Greens plus
June 18, 2004 7:49 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone have any experience with "greens plus"? Is it a waste of money, or can one really absorb 7 servings of vegetables with three tablespoons of powder? Google seems to be biased as to that question, and I haven't seen it mentioned in any of the other health and nutrition questions on here. Help?
posted by loquax to Health & Fitness (22 answers total)
loquax, I personally do think these superfoods are a real waste of money. I'm all about the freshness. A much more nutritious way to get the servings of vegetables (I'm assuming that you don't want to do anything crazy, like eating them... ;) is to juice them yourself. You can make great combinations from local, organic veggies that are truly delicious, and you're getting fresh, vital, healthy superfood that you make yourself. The pulp (the stuff left over when you juice) can also be used to make some great veggie burgers or salsas or dips, or if you can take it and compost it, or feed it to your goats. I'm sure you have goats. Everyone does.

For the price of a 3 month supply of that stuff you can get yourself a very nice juicer, which will come with a recipe book chock-full of yummy juice recipes. My personal fave is spinach/apple/carrot/ginger. I've juiced all kinds of greens as well, and kale, arugula, spinach, and romaine lettuce all juice really nicely.
posted by iconomy at 8:07 AM on June 18, 2004

Response by poster: iconomy, I totally agree. The problem for me is the relative cost of buying all of those fresh vegetables, as well as the commitment of sticking to juicing (or eating them). I've tried it, but haven't been able to keep it up. I figure the best chance I have of coming close to my daily recommended levels of goodness is some kind of supplement, and I've heard good things about this one compared to others, or multivitamins and the ilk.

Also, another problem with keeping fresh fruits and veggies around is that my damned goats keep getting into my supply. But they have such tender flesh...
posted by loquax at 8:24 AM on June 18, 2004

I think a lot of vegetable nutrition comes from the fibrous matter of the plant, which is absent once pulvarised.
posted by the fire you left me at 8:30 AM on June 18, 2004

Loquax, I bought a bottle of that stuff at one point, thinking the same thing- concentrated goodness! Just like astronaut food! And I tried it three or four times, but I couldn't get past the taste/texture.

So now I have a $20 bottle of green powder sitting in my fridge until the expiration date, when I can toss it without feeling guilty.
posted by pomegranate at 8:37 AM on June 18, 2004

pomegranate: Same here. I'd like to try the icky-green-filled capsules, though.
posted by Jairus at 8:41 AM on June 18, 2004

Ellen® endorsed®©!
posted by abcde at 9:08 AM on June 18, 2004

So now I have a $20 bottle of green powder sitting in my fridge until the expiration date, when I can toss it without feeling guilty.

Does anyone else see the obvious next step here? How much do you think it would cost to mail that stuff to Canada, pomegranate? I also think the fiber is part of why you eat veggies to begin with, but haven't tried the green+ myself.
posted by jessamyn at 9:30 AM on June 18, 2004

The problem is it has to stay refrigerated, but I had really thought about just sending it on. Loquax, I'm gonna throw this bottle north at exactly noon CST, get ready to catch!

Or if you like, EMP and I'll ship it to ya. It's already opened, but hey! We're family here, right?
posted by pomegranate at 9:40 AM on June 18, 2004

...or can one really absorb 7 servings of vegetables with three tablespoons of powder?"

The FDA says that a serving of vegetables is basically between 1/2 cup raw (whole) vegetable, or 1 cup leafy. Nutridiary says 1/2 cup of carrots weighs 64 grams. 64* 7 = 448 grams.

1 serving of Green Plus is 8.5 grams. The daily adult dosage for Green Plus is 3 times that, 25.5 grams. So the question is: what did you not get in the other 425 grams?

I'm sure the nice people at Green Plus will tell you you're mostly missing the water. If you press them harder, they'll say you're getting a serving of vegetable nutrients, not necessarily vegetables themselves...

Here's the scoop: we know 2 thing about vegetables
* they have some known nutrients (vit. c, etc)
* Eating 5 or more servings a day helps your health

If your goal is to improve your health, well, I think it's fair to say we don't know why vegetables improve health (we may have some guesses, but I doubt we absolutely know what makes the difference in the 5 a day thing). Maybe it's the 425 grams of water they evaporated away that do the trick!

Processing your veges in to space food is probably not going to get you the same benefits as eating 5 helpings of unprocessed veggies a day. It probably won't hurt though, so if you're itching to try it out, give it a go!

Why are you focused on getting your veggies in? General concern about your health? Or something specific? Personally, I stick to a multi-vitamin plus some fiber once a day. That, and salad for lunch.
posted by daver at 9:56 AM on June 18, 2004

The amount of food a human being can eat in a day is finite. If you're eating seven servings of vegetables a day, you have less room for something unhealthier. (If I'm not mistaken, that was behind the lower-cholesterol numbers for oat bran back in the day: if you were eating oat bran, you weren't eating bacon and eggs.) Eating a tablespoon of powder does not cure your system of all the unhealthy food you've eaten that day.

Relative cost? Fresh vegetables are some of the cheapest items in the supermarket. Fresh food is always cheaper than processed/packaged food.
posted by mcwetboy at 10:19 AM on June 18, 2004

Yes, and co-op veggies are even cheaper, if you can find them. Share them with your goats, they'll appreciate it!

In descending order of good-for-loquax-ness:

Fresh veggies
juiced veggies
green stuff in a bottle
posted by iconomy at 10:32 AM on June 18, 2004

Greens Plus is awesome. I started taking it last summer. I had way more energy, and I haven't been sick in a year. After a while the effects aren't noticeable anymore, and I've since stopped taking it, but I'll start again soon.

It's expensive. However, I've found a few places that'll give me a good deal ($45 CDN for a medium-sized tub of the stuff). I buy a new container once every five months or so.

I've recommended it to a few friends who were feeling sluggish, and they now swear by the stuff.

If you try it, be sure to drink a TON of water during the day. The stuff tends to cause, er, blockages.
posted by Succa at 10:50 AM on June 18, 2004

I'm also interested in skipping the vegetables since I can't stand them but can't ignore the benefits..anyone have thoughts on or experience with wheatgrass juice?
posted by tetsuo at 11:05 AM on June 18, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks all! And pomegranate, I was standing there, all ready to catch it, but I only ended up looking crazy. Next time, really put some muscle into it!

I think everyone wins this thread! Perhaps I should have phrased my question more along the lines of, "all things being equal, given that I eat fairly well, and am in good shape, but am just not living up to my obligations as a citizen under the Canada Food Guide, should I suplement myself with this stuff as opposed to other fruit and veggie replacements?" Mostly, my concern comes from peer pressure and a mild paranoia about developing rickets, berri berri, or scurvy.

I know it can never replace real produce, but at least where I live (downtown Toronto), it would very likely be *much* cheaper than actively juicing or eating them raw. Another thing is (and don't tell my mom), I hate all the vegetables that are really good for you, like the spinach and the broccoli and the brussell sprouts and I'm developing a bit of a guilt complex because of it.

I think maybe I'll give it a try thinking of it as more of a coffee replacement, or an extra thingy rather than replacing anything. Thanks for your help.

Thanks for the tip Succa. Sounds fun!

(oh and pomegranate, thanks for the offer, I'm actually asking because a friend of mine felt the same way and offered me his leftovers and I wanted to know if I should even bother. It does seem kind of a gross thing to drink. But I appreciate it. I bet it would be great for compost, or mutating weak puny plants into superplants!)
posted by loquax at 11:07 AM on June 18, 2004

Hey loquax, if you're in TO, go to one of the health food stores on Roncesvalles. Cheap as dirt.

I take the greens in a smoothie every morning: juice, fruit, yogurt/ice cream. However you decide to take it, use a blender. A spoon won't break up the clumps. Good luck!
posted by Succa at 11:27 AM on June 18, 2004

It's got Hawaiian Spirulina in it (which I love). But I don't know anything about all those other ingredients.
posted by scarabic at 11:34 AM on June 18, 2004

Incidentally, spirulina is made from microscopic algae, so there's no "pulverizing" done to make it into a powder form.
posted by scarabic at 11:38 AM on June 18, 2004

I've been taking ProGreens (looks pretty similar to Greens Plus) for about two months now after a nutritionist suggested it to help my gut recover from a bad case of food poisoning. I definitely feel better for it and missed it when I stopped taking it for a couple of weeks.
If the taste is an issue, apparently it mixes very well into mango juice, but I just got used to it and I actually quite like the taste now. I don't see it as a substitute for vegetables, though, just something to have in addition.
posted by chrispy at 1:23 PM on June 18, 2004

It has herbs in it. Herbs are in the drug catagory. It will do things that normal veggies dont. It will probably give you extra energy and mental altertness and you will probably miss it when you stop takeing it. This is confirmed by others experience here.

All you need are veggies. Veggies have nutrition. You get energy from nutrition. Skip the drugs. Skip the juicing.

Believe me , I tried for years with all this stuff.. pills, liquids, juicing.. nothing is like the real thing. Tastes better too. Theres no shortcut to eating right, your best off sacraficing other things in your life and making it a higher priority.
posted by stbalbach at 2:11 PM on June 18, 2004

If you think you don't like good vegetables based on childhood taste, try them again, steamed carefully. Even cooked spinach can be good when steamed (although raw is best!).
posted by Goofyy at 12:01 AM on June 19, 2004

Hell yeah - lightly steam your veggies. Blue Stone™ Endorsed®

"I honestly couldn't believe the difference," I said. "It's like they have all this flavour I never knew they had before!"
posted by Blue Stone at 12:18 PM on June 19, 2004

I generally like veggies, but don't always have the time for real meals and the like. Can anyone recommend a good juicer? Price is a factor, but i'd be willing to spend a bit more for one that would last forever and/or perform better.
posted by rorycberger at 3:11 PM on June 19, 2004

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