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In an ideal world, we’d all be getting plenty of fruits and veggies via our squeaky clean diet (washed down with at least eight glasses of water a day, of course). Easier said than done, to say the least. Here’s where greens powders come up big. While the majority of your daily nutrients should come from whole, plant food sources, greens powder can help fill in the gaps, according to celebrity nutritionist Kimberly Snyder, who is also a member of the Byrdie Beauty & Wellness Review Board.
“In the busy world we live in, a greens powder is the perfect option to stay healthy and on track when life gets crazy,” she adds. They can also be a great gateway experience if you really don’t like veggies: “These powders can bridge the gap between eating a ‘beige’ diet to increase vegetable intake, proving to people that fruits, veggies, and herbs can taste good,” points out registered dietician Monica Auslander Moreno.
Aside from them being a super-concentrated source of nutrients, the convenience factor is also huge. “A greens powder is an easy way to stay healthy while you’re traveling, on-the-go, or can’t easily access fresh produce,” Snyder points out. And if you’re already nailing the healthy diet game? You can still go ahead and incorporate a greens powder; many offer additional superfood benefits and are a good way to supplement micronutrients in an already healthy diet, she adds.
It is important to choose the right one, however. Moreno advises looking for formulas that contain ingredients you normally wouldn’t eat, such as spirulina for example so that the powder adds value to your intake. Ideally, 100% organic, non-GMO options are also best, as are those free sugars, colors, or chemicals, adds Snyder. And watch out for artificial sweeteners too, as they have the potential to mess with your metabolism and the delicate balance of bacteria in your gut, cautions Moreno.
Ready to go green? Pick up any of the best greens powders below.
This brand was co-founded by Elle MacPherson; if you’ve seen her lately, you’ll definitely agree with us when we say we’ll have what she’s having. Apparently, it’s a daily dose of this greens powder. It boasts over 40 natural foods, herbs, minerals, and probiotics for a one-stop-shop health boost to help improve the look of your skin, hair, and nails. Also nice: The two flavor options, a lemon ginger variant and a pineapple lime option, perfect for those who don’t love the taste of anything super “green.”
The 34 different greens, sprouts, and veggies in here are all raw to preserve maximum nutritious benefits. In fact, they’re actually first juiced and then immediately dried into a powder (at cold temperature) to keep the benefits super concentrated. It’s certified organic, non-GMO, and free of any artificial sweeteners.
If you want to up your daily smoothie game, add in some of this powder, one of Snyder’s picks. It’s got 14 different superfoods, plus a good serving (20 grams) of protein to help keep you full, too. It’s soy-, dairy-, and gluten-free, and also has a totally neutral flavor that works well with any type of flavor profile you’re working with in your smoothie.
Collagen is a protein essential for maintaining strong and healthy muscle and connective tissue, as well as skin, hair, and nails, which is why there are so many ingestible collagen powders out there these days. The Vital Proteins collagen is a Byrdie favorite, and this variety combines all of those collagen-based benefits with a healthy dose of greens. It also has hyaluronic acid to help keep skin hydrated, plus probiotics, too. With a vanilla coconut flavor, it’s delish mixed with your milk of choice for an ultra-healthy take on a latte.
If you’re looking to up your protein intake, this is a good option. Along with a veggie blend—spinach, kale, and broccoli—it also packs 21 grams of protein per serving. And that protein is all plant-based (from pea, brown rice, and chia seeds), making this a good option for vegans, too. It comes in either chocolate or vanilla, though FYI, it does contain stevia.
It’s a well-known fact that probiotics are a cornerstone for promoting not only a healthy gut but overall health, too. That’s why we appreciate that there are 18 billion probiotics in this powder, an easy way to get your dose of both those (no extra pill or supplement needed) and your greens. There are also 38 different superfoods, and one serving of the powder is equal to five servings of fruits and veggies.
This USDA-organic, vegan, and non-GMO powder earns points for touting not only tons of greens (think spirulina, wheatgrass, and more) but also adaptogens. Namely ashwagandha, maca, astragalus, and reishi mushroom powder to help your body better adapt to and deal with both physical and mental stress. Hence why it may be worth having a glass of this in lieu of (okay, or in addition to) your morning coffee.
Greens powders come up HUGE for traveling (which, let’s be real, is probably when you need your greens the most). “Bring a greens powder on a trip and you can easily get the benefits of a green smoothie, without lugging along a blender and a bunch of produce to your hotel room,” says Snyder.
While all powders are convenient, we find that these tablets are the most portable and packable of the bunch. All you have to do is dissolve one in some water and drink up. They have spinach, wheatgrass, blue-green algae, and chlorella (just to name a few of the ingredients) and only 10 calories per serving.
Reach for this powder whenever your tummy needs a little reset. You get plenty of good-for-you greens such as spirulina and alfalfa, a fruit and veggie blend, and a dose of probiotics. But what really sets this apart is the addition of a digestive enzyme combo to help fight bloating and boost digestion. It’s also free of any artificial sweeteners, which can cause stomach issues for many.
More isn’t always more when it comes to greens powders. “Go for one that has fewer ingredients, but can offer higher, benefit-driven amounts of those ingredients. Just like with smoothies and meals, your body can metabolize and digest fewer things more effectively than dozens of items at once,” explains Snyder. This particular powder has just six ingredients—all green superfoods—and that’s it, truly the definition of keeping it clean and simple.
Remember how your mom used to say you couldn’t have dessert unless you ate your veggies? Well, now you can have both at once. Take that, mom. Seven greens are blended with organic cacao for a chocolate flavor that will please even those who hate anything and everything vegetable-related.
For the best mixability, dissolve with a little bit of water first, then add to your favorite milk.
Not only is this a good value financially speaking, but it’s also a good value based on the powerful amount of nutrients you’re getting. The ORAC scale measures the antioxidant capacity of foods, and this comes in at a (very impressive) 40,000 per serving, equivalent to getting 24 servings of fruits and veggies. Also worth noting: It’s keto- and paleo-friendly, too.
For those who prefer their powders to be more of a meal replacement option, this one is choice. One scoop has a dozen organic fruits and veggies, but this also boasts 25 grams of protein, and eight grams of fiber to keep you super satiated. It has prebiotics and probiotics too, and you can easily mix it with less water if you like more of a shake-like consistency.
If you want a super simple powder (AKA just one ingredient) that’s going to pack a ton of benefits, Synder recommends this option. Loaded with a litany of antioxidants, it’s an easy way to supercharge your diet. Not to mention that you don’t necessarily have to drink it; you can easily mix it into any baked goods recipe, or sprinkle it on top of salads or popcorn.
Why Trust Byrdie?
Byrdie contributor Melanie Rud has over a decade of experience in the beauty industry, writing for some of the biggest magazines and websites out there. While she’s a very healthy eater (she’s been eating kale since 1995), she loves greens powders and always has them on-hand whenever she travels.
Meet the Expert
Meet the Expert
Monica Auslander Moreno, MS, RD, LD/N, is the founder of Essence Nutrition in Miami. She is also the dietitian for the Miami Marlins.