Greens powders get a lot of buzz among health and fitness enthusiasts as potential replacements for multivitamins and even certain foods. I tried out the most-reviewed greens powder on Amazon, Greens Superfood from the California-based supplement company Amazing Grass, to see how it measures up to other greens powders on the market.
Amazing Grass Green Superfood Nutrition Facts
The product is organic, vegan, and free of soy and sugar. The principle ingredients are wheat grass, barley grass and spirulina, plus a blend of antioxidants and, perhaps most importantly, a blend of digestive enzymes and probiotics.
(We tried 47 brands: check out our best green superfood powder picks!)
One serving contains 30 calories, 2 grams of protein, 4 grams of carbohydrate, 2 grams of fiber, and 1 gram of fat.
Is Amazing Grass Green Superfood Gluten-Free?
It contains wheat grass and barley grass, however the grass contains no gluten. Folks with celiac disease who reviewed the product on Amazing Grass’s website claimed they had no reactions, however it’s not labeled as being processed in a gluten-free facility.
If you’re extremely sensitive to gluten, it might be best to avoid the product.
“Pleasantly bland” isn’t a term you hear very often, but in the world of greens powders — many of which taste like straight grass — it’s a big plus for Amazing Grass. It does have a taste and you’d notice it if you simply mixed it with milk or water, but it could probably hide in juice and definitely go undetected in a good, thick shake.
I tried the plain old original flavor, but it comes in a wide variety of flavors, including chocolate, açai berry, pineapple lemongrass, and “holiday cookie.” Normally, I’d doubt that a greens powder could release a flavored version that properly masks the grassy taste, but given how inoffensive the “original” flavor is, I have faith that the flavored versions would be relatively pleasant.
As a vitamin and mineral supplement Amazing Grass Green Superfood, like many greens powders, falls short. A serving does contain 30 percent of the RDI of Vitamin C and K, 15 percent of your B12 and 65 percent of your Vitamin A, which is more than some of the more expensive greens powders.
That’s not enough to replace a cup of vegetables, and greens powders shouldn’t be seen as a vegetable substitute. It’s also low on magnesium and calcium, two super important minerals that are found in leafy greens. To be clear, you do still need to eat your vegetables if you’re taking this supplement.
But it is a source of antioxidants, which is usually one of the biggest selling points for greens powders. The packaging boasts as much, but it doesn’t say how many it contains — most competitors say they have the antioxidants of, say, ten servings of vegetables. Amazing Grass just says it has antioxidants. Antioxidants may help to slow some of the effects of aging and the onset of cancer and heart disease, so in that sense, Amazing Grass could be useful. But it’s not quantified.
The other main selling point is the probiotics, healthy bacteria that improve digestion, absorption of nutrients, inflammation, and immunity. Many of us fall short in maintaining a healthy gut (fiber helps, but actually ingesting fermented foods is the most effective way to consume the actual bacteria), so this is a good addition in the supplement.
But again, it’s not quantified — some supplements contain 2 billion, some contain 20 billion. How much money and time is it saving you compared to other probiotic supplements? Again, we don’t know. Many users report that their bowel movements become more regular and conditions like diarrhea become less severe, so it appears to contain a moderately effective dose, at least. That’s good.
The digestive benefits may be why the product claims to have a “detox” effect. It can be argued that Amazing Grass will help the body to more effectively process and eliminate waste from the body, which could help weight loss efforts to a small degree. However, the word “detox” is meaningless and shouldn’t be used in its advertising. “Toxins” are cleansed by the liver, not by greens powders.
On Amazon, you can buy a hundred servings for $51.50, which is 51.5 cents a serving. That’s the cheapest greens supplement I’ve ever seen, and it’s a big selling point.
Compare that with $97 for thirty servings of Athletic Greens ($3.23/serving), $35 for fifteen servings of Onnit’s Earth Grown Nutrients ($2.30/serving), $30 for thirty servings of PharmaFreak Greens Freak ($1/serving) and $50 for 90 serves of Sun Warrior’s Supergreens ($0.55/serving).
The biggest benefits of Amazing Grass Green Superfood is the fact that it contains antioxidants and probiotics and the fact that it’s very, very cheap. It’s frustrating to not have an idea as to how many servings of vegetables or probiotics it could substitute for as far as antioxidants and probiotics are concerned. (Remember, it’s not high in the vitamins and minerals that are found in actual whole foods.)
But it is a cheap source of the stuff and most report significant digestive benefits. If that’s what you’re after (and you don’t mind not knowing exact numbers of its nutrients), it’s an economic choice.