Pregnancy is a delicate stage in a woman’s life because of all the changes her body goes through, and the life she’s carrying within her womb.
During the period between conception and right before delivery, there are several things that may cause you stress, but eating shouldn’t be among them.
However, there’s so much talk from family, friends, and sometimes from strangers, telling you what you should or shouldn’t take during pregnancy, which can be confusing.
Some foods are off-limits during pregnancy, yet they’re 100 percent okay when you’re not.
This is so because of the changes in your immune system when you’re pregnant, which make you more vulnerarelble to food-borne diseases.
For example, some foods would just cause a stomach upset, but during pregnancy, they could have more serious complications like dehydration, or even miscarriage in severe cases.
Most gynecologists recommend to women who are trying to conceive that they should take prenatal vitamins, and ensure their bodies store specific nutrients that’ll help them and their unborn thrive.
This is why super greens powders exist to create an easier way of taking in those vitamins and fire on all cylinders, for pregnant women to have a quick and tastier way of getting the whole food nutrition they need, plus their prenatal vitamins.
What Are Super Greens Powders?
Most people, not just pregnant women, don’t eat vegetables in the right quantities as they should.
This is one of the reasons greens powders exist, so you can achieve your daily required vegetable intake.
Greens powders are supplements you can add to your diet that can support your body’s energy levels, immunity, detoxification, and other benefits.
They’re green in color and contain up to 40 different ingredients, though this varies based on the brand.
The taste is somewhat grassy but natural sugar substitutes are included for improved flavor.
Among the ingredients are leafy greens like kale, spinach, parsley, collards, and seaweed, like chlorella, spirulina, dulse, other veggies like broccoli, carrots, beets, tomatoes, and green cabbage.
Other ingredients added to make the powders powerful include grasses, high antioxidant fruits like acai berries, blueberries, and raspberries, natural green tea or grape seed extract, probiotics, herbs, mushrooms, and extra fiber.
Ideally, all these ingredients used to make such supplements are first dried and then ground into a powder that you can mix into a smoothie and take.
Some are juiced, dehydrated and extracts of specific components or of the whole food are drawn from it.
These days, there’s a new trend whereby the ingredients are sprouted or fermented to increase the levels of vitamins and break down compounds that affect mineral absorption.
The powders are vegan-formulated, organic and non-genetically-modified, though this also varies with the different products so be sure to check the label first for these and other details.
Their prices also vary per scoop depending on the actual ingredients used.
Greens powders come with different ingredients so their nutritional value is different depending on the product you choose.
On average, a scoop, usually measured as two tablespoons, contains about 40 calories, 7 grams of carbs, 1 gram of sugar, 0.5 grams of fat, dietary fiber, and protein.
They also contain good percentages of the required daily intake for vitamins A, C and K, calcium, iron, iodine, selenium, potassium, and chromium.
Generally, the powders are low in calories, but this may increase when mixed with liquids other than water.
However, they generally have high levels of polyphenols and other plant compounds with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant functions.
You won’t always get the full list of the minerals and vitamins in the powders, but they’re generally not as complete as the standard mineral or multivitamin supplements.
Sometimes they’re formulated as replacements to your meals, making them high-calorie and more nutritionally complete.
What To Look For When Buying A Greens Powder
- Nutrients: Before looking at anything else, check the nutrition label to see the serving size, nutrients, calories, and sugars per serving. Some of these powders have high sugar amounts, which defeats the purpose of overall healthiness. Know the amount of each ingredient per serving to understand the powder’s potency so you can make a more informed decision.
- Backed by research: Eye-catching buzzwords and claims are common in the health supplements and products market, like “fights illnesses” or “increases energy”. These are appealing, but you need to check whether such claims are backed by solid research as these show the different supplement qualities. A quality greens powder supplement will test their products to prove potency and confirm the formula’s ingredients, plus the product’s efficacy in general.
- Check if it’s raw: Not all green powders that claim their products are raw actually mean it. Raw foods are less processed than dried, powdered ones, as the ingredients should undergo safe and effective milling, processing, and sanitization for consumption purposes, all of which require heat. However, there aren’t any government standards that define the “truly raw” term, so it leaves a gray area for many products to have such labels.
- Additives: Some powders are just for adding the vegetable component into your diet, while others have probiotics and proteins. Find a product that has the additives that your other supplements have so as to streamline your daily intake. Check that it provides standardized herbs in therapeutic levels.
- Taste: You may not know the taste of the product, but it’s worth considering when choosing the powder. You can read user reviews and learn what others think about the taste so you know whether you can take it or not. Most greens powders are formulated to be taken with smoothies or shakes, but they also have an unpleasant or chalky taste.
Best Super Greens Powders For Pregnancy
It’s designed to help with digestion, boosting your energy, and general health.
The powder is 100 percent vegetarian and doesn’t contain most common allergens, like dairy and soy.
Most people who have used it say it may not have the best taste, but it delivers great results.
To use it though, get some water, smoothie, or juice to mask the flavor, and mix one scoop of the powder with your drink.
Each serving provides 1 gram of sugar and 35 calories.
They also offer a full refund if you’re not satisfied with the product.
It contains about 12 superfoods such as wheatgrass, turmeric, matcha green tea, and coconut water.
To use it, you can mix one scoop of the powder with water, juice, or a smoothie, twice a day.
Each serving has one gram of sugar and 25 calories unlike the Nested Naturals that contains 35 calories, plus it doesn’t contain soy or gluten.
Users of the product say it’s a bit pricey, but they like its taste and the pure ingredients included in the product.
Plus, there are reports that it boosts energy, increases metabolism, and gives an improved feeling of wellness in general.
Each scoop contains 20 grams of protein from kale, broccoli, and alfalfa grass, plus 110 calories, and one gram of sugar.
To consume it, you can either blend or shake it into your favorite juice, smoothie, or water, or just bake it into your favorite foods.
The powder is available in six different flavors including vanilla, coconut almond, and chocolate.
Users who have taken the product say it has a good taste plus it’s filling and provides both greens and protein in one drink.
However, some say its packaging has a few issues, but generally give the product a thumbs up.
It’s affordable compared to other leading brands, non-GMO, gluten-free, and vegan, with natural sweeteners included for better taste.
Each scoop of the powder contains 35 calories.
You can add it to your shakes, water, juice, or other beverages, sauces, or soup, and enjoy the goodness and power of the greens and natural ingredients.
Users who have reviewed it say there’s an aftertaste after taking it with water, but with other beverages like smoothies, the powder mixes well and tastes good too.
They also like the blend of veggies and fruits with probiotics.
The product is made from organic greens and comes in different rich flavors such as berry, chocolate, and orange dream, with each scoop delivering the equivalent of one or two servings of veggies and fruits, plus 25 calories.
If you want to take it, you can mix a scoop of the powder with milk, water, smoothie, or juice, or even bake it into your favorite foods.
There’s a capsule form if you’d rather swallow a pill instead of a drink.
The taste may not be everybody’s favorite, but overall, users say it leaves them feeling healthier.
These include wheatgrass, spirulina, alfalfa sprouts, barley, and others, plus enzymes and probiotics for extra help with digestion.
Each scoop packs one gram of sugar and 40 calories, and you can mix it with your favorite beverage – juice or smoothie – or water, and drink it after meals, probably after half an hour or so.
Most users rate the product highly, except they say the taste is best when mixed with juice or smoothie, compared to mixing with water.
They also report experiencing increased strength and stamina, plus enhanced moods after using the powder.
It’s also helpful with detoxification.
It contains more than 40 superfoods with 10 probiotic strains, vegetable-based digestive enzymes, organic greens, and antioxidants so your gut can absorb the nutritious benefits and body functions on clean energy.
There are no added sugars, plus it’s non-GMO and its formulation is vegan.
You can mix a scoop in plain water, juice, or make it into a smoothie, and enjoy your drink without worrying about the aftertaste.
The manufacturer of the product ensured the formulation has a tasty but natural berry flavor and offers dietary fiber, plus the nutrients you need.
It contains 3450mg of organic greens with every serving.
However, some people may find it too sweet, hard to dissolve, and it contains high doses of Vitamin A compared to the recommended daily intake.
It delivers all the nutrients your body needs such as vitamins, protein, amino acids, and minerals in a gluten-free, vegan powder that’s easy to use.
You can mix it in water, juice, or smoothies, and enjoy it as a drink.
The powder is 100 percent greens-focused and free from bulking fibers, fillers, grains, seeds, flax, chia, legumes, binders, sweeteners, or flavors.
It’s also certified organic and is made with the highest manufacturing standards in the U.S.
Its formula includes 45 premium whole-food ingredients, with a careful blend of four probiotics for digestion, plus unique ingredients such as Chinese herbs, and Maitake & Shiitake mushrooms, which are good sources of minerals like zinc, manganese, selenium, and Ergothioneine.
The product is vegan, non-GMO, free of soy/dairy/wheat, and has no refined sugars.
It contains 12 grams of plant-based protein, four greens, and 14 nutrient-dense superfoods for vibrant health and to generate daily energy.
Probiotics and enzymes are also included for better optimal digestion and absorption of nutrients.
It’s 100 percent minimally processed and has no added fillers, sugars, or fortified ingredients.
Should You Take Greens Powders During Pregnancy?
Ideally, you should consult your physician or ob-gyn before taking any supplements as these may react differently with different people.
However, green powders contain plant compounds and nutrients that may support general wellness when used with a healthy lifestyle and diet.
For instance, they contain high levels of vitamins A, C, and K, all of which help support your immunity, plus probiotics that add to this function besides promoting digestive health.
A few small studies have tested green powders and the results vary with the formulation of the supplement and the brand that created it.
Similarly, manufacturers usually have a hand in these studies, so there’s a risk of bias on the reports, so you’re better off being more skeptical over the powders you pick.
Greens powders also have other benefits including:
- May help reduce the risk of chronic illnesses as they contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory plant compounds. They also prevent damage to blood proteins, which protect from chronic diseases.
- May boost your energy, making you feel more energetic and alert because of the ingredients like green tea extract.
- Some may help with detoxification as the powders are rich in antioxidants that may help fight free radicals.
Can Green Powders Substitute For Whole Vegetables?
The best way to achieve nutritional balance is by eating various whole vegetables because, in their whole form, they’re high in water and give you the satisfaction of chewing.
All these prevent overeating and promote fullness, which makes green powders less satisfying.
Further, green powders only provide 1 or 2 grams of fiber per serving, though some do add fiber.
Before buying any of these powders over the counter, check if they verify their products’ purity.
Some of these products also warn pregnant women or lactating women not to use the product owing to the concentrated extracts and herbs that may have bad interactions or pose health risks.
As much as they may make a great snack and healthier way of satisfying your pregnancy cravings, it’s good to be cautious over your intake and ensure you get as much of the whole form of vegetables as you can.
How To Use And Take Super Greens Powder
Greens powders are packed with nutrients that aid with specific processes in your body, especially digestion and boosting energy and metabolism.
However, there are instructions that usually come with every supplement or medication for that matter, and super greens powders are no exception.
For the best results when using greens powders, you need to check the instructions on the package or the canister of the particular powder you buy.
The most common way of using and taking super greens powder is to scoop some and mix it with your favorite beverage like water, milk, juice, or a smoothie, or you can bake it into your favorite food.
In order to preserve the safety of the powder, refrigerate any that you have rehydrated into your water, milk, juice, or smoothie, especially if you’re not going to consume it immediately.
If you prefer not to take it as a drink, you can always bake it into foods like omelets or scrambled eggs.
You can also stir the greens powder into a vegetable dip, add to soups, mix into a homemade salad dressing, or whatever you prefer.
However, you need to know that when the powder is heated, it may eliminate or decrease some nutrients, like probiotics or vitamin C.
If you find that your vegetable intake is lower, especially when you’re not at home or on a trip, you can pack a greens powder canister with you to manage your nutrient levels and intake.
Super greens powders are great for boosting immunity, reducing the risk of chronic illnesses, and aiding with digestion and metabolism.
However, there are very few studies on these products and currently, there aren’t any FDA regulations or standards that govern their use.
Although they may be nutritious, they should never be a substitute for the whole foods and greens you’re used to eating to boost your nutrition during pregnancy.
Some of the ingredients in these supplements include veggies, greens, probiotics, seaweed, and digestive enzymes, but not all of them may be beneficial to you when pregnant.
Some of the products could provide you with most of the essential supplements you need while pregnant, like folate, protein, and vitamin C from the high chlorophyll blend that the greens provide.
Other ingredients like barley and chlorella are also great sources rich in iron and calcium, all of which are needed during pregnancy.
However, that doesn’t mean you should stop eating your fresh greens and other whole but healthy vegetables.
Remember to talk to your ob-gyn or doctor first so he or she can check out the ingredients on the product to ensure that none of them are harmful during pregnancy.
There are so many different ingredients in different products depending on the brand, so it may be difficult to say for sure that there’s one or a few super greens powders that’ll be safe for your situation or someone else’s.
Diana Paul is a certified nutritionist who writes for leading health blogs. She is a master herbalist, yoga teacher, forager, and wild-crafting writer She is focused on helping people transform life blocks to opportunities. Based in NYC, she often holds health seminars and lectures.