By: Matt Weik, BS, CSCS, CPT, CSN
Do you love vegetables? No? It’s fine, most people don’t. According to the CDC, only 9% of American adults consume the recommended amount of vegetables in their diet. If you’re like most Americans, you have no issues polishing off meat and potatoes or other forms of protein and carbohydrates, but those green leafy things are avoided like the plague. If we’re in agreeance and you’re nodding your head like I suspect you are, you’re not alone. But there’s good news! You can actually take in healthy vegetables through a nutritious and delicious greens drink.
Now, before you shake your head no and forget about this article altogether, hear me out, as it might just convince you that this is what you need in your life.
For those of you who are already consuming greens in your diet, I applaud you. However, you may still not be consuming enough in volume to achieve your daily requirements in many of the nutrients found in vegetables. The solution, again, is a greens drink.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not meant to treat or diagnose any condition. It is recommended that you speak to your doctor before making any changes to your nutrition plan.
What is a Greens Drink?
Over the past few years, there has been a craze where people have been reaching for a greens drink to help them take in all of the quality micronutrients they may not be getting due to their minimal (or lack thereof) vegetable consumption. Maybe they simply can’t get over the texture, or perhaps it’s the taste of greens that turns their stomach in ways they wished it wouldn’t.
Regardless of why people don’t consume enough vegetables, a greens drink is an incredibly nutrient-dense supplement that can help you drink your greens and get all of the benefits without ever needing to stab a leaf of lettuce, spinach, kale, or broccoli with your fork.
A greens drink generally consists of healthy:
- Green Vegetables
- Fruit (sometimes)
Common ingredients used in a greens drink blend include:
- Wheat Grass
- Barley Grass
What Should a Healthy Greens Drink Consist Of?
To get the most out of your greens drink, they should possess a few key features. One thing to remember is that not all greens drinks are equal. The ingredients can be different, they can use different amounts of each vegetable, and they may be organic or not — so here’s what you should look for.
Organic Greens Mix of 2.5g (minimum)
The norm for a greens drink should supply you with 2.5g of highly concentrated organic greens. While different products may be either higher or lower, they average out to around 2.5g per serving. While you can get away with a product that contains a lower overall dosage per serving, you’ll need to double the servings to take in enough to truly achieve any real benefit from a lower-dose greens drink.
It Should Taste Good
Here’s where you have a wide range of greens drink experiences. Like with varying profiles, different products utilize different flavor systems and sweeteners to help improve the taste of their greens drink.
While not to mislead you, it is fair to say that not all greens drinks will be like sipping a delicious and freshly made smoothie. Some may require a desired taste. However, a good quality greens drink will have a pleasant taste and allow you to consume your recommended daily amount of greens without causing you to force it down.
Some may have such a fantastic flavor that consuming your greens drink may be the highlight of your day and something you look forward to. For instance, MuscleSport Fruits & Greens is one of the top-selling products in its category and not only contains prebiotics and probiotics but also comes in gourmet flavors you’ll enjoy.
The specific formula in MuscleSport Fruits & Greens utilizes a greens and vegetable blend, a trademarked Spectra™ antioxidant blend, and a prebiotic/probiotic/enzyme blend that contains powerful and patented ingredients like ProbiferrinO® to support health and total body wellness.
Inclusion of Other Helpful and Healthy Ingredients
Taking things a step further, many greens drinks also contain extra ingredients such as digestive enzymes to help more easily break down and absorb the nutrients, probiotics for gut health, antioxidants to fight free radicals, and even a detox blend to help remove toxins from the body.
If you can find a greens drink that includes these added ingredients, it would be recommended that you choose such a product over a straight greens-only product.
Should Be a Natural Product
You’re drinking a greens drink for health reasons, right? So, it would only make sense to use a product that is natural and does not contain any artificial sweeteners, flavors, or colors/dyes. There are plenty of options out there, but choose one that is all-natural.
8 Reasons You Should Add a Greens Drink to Your Daily Rituals
Last but certainly not least are the reasons why you should consider using a greens drink as part of your daily ritual. Utilizing a greens drink can have many benefits and serve many purposes, such as the following.
Helps prevent nutrient deficiencies
Even those who consume a wide variety of fruits and vegetables may not be consuming enough in a high enough volume to take in the recommended daily requirements for key micronutrients.
Nutrient deficiencies can cause health issues, decrease mental and physical performance, and not allow the body to function optimally. Any nutritional gaps you may have due to a lack of vegetable consumption in your diet can be fulfilled by utilizing a greens drink.
Supports healthy weight management
If losing weight and body fat is what you’re after, a greens drink may be precisely what you’ve been looking for. Consuming more greens can help support the breakdown of fat cells and help you feel fuller for longer to prevent overeating at meals. Greens can be easily broken down and used as an energy source to fuel your day and support your healthy and active lifestyle.
The use of a quality greens drinks can also help maintain regularity due to its fiber content which can reduce bloating to help provide you with the appearance of a tight and lean midsection.
Helps prevent chronic diseases
A greens drink can help supply the body with antioxidants, carotenoids, vitamins, and minerals necessary to help fight pathogens and foreign bodies that can do the body harm. One of the leading causes of illness stems from inflammation in the body. The gut plays a crucial role in helping to maintain health and immunity, and a greens drink contains prebiotics and fiber, which can help improve the gut microbiome. Healthy greens also possess alkalizing properties that help maintain the body’s pH balance.
Improves skin and hair health
A greens drink can improve skin and hair health by providing essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants such as vitamin A, vitamin C, zinc, iron, polyphenols, and flavonoids. These nutrients promote collagen production, skin cell renewal, hair growth, and protection from free radical damage.
Due to the fiber content found in greens, they have a natural satiating property that can help reduce hunger. If you find you’re hungry in the middle of the afternoon, consuming a greens drink can not only help crush your cravings, but they can also help you feel full for longer, so you aren’t tempted to hit up the vending machine or go in search of something in the cupboard that doesn’t align with your health and fitness goals.
Contains plant-based protein
While a greens drink may not contain a lot of protein, it does provide you with some additional plant-based protein to help you achieve your daily protein requirements. If you are vegan or merely looking for an alternative to animal-based protein, healthy greens can help support your dietary needs. Protein helps support lean muscle tissue, aids in minimizing hunger, and should be something you focus on to support your active lifestyle.
Supports a healthy immune system
Between the beneficial nutrients in a greens drink and the improvement in gut health, a greens drink can help boost the immune system and its functioning. Green leafy vegetables are loaded with helpful phytonutrients that contain beneficial antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to support health and immunity.
Prevents oxidative stress
Greens contain natural antioxidants that can help fight free radicals and prevent oxidative stress. Whether you realize it or not, your body is constantly doing battle with free radicals that cause oxidative stress in your body. Just because you can’t necessarily see it or feel it doesn’t mean it’s not happening.
Oxidative stress can do harm to healthy cells, where they become damaged, mutated, or even destroyed. A greens drink can provide you with supportive antioxidants that help seek out and destroy free radicals before they can do harm.