You know you’re supposed to get eight to 12 servings of greens and veggies a day, but if you’re like most people, any day you can get in three to four servings is a “win.”
Between work, kids, school, and a social life, finding the time to prepare all those green veggies can be a major hassle. In fact, it can be tempting to wait to finally get serious about your health until that magical “someday” when your schedule finally allows it.
Unfortunately, that someday might not be a guarantee if you continue to put off good nutrition.
Why You Need More Greens
The fact that we’re filled with more than 200 deadly toxins before we even leave the womb is pretty good incentive to get in as many greens as possible, starting now.
That’s right – our tiny bodies are exposed to a whole host of dangerous chemicals before we’re even born, ranging from fire retardants to pesticides and petrochemicals (1).
What difference can greens make?
Because they are high in antioxidants, as well as blue-green algae like chlorella, they help remove these toxins, which build up in our bodies over the course of our entire life. Greens can help you avoid the deadly side effects these toxins can cause, which include brain damage, nervous system damage, developmental problems, organ damage, and even cancer (2).
They can also help your body return to a more alkaline state, which is important for overall health, and curb inflammation, which is at the root most diseases.
Not to mention, consuming more greens is essential when it comes to making sure you’re avoiding nutrient deficiencies, which could be the underlying reason why you often feel tired and mentally sluggish.
In fact, I’m sure you’ve seen how energized and vibrant many people are who have time to make and drink green juices and smoothies every day.
So how can you make sure you get your greens, especially if you don’t have time to prepare them – but also can’t afford to be toxic and/or tired?
Greens in Less Than 60 Seconds
Great news: you can get double the amount of your recommended daily greens in one scoopable powder, mixed with water or a smoothie.
These powders are called greens powders, and you’ve probably seen them in your local grocery. They come in multiple variations, some containing fruits and herbs and others containing enzymes and proteins.
While at first glance they may all seem great, it’s important that take the time to really dig into the ingredient list before grabbing one. Some are far superior to others, and some are pricier than they’re worth.
To help you choose which powder is best for you, I’ve put together a list of the top greens supplements, along with a list of the criteria you should keep in mind when you shop for them.
What to Look for in a Greens Supplement
While everyone’s needs are different when it comes to which type of greens powder is best, there are several things you should look for in every greens supplement. Keeping this list in mind as you decide will help you weed out low-quality powders and get you the best greens for your buck.
The way each company processes its greens powder has tremendous impact on nutrient levels, enzyme levels, and even taste.
For instance, many companies create their greens powders by drying the whole form of greens, then grinding them into a powder. Doing this creates a heavier powder that keeps nutrients locked in the fibers of the plant, while also creating a chalkier taste. Not to mention, many companies dry their greens with higher heat, which can damage and lower the amount of beneficial enzymes in the powder.
To avoid these types of powders, be sure to look for companies that extract the juice of their greens through cold-pressing (this preserves the enzymes and nutrients), then move on to low-temperature drying (further preserving delicate enzymes). An easy way to do this is to look for “raw” on the label – though that’s not necessarily a given.
Organic and GMO-Free Ingredients
Another thing to check for in your greens supplement is whether the produce used is organic. Since greens powder is a concentrated form of vegetables, the last thing you want to ingest is all the pesticides, chemicals, and synthetic ingredients in those greens, as these will become concentrated as well.
You also want to be on the lookout for GMOs (genetically modified organisms) in greens powders. These organisms do not occur naturally in nature and their safety is questionable at best.
Luckily, you can avoid these by choosing an organic powder, and also for looking for “non-GMO” or “GMO-free” on the brand label.
Many greens powders contain the nutrient-rich algae chlorella. It’s abundant in chlorophyll, antioxidants, amino acids, magnesium, and iron, and also binds to toxic minerals to help remove them from your body, making it a powerful detoxifier.
However, all of these benefits of chlorella are locked inside what scientists call a cell “wall.” This wall keeps all of the nutrients found in chlorella in a nice little package, but also makes it hard for your body to get to and absorb those nutrients. In other words, the nutrients are there, but they aren’t bioavailable to your body.
It’s for this reason you want to look for “cracked cell wall” or “broken cell wall” chlorella on the ingredient list of brands that use it in their blend. Cracking the chlorella wall ensures your body can absorb those powerful nutrients.
Is It Gluten-Free?
Gluten, the protein found in wheat, barley, and other grains, is a problem for many people, even those without celiac disease.
While I could go on and on listing the reasons you should avoid gluten, I’ll keep it short and (not so) sweet: gluten consumption has been linked to leaky gut, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, dermatitis, and depression, as well as several autoimmune diseases (3).
Greens Used and ORAC Score
To get the most nutrition possible out of your greens supplement, you want to make sure the brand you’re looking at is using the most nutrient-dense and highest-antioxidant greens and fruits in their blend.
A quick look at the ORAC score, short for oxygen radical absorbance capacity, for the produce used in a blend can quickly show you how much antioxidant benefit you’ll get from them. You definitely want a high score, since the higher the score the more antioxidant, anti-aging, and anti-inflammatory properties the blend contains.
Some greens powders contain additional ingredients like probiotics, digestive enzymes, energizing herbs, and adaptogen herbs in their blends. You can choose one of these based on your personal preference at the time.
For instance, if you experience a lot of daily stress, job or otherwise, you might consider a greens powder that contains adaptogens, since these help your body adapt to stress. On the other hand, if you often experience digestive trouble, a probiotic or enzyme blend might be for you.
Sweeteners and Synthetic Ingredients
Watch out for artificial sweeteners in greens powders, as some companies will use these to mask the grassy taste of low-quality powders.
At the very least, the only sweetener you should consume is stevia, since it comes from a leaf in its natural form. However, keep in mind that some people don’t like the aftertaste of stevia. In this case, it’s best to look for powders sweetened naturally with fruit powders or vanilla.
Serving Sizes and Amount Per Serving
It’s tempting to look at a 72-long ingredients list of a greens powder and assume it must be great because more is always better.
However, consider that the amount of each individual ingredient in that particular powder may be too low to really be of any benefit. In some situations, it might be best to have only a few ingredients, yet have ample amounts of each.
You can think of it like going to a general doctor versus a specialist. The 72-ingredient powder is the general doctor while the powder with a few amazing ingredients is the specialist. Which one is going to have more success treating your problem?
Another thing with servings: be sure to calculate the price per serving of each brand you consider. This will help you choose the best powder for the price.
Greens Powders: Your Best Options
Below I’ve put together a nice list of greens supplement reviews, so you can get an idea of what’s out there and who is offering the best products.
Again, when you’re checking these out, keep your particular needs in mind and remember that more isn’t always better.
1. Athletic Greens
Athletic Greens contains 75 whole-food ingredients, which they claim gives you the antioxidant equivalent of 12 servings of vegetables in one scoop. According to their website, all of these ingredients are processed using no heat (so they’re raw).
These ingredients include a raw superfood complex to promote alkalinity, a blend of herbs to help with detox support, a blend of digestive enzymes, mushrooms, and adaptogens for digestive and stress support, non-dairy probiotics for more digestive support, and a multivitamin and mineral complex. All of these contain no pesticides, herbicides, gluten, GMOs, dairy, eggs, artificial sweeteners, or yeast.
This type of blend is excellent for someone wanting to cover all of their bases, including nutrient deficiencies, plus stress, immunity, and digestion. The only caveats here seems to be that some of these ingredients are not organic, and that this many ingredients may be too much for someone just looking to supplement with extra greens.
Also the 3.6 billion probiotics in the blend would be more of a maintenance dosage of probiotics, so you might need additional digestive support if you’re experiencing trouble there.
If you’re like me, you probably did a double take when you saw the price for a single pack of Athletic Greens, which contains 30 servings: $97.00, or $3.24 per serving.
While this price certainly seems steep, keep in mind that there are other options available, such as putting your greens on “regular delivery” every month. This would knock the price down to $77 for a month’s supply. Another option is the “double hit,” which gets you 60 servings a month for $147 a month with regular delivery.
If you just want to try out the powder and buy a single for the $97, Athletic Greens offers a pretty fair money-back guarantee. In short, if it doesn’t work for you, you can return it within 60 days for a full refund, plus double your money back if you list a competitor whose product is better.
Now for the taste test. Athletic Greens mentions they have spent a decade making sure their greens powder doesn’t taste like grass, and list several customer reviews supporting this. Some say the powder “actually tastes good, no, it tastes great!” and has “a better taste than you would expect.”
Organifi contains significantly fewer ingredients than Athletic Greens. However, each of its ingredients is organic and it includes more on traditional greens like wheatgrass and algae, alongside a dash of the adaptogen ashwaghanda. It contains no GMOs and is dairy and gluten-free, as well as being sweetened with all-natural Monk fruit.
While Organifi does contain the ever-awesome chlorella. Its ingredient label states “whole plant” without mentioning whether or not they’re using broken cell wall or not. Since it is not mentioned, it could be safe to assume they aren’t. This can significantly limit the amount of nutrition you’re receiving, at least from the chlorella.
They also mention their product is “gently dried,” without providing any additional processing information. While gentle is great, it would be nice to get a more detailed glimpse into their processing methods.
Overall, Organifi offers some great ingredients for someone looking to add in more greens, while also getting in anti-inflammatory benefits from turmeric and circulation benefits from beets.
Organifi rings in at $69.95 for a 30-day supply, or $2.33 per serving. You can also subscribe for monthly delivery and knock the price down to $57.95.
You also have 30 days to try the product and get your money back if it doesn’t work for you.
Many reviews on Amazon praise Organifi for having a good texture and taste, saying that it actually makes smoothies taste better instead of worse. Personally, I find Organifi to have a very minty flavor which makes it inconvenient to add into various smoothies.
3. Yuri Elkaim’s Energy Greens
Of course, this is my own greens powder blend. Created with the idea that “less is more,” our blend contains a concentrated amount of 8 of the world’s most powerful superfoods. It includes a proprietary blend of high-antioxidant greens, cracked-cell-wall chlorella, maca for adaptogen stress-fighting benefits, and goji berry for additional antioxidants, alkalizing effects, and taste.
Each ingredient is 100 percent USDA-certified organic, crafted in small batches, cold-pressed and dried under low temperatures to preserve as many raw enzymes and nutrients as possible. It’s also gluten-free, vegan, and uses no added sweeteners. Instead, organic vanilla bean, cinnamon, and goji berry help it taste as good as it does. We don’t use any sweeteners like stevia so you can be sure to avoid any weird aftertaste as well.
A single jar of my Energy Greens clocks in at $69 for 45 servings, or $1.54 per serving. The savings really start to stack up when you order three jars, which knocks the price down to $59 per jar, and when you order six jars, which knocks the price down further to $55 per jar. Plus, when you go with the 6-pack option, you’ll receive a copy of my bestselling “All-Day Energy Diet Community Cookbook,” complete with 67 energizing meals.
We also offer a 1-year “Taste It and Love It” or your money-back guarantee of Energy Greens, so you’re truly getting an amazing value.
My Energy Greens were developed in my own kitchen, with my own kids as taste testers. As you can imagine, it was quite a feat to make something they can not only tolerate, but now enjoy.
The smooth and non-grassy taste of our greens powder can be attributed to the fact that we cold press juice our ingredients before turning them into a powder (instead of the commonly used and cheaper whole grass powder), which results in a richer, finer green grass blend that is 100 percent RAW and thus packed with a higher overall nutrient density.
4. Shakeology Power Greens
Shakeology’s Power Greens contains a concentrated blend of six greens (two of which are cucumber and celery), highlighting kale, spinach, spirulina, and chlorella. While they mention the amount is like “eating two-thirds cup dark leafy greens, one-third cup cucumbers, and one-third of a large celery stalk,” these ingredients are not organic, nor is it mentioned how they’re processed.
Shakeology does mention that there are no artificial colors or preservatives in the blend, but fail to highlight whether they’re gluten-free, vegan, or GMO-free.
Overall, this blend is a basic that is meant to be added to their shake line as a “boost,” and doesn’t seem to offer anything significant in terms of quality produce or exceptional benefits.
For one boost jar, you’re looking at $34.95 for only 20 servings, or $1.74 per serving.
They do offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, so if it doesn’t work for you you can receive a full refund.
Many reviews of Power Greens state that it has a definite grassy flavor, with one reviewer mentioning how amazing it is that just one teaspoon alters the taste of a large chocolate protein shake.
In all, there don’t seem to be many reviews on the greens powder itself – most are in combination with Shakeology’s other products, and aren’t very in-depth.
5. Amazing Grass Green Superfood Original
Amazing Grass contains a great blend of all-organic, GMO, gluten-free, artificial-flavor free, and vegan ingredients, along with cracked-cell-wall chlorella.
They boost their greens blend with an antioxidant blend of additional fruits and herbs, and a digestive blend of enzymes and probiotics for help with absorption. However, the enzyme and probiotic section is grouped together, and doesn’t mention how many million or billion live probiotics you’re actually getting.
Each of these ingredients are also cut at peak ripeness and dried in a low temperature dehydrator, keeping them in their raw state. My only concern with these is that the website states that the ingredients are “frozen until needed.” While freezing is a great way to preserve nutrients, it makes me wonder how long each batch is sitting in the freezer before being shipped out.
Overall, this is a good base for a greens powder, with a decent amount of superfoods for alkalinity and extra nutrients.
For 30-servings of Amazing Grass, you’re looking at $29.99, or $0.99 per serving. You can also go slightly cheaper by ordering 15 single-serving packets for $21.99. They also offer percentages off when you buy two, or three, or more. There is also a member price, where you can save 20 percent by enrolling in recurring orders.
The taste of Amazing Grass slants toward positive in reviews, although some people mention using whole oranges to “mask” the flavor, suggesting there might be a hint of grassiness. I’ve personally used this product in the past and wasn’t too enamored with the flavor or texture.
6. Patriot Power Greens
Patriot Power Greens contains a blend of 21 organic fruits and veggies, as well as probiotics and enzymes to improve absorption. The company mentions it contains spirulina, along with wakame, nori and kombu seaweeds for added minerals. The slant of the website is geared toward veterans and other individuals experiencing inflammatory aches and pains from aging and arthritis.
There isn’t much detail as to how the product is processed, minus the mention of it being produced in an FDA-registered facility. You cannot easily conclude whether cold-processing was used to preserve nutrients.
You’re looking at $49.95 for a 30-day supply of Patriot Power Greens, or $1.67 per serving. You also receive five free gifts when you order, which range from a shaker bottle to a How to Get Off Prescription Drugs ebook.
You also receive a “200 percent” money-back guarantee, which lets you try the product and get a refund if it doesn’t work, while keeping the free gifts.
Patriot Power Greens nixes the artificial sweeteners, instead sweetening with acai berry, goji berry and apple juice, and claims there is no grassy aftertaste. Most of the reviews go over increased energy levels and reduced inflammation, with little mention of taste.
In my experience, I liked the initial taste and can see why others do as well. It tastes like you’re drinking Kool-Aid. Nothing wrong with that if you’re completely against greens and are looking for a “starter” greens that’s much sweeter than most others.
7. Organic SuperGreens
Organic SuperGreens, a product of Axe Organics, contains a potent greens blend using organic, raw, cold-pressed greens juice.
In addition, it contains a fermented organic botanical blend to help with energy and absorption of nutrients. To go even further, the blend contains super fruits like wild blueberry and noni, as well as an average amount of two strains of probiotics. These are rounded out with a digestive enzyme blend to further help with digestion and nutrient absorption.
SuperGreens also contains no pesticides, chemicals, gluten, dairy, soy, or other harmful, artificial ingredients.
Organic SuperGreens is currently out of stock on Axe Organic’s site (as of the time of this writing), however it retails for $42.78 for 25 servings on Amazon. This equals roughly $1.70 per serving.
Dr. Axe offers a 60-day money-back guarantee for SuperGreens.
Taste reviews for Organic SuperGreens is mostly positive, with many reviewers saying they are happy to drink it mixed with only water. It contains no artificial sweeteners. I haven’t personally tried this product but Josh Axe is a friend and puts out great quality stuff in general.
8. Garden of Life Perfect Food Super Green Formula
Garden of Life’s Super Green Formula is made with all organic fruits, veggies, and herbs, with no GMOs.
The blend contains a unique mixture of green juice powders as well as various plant-based protein sprouts for amino acids. These are rounded out with a probiotic blend of 1 billion cultures (a digestive maintenance dose) and fermentation process to give your digestive system a boost and help with nutrient absorption.
They also use 100 percent recyclable materials for their packaging, and have achieved Gold level status in LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, which is a green building certification program that recognizes the best building strategies and practices.
While they claim their sourcing is impeccable, it’s not 100 percent clear what type of processing they use to create their powders, or whether everything is raw or not. Also, while their blend does contain chlorella, it doesn’t state whether it is cracked cell wall or not.
14 servings will cost you $22.39 for the Perfect Food Super Greens Formula, which is about $1.60 per serving.
The Super Green Formula didn’t seem to do too well via Amazon reviews when it came to taste. Many reviewers complained of extreme grassiness.
Also, this one is sweetened with stevia, so you may want to avoid it if you don’t like the aftertaste of natural sweeteners.
9. Dr. Mercola’s Organic Greens
Mercola’s Organic Greens contains the super algae spirulina and broken-cell-wall chlorella, both of which are organically grown in clean waters off Hainan island. In additional to other alkalizing greens, the blend also contains two adaptogens for stress support, as well as a blend of seven mushrooms to boost immunity and add additional amino acids.
A point Mercola really drives home with this blend is that everything is routinely tested for heavy metal and chemical contamination to ensure the product is always pure.
While you don’t necessarily see what type of processing is used, the website states all steps of the processing and extracting process is, “dedicated to maintaining ecological balance.” You can also see that the mushrooms are dehydrated at a carefully controlled temperature.
Every ingredient is organic, gluten-free, and GMO-free.
60 servings of Organic Greens will cost you $29.97, which is about $0.49 per serving. Purchase two packs, and you’ll get double for $45.97.
While this blend is sweetened with stevia, many reviewers claim the taste is good enough to handle on its own mixed with water.
10. Greens First Nutrient-Rich Antioxidant Superfood
Green’s First contains a blend of 49 superfoods, including an organic greens blend that includes cracked cell wall chlorella. It also contains an organic vegetable blend, a super fruit blend, fiber blend, enzyme blend for absorption, and a blend of resveratrol for anti-aging benefits.
Additionally, the greens are juiced before being dried at low temperatures, which ensures maximum nutrients are preserved.
Although everything is GMO-free, gluten-free, soy-free, and artificial sweetener-free, the only organic ingredients are the greens and vegetable blends, plus the additional kelp, beet, barley, aloe, and cinnamon powders.
30 servings of Greens First will cost you $44.99, or $1.50 per serving.
Greens First is sweetened with stevia and the natural fruit powders it contains. Reviews are mixed when it comes to the taste, with some people saying they loved it and others saying it couldn’t get much worse. Regardless, it seems many still push through the taste for the energy benefits.
11. Country Farms Super Green Drink Mix
Country Farm’s blend contains a greens blend and a reds blend, which contain greens like wheatgrass, kale, and spirulina, and red fruits and veggies like beets, raspberries, and acai.
The blend does contain probiotics, however at a lower amount (500 million) than some of the other blends listed here.
Country Farms mentions that all of their products are stored under temperature and humidity controlled conditions, but you don’t see much regarding their powder processing, aside from them being “thoughtfully harvested.” Also, not every ingredient in their greens powder is organic, although all are GMO-free, vegan, and gluten-free.
In addition, maltodextrin, an artificial sweetener derived from corn, is listed on their “additional ingredients” list, along with some fibers and “natural flavors,” which could signify not-so-natural sweeteners and fillers.
14 servings of this blend will run you, on average, $14 on Amazon, or $1 per serving.
This is another blend that has mixed reviews when it comes to taste. Many say it’s great blended into a smoothie, while others complain of grassiness and graininess.
12. Vibrant Health Green Vibrance
Green Vibrance greens blend contains a unique blend of greens, in that they use both whole-grass powders and grass-juice powders. While grass juice is considered superior as far as taste and nutrient absorption, some still prefer the whole form, which this gives you.
This blend also contains organic spirulina and cracked cell wall chlorella, adding extra micronutrient benefits. In addition, it contains “life preservers,” which include anti-aging and detoxifying fruits like amla and apricot, as well as two adaptogens. To round this out, liverwort is included for liver support, as well as 25 billion probiotics, which is more than the average greens powder.
Green Vibrance doesn’t mention whether these powders are cold-pressed and processed, or whether they’re raw. Also, some of the ingredients aren’t organic, although all are gluten-free and their non-GMO certification is in process.
30 days of Green Vibrance will run you $49.95 on Amazon, or $1.66 per serving.
It seems many reviewers don’t enjoy the taste, with one mentioning it tastes like their lawn. Others suggest mixing it with orange juice, showing there is obviously a taste that needs to be masked even though it contains a natural vanilla powder for flavoring.
13. Nested Naturals Super Greens
Nested Naturals Super Greens contains a pretty hefty dose of greens, which includes cracked-cell-wall chlorella. It also contains a fiber, antioxidant, and immunity blend which include some organic and some non-organic ingredients. Unlike the other blends, this one contains ginkgo for brain powder, which may give you some extra mental clarity and focus.
These greens are rounded out with a probiotic blend of 200 mg, but it is unclear exactly how many cultures are available of each strain.
The blend is gluten, GMO, and soy-free, although they don’t get into their greens processing method and whether or not the ingredients are raw.
30 servings of Super Greens is $24.95, or $0.83 per serving.
Reviewers mention Super Greens has the characteristic earthy flavor of most greens powders, but they also didn’t seem too offended by it. In other words, no “tastes like my lawn” jokes.
The blend is sweetened with natural monk fruit.
So, Which Greens Powder is Right For You?
As you can see, trying to choose between all the various brands of greens powder can be a bit overwhelming. Most offer great benefits and include a bit of everything, but taste and quality of ingredients (and processing) is always something to consider.
This is why in my Energy Greens blend I decided to stick to my “Super 8,” which includes eight of the world’s most potent and high-quality superfoods. This makes it easier to get the maximum amount of each of their benefits.
Go Green, Go Healthy
Are you ready to boost the amount of high-quality greens you take in each day (i.e., organic and raw) so that you can start alkalizing your body and feel more energized in the process?
If you need something convenient while also being life-changing, look no further than one of these powders (and here’s a virtual high-five if you go with mine, click the banner below).
Yuri Elkaim is one of the world’s most trusted health and fitness experts. A former pro soccer player turned NYT bestselling author of The All-Day Energy Diet and The All-Day Fat Burning Diet, his clear, science-backed advice has transformed the lives of more than 500,000 men and women and he’s on a mission to help 100 million people by 2040. Read his inspiring story, “From Soccer to Bed to No Hair on My Head” that started it all.