Optimizing your health, is the name of the game. We’re all trying to be healthier humans and incorporate healthy lifestyle habits, to improve our quality of life and longevity.
Overwhelming statistics show, that the average American diet lacks in essential vitamins and minerals, vital to human health. Specifically, 94.3% of the US population do not meet the daily requirement for vitamin D, 88.5% for vitamin E, 52.2% for magnesium, 44.1% for calcium, 43.0% for vitamin A, and 38.9% for vitamin C. For the nutrients, in which a daily requirement has not been set, but advised, 100% of the population had intakes lower than the AI for potassium, 91.7% for choline, and 66.9% for vitamin K. The prevalence of inadequacies was low for all of the B vitamins and several minerals, including copper, iron, phosphorus, selenium, sodium, and zinc. But to no surprise, more than 97% of the population had excessive intakes of sodium.
Greens powders have become increasingly popular due to the promise of being a natural whole food supplement that can help bridge the gaps in your daily diet. And according to the statistics, for obvious reasons. But do they provide enough of the vitamins and nutrients you need, as compared to a multivitamin.
We’re going to talk more about greens vs multivitamins, what they are, and how they can be supplementary to a healthy diet.
What Are Greens And Reds Powders
Greens powders are made with nutrient-rich dehydrated vegetables and super greens. Categorically super greens normally considered as wheat grass, spirulina, or chlorella.
Most greens powders contain a blend, which add a variety of greens ingredients that may include wheatgrass, barley grass, alfalfa, spinach, kale, and super algae like chlorella and spirulina. They may also contain reds ingredients, like pomegranate, beetroot, raspberries, turmeric, and blueberries. Some may even add pre or probiotics for digestive health and a healthy microbiome, or adaptogens to reduce stress, and improve cognitive function.
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Most greens contain an abundance of b-vitamins, minerals like magnesium, selenium, iron, and iodine, and nitrate antioxidant rich reds ingredients, that have an abundance of health benefits.
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Red ingredients are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants eradicate oxygen reactive species, (free radicals) which may oxidize or damage cells. This is known as oxidative stress or free radical damage. According to the NIH, the National Institute of Health, free radicals adversely alter lipids, proteins, and DNA and trigger a number of human diseases [R]. Fruit and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, thus making them imperative to human health.
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What Are Multivitamins
Multivitamins are supplements that contain a combination of vitamins and minerals, designed to deliver 100%+ of the vital nutrients your body needs for optimal function.
Although multivitamins contain most of the vital vitamins and minerals, plus more that your body needs, finding a multivitamin that delivers the vitamins and minerals, you need or may be lacking in, is important for optimal function.
What To Look For In A Greens Powder
The first and most important thing to watch out for on a greens supplement label, are two key words, “proprietary blend”. This is a term, that companies will use to avoid disclosing the amount of each ingredient used in a product, thus making i’s impossible to know whether a given ingredient is present in a large enough dose to have a meaningful effect. Look for a greens or reds powder, that shows specific breakdowns of each ingredient and vitamin.
Companies or brands will also use the “other ingredients” as another outlet to avoid disclosing the doses of each ingredient.
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Second, look at the grams or amount per serving. This is a great indicator into how much of those greens and reds ingredients you are getting, per serving. It’s also a good indicator into if the ingredients are dosed appropriately. Higher doses of each ingredient, and bigger serving size, provides more active greens and reds per serving.
For example, Swolverine Greens+Reds is a proprietary blend free formula, with much higher doses than any other greens you can find, with over 15g per serving. As a comparisons, AG1 has 12g per serving, 1st Phorm 10g per serving, Bare Performance Nutrition 7.5g per serving, and they all contain proprietary blends.
RECOMMENDED PRODUCT Swolverine Greens+Reds (Natural Orange, 30 Servings)
What To Look For In A Multivitamin
Doses and active ingredients. These days, all consumer-packaged goods, come in a suite of variants. Whether it’s size, flavor, or made for a specific consumer. Ideally, you want to find a multivitamin, that has near or just over 100% of your daily recommended values. Multivitamins, that contain 500-2000 of your daily needs, can over exceed what you need. Any ingredient in a multiple vitamin supplement can be toxic in large amounts, but the most serious risk comes from iron or calcium. Additional risks are associated with large or toxic doses of calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin A.
Therefore, find a multivitamin that delivers a healthy amount of vitamins and minerals, as well as those that you need to fill any micronutrient deficiency gaps.
Greens Vs Multivitamins: Differences
As a supplement brand owner, the insight I give, is different than what you’re going to find at online from other sources. Either because they simply don’t know how these products are manufactured, or because they’re simply trying to sell a product. At Swolverine, transparency is a fundamental core value of our brand. So let’s talk about the differences between greens vs multivitamins.
Don’t get me wrong, greens powders are wonderful and beneficial supplements, to help deliver high quality micronutrients that can provide numerous health benefits. However, it’s hard to create or derive all of the essential vitamins and nutrients you need through greens powder supplementation alone.
It’s simply impossible to create a greens powder, that contains all of your essential vitamins and minerals at 100% of your daily recommended intake. For those supplements, that do possess a large or high number of vitamins, it’s because those vitamins and minerals were added in addition to the greens powder ingredients.
This gives the perception, that some greens powders have all the nutrients you need through those ingredients alone, when in fact, you need to add those vitamins separately. Essentially, supplements like AG1 are a multivitamin and a greens powder combined.
Think about it, our Greens+Reds contains 15.2g per serving yet does not deliver nearly the amount of vitamins and minerals as a product like AG1 at 12g per serving. Thus the reason, for the much higher price tag. It’s because you’re getting two products in one – a multivitamin and a greens powder.
Other greens powders will not even disclose, the vitamins and nutrients it has, because the amount of the active vitamins are so miniscule.
This is due to the manufacturing process and the loss of nutrients. Raw vegetables, herbs, and fruit are harvested differently to extract vital nutrients. Where they are harvested, and how is also fundamental in nutrient extract. Some are pulped, some are juiced, and all are dried at low temperatures, to preserve vitamins and nutrients. However, some of those nutrients are lost in the process.
Now before you think about throwing out your greens powder, greens and reds powders do have a ton of merit. Greens powders can provide phytochemicals and bioactive compounds, not typically found in your everyday diet from superfoods, like spirulina, chlorella, wheat grass. They also contain an abundance of antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties, through ingredients like turmeric, goji, acai, and pomegranate. Not to mention, that loads of other benefits, in terms of hearth, brain, and athletic performance. Beets and pomegranates are some of the best known nitric oxide boosters, helping deliver more oxygen, blood flow, and nutrients to your muscle tissue, to enhance recovery, strength and endurance capacity. Turmeric, is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory herbs you can find, with analgesic effects closely mimicking ibuprofen. So yes, greens are well worth it, when you find a quality supplement.
The bottom line is that greens are not a substitute for real foods, or your multivitamin. Real food provides essential amino acids, healty fatty acids, and different vital nutrients. While they are not a complete replacement of real food, they are exactly what they are intended to be, supplementary to your diet.
Multivitamins are also supplementary, and provide adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals, when you need them. They provide more of a well-rounded and extensive list of vitamins, such as Vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K. Again, a healthy diet, should always be the primary source of vital nutrients. Multivitamins and greens can provide more bioactive and phytonutrients to build a stronger immune system, provide more energy, and help longevity.
Greens Vs Multivitamins: Takeaway
So which one should you take greens or multivitamins. Well, considering the severe micronutrient deficiencies found in the average American diet, both would be beneficial. However, the goal of each supplement is different. Greens powders provide additional benefits, than just vitamins and minerals, from whole food sources, such as antioxidants, powerful bioactive compounds, anti-inflammatory properties, and digestive aids. Multivitamins are made to help supplement vitamin and mineral gaps, in your daily diet. Therefore, both have a place, however, it really depends on your diet and specific micronutrient needs.
Adding a high-quality greens and reds, as well as a multivitamin, are great dietary habits, to create a healthier lifestyle.