Many people looking to boost their health are turning to green drink powders. Which in and of itself is not a bad thing. There are some wonderful superfood powders that can be a great addition to a healthy diet. However, many green powders feature some alarming ingredients to watch out for. It’s important to know what’s in your green powders, especially if you’re taking them for the purpose of cleansing and detoxing.
ARE GREEN POWDERS HEALTHY?
Greens powders tout their nutrient-dense benefits, but are they really as healthy as you perceive them to be?
It’s important to note that taking green powders should not be a direct substitute for a healthy diet that’s diverse in rich fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
There is minimal regulation by the FDA over supplements, so it is difficult to know exactly what you are getting and how potent it may be. Be sure to really run through the ingredients before being deceived with front labels like “natural”, “fresh”, “organic”, “non-GMO”, etc. Take the time to read it through as you want to be sure you’re cleansing and mineralizing with high-grade medicinal herbs and foods.
We believe that brands should offer full transparency to their customers. If you’re ingesting products you should know where the brand is sourcing products to make sure they are using ethical farming practices, fair-trade practices, AND visibility into how they process their herbs and products.
This is a topic that’s so important to me as many folks use these powders to cleanse; some people experience no results, and others, in extreme cases, actually feel worse after taking them. I’ve listed some reasons why they may not be working below. Here’s what to watch out for in green powders:
TOP SIX ESSENTIALS
ONLY use organic and non-GMO ingredients that have been carefully processed. The last thing you want is ingesting toxicity when “cleansing.” Conventionally grown ingredients are typically heavily pesticide and herbicide sprayed. In addition to polluting the environment, peptides can cause major acute and chronic health problems. It’s always best to stick with organic products and ingredients to minimize your consumption of these.
AVOID any products that include cheap fillers like wheat, corn, soy, unnecessary starches, or other artificial ingredients. When these brands are looking to sell products they want to make it seem like you're getting more bang for your buck. But what you’re really getting is a big portion of these “filler” ingredients that have little to no health benefits and are used to fill up that container or package to make it look like more product.
Stay away from emulsifiers and thickeners. These are often used along with gums which may create gut health issues. These are detergent-like food additives found in a variety of processed foods – and studies suggest their potential to damage the intestinal barrier, leading to inflammation, and increasing the risk of chronic disease. Gums like carrageenan and guar gum can cause inflammation, digestive problems, such as bloating, irritable bowel disease (IBD), and even colon cancer.
Avoid sneaky sweeteners in your green powders. As a rule of thumb, avoid green powders aimed for liver-gallbladder health with added sugars. And even “nutritive sweeteners” which essentially are ultra-processed sweeteners with zero caloric value. The problem is that nutritive sweeteners exist under dozens of different names so it’s not always easy to identify added sugars in processed foods without reading the label very carefully. The only one I think is okay here is actual stevia leaf or actual monk fruit (not synthetically derived!).
No chemicals of any kind in any of your chosen superfoods. Choose organic, but dig deeper. Another reason why it has to be organic - as this avoids an excess amount of heavy metals, and of course the plethora of chemicals, pesticides, fertilizers, etc. used in non-organic farming that you do not want in a daily liver, gallbladder, gut cleansing powder. But here’s the deal, even in organic farming heavy metals will always be present within lab tests. There’s trace heavy metals even in clean soil. The question here is how much and what exactly. This is why third-party testing is vital, but keep in mind that a small amount of heavy metals is natural within clean soil worldwide.
Stick to wholesome, fresh dried, freeze dried, cold processed, or under processed. Classic manufacturing practices involve air drying and then grinding, juiced and then evaporated into a powder, or freeze-drying. A lot of the cleansing herbs and veggies used in green powders loose their nutritional value when exposed to high heat, which classically happens with many extract powders. In a nutshell, freeze and air (and oftentimes, but not always, spray drying) uses low temperatures and thus preserves the nutrients.
Here at Anima Mundi Herbals we purposefully keep it potent and 100% botanical. All of our products are straight herbal ingredients, and we don't add any “nutritive sweeteners” so it tastes good. We leave that up to you, so you can 'doctor it up' your way.
We don’t like using "natural flavors" or other weird stuff most green powders have to sweeten the product, as we want it to be effective in cleansing. And there’s no need to dilute, the herbs taste so good just as is!
Here's a tasty green soup that's delicious, nourishing and cleansing. A perfect way to welcome the spring-summery vibes that are pouring in.
Spring Cleanse Green Soup
This is a very restorative yet deeply nourishing green soup perfect to help kickstart a cleanse for the Spring.
Made with love by Silvia Bifaro
- 4 medium zucchini, ends discarded and zucchini sliced into rounds
- 1 pound string beans, ends trimmed
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1/2 cup peas
- 1-2 bunches parsley (flat-leaf or curly)
- A sprinkle of fresh thyme and sage
- 1 heaping tsp Liver Vitality or Chanca Piedra
- 3-5 cloves of garlic
- 5 cups water, or choice of broth
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil drizzle*
- Coconut Cream drizzle to top *
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Place all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Skim any foam on the surface, lower the heat, and simmer, covered until the vegetables are tender (about 15 minutes).
- Puree soup in the pot with a handheld blender or in a blender in batches.
- Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and coconut cream powder. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Say a prayer and enjoy!