As we’re slowly getting back to normal, we’re once again living in the rush. It’s so much more convenient to go through the drive-through. But we still try to live healthy right?
Produce these days isn’t as nutritious as it was a few decades ago.
So even if you skip the take-out and try to at least eat the recommended minimum amount of fruits and veggies per day, you can still end up feeling a little run down.
Or just not be in optimal health anyway. People who exceed the recommended servings of fresh produce might not struggle with this issue.
But if you are low on time, or hate veggies, or have an allergy? You will likely benefit from a supplement. Particularly during stressful or very busy times.
If you have done any research about supplements, you will have found that taking a multivitamin isn’t always the best option.
Some synthetic vitamins and minerals just don’t behave the way natural vitamins and minerals from food do in the body.
Some formulations are made of cheap ingredients that don’t get absorbed properly either.
What about all-natural nutritional whole food supplements or phytonutrient supplements though? There are quite a few of those on the market too.
Today’s battle? Balance of Nature vs Texas Superfood.
Which one will come out on top? Or is neither one good. Let’s find out.
Are Veggie Pills Better Than Conventional Multivitamins?
I have said it before and will say it again. Supplements will never be able to replace eating actual healthy whole foods.
If you’re someone that doesn’t like fruit and/or veg or if you have an allergy to fruit or vegetables, you are probably tired of hearing that. I get that.
So let’s answer the actual question on your minds. Are veggie pills better and will they keep you healthy?
Natural Forms of Nutrients
The only thing that I think may put veggie pills above conventional multivitamins is that they contain the natural form of the vitamins and minerals.
For nutrients like folate, this may be important. People with an MTHFR gene mutation may have trouble with folic acid, the synthetic form of folate.
It can build up in the blood leading to health complications. However, the CDC says this is a myth. Folic acid is still recommended for women trying to get pregnant, or who are pregnant.
But if you can get supplements, veggie or conventional, that contain folate, isn’t it best to be safe?
Another nutrient that is better to get from food sources as opposed to supplements is calcium.
This is because the body absorbs calcium from food better due to the extra nutrients in food and because the body is designed to regulate how much calcium to absorb from food.
In other words, when you need more calcium, your body absorbs more, and when you need less calcium, your body absorbs less.
With supplements, if you have a bioavailable form of it such as calcium carbonate, anything over 500mg causes your body to absorb less of the calcium.
No matter whether your body needs more or not. For this reason, veggie pills may be better than conventional supplements.
Are There Really all Those Servings of Fruit and Veg in the Capsules?
The reason why I think this may be a bit dubious is because I don’t know that they can really concentrate all the necessary fruits and veggies into small capsules.
They say it’s because the produce is flash dried (Balance of Nature) or cold-pressed (Texas Superfoods) and then ground up so it takes up a lot less space.
Fair enough. If you look at dried herbs and spices, this is the case. You use less of the dried versions than the fresh versions too because they are more potent in dried form.
So in this way, it kind of makes sense. Though I still doubt that there is a whole 12 servings in the space of 6 capsules per day.
Admittedly, I could be wrong about this one though.
How Good are the Ingredients Really?
This article by Dr. Ronald Hoffman clearly explains why veggie pills aren’t always what they’re cracked up to be. Dr. Ronald Hoffman speaks about the poorly designed studies that concern veggie pills.
He also highlights the high cost in comparison to conventional vitamin supplements, and also that no veggie pill can measure up to a plate of or smoothie containing healthy produce.
He adds that you can’t always be sure where the produce comes from.
When the produce has been picked affects how nutritious it is. The type of soil that it’s grown in too. How long the produce has been sitting on the shelf reduces the nutrient content.
Improper storage methods too. So can we really be sure that we are getting optimal nutrition from these capsules or powders?
What About Fiber?
Another thing is that some methods of drying the produce removes the fiber content, and we can see by the labels that almost all of the fiber has been lost in these supplements.
That means you are still going to be woefully under the recommended amount of fiber if you only eat fast food or rely on white flour products like white bread or biscuits.
We should all be getting around 25g to 30g. As we age, men in particular, need around 38g of fiber a day.
So the Final Answer Is
They may have some benefits over conventional vitamin and mineral supplements, but often you don’t even know how many nutrients you’re actually getting.
They don’t always list them. Do they even test whether their products are truly nutritious?
So it really comes down to what you prefer. If you do go for fruit and veggie pills, look for reputable brands that test their products thoroughly.
And whichever way you choose to go, the supplement really should only supplement your diet rather than be the main feature.
Sad, but true.
What is Balance of Nature?
Balance of Nature is an all-natural nutritional supplement brand. You can either choose to do the whole system which consists of the fruit and vegetable pills and the Fiber and Spice powder.
Or you can either just have the fruit and vegetable capsules or just the Fiber and Spice powder.
It was developed by Dr. Howard, a doctor and specialist in phytonutrition.
He states that he developed this system because many people don’t eat the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables.
This is especially true in countries where fresh produce is too expensive and people live in poverty.
It’s important to note that Balance of Nature received a warning letter from the FDA as recently as 2019. This is due to the specific health claims regarding their products.
These products, as with most natural products, are not regulated and approved by the FDA for the treatment of any diseases or wellness uses.
What is Texas Superfood?
Texas Superfood is also a nutritional supplement brand. They provide fruit and veggie capsules or powder as a way for those who can’t or don’t want to eat fresh produce.
They also have pre-made drinkable formulas that target women’s health, joint health, kids health, eye health, energy, and overall health for everyone. Another offering is the lozenges for sore throats.
We’ll be looking at the aforementioned fruit and veggie capsules and powder which are interchangeable. As in, you get the same nutrients from both, it just a matter of your preference.
The company was created by Dr. Dennis Black under the holding company, The Nuplexa Group, inc.
The lawsuit launched by Truth in Advertising raises some very valid points in that in 2016, the capsules and powder claimed to contain 12 servings of fruit and vegetables.
But in one medium apple alone, there are 4.4 grams of fiber. As explained previously though, the process of drying the produce removes the fiber and Texas Superfood is still operating.
I haven’t found anything more recent, so the advertising claims and health claims are presumably now worded correctly.
How Are These Two Supplements Different?
The difference is that Texas Superfood has one type of capsule that contains both fruit, vegetables, grasses, algae, and enzymes.
The powder, as I already mentioned, has the exact same ingredients as the capsules.
Balance of nature has capsules containing fruit and separating capsules for veggies. The powder is a separate supplement that contains fiber and spices.
What’s Better About Balance of Nature?
If you use the system or if you use the Fiber and Spice powder, you get some fiber in. The capsules by themselves only contain 1g of fiber. With the Fiber and Spice powder, you get 10.1g.
Texas Superfood capsules and powder only contain 1g and 2g of fiber respectively.
So in the Balance of Nature vs Texas Superfood fiber battle, Balance of nature wins.
What’s better about Texas Superfood?
If you are struggling with gut issues, you may find the enzyme blend and probiotics helpful.
Balance of Nature
Let’s take a closer look at the Ingredients.
I’ve also listed the pros and cons so you can see them easily.
The Balance of Nature System contains the following:
The Fruit Capsules
- Aloe vera
The Veggie Capsules
- Cayenne peppers
- Shitake mushrooms
The Spice and Fiber Powder
- Coriander seeds
- Fennel seeds
- Flax seeds
- Mustard seeds
- Psyllium husk
There are no vitamins or minerals listed anywhere. The capsules have no nutrients at all listed aside from the ingredients and instructions of 3 capsules per day of the fruit and veggie capsules.
The Fiber and Spice powder lists carbohydrates (9.3g), fiber (10.1g), omega 3 (830mg), and omega 6 (250mg).
In all fairness, this system is not marketed as a meal replacement supplement. You are likely to get carbohydrates and even some protein depending on what else you eat.
Personally speaking, I would want vitamins and minerals listed. If I wasn’t eating any fruit or vegetables, I would want to know for sure that I am getting the nutrients from the supplement.
Theoretically speaking, you should be getting some vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants from these supplements, but how much?
The blend is proprietary, so there isn’t even any way to tell how much of each ingredient is in the supplements.
Texas Superfood, both the capsules and powder, has the added benefit of enzymes and probiotics too. The probiotics consist of two strains, lactobacillus bulgaricus, lactobacillicus salivarium.
It also includes chlorella and spirulina along with wheatgrass and white mulberry leaf extract in its algae, grasses and others blend.
The fruit and veggie list is quite extensive, 55 in total, so I will only list a few.
- Acai berry
- Black walnut
- Chicory root
- Dandelion root
- Goji berry
- Hawthorne berry
- Holy basil
- Pea protein
- Senna leaf
There are also no vitamins and minerals listed on these labels.
Texas Superfood gives the explanation that unlike synthetic supplements, these vitamins and minerals aren’t in exact measurements.
The nutritional information is lists carbs (4g powder, 3g capsules), fiber (2g powder, 1g capsules), and negligible sodium and sugar contents for both.
Sugar is at 1g for both supplements too. There is no added sugar.
If I were to pick one of these two, I would pick Balance of Nature, simply because there haven’t been too many complaints about negative side effects.
However, if you prefer a shake, I would rather go with Garden of Life Perfect Food Energizer. This product also contains probiotics and enzymes and a fruit and veggie blend.
But if it’s just vitamins and minerals you’re after, this supplement will suffice.
If you prefer capsules, I would go with Juice Plus+ Fruit and Vegetable Capsules. Once again, not much to be said fiber wise. But there are vitamins and minerals listed.