In recent years, greens supplements have become something of a trend. Lots of people see them as a convenient and reliable way to help them get their daily intake of green vegetables – without having to go through the hassle of actually eating any.
After all, why would anyone bother to eat 5-13 servings of vegetables a day when they can just drink it instead, right?
Unfortunately, this is a popular misconception, and it couldn’t be further from the truth. While greens powders do offer a wide variety of health benefits, they aren’t meant to replace a person’s daily intake of fresh vegetables altogether.
Why You Still Need to Eat Your Vegetables
Whether you hate eating your veggies or can’t get enough of them on your plate, green vegetables are still an essential part of a balanced diet.
According to accredited practising dietitian Jemma O’Hanlon, superfood powders have the potential to lull us into a false sense of security. “They make us think that it’s okay if we don’t eat our vegetables, when in reality, these powders are no substitute,” she says.
No matter how hard we try, a greens powder is only a supplement – which means that it cannot completely replace any part of your diet. However, it is still an incredible way to up your nutrient intake and ensure that you are getting all the goodness you need from the food you eat.
Benefits of Greens Powder vs Vegetables
You may be wondering if there’s any real difference between vegetables and greens powder, considering that both provide some great nutritional benefits and do wonderful things for our bodies.
The answer is yes – while both provide nutrients and health benefits, both vegetables and greens powders have their own pros and cons.
Here’s how they compare:
- Easier to digest
A greens powder is usually easier for your body to digest because its ingredients have been processed down into a powder form. Some greens powders like Nested Naturals Super Greens also include probiotics and digestive enzymes, which further help your body to extract the maximum nutrition from your greens supplement (as well as the rest of the food you eat).
- Provides a wide variety of nutrients in a single serving
Everyone requires a wide array of vitamins and minerals from a variety of different vegetables to be healthy. However, it’s not easy to get all of these necessary nutrients just from our diet alone.
The types of veggies you eat are usually limited depending on different factors like cost, season, and what’s available in your area. This means that the nutrients you get from your diet are probably limited as well.
As greens powders usually contain a wide variety of different vegetables, this can help supplement your diet and provide you with the full range of vitamins and minerals that you need in just one nutrient-dense scoop.
- Great source of fiber
Vegetables are an amazing source of natural fiber, which is essential for regular bowel movement and maintaining colon health. It also helps remove toxins from the body, which may reduce the risk of cancer and diabetes.
While it’s possible to get fiber from greens powders as well, the amount is significantly less than the abundance of fiber that you can get from eating fresh veggies.
- Helps provide all-natural nutrients
Greens powders contain the processed forms of fresh vegetables. If not done properly, the nutrient value can be lowered considerably during the processing of the powder – meaning that you may not be receiving as much goodness from your greens supplement as you thought.
That’s why it’s always best to eat fresh vegetables whenever possible, to ensure that you’re getting the best all-natural nutrients directly from the source.
How to Use Both for Optimum Nutrition
It’s really not a competition – vegetables and greens supplements are both on the same team, working together towards the goal of ensuring that your body gets all the nutrients it needs to be healthy and productive.
While vegetables provide you with a natural source of nutrients, a greens powder should be used as a beneficial addition to supplement your diet, filling in any nutrient gaps that may exist.
Nutritionist Fiona Tuck says that it’s all about moderation and balance. “Eating too much of any one thing, even green powders, is not advisable. Rotate and vary your diet, so include different fresh fruits and veggies daily with every meal. The more variety in your diet the more likely that you will obtain the necessary nutrients that we need to keep fit and healthy.”
There’s no reason why you can’t have the best of both worlds, to allow you to reap the maximum benefits for your health and body.