseases and other maladies. For example, two tablespoons worth of tablets taken by ten healthy people over a four-week period demonstrably lowered the participants’ blood levels of oxidatively damaged proteins by thirty percent. A 90-day study using forty participants showed systolic and diastolic blood pressure lowered by eight percent using daily doses of tabelts. The control group in this study showed no observable improvement in blood pressure levels.
On top of aiding blood levels and adding nutrition, greens tablets can increase energy levels. Although most tablets are low-calorie and therefore don’t directly provide an abundance of energy, they do possess compounds like green tea extract that can heighten alertness and create the perception of boosting energy levels. A three-month study of sixty-three healthy women demonstrated the energy-producing effect of tablets; those taking one tablespoon per day of tablets reported substantial increases in energy levels while those taking placebo reported no such change.
One claim which has been debunked by researches is that of detoxification; some greens tablets claim to make your body more alkaline, meaning they increase pH levels on a scale of zero to fourteen. However, pH levels are regulated by the body and kept inside a healthy range of 7.35 to 7.45 at nearly all times. This being said, pH levels in urine can be increased, helping to flush out toxins such as pesticides and pollutants. More research is required to know if greens tablets can actually increase pH balances in urine, however.
Not to be Overconsumed
While greens tablets may sound like a cure-all and a total replacement for vegetables, this is not the case. Experts recommend a balanced and well-rounded diet to ensure optimal nutritional levels in adults. Too much of any one nutrient is best to be avoided. Vegetables in their natural form also discourage overeating, as they are high in water and must be chewed, helping you to gauge how much is too much. Tablets are also lower in fiber, providing only about two grams per serving unless extra is added, and can interfere with blood thinning medications because of their high vitamin K content. One essential part of using greens tablets is to check for a verification of purity, as one lab analysis found heavy metal contaminants such as lead in four of thirteen products tested for their purity. All in all, greens tablets can make for healthy, unique supplements but shouldn’t be used as a replacement for a varied, balanced diet.
Greens tablets can be used in many ways, from stirring them into drinks like water and juice to adding them to food such as scrambled eggs, roasted vegetables, or soup. However you choose to use them, it’s important to know the ingredients and nutrient count in any product you consume, and to keep your diet and activity at the forefront of your health plan. There’s no substitute for frequent activity and a balanced diet.