Herbs have long provided a health solution for my family and me. I grew up on a biodynamic, organic farm. I vividly remember my grandmother’s kitchen: it was filled with drying plants and herbs that she used in a variety of tinctures to heal many of our family’s woes. My father, a chemist, also used herbs in extraordinary ways in our ordinary, everyday life. And there are many of the world’s healthiest cultures — from Asia to South America to Europe — that have relied on plants and herbs for supporting wellness. Seeking them out and bringing them to you is my passion and my purpose.
With so many supplements now at your fingertips available today, how can one safely and confidently tap into the best quality natural solutions? At Reserveage Nutrition, we strive in our selection of raw materials and ingredients to bring transparency, quality and appropriate strength for use in our products. But, how does one actually shop for the best vitamins and supplements? What’s the right way to read a label and know that what you are buying will give you the best results?
I was thrilled to share my tried-and-true advice recently with Senior Beauty Editor of PEOPLE.com, Andrea Lavinthal, and this week — I am happy to share this knowledge with you. When it comes to shopping for supplements, remember these five steps:
- START WITH REPUTABLE RETAILER: Seek out a reputable retailer such as WHOLE FOODS, Vitamin Shoppe and QVC who maintain high standards for products they carry on their shelves. Make sure your supplier and your brand follows FDA Good Manufacturing Practices.
- AVOID INTERNET MARKETERS: When you shop on the Internet, unless it’s a reputable retailer’s website such as Vitaminshoppe.com, or QVC.com, you don’t necessarily know where your supplements are coming from, who is behind the sale and that you are getting the real deal. The advantage of shopping at a trusted brick-and-mortar store, (or at their on-line store) is that you get the benefit of their retail standards, knowledge that your product is coming from the right source, and also the benefit of an in-store consultant to guide you.
- LOOK FOR HIGH QUALITY: Seek out a select few brands that you trust every time which offer high access and transparency. You want to seek out raw ingredients that have been tested and retested at each stage from vine to capsule; and ensure that they are processed and bottled in the United States.
- FOR APPROPRIATE STRENGTH, GO STANDARDIZED: When looking for appropriate strength, always read your supplement facts to make sure the product has been “standardized” to the active ingredient. A standardized supplement may say that it is standardized on the front label, but it will also provide the percentage breakdown of the active ingredients that are contained in the product. This is where you will see if what you are buying contains the appropriate strength to deliver the maximum benefits.
- KEEP IT SIMPLE: Seek out supplements that have excluded unnecessary fillers and binders. If your ingredient is mixed with lots of preservatives, several fillers, gluten, dairy, nuts, soy, artificial flavors and chemicals that you can’t understand — choose another product. You want as simple and as clean a product as possible.
We would love to hear your questions about shopping for vitamins and supplements. Share them with us at our Reserveage Facebook page and I will answer them in an upcoming blog post.
For now, be well!