|February 13, 2024

What Are Greens? 6 Things to Look for in a Greens Powder Supplement

By Trey Sanders, MS RD, CFS
Reviewed by Emily Gonzalez, ND for Scientific Accuracy

What Are Greens? 6 Things to Look for in a Greens Powder Supplement

  • The best super Green powders are comprehensive supplements that include a diverse ingredients list of fruits, veggies and superfoods.
  • Look for Greens that contain a diverse list of vitamins and minerals to fill micronutrient gaps.
  • The best Greens formulas feature digestive enzymes and probiotics to help with digestion and absorption.

If you’re having trouble building a custom supplement stack, maybe it’s time to consider a more comprehensive nutritional solution. Greens powders are growing in popularity among wellness enthusiasts, but how do you choose the one that’s right for you?

At Bulletproof, we aim to arm you with the tools to unlock your limitless potential, so we’ve compiled an insider guide on how to shop for an optimal Greens powder supplement to support your mind-body wellness goals. Still on the fence? Continue reading to learn which ingredients separate Bulletproof Greens from the pack.

What are Greens powders, exactly?

Greens powders are a blend of cruciferous and green vegetables (USDA organic and non-GMO leafy greens are preferable), low-glycemic fruits, botanicals, vitamins and minerals designed to support your overall health.

The best-tasting Greens are both enjoyable to consume on a daily basis and deliver base nutrition for your mind and body through a full serving of vegetables, along with other aids, which can range from cognitive support to digestive help.

When surveying the Greens products on the market today, it’s important to look for a diverse ingredient list, formulations that offer maximum absorption and science-backed doses, just to name a few categories.

What can you hope for from the best super Greens powders? Registered dietitians and nutritionists recommend looking for a Greens powder blend that supports:

  • Thriving gut health
  • Better overall wellness

Bulletproof Tip: The best Greens powders offer sample packs, as well as options with at least 30 servings so you can reap the full benefits for an entire month.

6 things to look for in a Greens powder supplement

Bulletproof Greens on travertine block surrounded by fruits and vegetables.

To narrow down your search for the perfect Greens powder supplement, we recommend looking for these six powerhouse elements. The best Greens blend contain:

1. Nootropics

Bowl of panax ginseng next to a pot of tea

Nootropics are ingredients that can support improved cognition, which could manifest in improved attention, motor speed or focus. Not just for improving positive aspects of cognition, they can also decrease minor mental fatigue/overload and support calmness. Our unique Greens formula contains two nootropics, including Panax ginseng, which supports improved cognitive function.†

Nootropics to look for: Citicoline and Panax ginseng

2. Superfoods

An overhead shot of matcha and green tea

Superfoods represent a wide range of foods that typically have high nutritional benefits with minimal calories. These high-quality foods are known to provide a variety of phytonutrients. These health-promoting compounds include antioxidants like polyphenols and Vitamin C, omega fatty acids or amino acids.

Superfoods to look for: Spirulina, green tea, chlorella and acai

3. Vitamins and Minerals

A close-up of a pill vitamin

Vitamins and minerals are essential micronutrients. Vitamins serve a variety of roles in the body, whether it is cellular energy production or cardiovascular and bone strengthening. Vitamin K2 is a type of vitamin K that complements the natural  vitamin K1 coming from plants to support heart and cardiovascular health. Minerals also aid the body’s biological processes and make up much of the skeletal structure in the body. Calcium can also bind with oxalates in the digestive tract to reduce their absorption.

Vitamins and minerals to look for: Vitamin A, vitamin K2 and calcium citrate and B vitamins

4. Probiotics

A spoonful of sauerkraut

Probiotics are live organisms that provide gut health benefits to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. These are beneficial bacteria that support the good bacteria naturally present in the human body. At their core, probiotics in a Greens supplement offer support for digestive and GI tract health.

Probiotics to look for: Bacillus coagulans

5. Digestive Enzymes

A digestive enzyme capsule in front of a stomach
Digestive enzymes are produced in the body to break down carbohydrates, fats and proteins into smaller components for absorption. These digestive enzymes, in combination with the ones already produced in the body, augment their ability to break down food. The best Greens powders include digestive enzymes that help the breakdown of fibers common to vegetables and other plants.

Digestive enzymes to look for: Alpha-galactosidase and invertase

6. Adaptogens

A cluster of lion's mane mushrooms

These bioactive compounds found in mushrooms and herbs have demonstrated beneficial effects on the body. They stimulate your body’s stress protection response and help you return to a balanced state, aka homeostasis. Adaptogens are rooted in traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine and have been used for centuries.

Adaptogens to look for: Lion’s mane and cordyceps mushroom

Things to avoid in a Greens dietary supplement

A heaping scoop of sugar and sugar cubes

Simply put, some Greens supplements are just too good to be true. One red flag to look for surrounds products with excessive amounts of ingredients. There is a balance between the quality of nutrients the body can properly utilize versus the quantity found in some of the different Greens products available in today’s market.

Plus, you should avoid Greens powders that don’t contain calcium citrate. Greens like spinach and kale contain oxalates, anti-nutrients that interfere with mineral absorption and can cause problems when absorbed into the body. Calcium citrate can bind with oxalates to help decrease their negative effects.

Additionally, products that do not include digestion aids are a concern. Consumers may experience challenges maximizing the full benefits of ingredients found in Greens powders. Digestive enzymes are a way to ensure the best possible absorption of these nutritional benefits, while probiotics also support your GI tract and digestive health.

Keep the below in mind, as well:

  • Skip artificial sweeteners, which may contain harmful chemicals, and added sugars, which have the ability to spike your blood sugar levels (opt for Greens sweetened with stevia leaf extract or monk fruit, instead).
  • It’s beneficial to look for a gluten-free Greens powder if you cannot tolerate gluten as well as dairy-free options if you do not do well with lactose or casein.
  • Avoid Greens powders that contain preservatives, which are low-quality ingredients.

The bottom line: Before you shop for a Greens supplement, do your homework. From the right balance of nutrient-dense vegetables and superfoods to added mind-body benefits from nootropics and adaptogens, finding the best super Greens powders can complement your wellness goals. Make sure to flag excessive ingredients, look for science-backed data or certifications and confirm there are digestive aids to help you get the most out of a super greens supplement. And while Greens are not intended to replace multivitamins, if you’re ready to upgrade from traditional green juice or your morning matcha, a simple-to-scoop green superfood powder—with daily staying power—could be exactly what you’ve been searching for.

Want to help reduce stress and stay level-headed? Adaptogens like ashwagandha and reishi mushrooms may be the key. Learn about 11 adaptogens that can help with mind-body balance.

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This article has been updated with new content.