Hitting your daily recommend intake of fruit and veggies can be a very challenging task. But what if you could drink all of your power packed greens and antioxidant filled reds with one small scoop and 8 oz of water? Greens and reds powder supplements do just that. They’re rich in vital phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals from superfood ingredients like, Chlorella, Spirulina, Wheat Grass, Pomegranate, and Blueberries so that you can get the ingredients you need to power your active lifestyle, without missing a “beet”. But not all greens and reds powders are created equal. We’re going to talk about the health benefits of greens and reds so you know what to look for when you need those fruits and veggies.
What Are Greens Powders?
Greens powders come from super potent and nutrient-rich dehydrated, vegetables and super greens. Greens powders deliver similar added benefits of downing a few cups of veggies. They are perfect for those who aren’t getting enough veggies in their diet, and provide a convenient way to get some nutrients when you may be short on time. Most greens powders contain a green blend, which contains grass varieties, such as wheatgrass, barley grass, and blue algae like chlorella and spirulina. They also contain reds or antioxidant blends consisting of pomegranate, beetroot, raspberries, or blueberries. Some greens blends will also add in pre and/or probiotics for digestive health. Most greens powders contain similar types of nutrients, such as b vitamins, zinc, copper, and magnesium. The one thing they lack in comparison to raw veggies, however, is their fiber content. Since most greens do contain an abundance of b-vitamins, they can be great in the morning, or before your workout for an added burst of energy or quick natural pick me up.
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What Are Reds Powders?
Red’s provide a different micronutrient profile than greens. Pure reds powders contain super potent “red” ingredients which come from herbs, spices or dehydrated fruit and plant compounds. Most red’s powders contain a blend of ingredients like beets, pomegranate, raspberries, acai, or blueberries, which are often hard to incorporate into your daily diet. Greens powders often contain ingredients you’d find in your fridge, such as kale, broccoli, asparagus, parsley and spinach. However, the best greens powders, contain super food ingredients that are highly potent in vitamins such as spirulina, chlorella, and wheat grass. These ingredients are loaded with protein, and micronutrients such as b-vitamins, vitamin a, vitamin k, iron, calcium chlorophyll, omega-3 essential fatty acids, and other essential vitamins and minerals.
Greens And Reds Powder Benefits
1. Greens And Reds Are Rich In Antioxidants
Red’s powders contain ingredients like turmeric, beets, pomegranate, and bilberries which are rich in antioxidants called polyphenols. Antioxidants can help reduce free radical damage and oxidative stress which have been linked to chronic disease such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Without antioxidants free radicals could cause serious detriment and harm [R].
Pomegranates contain punicalagins, which account for more than 50% of pomegranates antioxidant effects and have also been found to have three times the antioxidant activity of red wine and green tea [R], Pomegranates, blueberries, bilberries and turmeric also contain anthocyanins, antioxidants that belong to a flavonoid family, which have powerful anti-inflammatory effects [R, R]. Make sure your greens and reds contain pomegranate, as a key ingredient.
Chlorella is classified as a microalgae, and is rich in bioactive compounds, carotenes, astaxanthin, lutein and fucoxanthin. It also contains several antioxidant compounds including chlorophyll, beta carotene, lycopene, and lutein.
A study published in the journal Nutrition investigated whether 6 weeks of chlorella supplementation is protective of oxidative damage to smokers. The study found that chlorella increased vitamin C levels 44%, and significantly decreased lymphocyte DNA damage [R].
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2. Greens And Reds Contain Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Red’s contain phytonutrients with anti-inflammatory properties. Research has shown that curcumin the active ingredient in turmeric, is a highly active molecule that modulates the inflammatory response by inhibiting the production of inflammatory cytokines. This is especially beneficial to athletes that participate in high impact or high-intensity functional training which can help reduce post workout inflammation and improve joint mobility.
Commonly found in greens and reds powders as a main ingredient, wheatgrass is rich in chlorophyll, which contains anti-inflammatory properties. A small randomized double-blind controlled study with a sample size of 23 patients, found that wheatgrass reduced the severity of symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) specifically ulcerative colitis [R].
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It is well understood that pro-inflammatory states or chronic inflammation can lead to disease and illness, such as cancer, heart disease, and gastrointestinal conditions such as ulcerative colitis [R]. By including greens and reds ingredients such as turmeric, wheat grass, pomegranate, and beets you can help reduce chronic inflammation.
3. Greens And Reds Improve Blood Flow
Nitrate-rich ingredients such as pomegranate and beetroot, help reduce oxygen wasting and increase blood flow to hep transport and shuttle vital nutrients to your muscle tissue. Improved blood flow and increased vasodilation from nitrates has been proven to improve performance and recovery while reducing exercise soreness [R].
In a study conducted at the University of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill, 19 participants were randomized to investigate the effects of pomegranate on blood flow and exercise performance. Three treadmill tests were conducted after baseline was established at 90,100, and 110% of peak velocity. After a 7-10-day washout, participants repeated the same procedures, but ingesting the placebo as opposed to pomegranate juice. The study found that participants that the pomegranate group significantly increased blood flow and delayed muscle fatigue [R].
Delayed muscle fatigue increases time to exhaustion, which can benefit any and every training modality, improving performance, workout load, and workout volume.
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4. Greens And Reds Improve Energy Levels
Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of greens and reds powders, is that they initiate more natural energy. Greens and reds powders are stacked with B-vitamins, vitamin a, c, and k and minerals which help generate energy levels, decrease fatigue and help regulate blood sugar. With key vitamins added to the mix, you can ensure improved and consistent energy levels.
Chlorella has over 200% of the daily recommended value of Vitamin A and Iron, and over 100% of the daily recommended value of Zinc in just one, one-ounce serving. Spirulina is also one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet providing protein, b-vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids potassium, niacin, calcium, and iron.
Chia seeds are a must-have ingredient in your greens and reds powder. A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning found that ingesting chia seeds was equivalent to the energy boost obtained by drinking Gatorade [R]. Chia seeds also have the highest protein content of any plant-source.
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Spirulina, another amazing greens and reds ingredient, contains polysaccharides (Rhamnose and Glycogen) and the essential fat (GLA), which work to naturally promoting energy. Spirulina also increases healthy gut bacteria lactobacillus in the intestine, enabling the production of Vitamin B6, which also helps in energy production.
In a randomized, double-blind controlled study, conducted by the Ohio State University Department of Human Nutrition, a group of men were administered 3g of Spirulina per day before performing 30 minutes of aerobic exercise on a cross trainer machine. The study showed a statistically significant improvement in physical and mental fatigue within the first four hours after ingestion, thus giving some significant clinical evidence that Spirulina can benefit individuals with chronic fatigue symptoms. [R]
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How To Choose The Best Greens And Reds Supplement
Make Sure Your Greens And Reds Powder Is Proprietary Blend Free
Before you buy your greens and reds powder, make sure you look at the ingredients and ensure that it does not contain a blend or complex.
it’s important to find a greens and reds powder that is transparent and tells you how much of each ingredient is in your product. Most greens powders use proprietary blends and complexes which do not disclose how much of each ingredient they use. Without knowing the amount your ingesting, you won’t know how much of each essential nutrient you’re really getting in your greens and reds. Seems shady doesn’t it? That’s because it is. At Swolverine all of our products are proprietary blend free. We tell you the exact amount of each ingredient and give you complete product transparency.
Manufacturers do this so that they can save money and cut corners, by only sprinkling the ingredients you truly need.
Pay attention to the supplement label and make sure the amounts for each type of greens are listed. Most greens powders will place each category, of ingredient, greens, reds, or probiotics into their own complex and do not disclose how much of each ingredient it has.
Here’s an example of a greens and reds not to buy. As you can see, each ingredient is in a complex or blend and does not disclose how much of each ingredient it has. It also contains corn maltodextrin in the “other ingredients” aka refined sugar. Just because it has a ton of ingredients, it doesn’t matter, if there’s not a high enough dose of each one.
Compare this label to the one on the right, which discloses the exact amounts of each ingredient, a bigger serving size with higher doses, and no added refined sugar.
Make Sure Your Greens And Reds Powder Has Higher Doses
To obtain any of the proposed health benefits of your greens and reds powders, you need a certain amount of each ingredient. Most greens and reds powders under-dose key ingredients, due to manufacturing cost, and do not disclose how much of each ingredient is in the product, putting them under names such as blends and complexes.
What’s The Proper Dose Of Greens And Reds Powders?
Clinical studies evaluating the efficacy and effects of greens and reds powders on health, typically use an average dose between 500mg and 3g per day.
Greens And Reds Powders: Takeaway
Greens and reds powders enable you to get more of the vital fruits and veggies, your body needs for optimal wellness, in a fast and convenient way. Greens and reds are loaded with antioxidants, b-vitamins, and inflammation fighting phytonutrients, that provide some profound health benefits as well as a quick pick me up. Just make sure when you’re about to “add to cart” that you’ve done the research behind the product you’re going to buy. If it uses any type of blends and does not tell you how much of each ingredient is has, it’s a definite no go. Less ingredients, with higher doses, is always better than micro-doses with more ingredients. You need a certain amount of each green or reds to have any beneficial effect or impact on your health.