GEM is a plant-based, nutrient-dense daily vitamin made from real food. Here’s my complete GEM review from taste to nutrition to how to order. This post is sponsored by GEM. Get 30% off your first order with the code KATH30.
Daily GEM Review: Real Food Vitamins
Daily GEM Vitamins Made From Real Food
I was scrolling through Instagram one morning and saw an ad for GEM vitamins. Not only did I stop my scroll, but I clicked the “learn more” button and spent the next 20 minutes reading the entire website.
The next week I was on the phone with GEM’s founder and CEO, Sara Cullen, chatting about all things nutrition. We were aligned on SO many things related to nutrition, holistic health, and supplementation.
Nutrition should come from food
The food we eat should always be our primary source of nutrition. Hence why this blog is called Kath Eats Real Food. Since my first interest in nutrition, I’ve always believed that real food was superior to supplements. I am also weary of supplements because of the lack of transparency around ingredients and source quality. Not to mention the extreme health claims. When I was in school for nutrition, I did a research project on real food versus supplements. You can find an overview of that project in this post: The Synergy of Real Food.
We don’t know what we don’t know
The main conclusion that I took away from that project was that there is a synergy from the nutrition in real food that supplements lack. But it’s not 100% explainable. We don’t know what we don’t know. Nutrition is a relatively new science, and we learn more about it each year. Scientists have tried to extract what they think are the super nutrients from food and see if when isolated in pill form they become a panacea for disease. So far a magic pill has not been found. While we don’t know exactly what is synergistic about whole food, we unlock new clues each year.
Until we do, eating real food is always the safest bet for optimal nutrition.
Yet few of us eat the perfect diet every single day. Whether it’s lack of time, accessibility limitations, or a myriad of other reasons, most people have gaps in their diet. A supplement can help fill those gaps. And a supplement made from real food? We have found a gem!
When I stumbled upon GEM on Instagram, I knew I had found a solution I’d been looking for for years. A delicious cube packed with superfoods that delivers a little extra to my diet. GEM bites are 100% plant-based, have dosing that mirrors nature, and are much more fun to take than swallowing a giant pill.
What are GEM Vitamins Made Of?
GEM multivitamins – (aka multi(bite)amins!!) – are designed to help fill the gaps in your diet with 15+ whole food sourced nutrients for daily nutrition.
All Plant Based
GEM bites are entirely plant-based and are free of synthetics, artificial ingredients, added sugar, gluten, soy, and animal products.
Dosing Mirrors Nature
I also love that the dosing mirrors nature, meaning the nutrients are in the same form and amount they are found in real food. The main reason I believe so wholeheartedly in real food is because I believe mother nature knows best (this was the title to my research project!) Whatever dose you would eat and chew is likely the ideal dose your body wants to absorb. Some vitamin supplements have 2000% the daily value of nutrients. B vitamins, like vitamin B12 or B6, are water soluble, which means you’ll just pass the excess out.
People shouldn’t necessarily rely on vitamins for 100% of nutrition needs. You should be eating most of what you need. You don’t need 100% of the RDA in a supplement. And you definitely don’t need 1,000%. GEM is designed to fill the gaps with vitamins and minerals you might need a small boost of and superfoods you might not be able to eat everyday.
Co-nutrients for optimal absorption
And back to that real food synergy: GEM bites are created with cofactors and co-nutrients in mind so you have optimal absorption. They were designed by a diverse scientific advisory board of professionals who considered all nutrition angles when deciding on the formulations.
What I look for In A Multivitamin
It’s important that you diversify what you eat and go beyond the essentials, which is why GEM includes superfoods, probiotics, and adaptogens. I look for my multivitamin to have a few of the essentials that I know I need: omega-3s, vitamin D (especially in the winter), probiotics, difficult to get plants (like spirulina), and adaptogens.
I actually read an entire book on adaptogens for part of my RD continuing education. You might have heard of ginseng, ashwagandha, cordyceps, or maca. The book, while complicated, was fascinating, and I looked into how I could incorporate adaptogens into my life. I was so glad to see GEM includes common adaptogens in the bites – see below!
Daily GEM Formulations
GEM makes two different Daily Essentials vitamins. Both GEM Bites act on different pathways for holistic support with one targeting more immune support and digestion (Citrus Ginger flavor) and the other more akin to a foundational multi helping with energy, mental clarity, hormonal balance, and hair/skin/nails (Lemon, Cacao or Peppermint flavors). They can be taken together for double the support or separately depending on what suits your body the best. There’s also a Sleep Essentials bite for sleep support. Here are the different ingredients in all three varieties:
Daily Essentials Foundational Multi in Lemon, Cacao or Peppermint Flavors
Daily Essentials are made from these real food ingredients: chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, curry leaves, mushrooms, quinoa, dates, coconut, and chickpeas. Plus key ingredients for targeted energy, beauty, balance, and clarity. Learn more about all the targeted ingredients and what they do here: What’s Inside? plus links to research studies supporting the ingredients.
- Astaxanthin: a powerful antioxidant to support graceful aging.
- Ashwagandha: this is a well-known adaptogen to help reduce cortisol levels and balance hormones.
- Omega-3s: ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) from chia seeds support brain and heart health.
- Vitmain K2: from chickpeas, vitamin K2 pairs with vitamin D and the calcium in your diet to nurture strong bones.
- Spirulina: spirulina powder is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
- Sea Minerals: natural magnesium equalizer for optimal metabolic function
Daily Essentials For Immune Support + Digestion in Citrus Ginger Flavor
Made from pumpkin seeds, turmeric, black pepper, stone fruit, spices, and citrus.
- Zinc: Research suggests zinc can help stimulate the immune system and support healthy immune function. Over half of Americans are assumed to be deficient.
- Curcumin: from turmeric, curcumin plays a key role in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant health from the gut to the skin and brain.
- Beta Glucan: Beta-glucan can help support upper respiratory health. It also contains prebiotic properties that can enrich beneficial bacteria in the gut.
- Probiotics + prebiotics: the probiotic bacteria strain in GEM is microencapsulated to help it reach the gut for better absorption. A diverse gut microbiome can help promote immune health.
- Vitamin D3: from sustainably-sourced lichen, vitamin D3 plays an important role in activating the immune system.
Sleep Essentials in Chocolate Cherry Flavor
The Sleep Essentials bites are formulated help you fall asleep, stay asleep, and wake up restored. Ingredients are designed for sleep, stress, and mood support with a blend of valerian root, l-theanine, magnesium, GABA, and calming ingredients. They are also melatonin free (meaning groggy-free and non-habit forming).
- Magnesium: an essential nutrient that helps promote deep, restful sleep, as well as full-body relaxation. Also synergistic with vitamin D activation.
- GABA: GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is a calming neurotransmitter that can help promote calm, focus, and sleep.
- L-theanine: you’ve probably heard of this as a sleep promoter before – L-theanine is an amino acid derived from green tea that can act as a natural relaxant.
- Valerian root: an alternative to melatonin, valerian root is an herbal remedy that has been used for centuries that can help promote sleep and a sense of overall calmness. Fun fact: it’s also in Sleepytime Extra tea!
How to Take Sleep Essentials
Take one bite nightly an hour before bed. You can take up to 3 if needed. GEM is safe to take every night and is also effective to take whenever you just need really good sleep.
How GEM Works
GEM offers a flexible subscription that you can cancel anytime. You can subscribe to Daily Essentials, Sleep Essentials or all of the above. And you can add on samples to try the other kinds. They use SMS text messages to manage your account, so you can adjust or cancel your subscription without needing to bother with a customer service call. You can start building a subscription here. Get 30% off your first order with the code KATH30.
Monthly subscriptions are $55/month for 30 bites with free shipping which amounts to $2 per day (or $1.83 per bite). If you either don’t take a multi or take an inexpensive drugstore brand, that might seem high, but you really need to compare apples to apples. Because GEM has super ingredients like ashwagandha and spirulina, if you were to individually buy all of the nutrients separately it would cost 3-4x more per month. If you’re someone who already takes a variety of supplements, consolidating into one food-based bite might actually be less expensive. For me this consolidates the extra D and probiotics I take into just one order per month.
All of the GEM products come in an eco-friendly packaging system with refillable tins and compostable refill packs. I love that there’s a focus on sustainability from the packaging to the organic and sustainably sourced real food ingredients.
My Honest Review Of Daily GEM Vitamins
I’ve been taking my GEM bite after lunch each day and it has replaced my normal square of dark chocolate. While I wholeheartedly believe that dark chocolate is a superfood, I think this has been a trade up : ) I have noticed a bit more energy in the afternoons (although not a clinical trial – that could also be spring weather!) But where I have really noticed a difference is my sleep! I’ve been getting such good sleep lately that I mentioned this out loud the other day to Thomas. His reply: “Maybe it’s your new bites?” I didn’t even connect the dots. It probably is!
My favorite flavor is actually the Citrus Ginger! I’m surprised since I am more of a chocolate/mint girl. But the citrus is really lovely. I find the other Daily Essentials flavors to have a bit more of an earthy taste to them, but with a mild sweetness. I love the texture of the quinoa and seeds inside. They remind me a lot of Larabars with a date base and crunchy bits inside. The Sleep bites taste a lot like a chocolate cherry Larabar.
I want to continue on with a subscription when I’ve finished my bites, but I think I will settle into an every other day pattern to balance cost with benefit. Or have half a bite per day. Since we’re filling gaps, I’ll just fill half a gap per day to average out. I LOVE the idea of consolidating my supplements into one product to order on a monthly basis. And I don’t miss taking pills at all, which I was always forgetting anyways! I am much better at remembering my post-lunch bite than I was at taking my pills each day.
The bottom line: GEM bites are the most delicious way to get your vitamins and minerals.
Get 30% off your first order with the code KATH30.
Thanks to GEM for sponsoring this post.