In the past few decades our society has seen quite an interesting array of food products in the “bar” category. When the health consequences of chocolate bars set in, many moved to the granola bar category. When we began to realize the nutritional downfalls of those, many of us then moved to the common health food bars, often called energy bars or protein bars. For those of us interested in optimal health and real nutrition, we know that ultimately none of these products are nutritionally superior and at the end of the day all still fall into the processed food category.

So if we are interested in some kind of a nutritionally optimal bar, we need to look at the bar category known as whole food bars. These types of bars are minimally processed, and based on real, whole food ingredients. One example of such bars comes from the Vega and Sequel Naturals company, and in this review I will share with you about their Vega Vibrancy bar.

Vega is a line of whole food, plant-based products founded by Canadian Ironman athlete Brendan Brazier. Based on his own health and athletic needs Brendan teamed up with Sequel Naturals to create various Vega whole food products. Vega products are committed to meeting superior nutritional profiles, with synergistically working ingredients. As Brendan states “Vega was born of the belief that one should not have to compromise between whole food goodness and fast food convenience.” Today the Vega line of products includes various whole food shakes and bars.

Vega Whole Food Vibrancy bars are one of the newest additions to the Vega line and have been around for about 3 years. They come in 3 flavors: Green Synergy, Wholesome Original and the Chocolate Decadence, which is the one I had a chance to have on several occasions.

Vega Whole Food Vibrancy bars are a blend of all-natural, 85% raw, organic, and enzymatically-active plant-based superfoods including sprouted buckwheat, sprouted almonds, white chia seeds and hemp seeds. They are vegan, gluten-free, sprouted, alkaline-forming, and rich in Omega 3, antioxidants and phytonutrients!

My reason for purchasing these bars was really one main one: I was going to be traveling for an extended period of time and needed a trusted whole food snack on the go. I bought some of the Vega Whole Food Energy bars, but not loving their taste, I wanted something to change things up for snack purposes as well. This is also why I chose the chocolate decadence flavor….just to be on the safe side and have a pleasant eating experience.

In terms of taste, I found the bar to be really delicious. It is a bit sweeter than I would care for, but nothing too intense or unpleasant. It definitely lives true to its name in terms of “decadent chocolate”. It has a very rich, natural cacao taste, balanced with sweet, so not to be bitter tasting.

In terms of texture, the bars were excellent. They were soft and chewy, without being sticky. They also have the sprouted buckwheat, which make for a delicately crunchy texture.

In terms of nutritional value, the bars are excellent. They offer abundant healthy fats, and being plant-based are of course cholesterol free. They offer 9g of protein per bar and a whopping 5g of fiber! They also offer 17.5g of sprouts, rich in enzymes and phytonutrients, as well as over 4g of Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids.

In terms of ingredients, they are fantastic. This is what I expect from Vega products and why I feel comfortable consuming them. They are almost 100% organic, and use various whole food, raw and even sprouted foods. They are nutrient dense and offer many health benefits. There really is only 1 aspect of this bar that I can pick on as being less than optimal and that is the dark chocolate used, as opposed to plain raw cacao powder. The dark chocolate contains added sugar, raw but still added sugar, and I am not sure as to what sort of processing the chocolate underwent.

Conclusion

These days if I am on the go and cannot provide my own homemade whole food bar, I am likely to grab a Vega bar as I know I can count on nutritional properties that match my nutritional needs and ideals. While the Vega Whole Food Energy bars are even more nutritionally optimal, this Vibrancy bar provides for a much more pleasant experience when it comes to flavor and taste.

I used to rely sometimes on bars like the LaraBar, but today am no longer interested in paying the premium for something I can easily make at home, and have it be even more nutritionally superior. So if I am going to pay for a bar, it will be one with more nutritional benefits, or something I cannot easily make at home. And speaking of price, given their nutrient density, quality and optimal ingredients, I think it is rather fair and not outrageously inflated.

Out of all the bars out on the market today, the Vibrancy bars are definitely some of the most tasty and nutritionally optimal, hence I definitely recommend them for occasional use. I look forward to trying the other two flavors at some point.

Ingredients for Chocolate Decadence flavor

  • Sprouted buckwheat*
  • Dates*
  • Hemp seed*
  • Sprouted almonds*
  • Agave nectar*
  • Brown rice protein*
  • Pea protein
  • Dark chocolate* (70% cocoa*, raw sugar*, cocoa butter*)
  • Vega EFA Oil Blend* (hemp seed oil*, flax seed oil*, pumpkin seed oil*, coconut oil*, green tea seed oil*, pomegranate seed oil, black cumin seed oil, black raspberry seed oil, blueberry seed oil, cranberry seed oil)
  • White chia*
  • Acai*
  • Sorghum puffs*

*Organic sources

Nutritional Information

Per 1 bar – 50g – of Chocolate Decadence flavor

Calories = 210
Fat = 10g
Omega-6 & Omega-3= 4.5g
Saturated Fat = 1g
Trans Fat = 0g
Carbohydrate = 22g (Sugars = 13g)
Fiber = 5g
Protein = 9g
Cholesterol = 0mg
Sodium = 10mg
Potassium = 110mg
Iron = 8%
Calcium = 4%
Vitamin C = 6%

Packaging

The bars come individually wrapped in foil lined wrappers of 50g/1.8oz. They also can be bought in 12 package boxes.

Price (as of this posting)

Availability

  • Available at some grocery, pharmacy and health food stores across US and Canada
  • Available at various online stores (US, Canada & International)

The Good

  • Great, rich chocolate taste
  • Pleasantly sweet
  • Mostly organic ingredients
  • Health promoting ingredients
  • Nutritionally beneficial ingredients
  • 85% raw ingredients
  • Excellent chewy texture
  • Vegan & Vegetarian friendly
  • Sprouted
  • Gluten-free
  • Dairy-free
  • Soy-free
  • Alkaline-forming
  • No refined sugars, oils
  • GMO and pesticide-free
  • Fair price

The Bad

  • Contains chocolate with added sugar