Get the rundown on 3 Popular Greens Superfood Powders - do they rank a place in your smoothie?
When one chooses to enter the adventurous world of green smoothies, selecting ingredients can often be a daunting task. Aside from the pressures on whether to kale or not to kale, marketing companies have now added a target on your back for their ‘ever so nutritious’ green powders. So before you start flaunting your health in a mason jar, we’ve summarised the top three commonly used powders to let you decide if they have a place in your smoothie.
One of the most abundant sources of plant based protein, spirulina powder consists of drying a particular type of algae present in lakes. Some studies have found it to have anticancer, anti-bacterial and antiviral effects on the human body, but as the majority of these studies have been conducted by the companies themselves it is quite difficult to determine the authenticity of this information.
However, the proteins in spirulina are of a highly digestible type (83 to 90 percent digestible), due to the fact that it does not have cellulose walls, like yeast and chlorella do.
Spirulina also has about the same calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium content as milk, a vitamin E (tocopherol) level comparable to wheat germ, and four times as much vitamin B12 as raw liver!
In an abundance of information on the web you will find that chlorella can prevent cancer, assist with the management of Crohn's disease and reverse the ‘anti-ageing’ cycle. The American Cancer Society found that the current available scientific evidence does not support any of these claims made but may boost nutrient levels in those who are already deficient in many vitamins and minerals.
Chlorella is a source of more than 20 vitamins and minerals but of most interest it's vitamin B12 content, making it one of the only vegan food sources of this vitamin, as well as iron.
Wheat Grass and Barley Grass
Available in many different forms, both wheat grass and barley grass have been promoted to prevent disease, assist in the symptoms of cancer treatment and improve general wellbeing. Again scientific evidence is yet to prove this. These grasses are a great source of potassium and plant based protein so may be beneficial in a diet that lacks these nutrients.
These powders certainly do offer an abundance of vitamins and minerals to the diet so if you wish to add them to your smoothies, then go right ahead. But fortunately, we live in a country where the majority of us already reach sufficient nutrient levels from a healthy diet - superfood greens free. For those that have a medically diagnosed deficiency, such as iron or B12, discuss with your doctor whether a superfood powder may work well for you.