Selecting Natural Supplements
With all the controversy around pharmaceuticals and supplements, knowing which brands you can trust and what their products actually contain can be pretty overwhelming, especially if you like us – non nutritionists with no medical background (but experts at Google self-diagnoses).
To date we have veered away from endorsing supplements due to our lack of knowledge and hesitation to consume something that we have no idea what it contains. Clueless and eager to find supplements that are as close to it’s most natural form, we decided to try out Green Vibrance, a uniquely formulated superfood supplement, which contains all of the essential vitamins and minerals in a nutrient dense plant form. We set out to source a little more info from the founder Mark Timon, all the way from Connecticut, ya’ll!
Lack of energy, slow muscle recovery, general fatigue and catching colds, were all symptoms we wanted to address. If we are able to shove down myprodols and antibiotics during our weakest moments, then why not put the plant-based supplement, with no added chemical ingredients (that has full disclosure labeling) to the test?
Overall our experience was positive – if you can stomach a quick and sometimes painless shot of the green powder straight with water, then you deserve a fear factor medal! But we advise sneaking the green potion into your morning smoothie disguised with banana, almond milk, cacao, dates and tasty nuts! Increased energy, performance and stamina to beat the nasty germs doing the rounds were all a result of taking our morning dose of Green Vibrance.
Synthetic VS plant based supplements… Synthetic vitamins and minerals are man-made in clean laboratories – utilising material such as coal tar, rock minerals, powerful acids, enzymes and fermentation processes. Plant-based vitamins and minerals come from living nature. They are concentrated within or extracted from fruits, vegies, grains, seeds and nuts through relatively simple methods of extraction involving principles of organic chemistry.
Plant based supplements contain nutrients that are more thoroughly absorbed and rapidly delivered into the bloodstream – they expected to enter cells earlier than synthetic forms.
How to identify plant based supplements? Understand the labels… the source of a nutrient should be evident from the ingredient on the label. In the case of plant-derived nutrients, whether vitamin or mineral, each will have the plant source identified as part of its description on the label. For example, the label might say “Vitamin C from Amla extract,” or “Calcium from Hydrilla verticillata.”
How do you know if supplements are synthetic? They are easy to identify by the simplicity of their names, lacking all reference to any plant or animal source. An elemental mineral must have the name of its binding molecule (ligand) as part of its descriptor.
Ingredients to look out for, if one is looking for the most natural, most bioavailable and usually most easily digested dietary supplements, then one will want to look for supplements based on animal and plant derived nutrients.
Ingredients to avoid…any collection of ingredients grouped under the heading “Proprietary Blend” – such blends present a consumer with imprecise (perhaps even misleading) information regarding actual composition of the dietary supplement.
If you have used Natural Vibrance or other plant-based supplements, which have really worked for you, leave us a comment below – we would love to hear your feedback!
Photo credit: jennafelicity.com