Health & Wellness

3 Things To Know When Purchasing Vitamins and Supplements

March 8, 2023

Serenity Here
I devour health and wellness information, and love to share everything that works in my life, so you can use the same self care and lessons in yours!
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Learn how to be a conscious consumer in this 40 billion dollar industry 

40 billion dollars and growing, can you believe it!? It’s enticing, don’t you think? No wonder more and more companies are getting on the bandwagon. The mark up is crazy high, and there isn’t that much regulation. I mean, at least not as much as there probably should be. 

I love that the industry is growing in the sense that it tells a story of us taking our health into our own hands, and making a jump towards more holistic means. I certainly joined the club when my hormones turned upside down years ago. 

Instead of heading to my doctor to tame the anxiety I was having, I researched alternatives, one of which was supplementing with ashwagandha. Which by the way, was a game changer for me. 

And, I didn’t stop there, I had so many symptoms as a side effect of busyness, stress, and quitting birth control, I went on a supplement frenzy. I’m pretty sure I was up to 50 pills a day at one point. 

So did they help? Yeah, for sure. They weren’t “the” answer to the problem, but they definitely made an impact. 

When I started researching things at the time, I knew that paying attention to what I was buying and where I was buying it was a pretty big deal. I was throwing away household items that could be adding toxins to my body, I certainly didn’t want to counter that with buying bad supplements. I mean, the saying, “you are what you eat,” might be better put: you are what you consume. 

And to top it off, research specific to vitamins and supplements sold on Amazon shows that more often than not, what the label says and what’s actually in the bottle, don’t typically match up. 

You might be thinking – what, how can that even happen?! It’s a gigantic market, and even though Amazon has committed to trying to make sure that you are getting what you pay for, by requiring their sellers to provide certain documentation, that study showing their mismatches, was conducted after that went into place. Yikes!

So how do we protect ourselves as consumers, and ensure we know what we’re getting? I’m glad you asked! I’ll start with this, maybe don’t buy from Amazon. Sorry. I recommend this: browse Amazon, but go straight to the seller and make sure they check the boxes. 

So what are the boxes? Ah, let’s dive in. 

  1. Independent Third Party Certified Testing. Because there is such minimal regulation and not much enforcement on compliance with what is in place, having a third party involved is critical. Since this isn’t a requirement, it’s a huge win when I see a company opting into this. It’s a decent indicator that they hopefully are an ethical company, with high quality products. The third party tests to ensure that what the label says is true – right amount, right product. They also ensure there isn’t anything added that could be harmful. Win!

  1. Organic. Or at least Non-GMO. Organic products should not contain GMO, so buying organic is the way to go if possible. Organic is important in a vitamin/supplement so that you ensure you have the cleanest product possible, without any chemicals or toxins that could disrupt your hormones. 

  1. Ingredients. Short and sweet – but, not literally sweet! Steer clear of added sugar, and other sweet things, and the shorter the list the better. We really just want the actual vitamin or supplement we’re going for, without a bunch of other gunk, so make sure you read the label, and figure out what anything added in is, and why it might be in there – like shelf life stabilizers. 

As an added bonus, I love to shop around and support specific industries. For example, I love to support women owned small businesses, and even better, one with some diversity. Or a company that gives back a portion of their profit into something meaningful. 

Mission is important to me too. What’s their business stand for? There’s a lot of companies who are “hidden” under big names. Meaning, they are owned by someone else, but it’s not obvious because they run under a different name. 

Like, “Garden of Life.” Seems like a great brand, right? But did you know that Garden of Life is owned by Nestle? Yep. A chocolate company – weird, huh? So you might think you’re giving your money to Garden of Life, but you’re actually handing over your dough to a company that specializes in, well, chocolate. 

I already gave you an added bonus, but hey, here’s some more. I listed below two of my favorite companies and why, to get you started!

Happy Healthy Hippie: 

  • Plant Based
  • Non-GMO
  • Third Party Tested
  • 60 Day Money Back Guarantee
  • Hormone Balancing Specific Blends
  • Subscribe and Save Program
  • US Made and Manufactured – Certified Good Manufacturing Practice. 

HUM Nutrition 

  • Clean Label Project Certified – Verified Non-GMO
  • Bottles Made from 100% Prevented Ocean Plastic™ 
  • Plant Based Options
  • Consciously Packaged
  • Subscribe and Save Program 

Vitamins and supplements can be a great part of our health and wellness care. Especially with the vitamin depleted soil that now exists. We just don’t squeeze as many nutrients out of the food we eat, like our ancestors did. 

There’s no one size fits all, and there may be times where you feel like you need an extra boost, but other times not. For example, I don’t get a lot of sunshine in the winter months, but in the Spring, Summer and Fall, you can bet I’m outside taking a walk or reading a book in the sun. I get at least 30 minutes of those warm rays most days, and don’t need the extra boost of vitamin d that I take in the winter months. 

There you have it. That of course is just a short list to get you started. Anything else you look for in your vitamin and supplement companies?

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