What aspects can we consider when looking for supplements because we have a deficiency of an element? How to choose supplements that are beneficial for our health, for our wallet, but also for our environment?
First of all you must be certain that you have a deficiency at all. This might seem stating the obvious, but even though supplements are no medicines, they shouldn’t be taken lightly. So make sure you base your choice on a medical test.
Make your health priority number one
We are getting older than ever. Unfortunately, we also get ill earlier in life. Air pollution, fast food and a sedentary lifestyle undermine our well-being.
Although it is necessary to visit a GP regularly and do a medical checkup – preferably every year – doctors are more likely to resort to medicines as a solution than to focus on lifestyle. Prevention of illnesses is always better than having to heal them. A healthy lifestyle plays a major role in this.
Moreover, a lot of medication is prescribed for life. I have seen it happening to both my parents. At the end of their lives medicine was stacked on medicine, more often than not causing all kinds of unwanted side effects.
The environment causes diseases of affluence
Not just physical health is important, but also the health of your environment. You can’t just leave it to governments and certainly not to the big companies to take care of that. We all have a responsibility to care of the world as best we can.
Since a couple of years I live in Spain. And I truly love the people and the landscapes. But what I hate is the carelessness of some people dropping plastic waste no matter where they are. For quite a while I picked up one piece of plastic on every hike, but at the moment I am reluctant to do that because of possible contamination with the virus.
What this has to do with the choice of supplements?
When I choose a supplement I want good quality of both the product and the way it is packaged. I know, I make it difficult for myself this way. But it is really important to me.
So these are possible questions we can ask ourselves:
- Is the product and/or the company certified?
- Are the ingredients ecological and from a non-toxic environment?
- Has sufficient research been done into the efficacy?
- Will it be counterproductive to other medications or supplements?
- Is it safe for us even though we have disease X?
- Is the manufacturer making a claim that is too good to be true?
- What is the best form?
- Is the efficacy better if combined with another supplement?
- Is the product as clean as possible, without coloring or artificial flavors?
- How is the packaging?
- Is it tested on animals or on humans?
- Where can we buy it and what is the cost?
A lot of answers to these questions will be on the label. Some will become clear if you visit the website of the manufacturer. And if you can’t find sufficient answers you can always email them. When it’s a renowned company they will answer. And sometimes you won’t know until you buy it.
Have knowledge of your condition
If you have allergies of any kind, it’s always best to start with a small dose to see what the result is. As I have said in another article recommendations are based on averages, which also differ per country. It’s vital to find out what works best for your body.
To give an example: if you take Vitamin C and you get diarrhea you have taken too much. Even when you didn’t take more than the recommended dose.
Do you swallow tablets easily? I thought I did, but I discovered that at some point a tablet can be too big and I almost choke. Yikes. To give an example, I love the Vitamin C of Solgar. It’s a capsule that I can swallow quite easily. Because of COVID-19 more people are taking Vitamin C than ever and Solgar was out of stock everywhere I looked. So I bought a different brand that had tablets. They’re awful, they make me choke every time I take them.
Have knowledge of possible side effects
You might ask why I don’t dissolve those tablets in water? Vitamin C is bad for your teeth because of its acidic nature. You can dissolve it in water, but then you have to make sure to drink it with a (bamboo) straw. Another solution is to break the tablets into powder and eat it with a spoon.
Of course, I don’t want to just throw them away. I can solve the problem for now, but as you can understand I will make a different choice next time Solgar is out of stock.
My personal choice
I mentioned Solgar and have several reasons for choosing that brand.
- I am subscribed to the newsletter of a Dutch alternative doctor and he recommended a couple of high quality brands. Solgar was one of the few on that list that is available in Spain.
- Their Vitamins are packed in dark glass. Glass is easily recycled.
- A lot of the products are suitable for vegans. Not that I am a vegan, but I don’t eat meat and this way I am sure the products don’t contain substances I don’t want to eat.
- They are certified and do a lot of quality control.
There is one thing I don’t like about Solgar though:
- The bottles are sealed with plastic. Sometimes it is just a seal around the cap, sometimes it covers the entire bottle. And I understand the food rules are very strict and it’s done for safety and guarantee. But for me a paper seal would be sufficient.
Did I make your choice easier or more complicated?
As much as I can I try to buy at specialized companies. It’s at times difficult to find companies that deliver international. I live in Spain since a couple of years and can’t find my way around yet. So for my online shopping I prefer for instance eVitamins, because they’re specialized in healthy supplements.
I hope I made it easier for you to chose? Please let me know in the comment box and take care.
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