The other day I came across Balance of Nature Fruits and Veggies on the same day I was watching a movie with my eldest kid. The movie involved a futuristic version of society, and in which the characters no longer needed to eat.
Instead, they got all the nutrition they needed from pills. “But won’t they be hungry?” she wisely pitched in. I can only imagine, I told her, that they also take a pill to make them feel full.
It can’t just be me who feels that this is exactly where, as a society, we are heading? Supplement makers are, and have been for a while, selling to customers the idea of something as easy as a pill that will cut out all of the ‘hassle’ of eating whole foods and deriving nature’s bountiful health benefits.
This is why I think it’s really important, before parting with your hard-earned dollars, to do some research into what it really is that you receive in return. So here is my Balance of Nature review in full.
It’s not just standard vitamin pills anymore. In searching for this new wave of superfoods powders and associated products I’ve stumbled across a product called Balance of Nature, which comprises two forms of capsules of fruits and veggies powders.
The claim – which is by no means a new one – is that they are doing what all the others do only somehow better. The makers say that they don’t use heat to dehydrate their fruits and veggies, therefore retaining more of the ‘goodness’ and nutrition of the product. This is very intriguing and I’d like to know more.
Claiming to be ‘serious nutrition’ I’d like to know how Balance of Nature can deliver on the promises they make, so here’s my full Balance of Nature review.
Background on Balance of Nature
In 1996, Dr. Douglas Howard developed a form of dehydration called ‘flash drying’ which, it is claimed, retains 99% of the nutrients within fresh produce when they reduce it to a powdered form.
It is proposed that the whole process – which is done in low levels of heat, light, and air – purposefully limits the amount of oxidation from the produce and therefore all the goodness goes directly to you when you consume the powder.
Balance of Nature capsules come in fruit and veggie varieties, and the idea is that you take three a day, one alongside each meal, as a supplement to enable you to derive fruit and vegetable nutrition but without the hassle of preparing whole foods to eat. But what about the fiber, I ask myself… Their fiber products (Fiber & Spice) which neatly packages precisely the fiber you are missing out on by taking powdered fruits and vegetables.
The ‘whole health system’ (taking the fruit, veggie, and fiber all together) says it will simplify your life. Everything that your doctor or nutritionist says you should be getting more of, in terms of whole foods, you can buy from Balance of Nature and take in capsule (and powder) form. How neat! How modern! But how is this any different from the other green superfoods competition?
Not only do they set out to help you to eat more healthily, Balance of Nature offers a Health Coaching service that keeps you accountable to your health and fitness lifestyle choices, another aspect of the company which gives ‘added value’ to the products.
Balance of Nature Ingredients
The fruit capsules contain a blend of the following ingredients:
The veggies capsules contain a blend of the following ingredients:
Now, rather than go into great detail about the health benefits of each individual fruit and vegetable, I’m going to talk about how the makers of this product have pitched the benefits to customers, and what my take is on this.
Firstly, they don’t give any amounts for their nutritional information. That means that how much of each ingredient is included in their blend is actually hidden from the customer. This is disappointing. I’d like to know if I’m getting a full portion of cranberries in this blend, to say nothing of the amount of kale in the veggie blend.
It’s also a shame that so much of the information about this product is hidden inside their FAQ page of the website. There is very little up-front which tries to inform the customer about their preparation methods and the added value they claim to be giving customers.
What Balance of Nature says is that ‘how’ they have prepared the ingredients in the blend is as important as what actually goes into it. But my main concern is that this whole product line is actually missing the added benefits of eating whole foods.
As opposed to encouraging people to explore a diverse range of fresh foods in their diet, and thereby benefiting from the phytonutrients from each individual fruit or vegetable directly by eating them, we are being convinced to pay someone for their efforts in preparing these foods for us.
It seems slightly absurd. Especially when fruits and vegetables are so delicious!
How Does Balance of Nature Taste?
Because the formulation is enclosed in a capsule there is unlikely to be any discernible taste.
I would say that apart from the lack of fiber in the fruit and vegetable capsules there is unlikely to be a side effect to taking these capsules. The only side effect I can foresee is if it actively prevents you from eating as much fresh fruit and vegetables as you ordinarily would, in which case you should increase your fiber intake.
Does Balance of Nature Actually Work?
The suggested serving size is 3 of each capsule; three fruits, and three veggies, so that means you are supposed to take six capsules per day. Now I am personally not keen on this. I don’t like (or even want to be) taking capsules at the best of times, so six per day is a stretch for me.
Each serving is 2.4g. What is included is a proprietary blend, so in not declaring exactly how much of each ingredient is included in the blend, the makers are also not able to really tell us what it can do. This is my bottom line on all blends. They are not being honest about the powerful ingredients they have included, and therefore I can’t be sure whether I’m really getting enough of each individual ingredient, apart from going on what the manufacturers have told me.
We are told that when we take Balance of Nature capsules we derive all the nutrition from 10 servings of a salad containing 31 ingredients. The equivalent – we are told – of eating a large fruit salad and a large vegetable salad. We are further told why this ‘nutritional equivalence’ is not a trick.
We are informed, in quite frankly a bizarre tangent from actual nutritional science, that this is a matter of “Total Surface Area” and that the nutrition of each food is enhanced by the process of powdering it.
I assume this to be more than a little misleading. What you miss out on by taking only a supplement in place of fruit and vegetables includes more than just micronutrition (vitamins and minerals). Dietitians are often asked whether vegetable powders are as good as eating the real thing.
There is limited research into these products and therefore most ‘scientific’ findings are conveniently made by the manufacturers themselves. I don’t find this at all convincing.
I refer often to this leaflet by Canadian Dieticians regarding supplements, which explains why it is important to eat a varied diet including whole foods.
I’ll say it again because it bears repeating, these proprietary blends just don’t cut it for me in terms of transparency and really knowing what’s inside the capsule.
Balance of Nature Customer Reviews
The four customer reviews I found on Amazon range from one to five stars:
great products5 star
quality of the product5 star
waste of time and money1 star
Money Back Guarantee / Returns Policy
You get a 30-day money-back guarantee as a Preferred Customer (see below for an explanation of the buying options).
Where to Buy Balance of Nature
Is It Worth the Price?
At three capsules per day, 30 capsules are only going to last you ten days. This represents pretty poor value for money. But don’t forget, what you are buying is not just the product, you are also paying for a personal health coach to keep you on track with your goals. So, in pitching this as an added value, the makers of this simple powder-in-capsule-form have sold you something so much more valuable than just the health benefits of what is inside the pills.
You can buy as a Preferred Customer or as a Retail Customer. The price quoted online is currently $69.95 as a Preferred Customer. This gets you 90 capsules of each fruit and veggie type – 30 day’s supply. For $2.33 per day, this isn’t cheap as an alternative to eating fresh fruit and veggies, but as I said above it depends on what you are replacing the whole foods in your diet. Pills like this shouldn’t be a meal replacement as they don’t represent the full nutritional scope of a varied diet.
The Bottom Line
I’m still wary of the concept of completely replacing whole foods with powders or capsules, although I definitely believe in the power of supplements to fulfill a nutritional need where the basics are not being met.
I don’t agree that you need to pay someone to dehydrate all your fruits and veggies, but I do think that supplementation can add powerful nutrients that may be missing from an otherwise healthy diet.
For me, these pills would only be a short stop-gap if my nutrition was under par and I was struggling to get any fresh fruits or veggies in my diet, but I’ll keep looking for a premium product that provides more bang for my buck.
LifeHacker Guy Greens Recommendation
Please give me a few moments to shamelessly introduce my brand, SuperGreen TONIK.
I have researched a lot (and I mean a lot) of super greens out there but was disappointed with most of the ones I tried.
So, I went out and created my own with the help of a USA manufacturer because I wanted to ensure I got all my veggie goodness in the right amounts, and of course within a no-fuss single serving each day.
None of the other brands offered that.
Its the best out there (of course I would say that about my own), but let me tell you why...
- No hidden ingredient amounts - we have full disclosure labelling, so you know EXACTLY whats inside
- Sufficient ingredient amounts to make a difference - we include at least (if not more of) the minimum effective amounts supported by research
- Ingredients that also could boost mental clarity and shake off brain fog - to boost my at work and home
After many months I finally got a greens formula that fuels my body and mind for the day ahead.
But please dont JUST take my word for it, make up your own decision by checking out my review. (I TRY BE BE AS UNBIASED AS POSSIBLE )