Strolling down the aisles of your local pharmacy, what do you tend to see? Rows upon rows of plastic containers of all shapes and sizes containing an endless variety of vitamins and minerals. You want to live a healthy lifestyle, but the sheer number of options available can be overwhelming. How do you know what to look for in a vitamin? Here are a few tips.
1. WHOLE FOODS-BASED
Whole food-based vitamins occur naturally in foods, plants, and herbs. The human body is designed to absorb these nutrients. It has trouble, however, absorbing nutrients found in synthetic vitamins, which are often made in a lab with potentially toxic ingredients. Look for products that clearly state they’re derived from plants and natural sources. Examine the recommended daily allowance to be sure. A product containing 200% of a certain nutrient’s daily intake is probably suspect. Your body knows the difference!
2. UNITED STATES PHARMACOPEIA STAMP
The USP’s job is to test supplements to ensure they both contain the ingredients they say and make sure that they do their job. You can trust their judgement of a product; their standards are used in over 140 countries! Look for the USP’s label on the packaging if you want a guaranteed, tested product.
3. CAPSULES, NOT TABLETS
Swallowing a large capsule may not seem as appealing as a tiny tablet, but consider this: capsules are more easily absorbed by the body. By contrast, ingesting a tablet can increase the time it takes for the nutrients to spread through your body, and some nutrients may lose their effectiveness as a result.
4. EXPIRATION DATES
Vitamins are like processed food. They’re likely packed with unnecessary additives if they have a really long shelf life. If they don’t have expiration dates, even worse! Why pay good money for an inferior product that won’t give you the full health benefits they claim?
Vitamins can contain a number of common allergens: dairy, corn, soy, gluten, shellfish, egg, or peanuts, to name a few. Many brands also include fish oils or gelatin derived from pork or beef. Be on guard if you suffer allergic reactions to certain foods.
These are but a few tips for finding reliable, beneficial vitamins for your health needs. If you’re looking for a good place to start, why not stop by your local Family Pharmacy and check out our current sale on Windmill Vitamins. We have those and much, much more.