As the awareness about healthy diet increases, many people seek plant-based supplements to incorporate into their daily habits. Meanwhile, an important question arises: how can we make sure that a specific supplement is high-quality and actually beneficial to our overall health? To answer all your questions and worries, we’ll provide a detailed guide to figuring out the quality and purity of plant-based supplements.
Understanding Plant-based Supplements
Before we dive into the main topic of our article, let’s understand what plant-based supplements are and where they come from.
Plant-based supplements are dietary supplements that come from natural sources such as herbs, flowers, leaves, stems, seeds, vegetables, and other naturally-occurring botanical ingredients. Depending on the specific ingredient, professionals extract nutrients through various methods. After the extraction, these ingredients are formulated following regulatory guidelines to provide natural supplements to those who need them.
Categories of Plant-based Supplements
There are a lot of brands of vitamin C on store shelves. However, plant-based vitamin supplements are made from fruits and berries, while non-plant-based vitamin C supplements are partially made from acetone. In addition to removing nail varnish, acetone is also used as a chemical solvent.
Everyone is familiar with plant-based iron supplements, but few know that they come from Murraya Koenigii leaves (curry tree), which are rich in iron. Meanwhile, non-plant-based iron supplements come from chemical acids which can be harmful to your health.
Omega-3 is the kind of fatty acid that is hard to get into the diet naturally. At the same time, they play an important role in maintaining our overall health. So, it’s essential to take omega-3 supplements. Plant-based omega-3 supplements are made from algae which especially goes along with vegan and vegetarian lifestyles.
Benefits of Plant-based Supplements
Plant-based supplements are associated with a number of benefits:
- Improved Digestive Health
- Reducing Inflammation
- Improved Heart Health
- Boosting Immune Function
- Enhanced Mental Health
- Reducing the Risk of Chronic Diseases
How to Determine the Quality and Purity of Plant-based Supplements
Now that you understand what plant-based supplements are and how they benefit the human body, it’s time to focus on determining their quality. Remember, the benefits we discussed earlier only work if the supplement is pure, safe to use, and efficient.
Check the ingredients
It’s always best to choose a plant-based supplement according to your body’s nutritional requirements. The best way to do this is consuming natural whole food forms and, whenever possible, going with organic options. Of course, it’s hard to keep track of everything you’re eating and, therefore, get all the ingredients in necessary quantities.
The optimal way to do this is taking plant-based supplements which allow you to get all the necessary nutrients your body requires.
When it comes to choosing the right supplement, we recommend you to look for pure products without added colors, sugars, or preservatives. And of course, avoid everything that has been genetically modified. The term “GMO product” refers to food that has been genetically modified.
GMO foods can be harmful to your body and for the environment, too. The reason for this lies in the fact that these types of foods contain toxic pesticides and herbicides, including Glyphosate, an active ingredient associated with cancer, digestive issues, and liver and kidney problems.
Look for third-party testing
Food Standard Agency regulates drugs all over Britain, but supplements are not as strictly controlled. As a result, supplement manufacturers may sell their products without ensuring their safety, purity, and efficacy.
To ensure that a product contains actual ingredients presented on the label and has no harmful contaminants, make sure that it’s been tested by a third-party organisation.
Before you purchase a product, look for a certification mark indicating that it’s been certified by an independent organisation.
Look for scientific evidence
Before purchasing a plant-based supplement, look for scientific evidence that ensures the product’s quality. While it can be time-consuming, you must find out whether the product is scientifically approved and has a positive impact on health.
While doing your research, you might come across with two main types of studies: observational studies and randomised controlled experiments. When scientists investigate a certain supplement, they often start with simple observations and compare the health of those who took it and those who did not. However, these studies don’t provide in-depth information and need further reinforcement.
This is where randomised controlled trials come in. During these studies, participants take either the supplement or a placebo. This technique works best since neither researchers nor participants know who is getting the supplement.
Reading about the studies will help you understand the actual quality of a plant-based supplement.
Consult with a healthcare professional
If you are unsure about the quality or purity of a supplement, make sure to consult with a healthcare professional before making a purchase. They can help you determine if the supplement is safe and effective for you to take.
Additionally, in case you are interested in more organic supplements, we suggest reading our article about the comparison between mushroom supplements and other natural supplements.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, plant-based supplements offer various health benefits, from improving digestive health and reducing inflammation to boosting immune system and reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
When purchasing plant-based supplements, it’s crucial to do your research, look for third-party testing and always check the ingredients on the label.
By incorporating plant-based supplements into your healthy diet, you can support your overall health and wellbeing.