As a vegetarian, I know I don’t get all the necessary vitamins and nutrients on a daily basis. And I’m willing to bet that most people are the same whether they are vegetarians, carnivores, omnivores, or anything in between. The fact that it’s hard enough eating the right balance of vegetables and fruits, protein, and food that gives us energy throughout the day, it’s no wonder we get stressed out, run down, and develop chronic illnesses.
I’ve been enthralled with the natural vitamins and supplements industry for many years and rely a great deal on natural supplements and vitamins to fill in the gaps and fortify what I already normally eat. Because I’m constantly running around all day I feel my energy completely depleted by the end of the day and then I still have to keep going. Finding the right balance between food and supplements is very important to me and I’m usually eager to try supplements that will enhance my health and well-being. But do I go natural or conventional? For me, natural is always the first choice in any type of vitamins or supplements that go in my body. I don’t want to add additional strain to my body by polluting it with non-natural supplements.
Vitamins and supplements have been around for many years but because their authenticity has been questioned by consumers, media, and retailers, the natural supplement industry has taken extraordinary measures to validate their authenticity. Clinical evidence and intensive research as well as doctors of the medical community have realized that supplement use along with a healthy lifestyle can dramatically improve a person’s health. Studies and tests show that people who take supplements regularly also develop a healthier outlook to life. Because of the connections, natural supplements may work in conjunction to overall well being.
9 Nutrients You Are Not Getting Enough Of:
CALCIUM (especially for young children and older adults)
IRON (especially for women)
But why exactly do we need supplements you may ask? Well, the first apparent fact is that we don’t eat enough of the proper balance of food on a daily basis. As stated earlier, with every day stress added to not eating a well balanced nutrition, it’s even more important to add supplements into our lives. Second, because of conventional farming throughout the world, rich and vital nutrients found in plants have become watered down, or down graded so to speak. Add in toxic and conventional soil, fertilizers, and pesticides, our precious environment can eventually lose its original organic compounds found many many years ago. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), if current trends continue, all of the world’s topsoil could be gone within 60 years. Soils are the basis of life. Ninety-five percent of our food comes from the soil. Beyond producing food and fibers, soils play a key role in absorbing carbon and filtering water.
Today, farmers and companies are branching out to organic and regenerative agriculture practices to improve soil health. Rich in trace minerals and other phytonutrients, healthy soil naturally boosts plants’ immunity, believed to contribute to higher nutrient levels in organic foods. A 2014 review of research published in the British Journal of Nutrition confirmed that organic foods contain higher concentrations of antioxidants on average than conventionally grown foods—and that conventional foods contain greater concentrations of pesticides and the toxic metal cadmium.
With our foods compromised and our health affected as the end result, companies and experts are stressing the importance of adding high quality supplements into our lives. But because there are so many supplement companies out there, people tend to be skeptical of them, criticizing that companies only want to make money out of consumers. While that may be true to some extent for certain companies, it is imperative to do our own research and learn as much as we can about the supplement and vitamin industry.
So how can we trust the supplement industry? Supplements are regulated and certified through the FDA and third-party organizations. We can also ask health professionals in the natural health industry. And, we can see how transparent a supplement company is. There shouldn’t be anything to hide in the ingredients when they are completely natural. There are very few proprietary blends companies use and even then they should be wholly transparent in where they source their ingredients. Below are specific third-party organizations that uses additional quality testing on ingredients and products to make sure the claims are accurate. Be sure to look out for them on bottle labels.
USP. U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention verifies finished products and ingredients. Verification requirements: Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) audit, product and ingredient testing and manufacturing documentation review.
NPA GMP certification. Companies must remain members of the Natural Products Association; facilities are audited every two years.
NSF Dietary Supplement certification. Beyond GMP audits, these products have been independently tested and meet standards for label claim, toxicology and contaminants.
NSF Certified for Sport® certification. In addition to GMP audits and product tests, these products are also verified on a lot-by-lot basis to be free from 200-plus athletic-banned substances.
Certified Gluten-Free. The Gluten-Free Certification Organization certifies to less than 10 ppm, using two rigorous standardized testing methods.
UL Verified. A newer seal from 150-year-old Underwriter Laboratories, best known for verifying consumer products from electronics to data security. These products and ingredients have received facilities audits and have been tested for purity, potency and lack of contaminants.
ISURA seal guarantees products are non-GMO, safe, pure and potent. ISURA uses state-ofthe-art equipment to identify genetically modified or genetically engineered organisms. It also uses mass spectrometry to test for over 400 pesticides, solvents, heavy metals and other contaminants.
NSF GMP Registered. Indicates twice-yearly GMP audit of facilities by NSF International.
Understanding the complex framework of the supplement industry can be quite daunting as new information on top of original information gets added or changed. New Hope Network, a leader in the natural health industry, gathered extensive information to help consumers understand why Americans have become greatly dependent on medicine including natural supplements and vitamins, and how to make the right decisions when choosing natural supplements. There has been an influx of information from many directions whether positively reporting the supplement industry or not and it’s critical for consumers to get accurate and proper information.
To make it a bit easier to understand the vast natural supplements industry, I’ve broken down key points to hopefully help you make informed decisions. Below is a chart on selecting high-quality multivitamins to help you get the optimum results.
And tips on choosing high-quality supplements:
Along with deciding what our bodies need and finding the right supplements to support our bodies, there are also many other factors to consider. The type of supplement is one important factor we must include. Supplements can range anything from single ingredient to more complex blends of vitamins and minerals. Choosing the form is also important if you prefer liquid, capsules, or gummy form. And additionally, who we’re buying the supplements from can play a crucial role in how effective they are and whether we’re supporting big pharmacies or small companies with more discerning standards.
Many companies including MegaFood, NeoCell, and Rainbow Light are determined to bring more transparency into the natural supplements world and educating the public on the importance of incorporating natural supplements into our daily routine. Higher standards are being met or exceeded as not only are companies hoping to gain more customers but working with their own suppliers have boosted their business practices.
To get a complete understanding of the supplement and vitamin industry, download this informative eGuide here: http://deliciousliving.com/eguide-inside-bottle-understanding-supplements-today
Editor’s note: Parts of this post were taken with permission from New Hope Network/Delicious Living Magazine. Sources are directly from New Hope Network.