There’s nothing fun about a child bringing home a cold and infecting the whole family with nasty bugs. If you prefer taking a natural approach to your family’s health, I have some simple guidelines for making smart choices.
In our house, we make our own bone broth, pop supplements, wash our hands and rest as much as possible. Then we give our bodies time and space to heal.
Popular natural supplements this time of year include black elderberry, zinc and vitamin C. But buying them can be confusing. The supplement aisles are stocked with similar-sounding choices and look-alike labeling. I spend a lot of time researching which products work and why. Before you buy any supplements for your medicine cabinet this season, take these four questions into consideration.
1. Is the finished product backed by research? Is there credible science that shows it really works? Brands that have been well studied will have the research-backed science on their websites. This is why you’re often better off buying the original brand rather than a knock-off. When a reputable company brings a new product to market, they’ll typically invest in the science to show that it does what it’s intended to do, and that it’s safe.
2. Was the whole finished product studied or just one of its ingredients? Some manufacturers may add to the confusion by saying that their active ingredient has been researched. But, is their active ingredient exactly the same form and potency as the one used in the original research? And what else did they put in their product? Sometimes those extra ingredients or fillers may influence the effectiveness of the finished product.
3. Can your entire family take this product? Can it safely be given to children over age 3 or 4? Are there adult formulas? Will children like the taste or will giving it to them become a struggle? For example, I’ve discovered that most of my younger clients and my son love the fruity taste of Sambucol Black Elderberry Gummies, which contain scientifically validated, immune-supporting antioxidants.
4. Does the product contain allergens, glutens and artificial colors? Steer clear of products that contain dyes and allergenic ingredients, which are serious deal-breakers.
Sometimes, keeping everyone in your family well may seem like a constant battle. Kids’ immune systems are still developing, and they seem to bring home every germ from school or daycare. I created Nutrition School For Families specifically to help kids stay lean and fit, focus at school, and stay healthy through the cold winter months. Eating antioxidant-rich foods and popping a few supportive supplements is an incredible game-changer (and will make you feel like a hero in the process).
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