It looked so delightfully simple on The Jetsons: Push a button, pop a food pill, and that’s lunch. In real life, pills can’t replace real food. But a multivitamin supplement to a well-balanced diet can be “an inexpensive way to get all or most essential vitamins,” says David Schardt, senior nutritionist at the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Below, we’ve listed some products that truly deliver a green pill of goods, plus some vitamin insurance.
Country Life’s Realfood Organics Daily Nutrition
These multis, made with freeze-dried USDA-certified organic whole fruits and vegetables, provide vitamins A, C, D, E, thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin, B6, B12 and 15% of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of folic acid. His and her versions have virtually identical ingredients, except for the cranberry-pomegranate “urinary tract blend” for the ladies. Hers: $35.99, his: $32.99 (both 120 tablets/30–60 servings), realfoodorganics.com
Amazing Grass Green Superfood
This gluten-free, certified-organic vegan powder packs in vitamins A, B6, B12, C, K and niacin along with the greenery. An exciting new version for chocoholics, contains organic Dutch cocoa. $27.99 (30 servings), amazinggrass.com
Dailyfoods One Daily Vitamin & Mineral Formula
Also based on whole-foods extracts, these pills have similar vitamins to the others’, with higher percentages of some minerals, such as selenium. Comes either with iron or iron-free. $36.95 (60 tablets/60 servings), megafood.com
Green Foods’ Green Magma
If you want to green your diet (literally) but aren’t up to juicing your own wheat- or barley-grass, this certifed-organic mix with chlorophyll is for you. Contains vitamins A, C and K. $32.99 (25 servings), greenfoods.com
New Chapter Organics Only One Daily Multivitamin
Made with 70% organic ingredients, these contain a full roster of vitamins and minerals, plus iron and 100% RDA of folate. Also comes in Every Man and Every Woman varieties. $39.95, (60 tablets/60 servings), newchapterorganics.com
New Chapter Organics Probiotic Berry Green
Instead of grasses, this all-organic powder gets its green from extracts of leafy veggies and its probiotics from live bacteria cultures the way yogurt does. It’s got vitamins A, B2, B6, C, D and K; and papaya and pomegranate make it taste pleasantly like a fruity V-8 juice. $49.95 (180 gram jar, about a month’s supply), newchapter.com
About our criteria
While “natural” claims are unregulated, the FDA requires that all ingredients be listed on labels. We picked products containing mostly plant-derived rather than synthetic nutrients, and no artificial colors, animal bone meal or gelatin. Note: If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have a chronic illness, check with your doctor before taking dietary supplements.
Story by Brita Belli. This article originally appeared in Plenty in October 2008.
Copyright Environ Press 2008