Balance of Nature: Pros and Cons, Supplement Facts, Side Effects, Consumer Complaints and Is It a Hoax?
Balance of Nature Fruits and Veggies are popular whole food nutritional supplements advertised on TV and radio.
Here’s an honest review of their ingredients list, pros and cons, how much they cost per month and whether they are worth it.
Learn potential side effects, consumer reports and complaints, where you can get them without auto-shipping and whether their products are any good or a hoax.
Also ahead, better and cheaper alternatives, and a full product comparison between Texas Superfood vs Balance of Nature Fruits and Veggies supplement.
What is Balance of Nature?
Modern life is busy and demanding, and many of us struggle to eat enough healthy vegetables and fruit each day. Only 1 in 10 people in the USA get the recommended amount of fruits and veggies in their daily diets, according to the CDC.
Balance of Nature is an American company that makes nutritional supplements designed to address these dietary deficiencies. The business founder and principal is Dr. Douglas Howard. The company’s website says he is “an American physician and medical researcher” who “specializes in phytonutrition”.
Their flagship product is their ‘Fruits and Veggies’ capsules. They also sell ‘Fiber & Spice’, a psyllium husk based powder to keep you regular. As well as ‘Whole Health System’, a combination of both offerings.
The ‘Fruits and Veggies’ product is 2 separate containers of 90 caps. They are only sold together and you cannot buy them separately. Serving size for each tub is 3 capsules. That means you take 6 a day in total and get a 30 day supply if you use them as directed.
You can check the current retail price here on Amazon, where you can get them with free shipping and avoid signing up for auto-delivery on balanceofnature.com.
Let’s have a look at what’s in these whole food supplements and see if Balance of Nature is worth taking or not.
Balance of Nature Fruits Ingredients
- Aloe vera, apple, banana, blueberry, cranberry, cherry, grape, grapefruit, lemon, mango, orange, pineapple, papaya, raspberry, strawberry and tomato.
Balance of Nature Veggies Ingredients
- Broccoli, carrot, cauliflower, cabbage, cayenne pepper, celery stalk, garlic, kale, onion, shiitake mushroom, soybean, spinach, wheatgrass, yam and zucchini.
The ingredients in Balance of Nature are listed in alphabetical order. This is unhelpful for customers as it hides which vegetables and fruits are the most prevalent in the formulas.
It’s true that many supplements have proprietary blends. However, the main additions by weight are usually listed first by convention.
With Balance of Nature’s Fruits and Veggies product, you have to trust that the company hasn’t bulked up the cheaper ingredients, like apple or soybean. While at the same time adding smaller amounts of more nutritious ones, such as blueberry or kale, just so they can be listed on the label.
Even the budget Balance of Nature substitute, JuiceFestiv, compared here with Juice Plus, lists a much clearer and objectively better range of fruits, vegetables and herbs as ingredients.
Best and Worst Additions
Starting with the ‘Fruits’ product, antioxidant-rich blueberry, cherry, cranberry, lemon, papaya, pineapple, raspberry and aloe vera are all beneficial ingredients.
However, apple, banana, orange and tomato seem unnecessary cheaper additions to this formula. The small amounts of these common powdered fruits would not make much difference to all but the most nutrient-deficient people.
Also, when you compare Texas Superfood to Balance of Nature side by side, the later starts to look quite limited in its formulation. More isn’t always better, but there are far more high nutrition ingredients in the Texas Superfood formulation.
You can see the full list of vine-ripened fruits, vegetables, greens, berries, herbs, enzymes and probiotics here on their website. Use the code SFP23 at the checkout for the lowest price anywhere.
Moving on to the ‘Veggies’ whole food supplement, most of these are nutritious additions, with one glaring exception. I particularly liked the shiitake mushroom, wheatgrass, garlic, kale, cayenne pepper and broccoli here.
That said, what on earth was Dr. Howard thinking including soybean in the Balance of Nature vegetable formula?
Soy is an estrogenic ingredient with many adverse effects. It’s low in nutrients, contains problematic substances like phytic acid, can causes allergies, and is already in far too many processed foods.
There isn’t anyone in the USA that I can think of that would benefit from even more raw soybean in their diet. It may be a small proportion of the Veggies formula, but is still a strange addition when the majority of supplements go out of their way to list themselves as soy-free on their labels.
Potential Side Effects
There are no commonly reported side effects of Balance of Nature, according to my research. I’ve listed a few potential precautions and warnings though based on the ingredients:
- People with a soy allergy should avoid the Veggies product with added raw soybean.
- Individuals with a rare latex allergy shouldn’t take the Fruits caps, due to the pineapple and papaya they contain.
- Psyllium husks in the Fiber and Spice product can cause digestive issues, like bloating and gas. Starting with a low dose to build up tolerance is recommended. The company could benefit their customers by listing this on the label.
Pros and Cons of Balance of Nature
1. Vegetarian and Vegan Product
All produce used in the Balance of Nature range are suitable for vegans and Fruits and Veggies are made with vegetarian capsules.
2. Careful Processing for Maximum Nutrition
Labelling states that all the ingredients are “powdered by an advanced vacuum-cold process to stabilize the maximum nutrient content”. The company’s website also highlights that they use a special freeze-drying process called flash drying that Dr. Howard helped to develop.
Using flash drying processing for Fruits and Veggies would ensure that the majority of the original vitamin and antioxidant content is retained.
3. High Quality Ingredients
The company’s website states that all their produce is grown without pesticides, is GMO-free, vine-ripened and picked at the peak of ripeness.
They also state that the dried produce powder is sent to an independent laboratory where it is tested for bacteria, pesticides, heavy metals and nutritional content.
Their products are made in America, with no added sugar, gluten-free, and with no synthetic vitamins or chemicals added.
1. Balance of Nature Cost Per Month
Even if these whole food supplements are of the highest quality, they are still very expensive at $89.95 retail for Fruits and Veggies, especially considering you only get 30 servings.
Compare that to the similar but significantly cheaper JuiceFestiv reviewed here. You can find these budget organic fruit and veggie capsules here on iHerb with an automatic cart discount. With that reduction JuiceFestiv is around 5 times cheaper than Balance of Nature for the same 30 day supply.
Even more over the top is the Fiber and Spice tub at $69.95. It’s made from predominantly cheap psyllium husks and it’s difficult to see how this pricing can be justified.
You can get $20 off either of these products by becoming a ‘Preferred Customer’ for a one-time fee of $24.95. As a warning though, this signs you up to automatic monthly deliveries, which some consumers complain are difficult to cancel.
Even if you did want regular monthly deliveries, this is still a high price point for the specific fruits and vegetables listed in Balance of Nature vitamins.
2. High Price Per Serving
At the retail price on their website of $89.95 for Fruits and Veggies supplement, you get 30 servings of 6 caps. That’s $2.99 per daily dose and quite high compared to other fruit and veggie capsule competitors.
3. Not USDA Organic
The company said on their site that their product goes “beyond the USDA organic” seal and that they choose not to use it on their labels because it “does not approach their philosophies and standards”.
This statement does not help the consumer make an informed decision though. Could the extra cost of USDA organic certification have been just as much of a factor as any company ‘philosophy’?
4. Added Soybean in Veggies Product
I’ve stated my concern with the soybean in the Veggies supplement earlier in this Balance of Nature review.
Digging deeper into the company’s website, they defend this inclusion by stating that “cultures that have whole soy in their food… especially fermented, have some of the lowest… lifestyle diseases”.
It’s mentioned in passing in this statement, but fermentation of soy is key to its benefits. Doctor Howard’s labeling does not state the soy is fermented and the company website FAQs mentions whole soybean.
The very Asian cultures the company is citing, like Japan, consume soy predominantly in fermented form. Raw soybean is not part of the standard Japanese diet.
5. Limited Consumer Reviews and Ratings
Since the company didn’t sell on Amazon until recently, the only place to see consumer feedback was on the company’s website – hardly an impartial resource.
At the time of writing, there were 8 customer reviews for Fruits and Veggies on balanceofnature.com, all 5 star and all with the date September 14, 2017. I’ll leave readers to form their own opinion of this.
6. Poor Supplement Information
The company state on their homepage that their products are 3rd party tested. Yet there’s no proof or corresponding certification that I could find on their site.
Nutritional information is very limited and few supplement facts are provided beyond the alphabetical ingredients lists. Not even the calories, sugar, mineral or vitamin content of the Fruits and Veggies product are listed.
The company website, while visually appealing, is unusually light on factual details, particularly given the premium price point.
Consumers nowadays are much more aware of the benefits of specific fruit and vegetables. I’m sure many would appreciate far more nutritional information, especially when they are being asked to pay such a high retail cost.
7. FDA Warning Letter
In August 2019, the Federal Drug Administration sent a warning letter to Dr. Howard’s company. The letter, which you can find on the FDA’s website, addressed “misbranded dietary supplements” and also noted that their inspection revealed the company’s manufacturing processes “do not meet the Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) requirements”.
These FDA complaints must have been satisfactorily addressed or the company would not still be in business in 2023. The fact that they received an FDA warning letter in the first place though is yet another negative mark for the pros and cons of Balance of Nature Fruits and Veggies.
Consumer Complaints and Is Balance of Nature a Hoax?
Delving deeper into my research, I discovered some concerns about the company, and even former customers stating that their products were a ‘scam’, ‘fraud’ or a ‘hoax’.
Complaints on Better Business Bureau detailed consumers receiving recurring orders, even though they believed they had only made a one-off single order.
Reviewers on BBB wrote that when they contacted the company they were told they were not allowed to return unopened purchases. This is poor customer service and ultimately detrimental to business reputation.
Whenever a number of people are searching online with terms like ‘Balance of Nature scam’ and calling your products a hoax, it’s time to take a good hard look at your business practices.
This point is especially legitimate when the company appears to ask people to trust in the benefits of their supplements, with little proof beyond what they have written on their site.
A clear returns policy with a postal address, and more details on the ‘Preferred Customer’ subscription model would help to counteract the negative feedback for Fruit and Veggies online.
Both of these should be standard practice for any website selling nutritional supplements directly to the public in 2023.
Where to Get Fruits and Veggies — 2 Options
You cannot purchase Balance of Nature products at Costco, Walmart, GNC, Trader Joe’s, Wholefoods, Walgreens, CVS or in any retail stores.
They have recently started selling on Amazon though and you can check the current price here. The top customer reviewer’s comments on organic, kosher, NSF certification and independent research are revealing too.
Previously, the only way to buy Fruits and Veggies, Fiber and Spice or the Whole Health System was on the company’s website at balanceofnature.com. If you decide to get them there then be sure to check if you are signing up as a ‘Preferred Customer’.
This makes you liable for ongoing monthly deliveries and is the biggest complaint with the company I found during my research. It’s also the most likely reason people give for calling Balance of Nature a hoax or a scam.
Finally, before buying Fruits and Veggies supplement, consider the Texas Superfood Original product below at close to half the price for a much better daily whole food supplement.
Balance of Nature Vs Texas Superfood
When you do a proper comparison of Balance of Nature Fruits and Veggies with Texas Superfood Original, the latter looks both the superior product and the better value.
Texas Superfood is made from a combination of 55 high-nutrition vegetables, fruit, herbs and berries. It also has healthy probiotic strains, digestive enzymes, and mineral-rich algae and greens as well.
The company states that all their products are vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and, unlike Dr. Howard’s Veggies product, soy-free. According to their website there is also a 30 day money-back guarantee.
It’s not just the wider variety of fruits, vegetables, herbs, greens and berries in Texas Superfood that stacks up much better against Balance of Nature. It’s the specific ingredients as well.
Up the top of the supplement facts label are spirulina, black elderberry, goji berry, chlorella, broccoli, blueberry, fenugreek and spinach. All of these are nutrient-rich superfoods that provide a broad range of vitamins, minerals, flavonoids, polyphenols and other antioxidants to combat cellular free radical damage.
Unlike its Balance of Nature competitor, Texas Superfood also includes an enzyme blend for better digestion, Lactobacillus probiotics for gut health and potent herbal ingredients like Holy basil, ginger and turmeric.
You can find Texas Superfood here on their website, with 15% off using the code SFP23 at the cart, for this better and cheaper alternative to Balance of Nature.
Everything written here is my personal opinion. Nothing should be taken as criticism of any individual or company, only my honest perspective on the research I conducted.
At the start of writing this review of Balance of Nature, I liked their focus on high-quality produce and careful processing of vine-ripened fruit and vegetables.
Unfortunately, with more detailed examination, I don’t believe their ingredient list can justify the high price point this company is asking you to pay. This is especially true with ‘Fiber and Spice’, also sold in the ‘Whole Health System’, since it’s primarily inexpensive and unproven psyllium husks.
The Fruits and Veggies product by Dr. Howard does look healthy, with the exception of the soybean addition. But this is 2023 and there are so many better superfood supplements available now.
Organifi Green Juice is a better alternative to Balance of Nature by every measure, yet still significantly less. Even more so at the moment with up to 38% off using this special link to their website.
Even the much cheaper JuiceFestiv Daily Fruit and Veggie stacks up well, with its organic ingredients, probiotics, digestive enzymes, very low cost and automatic extra reduction here on iHerb. If you’re on a tight budget then this is clearly the better choice.
After a decade of experience researching and writing about superfoods, I don’t think that Balance of Nature, with their expensive cost per serving and limited ingredients list, stands up well to their competition in any objective evaluation.
The only reason I can see to buy Dr. Howard’s Fruits and Veggies product is if you really believe in the company making them, their produce selection, and the processing methods used during production.
Otherwise, it’s difficult to see why you wouldn’t choose the much broader range of nutrition in similar competitors like Texas Superfood (review here), over Balance of Nature as your daily fruit and vegetable supplement.