The 10 Best Vitamins & Supplements to Buy at Whole Foods Market

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Written By

Lauryn

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Expert Reviewed By

Dr. Lauryn Lax, OTD, MS

Dr. Lauryn, OTD, MS is a doctor of occupational therapy, clinical nutritionists and functional medicine expert with 25 years of clinical and personal experience in healing from complex chronic health issues and helping others do the same.

Different Kinds Of Vitamins And Supplements On Wooden Spoon

Not all vitamins are created equal—even in an organic grocery store like Whole Foods Market.

Here are my top 10 recommended Whole Foods vitamins and supplements to buy (and why) to boost your all around health. (No more money wasting included).

In a picture-perfect world, we’d get all the vitamins and minerals we need from food—real food.

However, we live in a society where:

In short:  Most of us are not consuming all our vitamins and minerals in food.

Even if you do “eat healthy”—salads, celery juice, keto, vegan, paleo (or something in between)—it’s been estimated that over 1 in 2 people also have dysbiosis (an imbalanced gut microbiome), meaning you could be eating healthy, but still not absorbing all of your nutrients

Enter: Supplementation.

 

Supplementation 101

No matter how well we eat, some nutrients are difficult to obtain enough of from food alone. Supplements are not meant to replace food, but instead they help enhance the nutrient profile of foods that you do consume.

One in two adults ( Kantor et al, 2016) reportedly takes a dietary supplement most days, with some of the most popular ones being: probiotics, omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil), multi-vitamins and vitamin D.

Vitamins In A Bottle

Over the past 20 years alone, the supplement industry has grown from a $10 billion dollar industry to a $30 billion dollar industry, with thousands of companies and products lining the shelves of grocery stores, Amazon carts and vitamin shops nation wide.

However, be warned: Not all supplements are created equal.

 

Warning: Not All Supplements Are Created Equal 

Unfortunately, the supplement industry is highly unregulated and it’s tough for the average consumer to know which supplements are effective and which ones are toilet flushers—especially at “health food” giants, like Whole Foods Market, where everything—from vegan Mac & Cheese to frozen cauliflower pizza—is labeled “healthy.”

For instance, a scientific review (Cameron-Smith et al, 2015) of 20 different research studies on fish oil found that a vast majority of supplements on shelves are “rancid”—meaning the fatty acids in the fish oil supplement have gone bad due to over-processing and high-heat conditions supplements are subjected to during shipping. In other words: You may not be getting any fatty acids your body needs in that fish oil.

Another report by the New York Attorney General revealed that 79% of herbal supplements found at stores like GNC, Walmart, Walgreens, and Target didn’t contain the ingredients they claim – replacing real herbs with cheap fillers like wheat and soy powder. Each of the companies received a cease letter to stop selling the supplements.

Vegetables And Food Packed With Vitamins

And Consumer Lab releases reports daily regarding false and misleading claims and adverse side effects from many consumer-facing formulas.

Are you choosing quality supplements?

Here are my top 10 supplement picks you can find at Whole Foods Market (and their big brother: Amazon) to optimize your health (and feel good about not flushing your hard-earned money down the toilet).

 

Top 10 Best Whole Foods Vitamins & Supplements

 

#1. Probiotics

95% of all probiotics do not contain the healthy bacteria they claim. This is because many of the lactic acid bacteria-based formulas are destroyed during supplement processing and don’t survive stomach acid during digestion. This a big reason why you shouldn’t buy just any probiotic supplement at Whole Foods Market or anywhere else. You want a quality formula. 

Different Types Of Probiotics, Vitamins, Supplements

Top Whole Foods Picks: 

 

#2. Prebiotics

Probiotics are useless without prebiotics—fibers that “eat” your probiotic bacteria and help them stick around in your gut. Prebiotics are great to add if you are not eating 5-7 cups of vegetables per day, you’re on a low carb diet, or you struggle with constipation, blood sugar imbalances or malabsorption. 

Top Picks:

  • Partially Hydrolyzed Guar Gum (Perfect Pass) Tip: Best for those with bloating, SIBO, or Candida
  • Glucomannan (Now Foods) Tip: Great for those with blood sugar, “adrenal fatigue” or hormone issues as well
  • Inulin FOS (Jarrow) Tip: Best for general gut health in small doses; avoid if you have SIBO or Candida 

 

#3. Digestive Support (Enzymes & Bloating Busters) 

Digestive enzymes act like “Pac Mans” that help you breakdown and chew up your food, helping prevent unwanted bloating, gas and constipation.

Top Picks: 

 

#4. Liver Love + Cleanse Support

Your liver is your master detox and filtration organ that processes every single food you eat, supplement you take and air you breathe. Most folks don’t need to take liver support regularly, but if you need a “tune up” for your digestion, energy, mental health, hormones and overall detox pathways, a little bit of “liver love” in conjunction with a liver-loving diet—lots of veggies, organic proteins, fresh fruits, essential fatty acids, and water, can aid in overall health.

Top Picks: 

 

#5. Fish Oil (Specifically Cod Liver Oil)

If you don’t regularly eat cold-water wild-caught fatty fish on the regular, fish oil can be a booster of EPA/DHA fatty acids essential for brain health, and vitamin and mineral absorption. For this one, however, save yourself from buying rancid fish oils on most shelves, and get your Omega-3 Fatty Acids from wild-caught fish (salmon, halibut, cod) in the seafood department, extra virgin cod liver oil, and/or krill oil, that unlike most generic fish oils, is less rancid and rich in the active forms of vitamin A and vitamin D (both which are difficult to obtain elsewhere in the diet).

Top Picks: 

  • Seafood Department: Wild-caught fish (salmon—not farm raised, halibut, cod, snapper, etc.)
  • Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil (Rosita or Green Pastures)
  • Krill Oil (Onnit)

 

#6. Stress, Mental Clarity & Energy Support

Fatigue, low energy, brain fog, anxiety or stress gotcha down? B vitamins, adrenal adaptogens and essential fatty acids to the rescue! B-vitamins are essential for combating stress while promoting over 300 cellular functions including digestion, energy, brain health, liver detox, hormone balance and more.  Adrenal adaptogens are natural herbs that promote balance for your stress hormones (namely cortisol) to help give you more energy, brain clarity, peace and balance all around.

Top Picks 

 

#7. Cold & Flu Essentials

It’s always good to have your essential weapons on hand in the medicine cabinet for when a cold or flu strikes.

Top Picks:

 

 #8. Allergies & Asthma 

Allergies be gone! Natural anti-histamines and homeopathics can help calm the allergy and histamine storm.

 

#9. Better Sleep

1 in 3 people are sleep deprived. If this is you, there are a few supports that may help.

Top Picks:

 Slow Release Melatonin, 3 mg (Life Extension)

 

 #10. Protein

Powder Protein powder can make life (and breakfast) easier, but remember, NOT ALL PROTEIN POWDERS S ARE CREATED EQUAL. Look for a formula with as few of ingredients as possible (read: Not Vega). The fillers inhibit digestion of your protein powders in the first place—winding up in the toiler rather than your body

Reach for:

 

This article was scientifically reviewed by Dr. Lauryn, PhD. She is a Doctor of Occupational Therapy, Nutritionist, & Functional Medicine Practitioner with over 20 years of clinical and personal experience. 

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