Is The Demand for Green Superfood Powders Validating Its Popularity?
Popularity of Green Superfood Powders
Red and green superfood contain pigments that not only give these foods their appealing colors but also contain phytochemicals found by scientists to have potential health-promoting properties. Recognizing their importance to health, more people are turning to well-formulated reds and greens superfoods powders for a regular intake of green and red food nutrition.
Red Superfood Powders
Deep red fruits and vegetables are rich in phytochemicals called lycopene and anthocyanins. Both are antioxidants which fight free radical activity and support basic health at the cellular level:
Phytochemicals - Lycopene imparts a bright red pigment to foods and is found in foods like tomatoes, grapefruit, and watermelons. After absorption, lycopene resides in the liver, adrenal glands and testes. Researchers have found an inverse correlation between an increased consumption of lycopene and age-related prostate health concerns.1 Anthocyanins and phenolics are phytochemicals found in blue/purple fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, purple cabbage, black currants and purple grapes. These are known to support urinary tract health, memory functions, and healthy aging.2-3
Red Superfoods - Red grapes contain a powerful antioxidant called Resveratrol. Current research suggests that Resveratrol may have healthy aging properties that may promote optimal health. Studies show that Resveratrol displays immense promise for promoting heart health.4 The American Chemical Society's Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (January 2005) reported that anthocyanins found in cherries may help maintain healthy blood sugar already within the normal range. Phytochemicals in red apples are associated with cardiovascular health, weight management, and antioxidant activity.5 Other foods include apple pectins, tomatoes, red raspberries, cranberries, watermelon, pomegranates, plums, prunes, and apricots.
Green Superfoods Powders
Dark green vegetables and fruits are a rich source of minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium. They contain Vitamins K, C, E and other B vitamins along with essential fatty acids.
Benefits of Green Superfood Powder
Green superfoods are a dietary supplement category that sells fairly well in the marketplace. But what exactly are green superfoods, what contribution are they supposed to make to human health, and do they have any real science to back them up?
What are they?
There are a plethora of powdered green superfood drink mixes available. Most of these drink mixes contain dozens of nutraceuticals, including green superfoods. For the purposes of this discussion, green superfoods will be defined as algae (chlorella, spirulina, etc.), grasses (alfalfa, barley grass, wheat grass, etc.), common green vegetables (broccoli, spinach, etc.), and sprouted versions of grass and green vegetables. Powdered green superfood drink mixes may also contain other nutraceuticals such as fruit powders, herbs, micronutrients, enzymes, and pre- and probiotics. While clearly not green superfoods, these other nutraceuticals may or may not provide benefits depending upon the forms and amounts of each present in the product.
What are they supposed to do?
Generally, people use powdered green superfood drink mixes with the expectation that it is going to provide them with one or more of the following benefits:
- Compensate for a lack of vegetables/leafy green vegetables in their diet,
- Support and/or promote some aspect of the body’s detoxification process,
- Add an alkalizing component to their diet to help prevent disease,
Compensate for a lack of vegetables
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has indicated that Americans are getting about 40% less of the recommended servings of vegetables, and specifically 60% less of the recommended servings green vegetables. But is it realistic to expect that supplementing with a green superfood drink mix will truly compensate for a lack of sufficient vegetable intake? The answer is not exactly, but there are still benefits to be had. While it is not a substitute for eating vegetables, the green superfood drink mix may be able to provide some of the antioxidant power of vegetables and provide the other contributions to health. For example, a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that 1 g/day of wheat grass powder significantly:
- Reduced blood malondialdehyde (marker of oxidative stress)
- Increased total antioxidant status
- Increased vitamin C levels
- Increased superoxide dismutase (SOD)
Likewise, research published in other scientific journals demonstrated that 5-10 g/day of broccoli sprouts significantly:
- Reduced blood malondialdehyde
- Promoted healthy HDL cholesterol
- Reduced oxidized LDL cholesterol
- Reduced oxidative stress index
- Increased total antioxidant capacity
Another study from the Journal of Medicinal Food found that 2 g/day of spirulina significantly:
- Promoted healthy blood glucose levels
- Promoted healthy triglyceride levels
- Promoted healthy apolipoprotein B levels
About 3.97 billion pounds of toxic chemicals are disposed of or otherwise released to the environment annually, which supports a statement made by Rachel Carson in her 1962 groundbreaking book Silent Spring: “For the first time in the history of the world every human being is now subjected to contact with dangerous chemicals, from the moment of conception until death.” The good news is that the body was designed to process and excrete many toxins. The bad news is our bodies may not always be equipped to handle the volume of modern environmental pollutants and toxic substances. However, there are quite a number of nutraceuticals that can help support and promote the detoxification process. With regard to green superfoods, unpublished research demonstrated that 3 g/day of a proprietary blend of broccoli, Daikon radish, and red radish spouted seed concentrates significantly:
- Increased paraoxonase 1, a detoxification enzyme,
- Increased quinone reductase, a detoxification enzyme.
Another study found that 100ml/day of wheat grass juice promoted the detoxification bisphenol A (BPA) in young women.
Alkalizing the diet
The concept that eating a diet that produces a more acidic pH systemically (i.e. emphasis on meat and dairy) is conducive to promoting a disease state, while eating a diet that produces a more alkaline or base pH (i.e. emphasis on vegetables and fruit) is more likely to help prevent disease, is fairly well-known. This has led to attempts to “alkalize” the diet with the consumption of specific dietary supplement and even alkaline water. While the value of this supplemental approach to alkalizing the diet had probably been overstated, not to mention lacking in research to support it, there is a least one study I have seen showing a benefit.
A small study was conducted on 3 g/day of pH7.5™, a proprietary blend of vegetables, vegetable sprouts, grain sprouts and a few other nutraceuticals. The results were that all participants responded to treatment with an increase in alkaline pH in the morning after the first dose.
Phytochemicals - Chlorophyll is the pigment that gives green foods its green color. Chlorophyll helps to support the cardiovascular system. Green foods contain phytochemicals called lutein and zeaxanthin. Scientists believe that lutein and zeaxanthin may play an active role in supporting healthy vision as we age. 6 Indole-3-carbinol is known to promote cellular health in both men and women. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale contain sulfur needed for the body's production of glutathione, an antioxidant found in every cell of the body, vital for the maintenance of cellular functions. Glutathione is also known to help promote detoxification functions. Aloe vera is used to aid digestion and acts as a mild laxative. Artichokes may help support healthy liver functions. Barley grass, wheat grass and Nova Scotia Dulce are rich in chlorophyll and contain high amounts of protein with a rich array of vital nutrients. Barley grass has five times the iron content of spinach and a Vitamin C content that is seven times more than orange juice.7 A well-formulated greens powder may contain ingredients such as spirulina, chlorella, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, Nova Scotia Dulse, kale, and many more. These can be combined with other red superfoods, an enzyme blend to promote digestion, and probiotics to enhance digestion.
 It is not clear if wheat grass juice powder will provide the same benefits of fresh wheat grass juice.
Manufacturing Well-Formulated Red and Greens Superfood Powders
Consumer demand for reds and greens powders is increasing. According to SPINS, a market research and consulting firm for the Natural Products Industry based in Schaumburg, IL, aloe vera, wheat grass and barley grass were among the top five most popular single herbal supplements in the health and natural foods channels. Red and greens powders are in growing consumer demand because of the:
- Growing number of health-conscious people
- Growing awareness of the nutraceutical value of red and green foods
- Busy lifestyles that make reds and greens powder a convenient way to get quality red and green nutrition
- Reds and greens powders are appealing because there are derived from natural whole food sources
Enhance your product line with reds and greens powders manufactured by NutraScience Labs. Submit your request to receive a FREE red or greens superfood manufacturing quote from us or call (855) 492-7388 now to speak with one of our knowledgeable Production Specialists
1. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1999 Feb 17;91(4):317-31.
2. J Biomed Biotechnol. 2004 December 1; 2004(5): 306-313.
3. J. Agric. Food Chem., 2010, 58 (7), pp 3996-4000.
4. Mol Interv. 2006 Feb;6(1):36-47.
5. Nutrition Journal 2004, 3:5doi:10.1186/1475-2891-3-5
6. Clin Dermatol. 2009 Mar-Apr;27(2):195-201.
7. North Atlantic Books, 1993 Diet and Nutrition: A Holistic Approach, Rudolph Ballentine. Himalayan Int. Institute 1978.