August 23

3 Popular Supplements That Are a Waste of Money

Filed under Superfoods Review by Frederic Patenaude

This might make me a few enemies, but I believe that 99% of supplements and “superfoods” on the market are an absolute waste of money.

It seems like every time you turn your head, someone is offering the latest and greatest “beauty enhancing” or “breakthrough” superfood or supplement.

But what if I told you something shocking yet so simple to understand: there’s no “food” that arrives in a bottle, having been made in a factory and sold in powdered form, that will ever compare in terms of “super-nutrition” to fresh fruits and vegetables.

But still, almost every day I get an e-mail that says, “what do you think of __________” (fill in the blank with whatever supplement or superfood is now being promoted as the latest “amazing” product).

Although it would take forever to review every product on the market, let’s review some popular supplements and superfoods that, in my opinion, are an absolute waste of money.

Green Powder

Almost every supplement company has a variation of the “green powder,” which is basically a powder made with dried grass, dried grass juices or dried vegetables and possibly algae. This powder is supposed to make your body more alkaline and give you nutrition you can’t find elsewhere.

First, I would say that grass powder is not a worthy food and anyone growing grass and turning it into a powder and making a lot of money selling it is really laughing their way to the bank at the expense of unknowing customers. Even if it’s called “wheatgrass”, it’s still grass.

A powder of vegetables or algae can never compare in nutritional value to fresh vegetables, even if those vegetables are not organic.

The real superfoods are dark green vegetables such as spinach, romaine lettuce, black kale, parsley, celery, arugula, and so on.

With the use of “green smoothies” made with *fresh* green vegetables and fruit, anyone can obtain superior nutrition in a few minutes a day (ruling out the argument that people don’t have “time” to eat well).

Green smoothies and fresh raw greens literally put these green powders to shame. For a free mini-course on the power of green smoothies, go to:

Protein Powder

Another all-time favorite of supplement companies is protein powder, in all its forms. There’s the ultra-refined soy protein powder, we’ve got whey protein, rice protein, and now a less refined hemp protein.

But the idea is the same: that somehow, no matter how much food you eat, there’s still a chance you might not get enough protein, so therefore you should consume protein in a concentrated, powdered form.

This idea is especially popular among body-builders and gym-goers. It’s interesting to note that starting from the Greek gymnasiums two and a half thousand years ago through the ages of gladiators and modern gymnastics, men and women of all ages have been able to build magnificent, muscular bodies eating nothing more than simple foods and without the use of protein powders.

This is a classic example of how you can market a product by first “creating a problem” that doesn’t exist.

Nutrition textbooks teach that you can get all the protein you need as long as you consume enough calories from whole foods, even if all you eat is fruits and vegetables.

Noni Juice

Although this discussion could lead me to cover any possible supplement or superfood among the thousands of products available, I think you’re starting to get my point.

I’ll just finish with an example of a “superfood” called noni and sold as “noni juice.”

The noni is a fruit that’s been used for centuries in Polynesia for its alleged medicinal properties. But there is very limited scientific evidence to support these properties.

When I visited Tahiti last winter, I was on the tiny island of Huahine and had the chance to try real noni juice from a local Tahitian couple who made the juice from their own fruit tree.

Let me tell you that it was the most disgusting, horrible concoction that I ever had in my entire life!

Obviously, the noni is not a natural food for humans, as there is no way anyone would want to consume it unless they thought it had some medicinal value.

My Tahitian friends explained how they prepare the noni juice. They put all these unappetizing, weird-smelling noni fruits in a jar and then let the thing ferment for several days.

Then the fermented juice that oozes out of the fruits and reeks like the juice that’s formed at the bottom of a trash container, is what they drink.

Now American companies have had the great idea of adding a bunch of sugar to this awful tasting Tahitian folk remedy juice, making up a fantastic story around it, throwing in some questionable science and selling millions of dollars worth of the stuff to gullible people.

Listen closely: it’s completely absurd to think that one food can be a universal remedy for all our ills. We need nutrients from different sources and Nature isn’t so capricious as to put everything in one place.

We’re meant to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, drink pure water and have a healthy lifestyle with lots of exercise and healthy relationships and positive thoughts.

All the rest is marketing and hype.

Of course, you are free to believe what you want about noni juice and other kinds of superfoods available on the market.

But do yourself a favor and make the decision to try for yourself what the study and experience of natural hygiene and health through a pure raw-based diet can do for you.

5 Responses to “3 Popular Supplements That Are a Waste of Money”

  1. […] September 1, 2007Noni Juice Post Creates Controversy! Yesterday my blog got attacked by a reader who clearly didn’t like my last article on supplements, which included my criticism of the tahitian noni juice fad. . […]

  2. Jacalyn says:

    There’s a lot of people out there to state what works for them. We can read, listen and apply or not. That is our choice. Personally for me, I have tried Noni and it doesn’t work for me. My BioChemist said it was too acid for my body, that’s why. I don’t find that it is not a worthy product, as statistics show it has helped many. I say great for them and keep on with what works. There’s a lot of copy cat products out there and it’s up to each individual to do their research and find what’s best for them. I try not to get ruffled by negative attacks by anyone. Sometimes it’s the product and sometimes it’s just fact that one cannot use it for their particular needs. Try it and move on to something that does work. Everyone should do their own research and use what’s best for them. Well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. For what it’s worth.

  3. Kay Cruse says:

    Hi Fred,
    Just a quickie on the Noni Juice controversy..

    Sometimes its good to accept that we take a food or supplement because we like it; conciously aware that this is the reason why we’re taking it.
    I am a Natural Hygiene enthusiast and have educated myself well on this lifestyle. I currently reside in England and find it helpful to eat steam vegetables with my evening salad during the winter months because I have a sensitive system in cold climates. I donot tolerate easily underipe fruits or excess fat.

    In addition I love “fresh” (frozen) Bee pollen which I purchase from a company based in France. Basically the pollen is stolen from worker bees in fractional amounts as the bees enter their hive. It’s a well managed company and I would never consider eating “inferior” quality like the dried varieties.
    Now I bet that would cause a debate or two amongst some hard fast Natural Hygienists or Vegan extremists eh?!
    This is my choice, just as it is my brother’s choice to eat meat because he likes it.

    I am not going to list the “supposed” benefits of Bee Pollen because quite frankly I am not interested if there is any benefit or not. I love to eat a tablespoon a day in my brunch banana smoothie. Sometimes I even like to have a little rinsed mixed seaweed in my evening salad, yet I never see any reason, gain or desire to eat “raw” chocolate, agave syrup, onions, sea salt, nut pies and so on, that many raw foodists advocate as part of their diet. In fact I don’t entertain the idea of consuming dishes presented at pot luck dinners in dread of going home with belly ache!

    My end note is EACH TO THEIR OWN. Nothing wrong with giving an opinion though eh? In my early days, following a strict plan set down by Dr Tim Trader, Dr Doug Graham and the like, help me recover the damage I caused to myself on a living foods diet. So I’m all for personal opinion and if I don’t think I know what works for me then I’ll ask for someone’s advice. What’s the point in subscribing to your newsletter if you’re not up for an opinion??

    Kay x

  4. Sarah says:


    Bravo for writing this! I couldn’t agree more with your opinion on supplements! Great point about how people in the past didn’t have all these supplements! In the past, I have tried many different so-called “miracle” supplements, including Noni Juice. None of them did a thing for me. I truly believe the best supplements are found in whole foods, especially plant foods, and especially leafy greens. I have been doing green smoothies daily for over a year. Within 6 weeks of drinking them daily, my mild acne cleared up! Wow! What a testament for greens! Dried, green powders did not give me the same results – they simply can’t compare to the real thing! I think so many want the easy way out by believing they can achieve health with supplements, but what people forget is that supplements are supposed to “supplement” an already healthy diet – not replace it! People’s lives would be a lot simpler (and a lot better off financially!) if they just stuck to eating high nutrient foods. I have nothing against taking a food-based (non-synthetic) multi-vitamin (with b12), omega 3 oils, and acidophilus, but beyond that, I rely on high0-nutrient foods. 🙂

  5. Lucy says:

    From Derek’s post – “I dont know what your qualifications are to rubbish such products as green superfoods and tahitian noni juice but you have clearly not researched in any significant way the Tahitian Noni company in Utah who have spent millions of dollars on noni research and are the largest private company in the world !!”

    Derek, big drug companies also spend millions of dollars on the research of their products and somehow the results and statistics always come out in their favour too.

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