Image Credit: Abby Jablonski for The Campus Trainer
Greens powders are the latest trend in dietary supplements, but they may not actually deliver the promises of aiding gut health and digestion.
Bloom Nutrition, a greens powder with over 30 natural ingredients, became a widespread staple over the past year on social media, with the help of Tiktok influencers promoting the product.
The greens powder promises to relieve bloating and help with digestion, according to the company’s website. They market for individuals to “join the Bloat-Free fam.”
However, research does not show adequate results between the powder and bloating, according to University of Maryland Dietitian Jane Jakubczak.
“I know it seems easier to pop a pill, but our bodies are much too complex for such a "simple" solution,” she said.
Gut health depends on much more than a powder supplement, such as lifestyle choices like stress management, according to Jakubczak.
“The brain-gut connection is vital to our well-being. Most of us are in the ‘fight or flight’ mode most of the day. It's important to understand the concept of rest and digest,” Jakubczak said.
The rest and digest system is extremely important in the role of digestion. When the body is in a calm state, it can digest food more efficiently, according to Ekhart Yoga. The system works by slowing down the heart rate of an individual and getting the body out of flight or fight mode, promoting blood flow to internal organs and activating digestive enzymes.
Deep breathing, meditation, rest, and reading are a few ways an individual can activate the system to promote better digestion, according to Live Science.
“Enjoying your meals/snacks in this state (rest and digest) is much healthier for the digestive system and can significantly reduce the bloating of eating quickly in the fight or flight mode,” Jakubczak said.
Sophomore Kinesiology major, Olivia Kiley struggled with seeing results from consuming Bloom Nutrition products.
“When I started Bloom, I was told that it would fix my bloating and stomach pains, but after I started using it, I saw a lot of ads for Bloom that said nothing about digestion, and it was just about getting your greens so I’m still not even sure what they’re used for,” Kiley said.
Kiley used Bloom products every morning for four months but did not see great empowerment in her overall digestive health.
“I previously used a gut health powder called Health Gut, and I stopped to try using Bloom. I ended up not liking Bloom as much because it did not help my digestion as much as the other one. I now use Healthy Gut and not Bloom,” Kiley said.
The taste of Bloom nutrition is also not appetizing to some, having a strong flavor and considered grainy to Kiley. “I hated the taste of the product, and I tried all the flavors, and none were good,” Kiley said.
Freshman psychology and criminology major, Laura Gelsomini, a Bloom Consumer, does not favor the flavor either. “It tastes like I’m biting into the earth a little bit— I do have the mango flavor, so maybe a different one would be better,” Gelsomini said.
Gelsomini started using the product to increase her vitamin-mineral and greens intake and support her gut microbiome. The microbiome contains bacteria, fungi and viruses that reside in the human body, particularly in the small and large intestines. The makeup of the microbiome promotes benefits in the body, such as aiding in digestion and supporting the immune system, according to Everyday Health.
She occasionally uses the product, although she does not always have time in her schedule to prepare the supplement. “I stopped using it only because I don’t really have the time to mix it and stuff during my busy morning,” Gelsomini said.
Greens powders like Bloom are not tested by third parties, according to Jakubczak. “They (green powders) contain ‘proprietary blends’ which is a loophole for companies to put ingredients in their product without having to list them and finally, these products have not been approved by the FDA,” Jakubczak said.
The only way to truly fulfill the promises dietary supplements like Bloom make is to live a healthy lifestyle that involves hydration, daily exercises, and consuming high levels of fruit and vegetables along with whole grains through a plant-based diet, according toJakubczak.