You really need to know what you're looking for when it comes to buying organic vegetarian vitamins.
The Hazy World of Vitamins
Most people believe if they're taking vitamin supplements, then they're doing right by their bodies. Still others believe if they're taking organic vegetarian vitamins, they are doing even better by their bodies. The truth is how the vitamins you are taking are manufactured and the sources from which they are made really do matter.
Organic Versus Non-Organic
The word vegetarian means the same thing whether you are referring to vitamins or foods. Unlike foods, the word "organic" can mean a few different things when it comes to vitamins:
- Vitamins derived from fruits, vegetables and plants that are grown organically: The manufacturer doesn't use pesticides, herbicides, fungicide or synthetic fertilizers in their plants and non-organic chemicals are not added during the manufacturing process.
- Vitamins that are synthetic: Certain common vitamins, like Vitamin E and Vitamin C are synthetically produced and therefore are not considered organic.
Finding Organic Vegetarian Vitamins
If you go to your local health food store or do a search online, you'll find plenty of vegan and vegetarian vitamins on the market. All it takes is a quick read of the ingredients list and you'll find that while these vitamins contain no animal products or byproducts, they are far from organic. Here are a few common ingredients examples of vegetarian and vegan vitamins on the market:
- Many vegetarian multivitamin supplements on the market lists silicon dioxide as one of its ingredients. Silicon dioxide is one of the most abundant minerals on earth (it's basically sand), so technically, it is an organic substance. People just weren't meant to ingest it.
- Citric acid is also an organic compound and is found in every vegetable and fruit on the planet, more so in citrus fruits. Citric acid added to vitamins, though, is synthetic, making it non-organic.
What to Look For
Before you decide that finding truly organic vegetarian vitamins just isn't worth the trouble, here is the easiest thing to remember to help you find what you're looking for without going crazy.Whole foods are key. Look for vitamins that list whole foods in the ingredients. This means the vitamins were derived from whole, organic foods and not synthesized chemicals masquerading as vitamins.
Your body knows how digest and use the nutrients provided through whole foods. It does not, however, know what to do with non-organic, synthesized products and you will not derive as much (if any) nutritional value from products containing synthesized vitamins. Most all whole food vitamins are vegetarian, but some may contain bovine products, so be sure to check the label carefully before purchasing them.
Where to Find Them
You can go to your local health food store and ask the employees about organic vegetarian vitamins and vitamins made from whole foods. Until then, here are a few websites where you can find these vitamins and learn a little more about them:
- Optimal Health Systems: This website offers a variety of vitamin supplements that contain no synthetics and no animal products. Optimal Health Systems also offers a lot of information regarding vitamins and minerals, so it's a great place to do a little research in order to choose the best vitamins for your body.
- New Chapter: This company offers organic whole food nutrients, herbal therapeutics and probiotics.
Always Ask Questions
Whether you're buying vitamins online or in a store, be sure to always ask questions in order to find the proper vitamins to suit your needs. Most health food store employees are pretty knowledgeable and if you let them know you're looking for an organic vegan/vegetarian vitamin derived from whole foods, they will usually point you in the right direction. Finally, while looking for vitamins, always read the ingredients list.