Are Super Greens Better than a Multivitamin?

Super Greens or Multivitamins: Which is Best?

Article difficulty: Easy

🕗 3 minute read

Key takeaways:


 Diet is essential, and both super greens and multivitamins are supplements meant to complement a balanced diet.


 Super greens are made from dried whole foods like vegetables and algae, providing a broad range of plant-based nutrients in a convenient form.


 Meanwhile, multivitamins consist of isolated vitamins and minerals without whole food components such as fiber, phytonutrients, and antioxidants.

🤔 Your choice depends on your specific needs: vitamin and mineral supplements may be best for addressing identified deficiencies when diet alone is insufficient, while super greens are better for increasing the daily diversity of plant foods.



With busy lives, maintaining optimal health and nutrition can be challenging which has led to the increase in two convenient dietary supplements: Super greens, and multivitamins. Both of these supplements aim to fill nutritional gaps, but which is the best choice?

What Are Super Greens?

Super greens blends are powders made from a variety of dried whole foods, commonly including vegetables, fruits, algae, and grasses. They are designed to be mixed with water, juice, or smoothies, providing a convenient source of nutrients. These blends aim to deliver the health benefits of whole foods in a more accessible form.

What Are Multivitamins?

Multivitamins are supplements that combine a variety of essential vitamins and minerals into a pill or capsule. They are formulated to address potential nutrient deficiencies in the average diet and to provide a broad range of vitamins and minerals necessary for overall health. Multivitamins typically include vitamins A, C, D, E, and K, as well as B-complex vitamins and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and zinc. They are both convenient and cost effective, and as such, they are one of the most highly consumed dietary supplements on the market. 

Whole Foods vs. Multivitamins: A Key Difference

The most distinct difference between super greens and multivitamins is that unlike a multivitamin supplement, super greens are made from dried whole foods. This distinction is crucial. Multivitamins typically consist of isolated vitamins and minerals in potent amounts, which, although may be highly beneficial for those with specific deficiencies, they may lack the complexity and synergistic effects of whole foods. Meanwhile, the whole foods contained within super greens provide a broad range of nutrients, including phytonutrients, fiber, and antioxidants.

Plugging Gaps vs. Supporting a Nutritious Diet

While multivitamins may tick the box for preventing specific nutrient deficiencies—and if you have a specific deficiency, by no means should you stop taking a vitamin supplement—however, for those who are just seeking general health support, there is more to our daily nutrition than ensuring we get isolated vitamins and minerals. Multivitamins lack other vital constituents found in whole plant foods, such as phytonutrients, fiber, antioxidants, and various cofactors that aid in nutrient utilization. Super greens, on the other hand, are simply dried and powdered foods, so all the researched benefits of consuming whole plant-based foods are applicable to them. In the emerging field  of microbiome research, it’s evident that most of us are lacking a diverse range of daily foods. While a multivitamin may plug specific gaps, it does not provide the broad spectrum of plant constituents needed to support a nutritious diet, healthy digestion, and a thriving gut microbiome. Super greens can help fill this gap by offering a more holistic approach to nutrient intake, providing a range of diverse plant foods that isolated vitamins cannot.

Nutritional Benefits of Super Greens

While the benefits of a multivitamin are clear, in that they provide a potent source of specific vitamins and minerals, super greens are a relatively newer supplement. Therefore, it’s worth briefly covering what the benefits of super greens are. 

Microbiome Support:

A key benefit of a greens blend is supporting gut health. A diverse microbiome is key to ensuring the gut functions optimally. However, only 26% of Canadians consume enough fruits and vegetables each day (1), leading to a less diverse gut microbiome. The gut microbiome of Westernized, industrialized populations is less diverse and dominated by different bacterial species than that of people from rural, less developed populations, and this has been attributed to a lack of diverse, whole food consumption (2). A super greens blend can be an extremely useful supplement in this regard, as some blends contain up to 40 plant foods, many of which are not available in traditional supermarkets. By drinking a super greens blend each day, you’re adding a broad array of gut-nurturing plant foods.


Phytonutrients are natural compounds found in plants that support human health in numerous ways. They have anti-inflammatory properties, support detoxification processes, and boost the immune system. Unlike multivitamins, which contain no phytonutrients, super greens provide these vital compounds in abundance.


Fiber is another critical nutrient often missing from multivitamin pills. Fiber aids in digestion, helps maintain stable blood sugar levels, and supports cardiovascular health. By incorporating super greens into your diet, you ensure you're getting a healthy dose of fiber, which is integral to overall well-being.


Antioxidants are compounds that protect the body from oxidative stress and free radical damage, which can lead to chronic diseases and aging. Super greens are packed with antioxidants, providing a robust defense against these harmful processes and supporting cellular health.


While multivitamins serve as a convenient and cost-effective option for filling specific deficiencies, they do not provide the full spectrum of benefits found in consuming whole foods. On the other hand, super greens offer a practical and efficient way to enhance nutrient intake through whole food sources. They provide various health benefits, including improved digestion, immune support, and overall vitality through the synergistic benefits of whole foods. Both super greens and multivitamins have their specific roles in supporting health, and the choice depends on which is best for you. If you’ve identified specific deficiencies that can’t be filled through dietary changes, a specific vitamin or mineral supplement may be your best choice. While, if you’re simply looking to consume a broader range of plant foods to improve your heath, adding a super greens supplement may be your best choice. Whichever you choose, you should prioritize a diverse, minimally processed diet consisting of whole foods if you wish to optimize your health.

Comparison Table:

Interested in the best super greens?

As we’ve discussed, incorporating super greens into your daily routine can be a simple yet highly effective step toward achieving and maintaining optimal nutrition and health. As health and fitness enthusiasts, my wife and I have used super greens for a long time, and that’s what led us to formulating our own Ultimate Greens. If you’re looking for the most complete super greens available, we highly recommend you try Thrive Ultimate Greens.

About the Author:

Joe is a certified personal trainer, strength and conditioning coach, and nutrition coach. While studying sport and exercise science, Joe's main focus has been on human physiology and performance. Joe has helped numerous clients achieve their health and fitness goals by applying research into practice to support their physical and overall well-being.


  1. BlackJennifer L. and BilletteJean-Michel. 2013. Do Canadians meet Canada's Food Guide's recommendations for fruits and vegetables?. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism38(3): 234-242.
  2. Zinöcker, M.K.; Lindseth, I.A. The Western Diet–Microbiome-Host Interaction and Its Role in Metabolic Disease. Nutrients 201810, 365

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