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Balance of Nature Review: Effectiveness, Safety, Pros and Cons

Written by Markita Lewis, MS, RD

Reviewed by Anthony Dugarte, MD 

Last Updated on May 27, 2021

Our Expert Rating:

3.0

About This Rating
The average rating of this product is calculated based on the evaluation of the following factors:
  • Support for Claims:4.0
  • Ingredient Safety:2.0
  • Value for the Price:3.0
  • Brand Transparency:3.0

Balance of Nature’s Whole Health System includes a combination of three whole food supplements to improve overall health and gut function. The ingredients within these supplements are supported by research to improve health, but the monthly cost is too much to justify.

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Balance of Nature Review: Effectiveness, Safety, Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Well-researched ingredients for gut health
  • A good way to increase nutrient/antioxidant intake

Cons

  • Expensive supplement
  • Number of pills and scoops of powder may be cumbersome to take daily
  • Contains soy and grapefruit, which can be harmful to certain populations

Overview

Balance of Nature’s Whole Health System consists of whole food supplements designed to “kick blah to the curb” and improve whole-body health.

The Whole Health System is made up of Fruits & Veggies supplements and Fiber & Spice powder drink.

The Fruits & Veggies supplements contain flash dried and ground fruits and vegetables that together are reported to be equivalent to 10 servings (approximately 5 cups) of fruits and vegetables.

The fruits supplement blend contains 16 whole fruits and aloe vera.

It has cherries, lemons, pineapple, apples, cranberries, mango, raspberries, bananas, grapes, oranges, strawberries, blueberries, grapefruit, papaya, and tomatoes.

The veggies blend contains broccoli, celery, soybeans, cabbage, garlic, spinach, carrots, kale, wheatgrass, cauliflower, onions, yams, cayenne peppers, shiitake mushrooms, and zucchini.

Fiber & Spice is a fiber drink that contains a blend of fibers and 12 spices. It has psyllium husk, flax seeds, whole apples, allspice, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander seeds, cumin, fennel seeds, fenugreek, ginger, mustard seeds, nutmeg, and turmeric.

Evaluation of Ingredients

All of the Balance of Nature supplements consist of proprietary blends, which makes it difficult to know if the ingredients contained are present in effective concentrations.

I could not find the Supplement Facts label for any of the products on the Balance of Nature website and had to find it on its Amazon storefront.

For a potential consumer, searching around for a Supplement Facts label should be a huge red flag.

The Veggies supplement blend contains:

  • 720 mg of Maintain blend
  • 713 mg of Protect blend
  • 576 mg of Repair blend

The Fruits supplement blend contains:

  • 731 mg of Maintain blend
  • 719 mg of Protect blend
  • 561 mg of Repair blend

Fiber & Spice contains:

  • 10 g of Balanced Whole Fiber Blend
  • 3 g of Protect & Repair Whole Spice Blend

Due to the number of ingredients between these three supplements in the Balance of Nature Whole Health System, this review will focus on fruit and vegetable powders as a whole and the ingredients that are known for gut health.

Fruit and Vegetable Powders

There is limited research available on the efficacy of the Balance of Nature Fruits & Veggies powder.

There is one clinical trial that showed triple-dose supplementation with Balance of Nature for 90 days improved clinical features of cirrhosis in individuals with chronic hepatitis.

This study was not published in a peer-reviewed journal, which limits the credibility and strength of the results.

Other studies find that fruit and vegetable concentrated powders provide antioxidants that can reduce inflammatory markers and oxidative stress within the body.

One particular study found that obese women taking a fruit and vegetable antioxidant supplement had reduced inflammatory markers of oxidative stress after completing an aerobic exercise.

Studies with athletes find that antioxidant supplementation may slightly improve performance during workouts by improving resistance and endurance, but this effect is not consistent.

Fruit and vegetable powders can also be beneficial for immune function.

In a randomized trial, healthcare professionals were given either a fruit and vegetable supplement or a placebo for 8 months.

After the trial, researchers found that individuals taking the supplement reduced days with moderate or severe common cold symptoms by 20%.

Some research also suggests that food-based antioxidant supplements may decrease the risk of upper respiratory illnesses in elite athletes.

Summary:
Fruit and vegetable powders may be effective for supporting immune function and reducing oxidative stress from exercise, but it has inconsistent efficacy for improving workout performance.

Gut Health

Psyllium husk is a type of fiber made from the Plantago ovata plant and is commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine.

A 2017 review of the effectiveness of fiber in gastrointestinal health found that psyllium supplementation improves the composition of healthy bacteria in the gut, reduces both constipation and diarrhea, and improves global symptoms of IBS.

Pectin is a type of fiber found in apples that is considered a prebiotic.

It helps balance gut microbiota, strengthens the intestinal barrier, and may prevent pathogenic bacteria from sticking to cells in the intestines.

Turmeric contains active polyphenol curcumin, which is known to be metabolized by the gut microbiota.

Curcumin may improve gut health by strengthening the intestinal barrier, reducing inflammation, and balancing the gut-brain axis.

Spices are full of antioxidants, including polyphenols, and may serve as prebiotics to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut.

One pilot study found that a mixed-spice supplement containing culinary doses of garlic, cinnamon, oregano, ginger, and black pepper improved the composition of gut microbiota compared to a placebo.

Summary:
Psyllium and pectin are probiotics that are shown to be effective in improving gut microbiota and helping with several gastrointestinal symptoms. Spices contain a variety of antioxidants such as polyphenols to reduce gut inflammation and may have a prebiotic function to help increase healthy gut bacteria.

Verdict on Claimed Benefits

Below is our summary of the available evidence for the claimed benefits of Balance of Nature Whole Health System based on the available research:

  • Improve digestive functionStrong Evidence
  • Support immune systemStrong Evidence
  • Improve workout recoveryStrong Evidence

Side Effects, Safety, and Dosage

Balance of Nature supplements are gluten-free, with no added sugars, artificial sweeteners, extracts, fillers, and free of GMOs.

The Veggies capsules have soybean in them, so they are likely not safe for individuals with soy allergies.

According to the creators of the Balance of Nature line, the Fruits & Veggies supplements are safe for pregnant and nursing mothers and can be safe for children.

It is still best to speak with your physician before taking these supplements.

The creators also state that the Fruits & Veggies capsules should be safe to take if you’re taking medications if your doctor has approved you to have a variety of fruits and vegetables.

Despite this, I have concerns about grapefruit as one of the ingredients in the Fruits supplements.

Grapefruit is known to interact with a significant number of common medications (including those taken for heart health, autoimmune conditions, and psychiatric medications) and cause significant side effects.

For some people, adding a fiber supplement to your routine may cause mild gastrointestinal effects, including gas, diarrhea, and abdominal discomfort.

On their website, Balance of Nature says that they get their products tested at an independent laboratory for aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, nutritional content, heavy metals, and pesticides.

The dosage of the Fruits & Veggies supplements is 3 capsules of each daily (6 capsules total).

These supplements can be chewed and swallowed dry or swallowed with water.

Fiber & Spice powder’s daily serving is 2 heaping scoops and should be taken twice daily with water.

Cost

The cost of Balance of Nature supplements depends on how much of the Whole Health System you want to use.

You can purchase the Fruits & Veggies for $89.95, the Fiber & Spice for $69.95, or combine the two (without discount) for $159.95.

If you become a Preferred Customer and get a monthly subscription to their products, you can get significant savings of $20 per product.

The Fruits & Veggies will cost $69.95, the Fiber & Spice will cost $49.95, and together the Whole Health System costs $109.95 per month.

Returns can only be made within 30 days of your first “Preferred Customer” purchase of the Balance of Nature supplements.

You will need a Return Merchandise Authorization number (available through a phone number on their Returns page) to return your order. Shipping costs are not included in your refund.

At a glance, the cost of these supplements may appear to seem “worth it” due to it reportedly being equivalent to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables and providing various phytochemicals.

Still, when you look deeper, it isn’t. A supplement is not enough to replace eating regular fruits and vegetables in your diet, and the cost of this product is significantly higher than alternatives.

How Balance of Nature Compares to Alternatives

Balance of Nature products are quite expensive compared to other fruit and vegetable capsule supplements.

Other supplements, including well-known whole food supplements like Juice Plus+, are cheaper while providing a similar product.

Juice Plus+ also has several clinical trials published in peer-reviewed journals to back up its claims.

Because Balance of Nature is a proprietary blend, it is difficult to determine if it truly has a higher concentration of nutrients than other products.

The Fruits & Veggies supplements require you to take 6 capsules total to obtain the recommended daily dosage.

Other whole food fruit and vegetable supplements usually only require 2 capsules per day.

As far as the Fiber & Spice supplement goes, you can absolutely find fiber supplements that don’t cost between $50–70 per month.

Take that extra money to buy a variety of spices for your spice cabinet to use in your regular cooking.

Research already supports culinary doses of these spices to improve gut health, and they will last for a longer time.

The Bottom Line

If you’re struggling with including enough healthy foods into your diet, trying Balance of Nature's Whole Health System supplements may help you.

There is research supporting the use of fruit and vegetable powders in general for health, as well as fiber and spices for gut health.

However, I do think that you can find cheaper whole food supplements elsewhere.

There are some issues that I have with the Balance of Nature brand’s messaging and practices.

Just because a supplement is made up of whole foods does not mean that there aren’t potential risks for people.

One of the ingredients included in the supplements is grapefruit, and there is no mention of potential grapefruit interactions with medications on their website.

Allergy concerns appear to be downplayed as well on its website.

The makers of Balance of Nature are somewhat contradictory in their wording when talking about their products and whether they are equivalent to fruits and vegetables.

On one page, they note that vitamin dietary supplements don’t have the same positive effects as eating real fruits and vegetables, but then say that Balance of Nature is real fruits and vegetables.

Also, on the FAQ page, they say that Balance of Nature is not meant to replace eating whole fruits and vegetables.

The qualitative testing for phytonutrient content is also somewhat questionable – it is based on the color, taste, and smell of the dried produce.

I would trust this product more if other, more rigorous quantitative methods were used to measure phytochemical content.

I am not the only one who has had issues with Balance of Nature’s representation of their product.

In 2019, the FDA sent Balance of Nature a warning letter due to serious violations of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

Balance of Nature had supplement labeling claims and media (on YouTube and the brand’s website) that implied the ingredients in Balance of Nature products had effects similar to a medication.

Overall, I would take the claims made by Balance of Nature with a grain of salt and look for my nutrition elsewhere. 

A Word from Our RD

I have some patients who take fruit and vegetable supplements at the beginning of their journey to eating healthier.

They find that these supplements actually are beneficial when they haven’t been eating enough fruits and vegetables daily. But they know that it’s not the only thing that they need for their bodies.

Fresh fruits and vegetables serve so many purposes in our foods – flavor, visual presentation, hydration, satiety, and satisfaction. You can’t get those things from a supplement.

If you eat a variety of fruits and vegetables in a rainbow of colors, you can obtain many antioxidants and different types of fiber in your diet.

Some fruits and vegetables may have synergistic effects in the body when eaten with other types of foods in a way that a supplement cannot achieve.

Even if you can’t manage to have 10 servings (5 cups) of fruits and vegetables per day, any amount you have helps.

Add vegetables into the foods you already cook, have them as snacks, or choose your vegetables first if you’re still hungry after your meal.

Current recommendations from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend up to 3 cups of vegetables daily and up to 2 cups of fruits.

Depending on how plant-based your diet is or your daily calorie needs, you may require more than these general recommendations.

A fruit and vegetable capsule supplement may be a great way to help increase the antioxidant content of your diet, but it will never be a true replacement for eating whole fruits and vegetables.

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