In the modern world, everyone craves convenience. From super-fast fibre optic broadband to apps that streamline our daily and weekly chores, we’re always demanding a quick fix.
Nutrition is entirely different, as we require a vast array of macro and micronutrients in order to fuel our bodies correctly. No one supplement contains everything we need.
That said, there are a few nutritious superfood supplements which make excellent meal replacement options, principally because they are made entirely from – what else? – real food.
Read on to discover the most complete food supplement available today.
Why Use a Superfood Blend?
Incorporating a quality all-in-one superfood blend is a great way of ensuring you achieve your recommended daily intake of several key nutrients.
Only those who consistently eat a varied, healthful diet will get all the vitamins and minerals they require.
This was proven by a recent survey of 3,238 adults aged 20-59, which considered micronutrient deficiency by age group and gender.
The survey, which was conducted by the nutritional consultancy firm Nutritional Insight Ltd, determined that men and women in the 20-to-29 bracket had the highest rate of nutritional deficiency for potassium (24.7%), zinc (8.6%) and calcium (9.4%).
Females of all ages seemed to be especially prone to deficiencies of selenium (50%), iron (25%) and potassium (24%), while men were at an elevated risk of selenium (26%), magnesium (14%) and vitamin D deficiency (11%).
This was a well-controlled, cross-sectional study which asked adults to provide details of exactly what they ate and drank over rolling 4-day periods from 2008 to 2014.
All in all, the highest rates of nutritional deficiency were for:
More than 10% of women were also at risk of riboflavin (vitamin B2) deficiency, and more than 10% of males were vulnerable to vitamin A deficiency.
Given that the survey might have been subject to selection bias – i.e. health-conscious people may have been more likely to agree to participate in the first place – the results don’t exactly bode well.
And here’s another worthwhile point: although the survey did not show widespread vitamin D deficiency, the threshold for deficiency was set at levels below 25 nanomoles per litre of blood serum (nmol/L).
Research shows that free-living hunter gatherers living around the African equator – where humans evolved – benefit from average vitamin D levels of 115 nmol/L, and the Vitamin D Council’s advice is to aim for a similar level:
“The safest thing to do while research is going on is to maintain natural vitamin D levels. By natural, we mean those levels obtained by those with natural sun exposure such as lifeguards, some roofers and gardeners, and others who work in the sun and expose a lot of skin to sunshine. This is how our ancestors behaved throughout our evolutionary history.”
The point is that while 25 nmol/L might well be enough to avoid serious chronic deficiency causing harm to health, it is far from optimal. The Vitamin D Council actually defines 0-100 nmol/L as deficient, and 100-200 nmol/L as sufficient.
It’s safe to assume a much higher number of participants exhibited vitamin D deficiency as defined by this organisation.
Furthermore, 22% of study participants were taking dietary supplements yet the data was excluded from the final analysis.
In other words, a study of 3,238 adults taking no supplements at all would almost certainly give worse results, suggesting greater deficiency across the population.
What Are Super Greens Powders?
As demonstrated above, widespread nutritional deficiencies suggest that a major benefit can be achieved from using a daily supplement. But what would such a supplement look like?
Greens supplements are the most popular products recommended for comprehensive nutritional support. Of course, if you are deficient only in single nutrients – calcium or vitamin D for example – you can choose to take those in tablet or capsule form instead.
The great thing about food supplements, though, is that they come packaged with a whole raft of beneficial components, from protein and fibre to healthy fats and phytonutrients.
Many of these powders contain multiple servings of vegetables and fruit, and some also include added botanical extracts to support the liver, heart or digestive system.
By and large, you are best to opt for a pure, plant-based supplement from a reputable brand: one with a track record of innovation and rigorous manufacturing standards.
Ideally, your chosen product should be free from common allergens such as dairy and soy.
When formulated correctly, these nutrient-rich powders can help with:
• Energy levels
• Immune health
• Appetite control
• Weight loss
Who Makes the Most Comprehensive Superfood Powder?
There are many supplements in this space, but precious few could be considered comprehensive.
As far as nutrition is concerned, Vibrant Health’s Maximum Vibrance appears to be number one. Its incredibly well-rounded profile comes from over 120 ingredients including fruit, vegetables, algae and botanicals.
Suffice to say, it is teeming with antioxidants and enzymes from natural sources, and it helps to feed the body with the broad range of bioactive food substances at potencies that match the high requirements of our ancient biochemistry.
But what about the micronutrient content?
One serving of Maximum Vibrance provides:
• Over 100% of your daily selenium
• Over 100% of your daily vitamin A
• Over 100% of your daily vitamin C
• Over 100% of your daily vitamin D
• Over 100% of your daily riboflavin (vitamin B2)
• 73% of your daily iodine
• 54% of your daily vitamin K
• 45% of your daily zinc
• 44% of your daily iron
While Maximum Vibrance does contain both magnesium and potassium, the dosages are comparatively small (7% and 5%, respectively).
Nonetheless, it’s fair to say these micronutrient dosages blow away the competition.
The vast number of cereal grasses, concentrated plant extracts, adaptogens, antioxidants and super fruits make it a smart choice if you’re interested in gaining meaningful, long-term benefit from your daily supplement.
It is not only the dizzying list of ingredients that make Vibrant Health’s formula special; it is also the probiotic content. Each serving supplies an astonishing 25 billion probiotics from 12 well-researched strains.
These so-called friendly bacteria encourage microbial diversity in the gut, which can have a beneficial effect on immunity, regularity, mood, energy levels and sleep.
One scoop of Maximum Vibrance is recommended for a snack, while two scoops is considered a meal replacement. That said, two scoops is still only 165 calories; so it can be equally enjoyed between meals.
Comparing Premium Food Supplements Dubbed ‘Complete’
It should be said that Maximum Vibrance is not the only supplement termed ‘complete’: however, it is certainly the most comprehensive as far as ingredients is concerned.
Huel is marketed as ‘nutritionally complete food’, but while it contains more phosphorus (452mg vs 280mg), iron (13.9mg vs 9mg) and manganese (1.8mg vs 0.6mg) than Maximum Vibrance, it contains far less vitamin D (4mcg vs25mcg ) and vitamin C (62mg vs 158mg).
Something else worth noting is that you can’t get 100% of your recommended daily intake of any vitamin or mineral from a single Huel shake. However, you can from Maximum Vibrance.
As mentioned above, one MV serving provides over 100% of your daily vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D3 and selenium. What’s more, Maximum Vibrance provides an assortment of valuable B vitamins.
MyProtein’s Whole Fuel is yet another ‘premium blend’ said to represent complete nutrition. However, it has a comparatively high sugar content (3.9g per serving) and doesn’t provide anywhere near 100% of your daily intake for any micronutrient.
In fact, the only micronutrient of which Whole Fuel provides more than 50% of RDI is chloride (66%).
For these reasons, Maximum Vibrance should be considered the most complete superfood powder on the planet. Indeed, it could reduce your need to consume other supplements.
Nonetheless, you should take care to ensure a proper intake of magnesium and potassium, whether from food, supplements or a combination thereof. These electrolytes are absolutely essential for nerve stimulation, fluid levels and blood pressure.
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