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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best Garden of Life supplements

    Last Updated January 2019

    We all strive to eat a well-balanced diet that contains the vitamins and minerals necessary to maintain our health, but let’s face it: that doesn’t always happen. Whether you just aren’t a fan of all fruits or veggies or your sweet tooth makes you give in to cravings a little too often, a well-formulated supplement can help you take in all the nutrients you should. If you’re looking for an excellent supplement, the offerings from Garden of Life are up there with the best.

    Garden of Life supplements are free of chemicals and synthetic formulas. The products are made using natural, whole foods that are grown in organic, non-GMO soil. The supplements are certified USDA organic, non-GMO, vegan, and gluten-free, so the formulas are clean and designed to help you achieve real health benefits.

    Garden of Life also offers a wide variety of supplements, which means you can likely find the exact nutrients you need to balance out your diet.

    To avoid taking too much of any supplement, make a written note of each dose you take so that, later on, you don’t forget if you’ve already taken it.

    Vitamins and minerals

    Garden of Life offers a wide variety of supplements to balance gaps in your diet or target specific health concerns you may have. The main categories the supplements fall into are: vitamins and minerals, herbals, fatty acids, and probiotics.

    Vitamins are what most people usually think of when they hear the word supplements. Technically, vitamins are organic compounds necessary to sustain a healthy, functioning body. Your body can’t produce them on their own, but they’re found naturally in a variety of foods. Unfortunately, you may not be able to get the recommended amount of every necessary vitamin from your diet, which is why you may need a supplement.

    Minerals are also essential nutrients, but they’re inorganic compounds that maintain their chemical structure. That allows minerals found in water and soil to make their way into your body through foods and beverages that you consume. However, as with vitamins, there may be some gaps in your diet in terms of your mineral intake depending on the foods that you usually eat.

    Essential vitamins include:

    • Vitamin A, which helps with the formation and maintenance of healthy bones, teeth, soft tissue, skin, and mucous membranes

    • Vitamin B1 (thiamine), which helps the body convert carbohydrates into energy

    • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), which assists with red blood cell production and body growth

    • Vitamin B3 (niacin), which helps with the maintenance of skin and nerves

    • Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), which helps with food metabolism and hormone production

    • Vitamin B6, which helps with red blood cell production and promotes brain health

    • Vitamin B7 (biotin), which helps the body metabolize carbohydrates and protein, as well as produce hormones

    • Vitamin B9 (folic acid), which assists with the formation of red blood cells, tissue growth, cell function, and DNA production

    • Vitamin B12, which helps the body form red blood cells, maintain the nervous system, and boost its metabolism

    • Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), which is an antioxidant that assists with iron absorption, tissue maintenance, and wound healing

    • Vitamin D, which assists the body in absorbing calcium and maintaining healthy levels of calcium and phosphorus in the blood

    • Vitamin E, which is another antioxidant that aids in red blood cell formation

    • Vitamin K, which helps with blood coagulation and the maintenance of healthy bones
       

    A note about water-soluble vs. fat-soluble vitamins

    Water-soluble vitamins, which include the B vitamins and vitamin C, are easily absorbed by the body, but if you consume more than is necessary, the excess is easily excreted through urination. Fat-soluble vitamins, which include vitamins A and E, are stored in the body’s tissues, where they can remain for quite some time. As a result, if you consume an excess of a fat-soluble vitamin, it can build up to dangerous levels over time.

    The most essential dietary minerals include the following:

    • Calcium, which is essential for healthy bones

    • Iron, which helps oxygen flow throughout the body

    • Magnesium, which assists with the maintenance of healthy bones

    • Phosphorus, which help maintain healthy bones

    • Potassium, which helps maintain proper water balance in the body

    • Chloride, which also helps maintain proper water balance in the body

    • Sodium, which also helps maintain proper water balance in the body

    • Sulfur, which helps maintain protein structures in the hair, nails, and skin

    • Copper, which assists with the formation of enzymes that aid in metabolizing iron and creating hemoglobin

    • Chromium, which helps with protein, fat, and carbohydrate metabolism and boosts sensitivity to insulin

    • Iodine, which helps the thyroid produce hormones

    • Manganese, which helps form bones, connective tissues, hormones, and blood-clotting factors and assists with carbohydrate and fat metabolism, the regulation of blood sugar, and the absorption of calcium

    • Zinc, which helps improve immune function and assists with blood clotting.

    • Selenium, which works as an antioxidant to fight cell damage and assists with thyroid function and DNA production

    • Fluoride, which helps maintain healthy bones and prevent tooth decay.

    • Molybdenum, which helps break down toxins and other waste products in the body
       

    Garden of Life offers many of these vitamins and minerals as individual supplements if there are particular nutrients that your diet lacks. However, the brand also has several different multivitamin supplements, which contain a combination of essential vitamins and minerals that a healthy diet requires, so you only have to take one supplement rather than multiple formulas.

    Garden of Life’s multivitamin supplements feature a few general formulas designed for the average person’s dietary and health needs. There are also several multivitamin formulas geared toward men or women based on their particular nutrient needs, as well as formulas for specific age groups or particular health concerns, including:

    • Children’s multivitamins

    • Adult multivitamins for those 40 and up

    • Adult multivitamins for those 50 and up

    • Family multivitamins for adults, teens, and children over the age of six

    • Prenatal multivitamins for pregnant women

    • Perfect weight multivitamins for adults trying to maintain a healthy weight

    Complete B vitamin derived from plant-based sources

    Garden of Life’s Vitamin Code RAW Vitamin-B Complex is the ideal supplement for anyone looking to boost energy and improve heart health. It contains vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B12, as well as folate and biotin, so you have all the vitamins and minerals necessary for energy and metabolism. We also love that the formula is gluten-free and dairy-free so you can take it without worrying about possible dietary restrictions.

    Herbals

    Garden of Life also offers herbal supplements, which contain herbs and other plant-based ingredients that can provide a variety of health benefits. These herbal supplements may include:

    • Elderberry, which helps support the immune system

    • Echinacea, which also provides immune system support

    • Turmeric, which has antioxidant effects and can fight inflammation in the body

    • Oregano, which also has antioxidant properties and can help fight bacteria, improve digestion, and help with inflammation

    • Cranberry, which contains antioxidants and can promote urinary tract health

    • Ginseng, which is an antioxidant that can fight inflammation, promote brain health, strengthen the immune system, and boost energy

    Omega-3 fatty acids

    Omega-3 fatty acids are another nutrient that should be part of a healthy diet. EPA and DHA are the most common fatty acids, which are usually derived from fish. Garden of Life offers several different fish oil supplements that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help strengthen cardiovascular health, boost cognitive function, and improve your mood.

    Probiotics

    Probiotics are healthy bacteria and yeasts that are beneficial to your digestive system. They help move food through the digestive tract and help lessen symptoms from digestive issues like ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. Garden of Life has several different probiotic formulas to help with a variety of digestive concerns.

    Daily values

    When you’re shopping for Garden of Life supplements, it’s important to consider the amount of each vitamin, mineral, or another nutrient that they contain so you can be sure you’re getting the amount you need. Each nutrient is assigned a daily value that should be met according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the supplement label lists the percentage of the daily value that a particular vitamin or mineral meets as part of a 2,000-calorie diet.

    For example, if a label lists vitamin C as 200%, that particular supplement provides twice the daily amount of vitamin C that’s required. If the supplement lists vitamin B1 as 50%, the supplement provides half the daily amount of vitamin B1 that’s required.

    Keep in mind that the FDA hasn’t established daily values for some nutrients, like herbs and probiotics, and the label usually indicates that with an asterisk or another symbol.

    Always check the expiration date on your supplements to avoid taking any that have expired.

    Staff
    BestReviews

    Supplement features to consider

    Form

    Garden of Life offers supplements in several forms, which doesn’t necessarily impact how effective they are but may make them easier for you to ingest depending on your preferences.

    • Tablets are used for a wide variety of Garden of Life supplement formulas. Like most traditional pills, they’re meant to be swallowed, which may be difficult for some people.

    • Capsules are another common form of Garden of Life supplements. They’re meant to be swallowed like tablets, but some people find them easier to swallow than tablets.

    • Chewable tablets are often used for Garden of Life children’s formulas since a child may not be able to swallow a large pill. The tablets usually contain tasty natural flavors to make them more enticing.

    • Gummies are often used for Garden of Life children’s and adult formulas. They can be chewed and feature delicious natural flavors, so they’re ideal for anyone who doesn’t like swallowing pills. They’re also absorbed more quickly than tablets or capsules because you chew them before they’re digested.

    • Sprays are used for some Garden of Life supplements. They’re an ideal alternative to tablets and capsules for those who are unable to swallow pills.
       

    Dosage

    When you’re choosing a Garden of Life supplement, it’s important to consider the dosage. Most formulas only require a single dose each day, though others may recommend that you take several doses throughout the day.

    Consider how many tablets, capsules, chewable tablets, or gummies are in a dose, too. Most formulas include two pills or chewables in a dose, but some gummy formulas require four gummies per dose.

    The frequency and number of pills in a dose determines the value you get from a particular supplement. For example, if you purchase a bottle with 120 capsules and the dosage is two capsules once a day, you’ll have a two-month supply. If the dosage is two capsules twice a day, you’ll only have a one-month supply.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Some Garden of Life supplement capsules can be opened, allowing you to mix the contents into water or raw juice for a drinkable supplement.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Choosing a multivitamin for your age and gender is an easy way to make sure that you get all the vitamins and minerals you’re most likely to need.

    Garden of Life supplement prices

    Garden of Life supplements vary in price based on the type and size of the container. Most supplement packages cost between $8 and $64.

    Garden of Life herbal supplements are usually the most affordable option, generally costing between $8 and $24 per package. Herbal supplements don’t have established daily values from the FDA, though, so it’s more difficult to tell if these formulas provide enough of the ingredients to see results.

    Garden of Life vitamin and mineral supplements usually range from $8 to $40 per package. Multivitamin formulas are typically the most expensive, costing between $14 and $40. Targeted vitamin or mineral supplements are usually a little less expensive, ranging from $8 to $30.

    Garden of Life omega-3 fatty acid supplements typically cost between $13 and $43. The probiotics supplements are usually the most expensive formulas, ranging from $15 to $64.

    An effective antioxidant and immune system booster

    If you take a vitamin C supplement to keep colds and other illnesses at bay, the Garden of Life Vitamin Code RAW Vitamin C is the perfect supplement for you. It contains 500mg of whole-food vitamin C to help support your immune system and promote bone, skin, and eye health. We also appreciate that the formula doesn’t contain any binders or fillers, so you know that you’re getting a pure, clean supplement.

    Tips

    • Before taking any supplements, always consult with your doctor.

    • Read the instructions on the Garden of Life packaging before taking the supplements. Some are better taken with food to prevent stomach upset.

    • While it may be easier to remember to take all your supplements at one time, you may be better off spacing out the times that you take them, so your body can absorb the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients more readily.

    Other products we considered

    Garden of Life offers such a wide range of supplements that there’s bound to be a formula that fits your health needs perfectly. Garden of Life Vitamin Code Healthy Blood is an ideal option for anyone looking for an iron supplement because it contains 28 grams of whole-food iron along with vitamins C, B6, and B12 to help your body absorb the iron. We also love Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Vitamin E because it features 250 IU (international units) of whole-food vitamin E, as well as vitamins A, D, K, and the mineral selenium, to help with heart health, eye health, breast health, prostate health, and immune system support.

    Store your supplements in a cool, dark location to keep them fresh.

    FAQ

    Q. What testing standards do Garden of Life supplements adhere to?

    A. Garden of Life complies with testing requirements from a variety of international health organizations, including the FDA, the United States Pharmacopeia, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the State of California’s Proposition 65, the World Health Organization, the European Union, and the Canadian Natural and Non-Prescription Health Products Directorate.

    Q. What are the benefits of Garden of Life’s certified USDA organic supplement formulas?

    A. The fact that Garden of Life’s supplements are certified USDA organic means that the ingredients used in the formulas are grown without any exposure to toxins, including pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, antibiotics, and growth hormones. That means you can trust that the formulas are clean and often have higher nutritional value than non-organic supplements.

    Q. Are there are any side effects to taking supplements?

    A. Supplements can cause side effects, particularly if you don’t take them as directed, take them in place of prescribed medicines, or combine several different supplements at once. Some supplements can cause nausea, gas, bloating, and diarrhea. It’s also important to understand that some supplements may interact with prescription drugs and cause issues. Check with your doctors before using any supplements.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Enid
      Enid
      Editor
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer
      Writer
    • Melinda
      Melinda
      Web Producer
    • Melissa
      Melissa
      Senior Editor

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