Sometimes the process of selecting the ‘right’ vitamin or supplement can be overwhelming. Especially with so many great brands & products to choose from, how do you know where to start?
When it comes to choosing a product that fits your needs, quality should always come first. Look for a company that does not use artificial colours or flavours, and ideally is gluten-free, non-GMO to promote the best response within the body.
It is also important to consider cost. Professional, high-quality brands may appear to cost more at first glance, however, their formulas almost always contain higher doses of the listed ingredient than their competitors. Here are a few of my favourites to recommend for many common complaints & overall good health.
Pain & inflammation
Pain from arthritis, injury or overuse can negatively affect our day-to-day activities. As a result, many individuals are trying to lessen how often they use over-the-counter anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen or acetaminophen, but still want natural pain relief. Curcumin is one of the main ingredients found in the yellow spice turmeric and has been extensively studied for its anti-inflammatory benefits. However, quality can make all of the difference with this ingredient. Low-quality formulas may require 6-8 capsules to have an effect (if any), while a highly absorbable form like Integrative Therapeutics Theracurmin HP may only require 1-2.
Perhaps one of the most common complaints when it comes to health is digestive upset. Whether it’s gas, bloating, cramps or general discomfort after eating, a complete digestive enzyme can be a life-saver in many of these situations. However, digestive enzymes are not all created equal. Selecting one that can efficiently break down carbohydrates, fats and protein (look for the ingredient betaine HCL) is vital. Genestra’s Digest Plus meets all of these criteria and the effects can be felt often after the very first meal!
Although there are many immune boosting products on the market, vitamin C is one of the must-haves in every natural medicine cabinet. A high-potency powdered formula, along with antioxidants for best absorption, can make all the difference during cold and flu season. In addition, vitamin C is wonderful for heart & skin health making it suitable for almost everyone’s needs!
If you’ve recently been on antibiotics for an infection, making sure you rebalance the good bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract is a top priority. This can help to prevent a recurrent infection in the short term as well as lessen any digestive upset from the medication. Always select a high potency formula and use it daily for up to 4 weeks after the antibiotic.
A common question I get from parents is “what’s a good multivitamin for my child?” The truth is, most multivitamins have many artificial colours and additives which some children can be sensitive to. I often recommend Vita-Kids by Douglas Labs chewable formula for its purity and highly absorbable ingredients. Plus, it is suitable for children as young as 1-year-old, making it an easy choice for households of all ages.
Dr. Laura Belus is a Naturopathic Doctor that focuses on detoxification and hormone balance for weight loss, stress management, and greater energy. She believes in making simple, yet powerful, changes to diet & lifestyle habits that create lasting results. She practices in Mississauga and Toronto.