Of all the greens powders I’ve tried out, Vitamineral Green might have the strongest “New Age” vibe of them all.
It doesn’t just focus on the fact that it’s raw, vegan, and packaged in post-consumer recycled paper that was produced with wind energy. It also claims to provide both magnetic and vibrational “energetic enhancements” and it’s invented (and trademarked) several new words to describe the product, with an emphasis on “Truganic,” their own “hard core quality standard for sourcing and production” that ensures no ingredients with GMOs, pesticides, or irradiation.
As far as health effects, the clearest claims it makes are that it supports the function of the liver, kidney, pancreas, blood, bones, muscles, brain, colon, immune system, and “detoxification.” It also says it “contains a full spectrum of naturally-occurring, absorbable, and non-toxic vitamins, minerals, all the essential amino acids, antioxidants, chlorophyll, soluble and insoluble fibers, tens of thousands of phytonutrients, and a plethora of other synergestically-bound, organic nutrients.”
Phew. So what’s actually in it?
They’re split up into six categories: “From the Waters,” which has spirulina and chlorella, “From the Oceans,” which has five kinds of algae, “VMG Enzyme Concentrate” which has seven kinds of digestive enzymes, “Probiotics” which has six kinds of probiotic bacteria, and the largest category of “From the Land.”
“From the Land” has eighteen ingredients, many of which the average consumer probably hasn’t heard of. I’m talking nettle leaf, carob pod, chickweed herb, yacon leaf, amla berry, and shilajit, among others. Many of these have been historically used in traditional medicine like Ayurveda, though there are also some more popular ingredients like powdered juices from alfalfa grass, oat grass, barley grass, and dandelion leaf.
A serving of 1.5 tablespoons contains 35 calories, 3 grams of protein, 5 grams of carbohydrate, 2 grams of fiber, and no fat.
This is one greens powder that well and truly fits the stereotype of the grassy, soily flavor. There are no flavorings or sweeteners, be they artificial or natural, in this product. The result is something that isn’t bitter, but isn’t enjoyable. It tastes like wheat grass and algae. You’d be best finding ways to sneak small amounts into more flavorful meals or shakes.
The claim: Vitamineral Green contains a full spectrum of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants, chlorophyll, and phytonutrients.
The evidence: slim. I want to know how much nutrition is in a serving. That’s the entire point.
The nutrition panel on Synergy Greens isn’t very expansive. Here’s what we do know: it contains 60 percent of your recommended daily intake of Vitamin A, 20 percent of your daily Vitamin C, 40 percent of your iron (that’s a lot), 10 percent of your calcium, and 1 percent of your sodium.
As for antioxidants, Healthforce doesn’t quantify how many it contains. Other greens powders I’ve seen that have similar ingredients sometimes say they have as many antioxidants as five or ten servings of vegetables. Or, if they really want to convince me of their benefits, they’ll mention their ORAC score. There’s no information about antioxidants here.
It does contain a lot of kinds of probiotics and digestive enzymes, so it will probably benefit your digestive system. But again, I’m not told how many billions of probiotics it contains, so I don’t know if it’s as effective as a dedicated supplement or even a different brand of greens powder that did its homework and test its probiotic content.
If you’re well schooled in herbal medicine and alternative remedies, you may well be delighted to find horsetail, nettle leaf, moringa and amla berry in this product. They have indeed been linked to various health benefits.
However, the product doesn’t tell me how many of each ingredient it contains, so if I did the homework to find out the minimum effective dose of these herbs and roots, I wouldn’t know if this product delivers enough of them. Even if I don’t care about nutrition information and just care about ingredients, I still don’t know enough to know if I’m getting the benefits I want.
What I wanted from Vitamineral Green was an explanation of why I should spend my money on it: do you have a lot of nutrition and if you don’t, but your ingredients may confer some other health benefits, what are they and how do I know you meet the minimum dose? None of these questions are answered.
The Healthforce website charges $65 for 50 servings, but at the time of writing you can get it on Amazon for 58 dollars, or $1.16 per serving. That’s pretty cheap as far as the industry goes, particularly since you’re getting probiotics and enzymes with your standard issue seaweeds, grasses, and roots.
Compare that with Athletic Greens ($4.23/serving), Onnit’s Earth Grown Nutrients ($2.30/serving), Patriot Power Greens ($1.96/serving) AI Sports Nutrition Red & Greens XT ($1.33/serving), Green Vibrance ($1.08/serving), ORAC-Energy Greens ($1/serving), PharmaFreak Greens Freak ($1/serving), Sun Warrior’s Supergreens ($0.55/serving), and Amazing Grass’s Green Superfood ($0.52/serving).
This product is cheap, it probably has a lot of antioxidants and it probably has a lot of probiotics. But for all the unusual ingredients and grandiose claims, it should have done more to convince me that it carries benefits that other greens powders don’t. (Particularly since it tastes worse than most of its competitors.) As it stands, there’s not enough evidence to convince me to recommend Vitamineral Green.
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