Vitamins And Minerals

Your body cannot survive without vitamins and minerals.

Lets Talk About Food

Food is a primary source for all the nutrients we need, but there is a problem - food these days is "nutritionally starved." The soil is being treated with chemicals, our cattle are being feed hormone enhanced grains, and other foods are being genetically modified (GMO).

There is the option to buy organic food, but this is cost prohibitive for many people.

Lets Talk About Vitamins and Supplements

Supplements, to a degree, can replace some of the nutrients we're deprived of. Supplements are the name for the thousands of varieties and blends of vitamins, minerals, and other essential elements found in health food stores. 

The same concerns we have with food we must also have when buying supplements.

Can buying cheap supplements be as bad as buying processed food? Supplements come in both organic and synthetic forms. The synthetic form has the vitamin and/or mineral supplement in it but many times there will be fillers and binding substances that contribute nothing as far as nutrition.

How about shelf life? Supplements come in liquid, capsule, gel caps, pill, and powder forms. Liquid has the shortest shelf life even if they ad stabilizers to it. The powder, capsules, pills last at least 2 to 3 times longer than the liquid.

People like the powder because they can mix it with juice or other liquids, and it can also be sprinkled on top of cereals and salads.

Saving Money - Buying Supplements

Generally you get what you pay for when it comes to supplements.
Having said that, if you shop around you will find prices vary buying the same supplement. Online vitamin retailers seem to undercut the prices of brick stores fairly significantly overall. It could be due to the lower overhead and volume of product they ship. Even if you don't meet the minimum amount for free shipping, the savings plus shipping can still be cheaper than buying from your local store.

Expiration Dates - this is one thing you should get in the habit of checking automatically. Online retailers turnover product faster than your local store, so you really need to double check the expiration dates if you buy supplements locally.

Does an expired product mean it's no good? No. Manufacturers have to include an expiration date to guarantee freshness. In the case of supplements the expiration date is the date the manufacturer guarantees their products "potency." A supplement can still be beneficial months, even years past its expiration date, it's just that the manufacturer doesn't guarantee it.

How Do You Know Which Vitamin(s) to Buy?

We've already touched on the different forms supplements comes in and deciding which form you want can narrow down your choices right there.

Some people cannot tolerate pills so liquids are their only choice.

You must also decide what your needs are. Do you need a multivitamin? Do you need to supplement vitamin C only? Are there certain minerals you're lacking? Once you determine this, then your choices are narrowed down even further.

You may need the help of your doctor or dietician to determine what supplements you really need.

Garden of Life - we mention this company as an example of a company that specializes in "live supplements."

Garden of life owns land where they control and grow their own crops. It's all organic and much of what is grown ends up in their products. This is why the term "live supplements" is used -  the ingredients are as fresh and natural as you can get.

Once you find a company or two you like; it never hurts to give them a call and ask questions. You can ask questions like where do the ingredients come from? Is your quality control certified? Return policies? And in the process you will get a feel of just how "consumer friendly" they are and make a judgement if they're a company you would deal with.

Related Information Sources
Natural Supplements

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