PARIS: “I drink them every morning ….They taste great, they mix well….They help with bloating, they help with digestion big time and then they even help with your skin and your energy levels, ” explains American Caitie Belle, in a video posted on TikTok.
Green powder is one of the stars of the moment on the Chinese social network. Presented by its followers as a miracle solution, it is claimed to help improve intestinal health. No more bloating or other digestive problems, fans say. The powder is even said to have a positive effect on the skin, the immune system and energy.
Such powders are made from dehydrated leafy greens. But the reason such products are generating buzz is because of the multiple nutrients they are said to contain: vitamins, minerals, digestive enzymes and sometimes probiotics.
“They can be 20 ingredients, 40 ingredients. Occasionally, some will have some sugar in and others won’t have sugar in it. So there are a lot of different versions of this,” explains cardiology specialist Dr Shaline D Rao to USA Today.
Its proponents claim that just a few spoonfuls of such a powder, diluted in water, taken daily, is enough to boost one’s health. Proof of its popularity, the hashtag “greens powder” has accumulated almost 400 million views on TikTok.
According to an Industry Research report published in 2022, “the global Green powder market was valued at US$255 million in 2020 and is expected to reach US$597.4 million by the end of 2027.”
The value of real vegetables
Such green powders are not in themselves harmful to health, although they are not subject to the same regulations as drugs, and are therefore not approved by official bodies such as the FDA in the USA. But they should be regarded as dietary supplements, taken in addition to a healthy diet.
In other words, they should not be used as a substitute for a conventional diet. Such powders should not replace vegetables or other products that would naturally provide the nutrients present in its composition, in a consumer’s diet.
Dietician Katey Davidson told Insider that such powders can actually help out in certain cases. They can, for example, be used by people who have difficulty digesting fruit and vegetables, or by “fussy eaters.”
Nevertheless, Katey Davidson notes that such powders are useless for most people and are not “the solution to good health.”
If you want to fill up on nutrients, there’s no secret formula: simply eat vegetables, real ones that will provide you with the necessary amount of fibre.
Katey Davidson advises a balanced, whole-food diet that includes vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, whole grains, protein and healthy fats. And this diet is much cheaper than green powders, which can cost a consumer between US$30 and US$90 each month.