The Truth About Balance of Nature Fruit & Vegetable Supplements
UPDATE (January 2021): If you’re considering buying Balance of Nature, I dug around and finally found (and tested- it works) a coupon code to help you save. Use code SAVE35 and it will take 35% off your order. The catch is you have to order it on recurring monthly orders, not the one-time option. However, you can now simply cancel your monthly subscription online at any time so there’s no long term commitment required to get this great discount.
If you listen to conservative talk radio, you’ve probably heard of Balance of Nature from their testimonial ads. Now they are advertising regularly on Fox News as well, so there’s quite a bit of interest in this brand and its products.
If you aren’t familiar with what Balance of Nature is, what they do or how they do it, then read on to learn about their whole food vitamin supplements.
Balance of Nature was founded by Dr. Douglas Howard in 1997. He had studied and practiced chiropractic, and also received his M.D. from Pavlov First Medical Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia. His experiences studying medicine overseas are what led to his interest in what was at the time an emerging field of research in phytochemicals.
Of course now we understand the importance of plant-based eating, but in the 1990’s little was known about phytonutrition. Dr. Howard was interested in helping people live healthy lives, and he knew proper nutrition was a key ingredient. He just couldn’t figure out how to get people to eat enough fruits and vegetables to get the benefits of the phytochemicals that were being studied and understood a little more each day.
This is what led him to develop Balance of Nature Fruits & Veggies. He supposed that by making fruits and vegetables convenient and affordable, more people would eat them. He did it using a process called lyophilization.
It’s basically a freeze-drying process that removes all the water from the fruits and vegetables without using heat, air or light. This is to preserve their nutrients. And since most produce is over 80% water, all that was left behind were the phytonutrients.
That dehydrated produce was then pulverized in a machine and turned into powder. Those powdered foods were blended and encapsulated, and that’s what is inside each Balance of Nature capsule to this day. Their video explains the whole process:
As hard as it is to believe, it appears to be fruits and vegetables…in a capsule. This of course leads to quite a few questions:
- Does a capsule contain enough to be effective, or is it just a trace amount?
- Would taking Balance of Nature improve my nutrition?
- Are these the same thing as a multi-vitamin?
- How much does Balance of Nature cost?
- Are their radio and TV ads even real?
All good questions, so let’s dive in and learn the truth about these vitamin supplements and look at the pros and cons of Balance of Nature. Both Balance of Nature and Dr. Howard appear to be fairly active on their Facebook pages, so if you want to ask them any questions directly, feel free.
First, it looks like they’ve set a serving size as 3 Fruits capsules and 3 Veggies capsules. So perhaps just a single capsule is too little to be effective. But if taking the recommended amount, you are supposedly getting the nutritional equivalent of 10 servings of fruits and vegetables.
Are 10 servings of fruits and vegetables enough to improve your nutrition? Absolutely. These supplements should probably not replace whole fruits and vegetables in your diet, but be in addition to that fresh produce.
In that sense, Balance of Nature is very much like a multi-vitamin. You take it in addition to a healthy diet to essentially “fill in the gaps” in your nutrition. In addition to their Fruits and Veggies, it looks like they also have a fiber supplement that is pretty popular. When taking these Balance of Nature products together, you aren’t replacing whole food in your diet, but supplementing it…just like you would by taking vitamins.
However, all multi-vitamins are essentially extracts, isolates and synthetics created in a lab. Yeah, your multivitamin might have the daily recommended value of Vitamin C, but it’s in the form of ascorbic acid that’s been created in a lab and isolated from all the other nutrients it can normally be found with in whole food.
That’s not to mention that we have a lot of research on multivitamins now, and nearly all of it shows that multivitamins don’t even work. Yet the research on fruits and vegetables overwhelmingly shows the nutritional benefits of eating them in their whole food form.
Research on Balance of Nature is pretty light. It doesn’t appear that any studies have been performed on their specific supplements. There’s tons of research on fruits and vegetables in their whole form, but not in their freeze-dried, powdered form.
There is quite a bit of anecdotal evidence though. There is a treasure trove of Balance of Nature reviews at Trustpilot where they have pretty good ratings. Nearly all the negative reviews there seem to focus on the customer service rather than the product itself. There are also a bunch of people online who have shared their experiences with Balance of Nature.
You can find reviews from Jessica at Pretty Providence, A Foodie Stays Fit, Tara from Mom Knows Best, Collectively Casey and others, as well as positive ratings from review sites like My Greens Daily and User Beets. There’s also quite a bit of feedback on their Amazon listing, which pegs them at a 4.3 out of 5.
That’s not to say the everyone has glowing reviews. However, it appears that the negative feedback is targeted mostly at the customer service and price, not the products. And that criticism looks pretty fair.
To order Balance of Nature Fruits & Veggies (they are only sold in a set), you can get them retail (one-time purchase) for $89.95 on their website or $99.95 on Amazon. If you want to save, you can get them on a monthly subscription for $69.95 per month on their website. UPDATE: I found coupon code SAVE35 which will take 35% off your first order if you sign up for the monthly subscription.
It looks like cancelling that subscription used to be a little complicated. Their website didn’t have any account modification feature, so in order to cancel you had to call in. Most of the negative reviews center around this, as people had trouble getting through or getting a call back. However, as of January 2021, they have added new functionality to their website. Customers can now control and modify their accounts and subscriptions directly through the online dashboard, a very welcome development.
One thing to notice is that Balance of Nature appears to be very active on social media. They respond to every review, comment or complaint you can find. So they appear to have some self awareness about the problem. And as of right now several of their public comments refer to a pending website overhaul that will allow customers to manager their own accounts online, so that would be a welcome functionality.
All that brings us to our final question…what’s the deal with those ads? Are those just actors reading a script? Are they even real at all?
That’s obviously a question only Balance of Nature can answer. The question comes up pretty often in their comments, and every time they say the testimonials are unsolicited and unscripted. They are real customers calling in to share their real experiences.
Their video ads actually give an opportunity because the customers featured in the ads state their names and occupations. Any amateur sleuth could probably identify and contact these people to confirm their authenticity. That would make for an interesting exercise.
Ultimately, it’s pretty cool that someone has figured out how to get fruits and vegetables into capsules. Worst case scenario is they are just as ineffective as all the multivitamins out there and you waste just as much money each month as you were on all those vitamin supplement pills. But best case scenario is that they provide you with all the same nutrition as whole fruits and vegetables and give your body what it needs to stay healthy.
Certainly worth a try! Final reminder, if you want to try Balance of Nature, I found code SAVE35 to get 35% off your first order when you sign up for monthly orders. You can cancel online at any time. I’ve contacted them directly- this code is active and works.