In this article, I will share with you a simple strategy about how to choose the right supplements, which ones I personally use and the ones I trust enough to recommend to my family, friends and clients.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT SUPPLEMENTS
Supplements are a wonderful way to gain more nutrition outside of the food you eat. However, it is extremely important that you do your research and choose products that are clean and are as whole food based as possible.
Many supplements on the market today are manufactured by companies looking to make a profit but, unfortunately, don’t always to provide the public with the healthiest options.
Synthetic supplements, like vitamins and minerals, often contain harmful ingredients and foreign substances not listed on the label. This makes it extremely difficult for consumers to know what it is they’re taking and places them as great risk of adverse effects.
That is why I do my best to not take, or recommend, a product unless I know where it is coming from and what is in it. That is why I only recommend a few select products from companies I trust.
To choose the right supplements for you I suggest the following:
1) Fully understand why you need the supplement.
Once you understand what you need a supplement for you can then choose one that will suit your needs. For example, if you are not able to eat enough fruits and veggies you would choose a whole food supplement to fill that need. If you desire to boost your protein intake you would choose a protein shake or bar.
2) Know what the supplement is made of.
Before you choose to by a supplement, so some research into what is actually in the product. Take a good look at the label and see if the ingredients are whole and pure. If there’s a bunch of things on the ingredient list you don’t understand, look them up. If they are chemicals or harmful fillers stay away from it. If there is an abundance of whole food nutrients then you have found one that may work for you.
3) Understand the research.
Take a look online when you decide on a product to see if any third part research has been done to test the product’s safety and effectiveness. If there is no third party research on the product, and only in-house studies and testimonials you might be wise to stay away. However, if there is an abundance of high-quality, third party, placebo-based research to prove the safety and effectiveness of the product then it is probably a good choice.
4) Research the company who makes the supplement.
The reason I suggest this is because I believe in supporting companies that use the highest standards of care when producing a product or service. This includes companies who take the time and resources to ensure their products have the proper safety, or purity certifications such as non-GMO, organic, NSF, cruelty-free and vegan. It may also include companies that take good care of their staff and people in the communities they serve.
MY FAVOURITE SUPPLEMENTS
Most of my favourite supplements come from one company, The Juice Plus+ Company. I personally take and recommend these supplements including:
1) Whole Food Trio Blend
This blend contains a variety of 30 different whole fruits, vegetables, berries and grains. This blend was designed to bridge the gap between what you are eating and what you should be eating for optimal health.
2) Omega Blend
This blend contains a variety of plant-based foods to provide a well-rounded omega blend that contains omega’s 3, 5, 6, 7, and 9 and is a better option to a fish-based omega.
3) Complete Meal Replacement Shakes
These shakes are whole-food based meal replacement that contains the nutrients of non-GMO proteins and over 17 fruits, vegetables and grains. This shake mix is available in Vanilla and Chocolate flavour.
4) Complete Meal Replacement Bars
These whole-food bars contain a variety of fruits, vegetables and grains. They are delicious and an easy grab-and-go snack.
WHY I RECOMMEND JUICE PLUS+ PRODUCTS
I was introduced to the Juice Plus+ products many years ago and ever since I first learned about what it is I fell in love with it!
The Juice Plus+ whole foods concentrate powder was first develop by Dr. Smokey Santillo who was looking for a way to get more nutrition into his fathers body. His dad was dying of cancer and had a hard time eating enough nutrition to help his body fight the disease and recover form treatment.
Dr. Santillo spend much time and money juicing various fruits and veggies that his father would drink but then realized that many people around the world would benefit from this kind of nutrition. However, juicing can get expensive, is time consuming and is messy, which is why many people do not do it.
He partnered with the NSA Company, now called The Juice Plus+ Company, who at the time was looking for a new opportunity and they developed the whole food dehydrated concentrate and put it in capsules. This nutrition was now easily accessible and affordable for anyone who wanted better health.
I first heard of Juice Plus from a lady at a business-networking event. I was there to promote my health coaching services when I heard a lady speaking about nutrition…real, whole food nutrition, what it takes and how hard it can be to eat enough each day.
When I found out that the Juice Plus+ whole food based nutrition is made from 30 different fruits and berries, vegetables and grains, it was easy for people to take and cost less than four dollars per day I was hooked.
I had been working with a variety of clients who struggled every day to eat enough whole foods. I knew that it would be easier for them to take a few capsules than to eat all the food I was asking them to eat. It was something that would help them, and myself, bridge the gap between what we should eat and what we do eat every day.
Then I saw all the high-quality research that had been done on the product. I was familiar with the caliber of the scientific journals these results were published in and the doctors that were representing it…it was astounding. How had I not heard of this before? I knew then that everyone needed to be taking this product.
To confirm my decision to recommend the product I needed to know a few things:
1) Is the product vegan?
As a vegan, I know that no matter how good the product was there was no way I could recommend it if it wasn’t vegan. Luckily, it is all 100% vegan and made with only the highest-quality ingredients.
2) Can a pregnant woman take it?
As far as I’m concerned, if a pregnant woman can’t take a product then why would I or anyone else take it?
The Juice Plus+ products are not only safe for pregnant woman but they’re extremely beneficial due to the high level of folate and other essential nutrients provided by the whole food.
3) Can kids take it?
Many products, including ones made specifically for children, have warning labels to keep away from children. I didn’t want to recommend a product to my clients just to have their kids get their hands on it and overdose on something.
Because Juice Plus+ is made with pure, whole-food ingredients even if a child ate the whole bottle, or bag of gummies all that would happen would be an extra big bowel movement. This for many people would just be an added bonus.
OTHER COMPANIES TO CONSIDER
Some other companies are doing a great job in making high quality products that consumers can purchase to support their health and wellness needs.
In this section, I will review some of the other products I personally use but don’t necessarily recommend to clients strictly because I don’t yet fully know the company practices. I am continue to do my research on these companies, and others, and invite you to do the same before choosing to purchase and use their products.
I am absolutely in love with Doterra…especially the essential oils. I use their oils daily in my personal yoga and meditation practice as well as with my clients and yoga events, in my cooking and baking and around the house. Essential oils have many physical and emotional healing properties that I believe are an asset to support optimal health and wellness. Doterra also offers essential oil based supplements and body care lines that I am starting to love as well.
To learn more about Doterra, visit: https://www.mydoterra.com/livingmeatless/#/
2) Garden Of Life
Garden of Life offers a variety of food-based supplements including protein powder, vitamin and minerals and probiotics. This company is one that I personally support occasionally, as I like that they offer a raw Vitamin B complex and seemingly good quality probiotic.
To learn more about Garden Of Life, visit: https://www.gardenoflife.com/content/
LifeGive supplements are formulated by and made exclusively for the world-renowned Hippocrates Health Institute and are made with naturally occurring vitamins and nutrients. I have used some of their products in the past because I trust the company but shipping to Canada can be costly.
To learn more about LifeGive supplements, visit: https://lifegivesupplements.com.
Megafood is a whole-food based vitamin and supplement company that I have used in the past. I like that their products come from whole foods specifically the Balanced B Complex and D3.
To learn more about Megafood, visit: https://www.megafood.com.
I used the Sunwarrior protein when I first started to explore the raw vegan lifestyle. This company offers plant-based protein and superfood options.
To learn more about Sunwarrior, visit: https://sunwarrior.com.
Vega is a well-known vegan sport supplement brand that I personally use and have recommended to some clients based on their needs. They make bars, shakes, maca chocolate and other food supplements such as before and after workout supplements designed mostly to support sport performance.
To learn more about Vega products, visit: https://myvega.ca
I hope this helps to give you a better idea of what supplements are best for you. Do your research and then make an informed decision. I suggest going for the highest quality rather than the cheapest option. Your body, and your life, is worth it!
Until next time,
Rachel Joy Olsen, BSc., MBA
Health & Wellness Coach, Author