Juice Plus Pros & Cons & my own Juice Plus Trial as a Dietitian
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You’ve probably heard of Juice Plus vitamins, a multilevel marketing (or “network marketing”) business. If so, you’ve probably wondered if this product works or is worth the money.
What does a registered dietitian have to say?! Are Juice Plus supplements a scam? Are their claims true? Read on to find out!
What is Juice Plus?
The Juice Plus slogan is: “The next best thing to fruits and vegetables.”
Indeed, North Americans don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables. The most commonly consumed vegetable is potatoes. There’s nothing wrong with potatoes, but french fries don’t quite compare in nutrition to kale, berries or oranges.
Juice Plus contains dried ingredient powders from 30 fruits, veggies and berries (capsules or chews) in Garden Blend, Orchard Blend and Vineyard Blend. To “bridge the gap,” they say.
Here is my take on the benefits and risks of Juice Plus.
Pros of Juice Plus:
1) One significant advantage of Juice Plus is that it is just fruits and veggies, with no isolated vitamins and minerals. Food phytochemicals work together, and you can’t add them all to a traditional vitamin and mineral supplement. Because of this, I like the idea of a ‘whole food supplement’.
2) Juice Plus also has an impressive amount of quality research studies to support that the antioxidants are absorbed, reduce oxidative stress, help cardiovascular health and support healthy skin and gums.
I did hear research was underway on its benefits in pregnancy, but I can’t seem to find any results, which might mean that they weren’t favourable. If you know of something different, please comment below!
3) It’s not a substitute for eating fruits or veggies, nor does it claim to be. But Juice Plus could provide worried parents with some comfort for a child who does not like fresh fruits or veggies (ok – it’s almost always vegetables!).
It doesn’t get you out of the parental responsibility of continuing to offer your child vegetables. But your child chooses not to eat them; at least you can be confident they are getting a bit of vegetable powder in Juice Plus.
A kid’s multivitamin containing iron might be more beneficial depending on your child’s diet but have a dietitian review it to make sure if you are concerned.
Cons of Juice Plus:
1) Unlike a more comprehensive multivitamin, you may need to take additional essential nutrients as supplements. Such as iron, Omega 3, vitamin D and folic acid, depending on your diet, life stage and health concerns.
2) You have to order in 4-month increments. And both the Orchard and Garden Blends. You can’t just order the veggie (Garden) blend if you think you or your child eats plenty of fruit but not enough veggies. They get automatically shipped unless you cancel, too, which seems a bit scammy.
3) The kid’s gummy chews are sugary. I worry that although Juice Plus claims to strengthen gums and teeth, the sugar and stickiness of the chews will override this and lead to cavities! If you offer your child gummy multivitamins, make sure to serve them with a meal or snack, which will help.
4) If you’re buying this for your children – that’s ok. But I would suggest working on the picky eating situation you’re struggling with so that they learn to eat real vegetables, not just supplements. Click here to read “Why my child is a picky eater, and what to do about it!”
My Own Juice Plus Trial:
While there are lots of testimonials about feeling more energy, sleeping better, having healthier teeth and gums…..I didn’t notice any health effects.
However, I have a reasonably healthy diet and lifestyle to start with. And I was not measuring my blood antioxidant levels or DNA damage. So maybe it was still working at a cellular level?!
I took 2 Garden and 2 Orchard Blend capsules daily, as directed. The capsules were a bit large and sometimes got stuck in my throat. I suppose this encourages drinking more water with them! Or you can break them up and put the powder in a smoothie yogurt or oatmeal.
I have also fed my kids the Juice Plus Chews for months. My 2-year-old daughter spit them out about half the time, but my 6-year-old son loved them. My son is rarely ever sick and doesn’t often catch his little sister’s colds! I’m unsure if this is due to Juice Plus, but it could play a small role.
If you want to give Juice Plus a try, check it out here (affiliate link).
Jennifer House is a Registered Dietitian, author & mom of 3. From Baby-led weaning to picky eating and meal planning, she helps you to make feeding your family easier.
Founder of First Step Nutrition | Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Jen believes raising happy, well-nourished eaters who have a healthy relationship with food doesn't have to be a battle! She is an author and speaker with 18 years of experience specializing in family nutrition and helps parents teach their kids to try new foods without yelling, tricking, or bribing.