Friday, 1 July 2011

Top 5 Wholefood Multivitamins - Juice Plus + Alternatives

The Juice Plus+ PR machine was on top form this week landing some fantastic coverage of their products in the press. It's been hailed as a fantastic way of helping you achieve your 'Five-a-day' with glowing endorsement from the likes of Bear Gryll's (real name Edward).

However for those in the know, wholefood multivitamin and food supplements are nothing new. If you're in the market for a good quality food based vitamin supplement then you're currently spoiled for choice. Are you looking for great value while covering all the basics? Are the latest superfoods and phytonutrients an essential requirement?

For decades critics have fallen back on the outdated and fictitous belief that "if you eat a healthy balanced diet, you don't need to supplement". As I kindly remind these people, you show me a person with a healthy balanced diet, and I'll show you a person who doesn't work, have to raise children or leave the house. This person does not exist in the modern world.

Here is our run down for the Top 5 Wholefood Multivitamins & Food Supplements

5 Nature's Plus Animal Parade Chewable

Nature's Plus have a large range of natural food based supplements under their 'Source Of Life' branding. However if you're looking for a quality food based multi for the kids, then you're going to run into difficulties. Often children dislike swallowing pills, so many look to chewable vitamins for the solution. The problem comes in when to counter the strong flavours given off by various vitamins and minerals they have to add a lot of colourings, flavours and preservatives.

We like that Animal Parade is free from artificial colours and preservatives, it's vegetarian and gluten free. Rather than using simple cheap sweeteners and simple sugars they have used Fructose which should break down slower in the body.

4 Nature's Own Euro Gold

No, not a new gold seem discovered underneath the Alps, but a high quality multi marketed as a 'Food State' product. What this means is that the basic ingredients to the product are from natural sources and not broken down into their component chemicals. On top of this it also has a probiotic base - Lactobacillus bulgaricus which is found naturally occurring in the gut.

We like the approach they have taken to remove as many excipients, to which ends they've done a good job considering it's a tablet rather than a capsule.

Click here for ingredients break down:

3 Nature's Way Alive!

Some companies have a very clear focus on what their target customer is. Apparently Nature's Way prefer the approach of target everyone, as is apparent by their inclusion of (deep breath):
Spirulina, Chlorella, Blue-Green algae and other green superfoods.
Parsley, Kale, Cabbage, Cauliflower and other vegetable juices. Yum?
Papaya, Plum, Pineapple and other what they call 'Orchard fruits'.
A medicinal mushroom complex including Reishi, Shiitake and Maitake.
Omega complexes derived from flax and sunflower seeds.
Actually there is so much packed into this it's probably best you just read the label:

We like this all out guns blazing approach, especially if someone is currently on a bit of a health kick. However, we would be less keen taking this on a regular year round basis, as certain ingredients are best used when directly treating a condition rather than as a general wellness tonic.

2 Pure LifeEssence Master Multiple

Now, a four tablet a day formula will put many off, but Pure like many believe that a single dose multivitamin is not going to be absorbed to it's fullest it the most healthy of digestive systems. Splitting that high dose multi into smaller ones that you take with meals will lead to far better absorption. Thankfully the large 240 tablet bottle size provides you enough for two months (yes I had to work that out on a calculator, why do you ask?).

Again this formula contains herbs, which not only make it threatened by the EU, but also not one we would then recommend taking year round. Complete a course of it, then switch to a more generic wholefood multi unless you are treating a specific condition.

1 Solgar Earth Source Multi-Nutrient

Often when discussing Solgar, you'll overhear people mention "you're just paying for the name". Often when asked, these same people buy their supplements on offer from Lidl (I love Lidl, but wouldn't buy my vitamins from there), so clearly aren't any authority on the importance of quality and manufacturing practice.

Earth Source gives you good dosages of whole food concentrate vitamins and it's suitable for Vegetarians and Vegans. Although the recommended dosage is up to three a day, we realised a long time ago that a company to call any product a 'One A Day', it's down to what your body needs and what you're lifestyle is like.

Click here (and squint) for ingredients break down:

As with any other nutritional supplement, we recommend you either talk to your local health food store or nutritionist or GP so that you are fully aware of what works best for you and whether you should be avoiding certain supplements due to an existing ailment or condition.

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