20 Apr Is Juice Plus Healthy?
Juice Plus is the first of many companies that I will be writing blogs about to give you a certified nutritionist’s view on their products. Is it worth it? Is Juice Plus healthy as it seems? I wanted to dive in to give YOU, the consumers, an opinion that isn’t swayed by how much I’m selling or that I’m taught by the company itself. I find that’s where A LOT of misinformation comes from is because they are only taught what is taught by the company – who is obviously a biased source. Let’s dive in.
I’ll jump first to their fruit + veggie chewables. These are the most common products that I see people talk about with this company. While I love that the ingredients are mainly good/clean and non-GMO (whoo hoo!), they aren’t organic. Organic is SO important to me because while organic still isn’t *perfect, it’s a step above conventional and avoiding Round Up – which is finally being realized about the health concerns it can give. I don’t think a company has to be *certified organic, but if the food is grown organically, they can still write “organic ____(insert food there)”. I’m curious as to why they don’t do that!
They mention that they test their supplements to make sure there are no pesticides – I’m inquiring about that right now with the company. I will update if/when I receive their lab results. 🙂 The following is the response I got:
The fruits and vegetables from which Juice Plus+® is made are grown in a variety of locations best suited in soil and climate to each particular fruit or vegetable. We make every effort to source and use the highest quality fruits and vegetables available. We use organic produce whenever possible. Juice Plus+® is regularly tested in order to ensure that it is free of detectable levels of pesticides or herbicides that could affect the natural purity of the product. Please let us know if there is anything else we can assist you with. We thank you for your inquiry. Thank you, Juice Plus+® Customer Care
I’m happy to hear that they use organic produce whenever possible, but with that statement it doesn’t seem like they are able to use it 100% of the time, even though they do say they do testing to make sure pesticides aren’t found in their products. When I emailed them asking for the lab results, that’s the response I got – I never actually got any lab results.
Their fruit and veggie capsules are studied to be giving your body extra antioxidants and phytonutrients, these aren’t a comprehensive multivitamin. As you can see there are only 4 vitamins that are listed on the label. Don’t confuse a multivitamin with their fruit and veggie capsules/gummies. They both play different important roles.
The price of them are pretty expensive, actually ridiculously expensive, because you can spend half of that on actual organic wholesome food and get the same nutrition or still spend not even half of that and get a good quality multivitamin to help fill in your gaps. Mentally, I think it just can be really easy to rely on these chewables/capsules as fruit and veggie intake, especially if you’re a picky eater, and still not emphasize these whole foods in your diet. Diet comes FIRST. Supplements mean exactly what it means…..SUPPLEMENT.
Let’s move onto their Complete Bars. The first thing I noticed is that they use soy protein isolate, even though its non-GMO, soy is not the best. For soy to become a protein isolate like that, it’s a very chemically induced process using hexane and the denaturing of the proteins in soy during this process is common. They do mention in one of their products they use water-washed soy, which is supposed to be a ‘better’ process, but I haven’t found a lot of research on water washing. (Still looking!) With every good study for soy, there is a bad study. I tell my client’s if they want to have some soy occasionally, opt for the whole food forms and even the fermented forms of soy like, natto or tempeh. BUT, do not be fooled thinking this processed form is healthy.
The sunflower oil they use in the bars is a very industrialized junky oil. I’ve talked to you guys about the oil components before of each oil. Sunflower oil is very high in omega-6, which is a needed omega in our diet, but our society gets TOO much of this, which can become inflammatory. In the processed food world, we use SO. MANY. INFLAMMATORY. OILS. Sunflower oil does not have a good ratio between omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9.
Moving onto the drink mixes. Juice Plus LOVES using soy – even though they say minimally processed soy, it doesn’t change the fact of how soy is turned into soy protein isolate. Pass. They also use soy fiber, along with lots of grains and FOS (which isn’t ideal for someone who is dealing with the citrobacter speices in dysbiosis). This blend can be VERY irritating to the gut, which is where the importance of bioindividuality comes in!
The couple of B vitamins they use in their drink mixes seem to be the cheapest form of the vitamin (as someone who formulates supplements – I know this), which makes me a little iffy when looking at a company because I only want the best and bioavailable forms of nutrients when looking at supplements. I should also mention I’m a picky consumer, especially when it’s an expensive product.
Any Third Party Testing Or Research On It?
I will say Juice Plus is pretty awesome in this aspect. There is some research behind their fruit and veggie blend. You can read studies that range from cardiovascular to exercise nutrition, etc. I am actually very impressed with the studies that they have put towards their company.
Many of the study sizes are on the smaller side of the scale, so larger studies need to be done. They do have a couple of double-blind, randomized, placebo controlled studies, which is considered to the best to minimize bias. The studies that are published in medical journals do show that the antioxidant capacity and phytonutrients do get absorbed into the body + utilized in the body.
Side note: Most of the studies ARE funded by the company. This doesn’t automatically discredit them because as a company that produces supplements, I would fund my own studies too. BUT, as always, there can be some chance of bias. Something just to be aware of, but again, doesn’t technically always discredit them.
Do I Recommend It? Is Juice Plus Healthy?
If you wanted to purchase the fruit and veggie capsules, didn’t care about cost, and wanted to support your friend, I would say go for it! I personally will never buy Juice Plus because 1) I’m not willing to spend THAT much money on something that I can get cheaper with real food and I fill in my gaps with the multivitamin I formulated, which is also more affordable. Outside of the fruit and veggie capsules, I would NOT recommend any of their other food/drink products.
If you’re ready to take on your bioindividuality and see which supplements and foods you should be taking for YOUR body, stop guessing and book your free 15 minute appointment with our team of nutritionist + dietitians!