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  • Are supplements good substitutes for fresh fruits and vegetables?

    We found that "fruits" and "veggies" supplements were not substitutes for getting the recommended daily intakes of fruits and vegetables, despite marketing claims for some saying they are. At best, only one-fifth of the adult daily requirement might be met with a suggested daily serving of any of these products. Adults need about 500 grams of fresh fruits and veggies per day. If dried and made into powders, this would equal about 50 grams per day. Most supplements provide no more than 2 to 10 grams of powdered fruits and veggies per suggested daily serving; many don't even list the amounts; and some contain greater amounts of ingredients like tapioca syrup and sugar than fruits or vegetables. In fact, you can get more fruit (and fiber) from a single apple than from most fruit supplements, and at much lower cost.
  • What are the health benefits of supplements that contain fruits, veggies, and other "greens"?

    Greens powders, pills, and gummies are made from dried or concentrated vegetables, fruits, grasses, and certain types of algae (e.g., chlorella and spirulina) providing a variety of nutrients such as carotenoids, antioxidants, amino acids, enzymes, nucleic acids, fiber, vitamins and minerals that can have healthful benefits.

    Plant-based greens and whole foods products tend to be high in fiber and low in fats, making them low in calories per gram. They also tend to be low in sodium. Some contain additional ingredients such as prebiotics, probiotics, digestive enzymes, or added fiber.

    Although plant-based products typically provide little protein, algae-based products made mostly from chlorella or spirulina are rich in protein, which makes up about two-thirds of their weight, and some products include protein from plant sources, such as peas and soy. (For more about protein supplements, also see our Protein Powders Review).

    Chlorella may help lower triglycerides and total cholesterol. However, be aware that many of the uses for which greens and whole foods supplements are promoted are not backed by science. For example, claims of antioxidant activity and "alkalinizing" effects do not necessarily translate into proven health benefits; the evidence is weak regarding a blood sugar-lowering effect of spirulina; and a study of the systemic anti-inflammatory and cholesterol-lowering effects of Juice Plus+ showed no significant benefits compared to placebo (see What They Do).
  • What problems did ConsumerLab find with fruits, veggies, and greens supplements? discovered that tablets of two products would not properly break apart (i.e., disintegrate) (see What CL Found). Small amounts of lead were found in products, three of which should, consequently, not be used on a regular basis by children and pregnant women. Testing in earlier years by ConsumerLab has found higher amounts of lead and/or arsenic in other "greens" products. None of the products were found to have microbial or pesticide contamination, and gluten-free products were found to meet this claim.
  • Which fruits, veggies, and green supplements are best?

    Among products that were Approved for quality, CL selected Top Picks that provide superior value, features, and taste (for powders and gummies).
  • How to Use?

    Products sold as powders are typically mixed with water or other liquids. Due to the somewhat unpleasant taste of chlorella and spirulina, it is recommended that those powders be mixed into more flavorful beverages or foods.
  • Cautions with fruits, veggies, and greens supplements:

    • While most of the food ingredients in greens products are generally safe, some products may contain herbal extracts, vitamins and minerals, and other ingredients that could potentially cause unexpected side-effects and/or interact with other nutrients and drugs.
    • Chlorella may cause gastrointestinal side effects such as diarrhea or constipation. Allergic reactions and other adverse events have been associated with the use of spirulina (see Concerns and Cautions for more details).
    • Although many greens products contain a long list of ingredients, specific amounts for each ingredient are not always provided. If you are looking for a particular active ingredient and the amount is not listed, consider getting it from a separate supplement that lists the amount on the label (see ConsumerTips).
Also see our separate Reviews of Seaweed Snacks and Kelp Supplements.

Make sure you're choosing the best fruits, veggies or "greens" powders and pills approved in our tests!

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Fruits, veggies, and greens products compared in this review

View Larger Image 8077_large_AmazingGrass-WholeFoodsGreens-2021.png

Amazing Grass Green Superfood The Original

View Larger Image 8097_large_AG1-FruitsAndVeggies-2022.png

Athletic Greens AG1

View Larger Image 8098_large_BalanceOfNature-WholeProduce-FruitsAndVeggies-2022.png

Balance of Nature Whole Produce Fruits

View Larger Image 8099_large_BalanceOfNature-FruitsAndVeggies-2022.png

Balance of Nature Whole Produce Veggies

View Larger Image 8078_large_DrBerg-OrganicCruciferousSuperfood-WholeFoodsGreens-2021.png

Dr. Berg's Organic Cruciferous Superfood

View Larger Image 8080_large_EarthCircle-Chlorella-ChlorellaSpirulina-2021.png

Earth Circle Organics Organic Chlorella Tablets

View Larger Image 8081_large_GardenOfLife-WholeFoodsGreens-2021.png

Garden of Life Raw Organic Perfect Food Green Superfood - No Stevia

View Larger Image 8100_large_JuicePlus-FruitBlend-FruitsAndVeggies-2022.png

Juice Plus Fruit Blend +

View Larger Image 8101_large_JuicePlus-FruitsAndVeggies-2022 copy.png

Juice Plus Vegetable Blend +

View Larger Image 8085_large_JuicePlus-BerryBlend-WholeFoodsGreens-2021.png

Juice Plus+ Berry Blend +

View Larger Image 8086_large_MicroingredientsSuperfoods-ChlorellaPowder-ChlorellaSpirulina-2021.png

Microingredients Superfoods Organic Broken Cell Wall Chlorella Powder

View Larger Image 8088_large_NOW-Chlorella-ChlorellaSpirulna-2021.png

NOW Chlorella 500 mg

View Larger Image 8102_large_NutriLife-FruitsAndVeggies-2022.png

Nutrilite Concentrated Fruits And Vegetables

View Larger Image 8090_large_NaturesSuperfood-Spirulina-ChlorellaSpirulina-2021.png

Pure Hawaiian Spirulina

View Larger Image 8103_large_Root2-FruitsAndVeggies-2022.png

Root2 42 Fruits & Vegetables

View Larger Image 8091_large_Solgar-Spirulina-ChlorellaSpirulina-2021.png

Solgar Spirulina (Plant Plankton) 750 mg

View Larger Image 8092_large_Swanson-Spirulina-ChlorellaSpirulina-2021.png

Swanson Spirulina

View Larger Image 8094_large_VibrantHealth-WholeFoodsGreens-2021.png

Vibrant Health Green Vibrance

View Larger Image 8096_large_ZazzeeOrganics-Spirulina-ChlorellaSpirulina-2021.png

Zazzee Organics 100% Pure Organic Spirulina Powder

You must be a member to get the full test results along with recommendations and quality ratings. You will get results for 17 fruits, veggies, and greens products selected for testing by, as well as two others that are included for having passed testing in its voluntary Quality Certification Program.

In this comprehensive review, you'll discover:
  • Which fruits, veggies, and greens products failed testing and which passed
  • ConsumerLab's Top Picks among fruits, veggies, and greens products based on quality, and cost, and, for powders and gummies, taste
  • Direct comparisons of greens and whole food supplements, including vitamin and mineral assessments
  • Price comparisons
  • Whether fruits and veggies supplements are good replacements for recommended intakes of fruits and vegetables
  • Whether herbs and other ingredients are included at doses known to be effective
  • Concerns and cautions with greens and whole food products, including specific concerns with chlorella, spirulina, and Aph. flos-aquae.

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Additional Information
Tested through CL's Quality Certification Program prior to, or after initial posting of this Product Review.