When choosing what Health foods and supplements to buy, it is imperative to understand that not all health products are created equal. Here are my tips to help you make good decisions when deciding what products to purchase. You can also see some of my specific recommendations on the “Holistic Health Faves” page that I have created. I also want to make mention that I believe having a prayerful approach is the most important element in helping you to choose the right supplements for you – as I know that our God will help you to tune into what you really need. Below you will find my tips.
Disclaimer: This information has not been evaluated by the FDA or Health Canada. (See full Disclaimer here.)
Read the Ingredients List Carefully
Before buying any product, be sure to read over the ingredients list carefully. It is important for you to be aware of exactly what is in the product you are taking. When looking at any product page, you will want to look for:
- The “Supplement Facts,” including the basic ingredients list
- The “Other Ingredients” list
I also recommend that you read the entire “Product Overview” provided on the individual product pages on the website. I-Herb.com often lists a very detailed description of their products there, which can be invaluable in making purchase decisions.
Check for Animal Product Ingredients
If you are concerned about animal products, and where they are sourced from, in your food and supplements – it pays to always make this a priority when looking at the description and ingredients listing.
Look for the manufactures assurances as applicable for your dietary standards:
- Certifications: Vegan and/or Kosher
- Many products will list in their manufactures description wording such as: “vegetarian,” or “suitable for vegetarians / vegans.” These descriptions are helpful to look for to help you make appropriate and informed choices.
In particular: note that many products will contain “gelatin” in the capsule that the supplement is contained in. (gelatin can be sourced from conventional pork and beef; some supplements will specify beef gelatin to differentiate.) Other products utilize “veggie-caps” as a vegetarian alternative.
Another consideration is that if you are taking any kind of hormonal supplement (such as melatonin) – these are often sourced from an animal, though it may not be listed on the label. In this case, you’ll want to pay close attention to the labeling and contact manufactures to be certain of the source.
(FYI – there are many products for purchase on I-Herb that I would not recommend, simply due to the fact that they contain animal products that I would consider to be possibly unethical and/or toxic.)
Look for Organic Ingredients
I am personally, a firm believer in quality, organic products. And since herbs and supplements are specifically aimed at improving health and quality of life, I believe it is especially important to look for ones that are organically grown (or some equivalent). Non-organic products have the likelihood of being contaminated with all kinds of toxic chemicals and ingredients – not exactly what any of us are going for when looking for natural-health products.
Check for Allergens
If your family has any kind of reactions to allergens of any kind, you will of course want to check the description thoroughly to make an appropriate choice for yourself, or family members. Look for allergens listed in the ingredients list, and know “alternative names” for allergens that are a concern for you (ex: Maltodextrin – can be wheat or corn based).
Also check for manufacture assurances that it is free from certain allergens (ie. gluten, dairy, soy free, etc). I-Herb does provide this “free from allergens” list, along with the full ingredients list. Look out for it on the individual product pages.
Watch Out for Fillers
Check out the “other ingredients” section to find out what kind of fillers are in the supplement (serving various purposes, such as providing a base, acting as a binder, acting as a preservative, etc.) This is particularly important, because many fillers are allergenic, or synthetically derived and some even may act as a toxin in your system. Watch for these fillers and do your research to determine which ones you particularly need to avoid.
Full Disclaimer: This information has not been evaluated by the FDA or Health Canada. The details provided here are not intended to be a substitute for the advice of your personal health care professional. Due diligence on your part to pursue any required consultations with your physician or healthcare professional is completely your responsibility (especially when taking medications, or when health conditions are present), and it is your responsibility to seek the advice of a healthcare professional regarding beginning any new diet, exercise or supplementation program as necessary. Furthermore, even though I seek to have up-to-date and accurate information available on this website – it is possible that ingredients may change, and / or information that I have received may be mistakenly inaccurate, and take full responsibility for the specific products that you personally take. It is therefore important that you review all ingredients and labels before taking any health product. (If you find any of the Holistic Health information provided on this website to be in error, please contact me with the details.)