Whether you’re searching for a B-complex vitamin or a hemp protein powder, when it comes to plant-based supplements, there are a ton of options on store shelves. And to make it more confusing, lots of companies have recently launched their own lines — Goop, The Beauty Chef and even Lo Bosworth, to name a few.
So how do you find a top-shelf product among the not-so-trustworthy ones? “There are so many supplements out in the market and they aren’t closely regulated by the FDA,” says Nora Minno, RD, a Daily Burn 365 trainer and registered dietician based in New York City. Her advice: “Consult a dietitian or physician and make sure that the supplements you are taking contain safe quantities of active ingredients and are actually proven to drive results.”
Aside from checking with your MD before popping any new pills, a few helpful hints will steer you toward a healthful brand. Read on for expert advice about how to decode supplement labels and find the right fit for you.
4 Steps to Find the Best Plant-Based Supplements
1. First things first: Check for certifications.
Just because a brand claims to be “all natural” or “organic” doesn’t guarantee its ingredients are up to snuff. Your best bet, says Jaclyn Jacobsen, on-staff nutritionist at the Vitamin Shoppe, is to look for a certification from a governing body. For instance, a bottle with a “USDA Organic” label lets you know that at least 95 percent of the product’s ingredients are truly organic
Another good one to keep an eye out for: a stamp of approval from the Non-GMO Project, meaning the supplement contains zero genetically modified ingredients. Those missing this label could contain pesticides.
Manufacturers need to renew these certifications annually, says Jacobsen. So if you see these stamps on your brand, take comfort in knowing it’s been evaluated recently.
2. Look for words that show quality.
Along with symbols showing a product is USDA organic and non-GMO, certain terms…