For the body to function optimally, you need to eat sufficient micronutrients. This calls for you to eat enough vitamins and minerals such as folate, copper, zinc, selenium, and vitamins A, B12, B6, C, and D.
Basic science stipulates that to get these vital nutrients. You should eat a variety of foods containing all the vital micronutrients.
As much as many people would want to fuel their bodies with the right nutrients, most lead hectic lifestyles; hence, they cannot eat all the time optimally. The result is they fail to provide their bodies with all the nutrients they need.
This is where vitamins and supplements come in.
These additional nutrients are insurance policies against falling levels of vital nutrients.
Tips for Buying High-Quality Vitamins and Supplements
Do you feel that you aren’t eating as well as you should and would love to supplement your diet with vitamins and supplements? You need to be cautious when buying supplements as you can easily get a bad experience instead of the good one that you are expecting. To help you out, here are smart tips that will ensure you have a great experience.
Find out the ones you need
As much as you can buy vitamins and supplements over the counter, it doesn’t mean you should head to your store and buy them—it’s wise first to determine whether you need them.
To ensure you need the supplements in the first place, visit your doctor, who will do a battery of tests and advise on the supplements to take and how to take them safely.
You should note that sometimes you think you need the supplements while you don’t. In other cases, taking the supplements ends up harming you.
For example, some supplements might harm the baby if you are breastfeeding. If you have a heart condition and take heart medications, blood thinners, diuretics, or aspirin might turn down the immune system and steroids.
Your medication might fail to mix well with the supplement, leading to dangerous complications.
As mentioned, always see a doctor to test and determine whether vitamins and supplements are good for you.
Be cautious of the labels.
Almost all supplements will have a label to catch your eye so you can buy them. Most people don’t read the labels, and manufacturers know this. Don’t be like the ones that don’t take time to go through the labeling—before you buy the supplement, carefully go through the label and ensure that you understand the ingredients inside.
As you are going through the material, be on the lookout for exaggerated promises. For example, you have a reason to worry if you come across a product that says that it can “cure” a disease, is “all-natural,” and has a “money-back guarantee.”
A good rule of thumb to observe is to ensure that if a product sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
To be sure that a vitamin or supplement will give you the results you are after, look out for evidence of scientific studies from reputable publications. Excellent sources include the National Institutes of Health (NIH) PubMed database.
If you can’t find proof, don’t hesitate to contact a manufacturer and request published studies. You should review the studies and confirm that they agree with the claims.
If the claims on the bottle are too exaggerated, stay away from the supplement, as chances are high that the supplement won’t deliver the results you are looking for.
Avoid extra doses
If you have been keen on labeling the supplements, you might have come across some supplements with additional nutrients. For example, it’s common to find vitamin C supplements with immune-supporting herbs.
While these supplements might have additional benefits, avoid them as, in most cases, they contain more ingredients that might bring about unwanted side effects.
When your healthcare provider recommends a specific supplement, stick to it—don’t buy more than you need.
Buy from a reputable brand.
It goes without saying that to get high-quality supplements, you need to buy from a reputable and proven brand.
As you buy the supplements, buy from a brand that has been around for years. For peace of mind that the products are good, buy from brands with an NSF International, Underwriters Laboratory, US Pharmacopeia, or Consumer Lab seal.
This way, you are sure that the products have undergone quality testing, the ingredients on the label are real, and there are no potentially harmful ingredients.
It’s also good to buy from brands manufacturing their products in the United States. This is because most of the products manufactured overseas aren’t regulated, and chances are high they have toxic ingredients.
Be cautious of sites you buy from
Online buying has become the norm, with plenty of perks. It’s cheaper and more convenient, and you often can access products you can’t find in your local store.
As you buy vitamins online, be cautious, as you can easily get scammed. This is because, as much as there are many reputable sites, there are equally disreputable ones.
Some scammers will clone a popular site, and if you aren’t keen, you enter your payment details there, and you lose money.
You should thoroughly vet a site and ensure that it’s genuine. As a rule of thumb, read online reviews about the site and ensure that it checks out.
These are the tips you need to consider when buying vitamins and supplements. Don’t start taking the supplements simply because you want to—first, find out if you need them.
When buying the supplements, don’t rush; instead, take time to determine the right ones. As a rule of thumb, stay away from those overpromising or containing too many ingredients.
You should always be cautious of the site you buy from and do a thorough background check to determine that it’s genuine and reputable.