From bloating and flatulence to heaviness and weight gain, we have all experienced the traditional symptoms that come along with not properly digesting our foods. Whether you're vegan, love your steak, or opt for a grain-free, paleo way of eating, adding one of the best digestive enzymes to your diet can help you to better break down your food and absorb nutrients. Learn how the best digestive enzyme supplements work and see which brands we recommend.
What are Digestive Enzymes?
Digestive enzymes are a vital part of our digestive system. Our body naturally makes them in order to help us break down the carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in our diet. In technical terms, they catalyze the breakdown of food to increase the bioavailability of the stored nutrients, making it easier for them to be absorbed into the blood stream. Without these enzymes, the nutrients in your food goes to waste.
There are four primary classes of digestive enzymes: lipases, which help to break down fats; proteases, which help break down proteins; carbohydrases, which break down carbs; and fibrolytic enzymes, which can break down phytic acid and cellulose from plants. Alongside the probiotics found in your digestive system, they ensure that you get the nutrients you need to function at your best.
As we age, and because of factors such as stress and certain health conditions, our bodies sometimes have a harder time producing enough of these enzymes naturally to fully process our daily food intake. This is where adding a digestive enzyme supplement can come in handy. Just like a daily vitamin subscription, these supplements can help supply the missing pieces for your body's health.
Our Picks for the Top Digestive Enzyme Supplements
Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. You can learn more about our review methodology here. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
- Best Overall - Vital Plan Active Enzymes
- Best for Energy - NutraOne Vitality Powder
- Best Plant-Based - Sunwarrior Enzorb
- Best for Vegans - Global Healing VeganZyme
- Best for Probiotic + Enzymes - Onnit Total Gut Health
How We Chose the Best Digestive Enzymes
Here are the factors we considered when comparing the top digestive enzyme brands to recommend.
We looked for digestive enzyme supplements that provide multiple enzymes that can help your body process different types of nutrients. These are often referred to as "full spectrum" or "broad spectrum" enzymes.
We chose brands that utilize plant-based enzymes instead of animal-derived enzymes. Not only are these a more environmentally-friendly option, but just like plant-based protein powders they are also easier and more effective for your body.
We compared the other ingredients and vitamins added to any of the digestive enzyme supplements on our list to ensure that they are not fillers but can actually help promote better digestion.
The best digestive enzymes for gut health are backed by clinical research and third-party lab testing. We also highlight supplements that are doctor or nutritionist-formulated.
The 5 Best Digestive Enzymes of 2021
Best Overall: Vital Plan Active Enzymes
- Enzymes - 15 plant-based digestive enzymes
- Strength - 470 mg of enzymes per serving
- Added Ingredients - Cardamom seed, fennel seed
Why buy: Vital Plan Active Enzymes can naturally help promote digestive health. It contains 15 plant-based digestive enzymes that work to help your body more efficiently break down food and absorb the nutrients. It also contains cardamom and fennel for added gastrointestinal comfort. We like Active Enzymes from Vital Plan because it is a doctor-formulated and plant-based option to promote healthier digestion.
Best for Energy: NutraOne Vitality Powder
- Enzymes - 3 digestive enzyme blend
- Strength - 10 mg of enzymes per serving
- Added Ingredients - Complete multivitamin, oat straw, stevia leaf extract
Why buy: We like NutraOne Vitality Powder because it gives you both a digestive enzyme blend of amylase, protease, and cellulase and a complete multivitamin in one supplement. One serving of powder includes more than your daily dose of vitamins A, C, D, and B12, plus digestive enzymes that can help boost your metabolism to provide more energy from the foods you eat.
Best Plant-Based: Sunwarrior Enzorb
- Enzymes - 25 enzyme blend (9 protein enzymes, 13 carbohydrate enzymes, 2 fat enzymes, 1 free radical enzyme)
- Strength - 500 mg of enzymes per serving
- Added Ingredients - Astragalus extract, notoginseng extract, rice extract, vegetable capsule, trace minerals
Why buy: A completely plant-based formula, this digestive enzyme supplement is vegan, gluten-free, non-dairy, soy-free. It contains AstraZyme, a proprietary blend of enzymes, extracts, and minerals designed to help your body break down and absorb more of the nutrients it needs to repair damage and operate at its peak. We like that it includes such a broad range of enzymes and is made without any animal-derived products.
Best for Vegans: Global Healing VeganZyme
- Enzymes - 20 enzyme blend
- Strength - 1000 mg of enzymes per serving
- Added Ingredients - Organic gum acacia, organic rice hulls, vegetable capsule
Why buy: We like Global Healing's VeganZyme supplement because it offers a potent blend of 20 different digestive enzymes that are completely plant-based and vegan. This supplement is designed to both aid in digestion and help boost your immune system and overall wellness. With no animal-derived products and even a vegan capsule, this is a digestive enzyme supplement that you can feel good about taking.
Best for Probiotic + Enzymes: Onnit Total Gut Healthonnit.com
- Enzymes - 14 enzyme blend
- Strength - 500 mg of enzymes per serving
- Added Ingredients - Fennel seed powder, ginger root extract
Why buy: Onnit Total Gut Health supplements pack 14 different digestive enzymes into each packet, alongside 5 probiotic strains and 2 prebiotics. Key enzymes like protease help break down proteins, while amylase help with carbohydrates, and lipase breaks down dietary fats. We like that it also includes prebiotics and probiotics give your gut everything it needs. This supplement contains a full spectrum of enzymes to help you better digest and absorb a wider range of foods. Subscribe to save on each monthly order, or purchase a 30-day supply.
How Do Digestive Enzyme Supplements Work?
Digestive enzyme supplements take the place of our body's natural digestive enzymes, helping to break down our macronutrients. Once these foods are broken down, the nutrients are absorbed into our bodies through the wall of the small intestine and then distributed through the bloodstream. Because they are meant to mimic our natural enzymes, the supplement must be taken before we eat. This way, they can work their magic as the food hits our stomach and small intestine. If we don't take them with our food, they won't be much use.
Being able to properly break down and digest your food is essential to your overall health and vitality. Absorbing your nutrients and passing your food is a part of the whole process of detoxification. If you find that you struggle with digestive issues, supplementing with one of the best digestive enzymes may be the thing that allows your body to heal and replenish itself. In fact, studies show that digestive enzyme supplementation may help in the management of certain gastrointestinal conditions or digestive disorders, including lactose intolerance and cystic fibrosis.
We always recommend talking to your doctor about your current GI issues, potential causes, and whether an enzyme replacement is a good choice for you.
How to Choose a Digestive Enzyme Supplement
When looking for the right digestive enzyme supplement for you, there are a few key pieces of information that you should always check.
What to Look For
Types of Enzymes - Always look at the number and types of enzymes included in a supplement. This is important because you want to choose a full, or broad, spectrum enzyme supplement that offers a range of different enzymes to help you break down different types of nutrients. The most important can include protease to help break down proteins, lipase to help with fats, and amylase to help digest carbohydrates. We recommend supplements with at least three types of enzymes.
Sourcing - While many digestive enzyme supplements used animal-derived enzymes in the past, we prefer plant-based enzymes because they are better for the environment, for animals, and for your body. In fact, plant-based enzymes work better in a wider range of pH environments, including the acids in your digestive system.
Quality - To ensure that you are only taking the best digestive enzymes, look for supplements that are vegan, non-GMO, and include all-natural ingredients. You can also look for ones that are backed by clinical research, formulated by doctors and nutritionists, and that are third-party lab tested for quality.
How to Read Labels
When comparing digestive enzyme brands, always read the label for these key pieces of info.
- Enzymes - While many brands utilize proprietary enzyme blends, they should list out each specific one included in the supplement in the supplement facts on the label.
- Amount per Serving - Look to see how many milligrams of the enzyme blend and other ingredients are included in each supplement serving. This will also tell you whether a serving is a single capsule or more than one.
- Other Ingredients - Always check to see what other nutrients or digestive supplements the brand adds to their capsules or powders. These can include things like fennel seed or ginseng root extract meant to aid in digestion.
- Suggested Use - Each brand will offer directions on how and when to take their digestive enzyme supplements. Typically, these are best taken before meals with water.
How to Take Digestive Enzymes
While each brand typically includes directions on how much of the digestive enzyme supplement to take, and when you should take it, they are generally meant to be taken before meals to allow the enzymes to help break down the foods you eat. Some supplements state that they should be taken up to three times daily, once before each meal, while others only recommend taking twice per day. Either way, you should always consult with your doctor about the best regiment for you and your digestive health.
Safety & Side Effects
Dietary enzyme supplements are generally considered to have a low risk of side effects, but certain mild side effects can occur in some cases. These can include gastrointestinal discomfort and diarrhea. These can occur especially from taking too much of a supplement, so be sure to take only the recommended dose. Additionally, it's important to only take digestive enzymes from reputable brands to ensure that they are free from contaminants and any allergens. They may also interact with certain medications, so always be sure to consult with your physician if you plan to take a digestive enzyme supplement.
Madalyn Hughes has spent the majority of her professional career educating her clients and community on holistic nutrition and natural lifestyle modifications to enhance the quality of their lives. She has been educated as a Holistic Nutrition Practitioner and writing professionally for the past ten years. Madalyn currently lives in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina with her husband and three daughters where she works as a nutrition consultant, as well as a freelance nutrition writer.
As ocean plastics and landfill levels are on the rise, Americans are gearing up for another litter-heavy holiday. Whether you're participating in Plastic Free July or just want to cut down on waste this Independence Day, here are 13 ways to have a plastic-free Fourth of July get-together that's every bit as patriotic as it is eco-friendly.
According to the National Retail Federation, Americans will spend about $7.52 billion on food items for the 2021 holiday alone, and 29% of the NRF's survey group reported plans to purchase additional patriotic items this year. Use the following tips to reduce plastic pollution at your backyard barbecue.
Plastic-Free Fourth of July Cookout
When planning your plastic-free Fourth of July menu, keep in mind how your ingredients are sourced. Here are a few tips to cut down on food packaging waste:
1. Think Outside the Bun
Cling-wrapped meat on styrofoam trays, bags of buns, plastic condiment bottles — the waste produced when putting hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill can add up quickly.
A sustainable alternative is to grill skewers. Grab fresh produce like tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, pineapple, peppers and zucchini, add your meat of choice (as long as it's purchased plastic-free), and assemble everything on compostable bamboo skewers. These are also a great option for picky eaters and kids — like with burger toppings, everyone can build their own skewers based on palate preference.
If you're set on burgers, there are a few things you can do to eliminate your plastic waste:
- Bring your own container to the grocery store butcher counter
- Buy buns from a local bakery or make them yourself
- Buy condiments in glass jars
- Get toppings like onion, lettuce and tomato from a local farmers market to avoid produce stickers
2. Go Fresh for Sides
Typical Fourth of July fare usually revolves around plastic tubs of dip, bags of chips and other containers that will end up in a landfill. Thankfully, summer is a great season for fresh fruits and vegetables that you can enjoy without plastic packaging.
Go plastic-free with a trip to the farmers market and load up on the essentials: corn on the cob, potatoes for grilling or making into wedges, veggies to cut for a crudités platter, whole watermelon and more.
3. DIY Desserts
While red, white and blue ice pops make for a refreshing sweet treat, the individual plastic wrappers aren't recyclable in a curbside bin. Instead, make your own frozen desserts. Fresh fruit sorbet can be made in large batches if you have many guests to feed, or you can get creative with ice pop molds.
For a plastic-free Fourth of July dessert you can leave out and forget about, scratch-baked zero-waste cookies can be made pretty easily.
4. Drink Responsibly
Most drinks that typically come in single-use plastic bottles, like lemonade and soda, also come in recyclable cans. If you're going for zero-waste, mix up your own fresh fruit punches and lemonade in five-gallon sports coolers (and don't forget to freeze your own ice).
For the adults, you can also opt for canned beverages. Even more fun, get 64-ounce growlers filled at a local brewery or bring in a keg.
No matter your age, stay hydrated with plenty of water. Rather than handing out single-use water bottles, fill pitchers from your kitchen or have a dedicated sports cooler for ice-cold H2O.
Low-Waste Party Supplies
Now that you've nailed down your plastic-free Fourth of July menu, let's talk general party supplies. When planning your get together, keep the following in mind:
5. Use Washable Tableware
Have your guests use real cutlery and plates instead of disposable plastic silverware and paper plates (which are often coated in plastic, anyway). If you don't have enough to serve everyone, ask guests to bring their own from home.
For drinks, make sure you have reusable cups and glasses handy. You can also ask guests to bring reusable water bottles to fill. And if you must have straws, opt for paper (just make sure they don't come in a plastic bag) or a reusable straw made from glass or metal.
6. Ditch Plastic Wrap
When eating outdoors, many people prefer to keep bugs out of their food using plastic wrap or cling wrap. Aluminum foil is a plastic-free alternative. Or, if you want to go zero-waste, cover your dishes with a cloth, beeswax wrap or mesh food dome.
There are also plenty of natural ways to keep insects away altogether.
7. Avoid Plastic Foam Coolers
Whether you're keeping things cold in your own backyard or attending a BYOB bash, skip the foam cooler. Popular brands like Igloo have created reusable coolers made from biodegradable materials that are widely available. Better yet, get a hard or soft-sided cooler that you can use for years to come.
Making Your Plastic-Free Fourth of July Party Festive
Red, white and blue decor can transform a regular summer cookout into a Fourth of July celebration — but it can also create a lot of unnecessary waste. You can go both plastic-free and patriotic with these tips:
8. Invest in Quality Decorations
Like most holidays, Fourth of July comes around every year, so you'll end up saving time and money in the long run if you purchase reusable decorations to bring out annually. Items like throw pillows, ceramic candy dishes and banners can be placed around the house and easily stored during other months.
If you're looking for something simple, you can't go wrong with respectfully displaying a cloth American flag.
9. Play With Your Food
It doesn't get much more American than a homemade pie with a creative star-spangled design baked on top. Make one (or two) and place them as your plastic-free Fourth of July table centerpiece.
Or, assemble a red, white and blue fruit plate with whatever you can pick up at the farmers market: strawberries, raspberries, cherries, watermelon, blueberries, blackberries, bananas, apple slices or anything else you come across that roughly fits the color scheme.
10. Make a Patriotic Playlist
A great way to add ambiance with zero plastic waste is by streaming holiday-themed music. There are plenty of pre-made Fourth of July playlists available on platforms like Spotify and Apple Music, or you can make your own mix. (If you don't have a speaker to use outdoors, ask your guests — chances are someone will have one to bring.)
11. Use Digital Displays
If your party is indoors, use digital decorations. Set your TV to play Independence Day-themed videos or display a patriotic screensaver. This is a little easier if you have a smart TV, but even with a standard display, you usually can hook up a laptop using an HDMI cable and broadcast it from your computer.
12. Keep the Kids Entertained
Outdoor fun doesn't have to be wasteful. Ask your guests with kids to bring outdoor games to share, whether it's a hula hoop, football or cornhole set. You can also set up your own games: burlap sack (local feed stores typically have some to spare) or three-legged races, obstacle courses, wet sponge toss — feel free to get creative.
If you have smaller children, blowing bubbles may be more their speed. You can create your own plastic-free bubble solution with household items like biodegradable soap, water and sugar. Then shape old wire coat hangers into wands for hours of fun.
13. End the Night at a Community Fireworks Display
Although fireworks emit high levels of lead and toxins — and many come wrapped in plastic — they're still a Fourth of July staple in most parts of the U.S.
Rather than light the sky up with your own sparklers or bottle rockets, consider watching another city's display on television or going to a local fireworks show in your community.
- 3 Best Reusable Bamboo Utensils To Reduce Your Plastic Waste ... ›
- Biodegradable Foodware Is Now Available Nationwide - EcoWatch ›
- 10 Best Reusable Straws (2021 Review Update) - EcoWatch ›
- Fourth of July Fireworks Banned in Several Cities Across U.S. West ›
- Here's What Happens When You Eat From Plastic Containers ›
Medically reviewed by Anna H. Chacon, M.D.
From eating foods for healthy skin to switching up your morning and routines, taking care of the largest organ in the body can get overwhelming. Recently, vitamin C has grown in popularity in the skincare world — but do the best vitamin C serums live up to the hype?
Vitamin C is not only an essential supplement for your immune system and overall health, but it's also a great skincare ingredient that can help limit inflammation, brighten skin, dull fine lines and wrinkles, fight free radicals, and reduce discoloration and dark spots.
Adding vitamin C to your skincare routine seems like a no-brainer, but before you start shopping for a serum, it's important to be aware that vitamin C is an unstable ingredient. Dermatologists say it's important to find legit and properly formulated vitamin C serums to capitalize on the benefits of the antioxidant. In this article, we'll help you find the right dermatologist-approved vitamin C serum to add to your routine.
Our Picks for the Best Vitamin C Serums of 2021
Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. You can learn more about our review methodology here. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
- Best Overall: ZO Skin Health 10% Vitamin C Self-Activating
- Best for Sensitive Skin: Paula's Choice RESIST Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum
- Best Budget-Friendly Serum: CeraVe Vitamin C Serum with Hyaluronic Acid
- Best Cruelty-Free Serum: Timeless Skin Care 20% Vitamin C Plus E Ferulic Acid Serum
- Best Anti-Aging Serum: SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Combination Antioxidant Treatment
- Best Brightening Serum: The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%
Skincare Benefits of Vitamin C
Also known as ascorbic acid or L-ascorbic acid, vitamin C is an antioxidant that is present in the formation of collagen and that protects against aging, according to Dr. Anna Chacon, a board-certified dermatologist with MyPsoriasisTeam. A vitamin C serum may be a solid addition to your skincare routine because it has a great safety profile, and it's safe for most skin types.
"Vitamin C serum restores and neutralizes environmental stressors that accelerate signs of aging and can be used morning and evening," Dr. Chacon says. However, she warns, "it does not come with sun protection, so additional use of sunscreen is recommended."
As an antioxidant, vitamin C protects skin cells from being damaged by free radicals from things like UV exposure, vehicle exhaust and cigarette smoke. It also hampers melanin production, which can help to lighten hyperpigmentation and brown spots and even out your skin tone.
6 Best Vitamin C Serums
Based on dermatologist recommendations and our market research, the following products are the best vitamin C serums available today.
Best Overall: ZO Skin Health 10% Vitamin C Self-Activating
Our overall recommendation for the best vitamin C serum is the ZO Skin Health 10% Vitamin C Self-Activating serum. The product contains 10% vitamin C, which has anti-aging properties and minimizes the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and sunspots by promoting collagen production. "I have this in my bathroom," Dr. Chacon says. "It is gentle and non-irritating, and it leaves your skin radiant afterward."
Customer Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars with under 100 Amazon ratings
Why Buy: Along with L-ascorbic acid, this serum includes ingredients like Coenzyme Q10 for multi-layer antioxidant protection and plant-derived squalane for added hydration. ZO Skin Health's products are all cruelty-free.
Best for Sensitive Skin: Paula's Choice RESIST Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum
Made with plant- and vitamin-derived antioxidants including vitamin C, vitamin E, peptides and CoQ10, Paula's Choice RESIST Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum will help rejuvenate your skin. The formula fights dullness, enhances firmness and reduces the appearance of wrinkles.
Customer Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars with about 300 Amazon ratings
Why Buy: This product is paraben-free, fragrance-free and cruelty-free, as it's not tested on animals. The container is 100% recyclable through TerraCycle, and it's formulated and manufactured in the U.S.
Best Budget-Friendly Serum: CeraVe Vitamin C Serum with Hyaluronic Acid
CeraVe Vitamin C Serum with Hyaluronic Acid offers high value at a reasonable price. It is a hydrating vitamin C serum that's fragrance-free, paraben-free, non-comedogenic and budget-friendly to boot. The formula uses 10% pure vitamin C to prevent free radical damage as well as soothing vitamin B5 and hyaluronic acid to make the skin look smooth and create a moisture barrier for your skin.
Customer Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars with over 20,000 Amazon ratings
Why Buy: Chacon calls CeraVe "a trusted, dermatologist-oriented brand" that comes at drugstore prices, so it's a great choice if you want to try out a budget-friendly vitamin C serum.
Best Cruelty-Free Serum: Timeless Skin Care 20% Vitamin C Plus E Ferulic Acid Serum
Timeless Skin Care's vitamin C serum promotes healthy cell turnover to help minimize the effects of hyperpigmentation and even out your skin tone. According to Dr. Chacon, "vitamin C, E and ferulic acid are all key ingredients that help to brighten skin, building up collagen and evening out tone." This product's formula is non-greasy and lightweight, so it absorbs quickly and clearly into the skin.
Customer Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars with over 1,700 Amazon ratings
Why Buy: The Timeless Skin Care formula is paraben-free, synthetic dye-free, fragrance-free and polyethylene glycol-free. The company doesn't test on animals, and the product is made in the U.S. from natural ingredients. It's also part of the TerraCycle recycling program.
Best Anti-Aging Serum: SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Combination Antioxidant Treatment
Using dermatologist-approved ingredients, SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Combination Antioxidant Treatment is lightweight and helps to firm, smooth, and brighten the skin for a more youthful look. The formula utilizes 15% pure vitamin C as well as vitamin E and ferulic acid to protect against environmental damage from things like sunlight, ozone pollution and diesel engine exhaust. Plus, it helps firm the skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
Customer Rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars with over 200 Amazon ratings
Why Buy: The SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Combination Antioxidant Treatment is one of the best vitamin C serums for anti-aging purposes. It has an oil-like formulation that goes on smoothly and works effectively without clogging pores.
Best Brightening Serum: The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%
The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% is a topical form of vitamin C that's rich in antioxidants to target aging and brighten the skin. It uses a high concentration of L-ascorbic acid as well as hyaluronic acid spheres for skin hydration. The brightening serum helps enhance skin smoothness and radiance without being too harsh. However, to test skin sensitivity, it is always recommended to perform a patch test before a full application.
Customer Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars with over 4,500 Amazon ratings
Why Buy: This vitamin C brightening serum is cruelty-free and vegan and does not contain alcohol, phthalates, gluten, fragrance, nuts, oil, silicone, parabens or sulfates. The moisturizing serum is good for all skin types, including acne-prone skin and dry skin.
FAQ: Best Vitamin C Serums
What vitamin C serum is the most effective?
Our top recommended vitamin C serum is the ZO Skin Health 10% Vitamin C Self-Activating serum. It is a dermatologist-approved antioxidant powerhouse, yet it is gentle, non-irritating and leaves you with glowing skin.
Should you use vitamin C serum every day?
Dermatologists recommend using vitamin C serum either every day or every other day. After you cleanse and tone your face, use your vitamin c product before applying moisturizer and reef-safe sunscreen with at least SPF 30.
Does vitamin C serum really work?
According to dermatologists, the best vitamin C serums work to protect against skin aging. However, if you do not purchase a doctor-recommended product, you run the risk of wasting your money on a low-concentration serum that won't give you any benefits.
What are the drawbacks of vitamin C serums?
Many vitamin C serums on the market, especially cheaper products, have nearly immeasurable concentrations of antioxidants, which makes them ineffective. Additionally, as with any skincare product, some individuals may have reactions to vitamin C serums including itchiness and redness.
Anna H. Chacon, M.D. is a dermatologist and author originally from Miami, Florida. She has authored over a dozen peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and has been published in JAAD, Archives of Dermatology, British Journal of Dermatology, Cosmetic Dermatology and Cutis.
While topical lotions and creams may help treat the immediate discomfort of dry skin, they may not address the underlying cause. Adding the right vitamin subscription or supplement may rejuvenate and hydrate your skin from the inside, helping you to avoid dry skin from the start. Here are some of the most important vitamins for skin health and the best supplements for dry skin that we recommend.
Our 7 Top Supplements for Dry Skin
Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. You can learn more about our review methodology here. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
- Best Vitamin D Supplement - Nested Naturals Vegan D3 + K2
- Best Vitamin C Supplement - Global Healing Liquid Vitamin C
- Best Collagen Supplement - Sunwarrior Vegan Collagen Capsules
- Best Collagen Protein Powder - Bulletproof Beauty Boost
- Best Fatty Acid Supplement - Vital Plan Krill Oil Plus
- Best Skin Moisturizer - Beekeeper's Naturals B.Powered Superfood Honey
- Best Vitamin Spray - Onnit Vitamin D3 Spray
What are the Most Important Vitamins and Minerals for Dry Skin?
Here are some of the vitamins and minerals that can play an important role in maintaining your skin and preventing it from drying out.
Vitamin D - Vitamin D plays a a critical role for many aspects of your body's health, including your skin. It is important for skin barrier function and skin cell growth, as well as maintaining the skin immune system, which acts as a first line of defense against harmful pathogens. Low levels of vitamin D are linked to dry skin and certain skin conditions.
Vitamin C - Vitamin C is another crucial component of healthy skin, as it plays a role in both the production of collagen and serves as a protective antioxidant. The skin contains naturally high levels of vitamin C which may help prevent moisture loss by supporting skin barrier function. This vitamin is also found in supplements to boost the immune system.
Collagen - Collagen is one of the single most important proteins in the body, and in fact makes up the majority your skin. Taking a collagen supplement may help improve skin elasticity and hydration, potentially reducing the appearance of wrinkles and helping to maintain proper skin moisture.
Fish Oil - Fish oil contains two essential fatty acids, DHA and EPA, that are extremely important to skin health. They help make up the barrier made of fatty acids in the skin that helps lock in moisture to prevent dryness. Fish oil, or krill oil supplements, can also help reduce inflammation and protect against sun damage.
Hyaluronic Acid - Sometimes used in topical ointments, hyaluronic acid plays a key role in skin hydration and elasticity. One study found that hyaluronic acid supplements improved the skin's moisture and elasticity which reduced wrinkles and roughness.
Probiotics - Certain probiotics may not only help improve digestive health, but could also play a role in boosting skin health as well. Researchers in one study found that administering a certain type of good bacteria for the gut also boosted the skin barrier and improved skin hydration.
How We Chose the Best Vitamins and Supplements for Dry Skin
To create our list of the best vitamin and mineral supplements for dry skin, we compared brands and products by looking at a number of factors. These included:
- Ingredients - We looked for supplements that used plant-based or vegan sources for their ingredients versus animal-derived sources. We also chose products made without artificial fillers, colors, or sweeteners.
- Lab Testing - We prioritized supplements that undergo independent third-party lab testing for quality and safety.
- Allergen Free - The best vitamin supplements should also be free from soy, gluten, dairy, and peanuts.
- Backed By Science - It's important to know what is included in a supplement and why. We looked for supplements that were either backed by clinical research, doctor-formulated, or offered the science behind their vitamins and minerals.
- Customer Experience - We checked reviews from actual customers to see if the supplement worked as described and if they recommended it. The best brands also offered a money-back guarantee on their products.
The 7 Best Vitamins and Supplements for Dry Skin
Best Vitamin D Supplement: Nested Naturals Vegan D3 + K2
- Vitamins/Minerals - Vitamin D3, vitamin K2
- Ingredients - Nettle leaf extract, vegetable cellulose capsule, magnesium stearate
- Great For - Strong bones, cardiovascular health, positive mood, brain health, skin health
Best Vitamin C Supplement: Global Healing Liquid Vitamin C
- Vitamins/Minerals - Vitamin C
- Ingredients - Organic amla fruit extract, organic acerola fruit extract, organic kakadu plum fruit extract, organic camu camu fruit extract, organic rosehip whole plant extract, organic glycerin, triple-distilled water, organic plant essence blend, energized trace minerals
- Great For - Supporting immune function, collagen and protein production, cardiovascular health, strong antioxidant
Best Collagen Supplement: Sunwarrior Vegan Collagen Capsules
- Vitamins/Minerals - Collagen
- Ingredients - Organic sea buckthorn, panax Korean ginseng root extract, pomegranate extract, asparagus, okra, coffeeberry extract, quercetin, acerola, camu camu, açai berry, and mangosteen, vegetable capsule
- Great For - Skin elasticity, repairing sun damaged skin, joint health, cell regeneration
Best Collagen Protein Powder: Bulletproof Beauty Boost
- Vitamins/Minerals - Collagen, keratin, biotin, vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, B vitamins, zinc, copper
- Ingredients - Fruit and vegetable juice, citric acid, sodium, malic acid, stevia leaf extract.
- Great For - Skin elasticity and hydration, strong hair and nails
Best Fatty Acid Supplement: Vital Plan Krill Oil Plus
- Vitamins/Minerals - DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids, choline, astaxanthin
- Ingredients - Sustainably harvested krill oil, gelatin, glycerol, sorbital
- Great For - Promoting cardiovascular, brain, joint, immune, and skin health
Best for Skin Moisture: Beekeeper's Naturals B.Powered Superfood Honey
- Vitamins/Minerals - B vitamins, vitamin C, iron, antioxidants, acetylcholine
- Ingredients - Raw enzymatic honey, royal jelly, raw bee pollen, bee propolis extract
- Great For - Immune support, increased energy, brain function, enhanced skin moisture barrier
Best Vitamin Spray: Onnit Vitamin D3 Spray
- Vitamins/Minerals - Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol), vitamin K2 (Menaquinone-7), vitamin E
- Ingredients - MCT coconut oil, olive oil, natural flavors, stevia leaf extract
- Great For - Bone, heart, and skin health, plus mood and vitality
Why buy: We like this vitamin D3 spray from Onnit because it offers plant-based vitamin D plus vitamin K2 in a convenient and easy to take form. The vitamin D itself is extracted from lichens and is paired with K2 to help direct the calcium in your body to the places it needs it most. This vitamin spray is a great way to get the vitamin D your body needs to maintain healthy skin, especially if you're stuck inside and can't get proper sun exposure.
The Research on Vitamin Supplements for Dry Skin
Research indicates that certain vitamins and supplements, including vitamin D, vitamin C, fish oil, collagen, and even some probiotics, may help to manage and improve dry skin.
Vitamin D supplementation has been shown to reduce the severity of symptoms from certain skin conditions, specifically atopic dermatitis (AD), or eczema. Deficiencies in vitamin D have also been linked to certain skin diseases like psoriasis and acne. One study also demonstrated a relationship between vitamin D levels and skin moisture levels.
Vitamin C plays a wide variety of roles in skin health. Cell culture studies have found that vitamin C can enhance the production of barrier lipids that help form the skin's moisture barrier. The antioxidant properties of vitamin C also make it important in protecting the skin from UV damage.
The fatty acids found in fish and krill oils have widely-known applications for cosmetic and therapeutic benefits for the skin. Fish oil helped to improve the symptoms of patients suffering from psoriasis in one study, and it has also proven to help reduce skin inflammation from sun damage. Collagen has also been shown to directly benefit skin health. A study of oral collagen supplements found that they resulted in improved skin elasticity and skin hydration over a placebo.
How to Choose the Best Vitamins and Supplements for Dry Skin
As with any natural supplement, it's important to make sure that you are selecting products that are safe, effective, and transparent. Here are some tips to use when shopping for dry skin vitamins and supplements.
What to Look For
These are some of the most important factors to keep in mind when comparing supplement options.
Transparency: Look for brands that clearly label all of the ingredients in their supplements. You should know exactly what is in each supplement and how it was derived.
Natural Ingredients: Choose brands that use plant-based or organic ingredients for their vitamins and minerals. If they do use animal-derived compounds, make sure that they are ethically and sustainably sourced.
Lab Testing: The best way to make sure that a supplement is safe and effective is to look for proof of independent third-party lab testing.
Clinical Science: You can always look for information on whether a vitamin supplement is doctor-formulated or backed by clinical research.
How to Read Labels
Make sure that you take the time to read the label of all vitamin supplements. Specifically, look for these pieces of information.
- Ingredient List - Check the ingredient list to make sure that you are not allergic to anything In the supplement.
- Amount - Look to see how much of the specific vitamin is present in each serving size of the supplement so that you can take the correct amount.
- Suggested Use - Many brands include guidelines for use that can help you know how much of the supplement to take and when.
- Free From - You can check the label to see if a supplement is vegan, non-GMO, and if it is free from allergens like gluten, dairy and soy.
Safety & Side Effects
Like any dietary supplement or medication, vitamin supplements for dry skin may cause certain side effects if you take too much. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Dietary Supplements, the recommended amount of vitamin D for most adults in a day is 600 international units (IU), or 15 micrograms (mcg). The upper limit of vitamin D the average adult can intake from all sources, including food and supplements, in a day is 4,000 IU (100 mcg). Having too much vitamin D in your bloodstream can result in side effects including:
- Muscle weakness
- Loss of appetite
- Excessive urination and thirst
- Kidney stones
For vitamin C, the NIH recommends a daily amount of 75 mg for most adult women and 90 mg for most adult men. The upper limit of vitamin C intake for adults is 2,000 mg. Ingesting too much vitamin C can result in side effects like diarrhea, nausea, and stomach cramps.
The NIH recommends 1.1 g of omega-3 fatty acids for women and 1.6 g for men per day. According to the USDA, adults should limit their intake of omega-3 fatty acids to no more than 3 g per day. The side effects of consuming too much omega-3 are mild and may include things like an unpleasant taste, bad breath, heartburn, nausea, stomach discomfort, diarrhea, headache, and smelly sweat.
Extremely high levels of vitamin D, vitamin C, and omega-3 fatty acids can also interact with certain medications. Be sure to consult with your doctor before adding a vitamin supplement to your diet if you take prescription medications.
If you suffer from dry skin, a vitamin supplement may help to promote healthier and more hydrated skin. These supplements should not be taken in place of prescribed medical treatment for serious skin conditions, but could be used to help support your skin's moisture retention and elasticity. Use our guide to find the right vitamin supplement for dry skin for you.
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What's in a name? Apparently, a lot. According to the European Union (EU), plant-based, dairy alternatives commonly referred to as almond milk or vegan cheese cannot be marketed as such. New, stricter rules under consideration this week could ban the vegan products from even referencing anything dairy-like or using packaging associated with the dairy industry.
In 2017, the European Court of Justice ruled that dairy terms, including milk, cheese, butter and yogurt, could only refer to products derived from an animal, and not plant-based alternatives. A new set of rules, known as Amendment 171, now aim to increase restrictions and make it illegal for plant-based foods to be compared to dairy products at all.
The so-called "Dairy Ban" passed a final vote in the European parliament in Oct. 2020 by a narrow 54 percent majority, The Conversation reported. This week, Amendment 171 will be considered for approval by the EU Council of Ministers and the European Commission, The Conversation added. If approved by both, the amendment will become law.
So, what exactly does Amendment 171 mean for tofu cheese, soy yogurt, vegan butter and other plant-based, dairy-alternative products steadily coming into the mainstream? The new rules would prohibit "imitation or evocation" of dairy products, Politico reported. Interpreted broadly, descriptions such as "creamy," "cheese-alternative," "milk-free" and "does not contain milk" would be illegal, Plant Based News reported. In the extreme, the rule could even require package redesign, as milk cartons and yogurt cups are most commonly associated with dairy, The Conversation reported.
Vegan producers would also be prevented from discussing the health or environmental advantages of their plant-based products by comparing them to traditional dairy products. Because of the high carbon footprint of animal products, studies have found that going vegan is the best thing consumers can do for the planet. Indeed, in a 2019 leaked report from the United Nations, climate scientists felt that a shift to vegetarian diets is necessary to save the world.
With the proportion of vegans in the EU doubling in the last four years and up to one-third of all consumers self-identifying as "flexitarians" rather than meat-eaters, according to a Veganz survey, the commercial implications of pro-dairy censorship are huge.
"Given the climate crisis, it's irresponsible to try and prevent us from encouraging people to make the switch to plant-based and help protect the planet in the process," Cecilia McAleavey, director of public affairs and sustainable eating for Swedish oat milk brand Oatly, told Food Navigator. "People are not stupid — everyone understands that this is an attempt by the dairy lobby to hinder the shift towards sustainable plant-based eating."
The dairy industry claims that Amendment 171 prevents consumer confusion, reported The Conversation. The use of dairy-related terminology on plant-based products could mislead consumers, the industry argues. Is it either dairy-based or it's not.
The European Dairy Association told Food Navigator, "Non-dairy products cannot hijack our dairy terms and the well-deserved reputation of excellence in milk and dairy."
The lobby noted that similar laws exist within the EU to protect the national origin of products such as "Champagne" and "Parmigiano," The Conversation reported. A 2017 Cambridge study called such intentionally ambiguous language "food fraud" meant to "[induce] a false impression on the consumer" and found that such behavior had an increasing economic impact on the continent.
The vegan-alternative sector claims that its products need to be evaluated against conventional dairy products to showcase health and environmental benefits. Politico argued that a broad application of Amendment 171 could actually censor essential information for consumers suffering from dairy allergies and intolerances. Without terms like "dairy-free" and "milk-alternative," shopping could become needlessly difficult for these people, the report said.
Packaging changes could also confuse consumers, if, for example, plant-based cheese can no longer be sold as a classic block shape that indicates what it is, as well as its anticipated flavor and texture, Politico said.
In an Instagram response to Amendment 171, Oatly called its passage a "wacko, incomprehensible direction to take in the middle of a climate crisis." Oatly, Upfield and other plant-based brands launched a petition to overturn Amendment 171, Food Navigator reported. They argue that the ban is counter to the EU's stated goals to improve public health and environmental sustainability, Food Navigator added.
"Making it illegal to name, package and depict plant-based foods in the way we have done for over 100 years is a serious step backwards," said Upfield's Janette Fielding. "Consumers are looking for strong EU leadership on climate and environment. That means tearing down bureaucratic barriers to sustainable and healthy eating, not building them higher."
Search for or like enough environmental stories on TikTok and more end up on the "for you page." Lovers of all things environmentalism and climate science will eventually curate an amazing range of environmental education. There's Eco_Tok, which curates content from a number of environmental activists and educators in one hub. And there are seemingly more and more accounts every day that reach different types of environmentally conscious communities and creators.
Those individual accounts explore connections like the history of environmentalism and how it connects to the history of capitalism, issues like environmental racism and public health policy, and how to create community gardens to grow food and herbs.
Here are a few accounts that are worth following for interesting environmental content that covers a spectrum of environmentally minded ideas:
1. For fashion lovers who want to challenge how they consume: @sweet.sustainability
LET’S NORMALIZE THESE EASY SUSTAINABLE HABITS🌿#ecofriendly #sustainableliving #sustainablelifestyle #sustainablefashion #usewhatyouhave #ecoliving
This account's bio says it all "imperfect environmentalism." Getting started on becoming a more eco-conscious consumer doesn't have to be perfect, the consumer just needs to start and take steps that work for them. Not everyone has the time or the funds to become the perfect environmentalist, so videos like the one above are important. The non judgemental tone and easy to follow tips can be incorporated into anyone's wardrobe.
2. For those who want to learn about the systemic issues: @ariellevking
#greenscreensticker #environmentalracism #environmentaljustice
This account is run by a law student who focuses on environmental justice. In one video, Arielle highlights that Black Americans are more likely to live near coal power plants than their white counterparts and unpacks stats and environmental reporting for each point. There are also videos about the best environmental justice books to consider, and the difference between environmental and energy justice.
3. For environmentally minded users who want to learn about the intersection of identity and culture in the climate justice movement: @queerbrownvegan
Her legacy still lives on today. #honduras #environmentalscience #climatechange #trees
Their videos look at a spectrum of intersectional aspects of environmentalism like learning about environmental defenders, foraging for herbs, and how to make the vegan version of different Latin American dishes like chiles rellenos. Their videos even outline what it's like to be an environmental creator of color and what that means for their content and their ability to make a living online. Isaias' account is a great way to see veganism and environmentalism in practice and to understand how it can fit into different cultural contexts.
4. For users who want to continue their environmental education online: @mostlyecomorgan
Level up your sustainability knowledge #sustainableliving #ecofriendlytips #ecofriendlytiktok #ecotok #levelup #consciousconsumer #consciousliving
This online account outlines that becoming eco-conscious is a journey, one where people are always learning. There are thrifting hauls, ways to be more eco-friendly when shopping on Amazon, and even low waste hacks that Morgan doesn't want to take on because environmentalism doesn't mean consumers shouldn't have options.
Watch a couple of TikToks from the Eko_Tok account below:
Reply to @anna.claire15 @eco.amical #ecotok #ecofriendly #beeswaxwraps
an environmentalist least fav holiday 😔 #ecotok #4thofjuly #fireworks
Angely Mercado is a New York City born and bred freelance writer, researcher, and fact-checker. She was educated in journalism and research through the CUNY system and holds a masters from the Newmark Craig Graduate School of Journalism.
Her work is featured in Vogue Magazine, The New York Times, The Nation, Rolling Stone Magazine, Grist, and more. When Angely isn't working incessantly, she's enjoying NYC's parks and free events, and binging cartoons.
Follow her on Twitter: @AngelyMercado
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By Martin Kuebler
Pulses, a broad category of edible seeds that includes pantry staples like lentils, beans, peas and chickpeas, are one of the world's most important food crops.
This underrated legume has featured heavily in diets around the world for thousands of years. Pulses are the main source of protein for people who don't eat meat — whether by choice or by circumstance — they're good for the environment, nutritious and tasty.
Environmentally Friendly Meat Alternative
Changing our diet, and how we produce what we eat, can have a huge and positive impact on the planet.
A recent key report on food and biodiversity loss linked global eating habits to around 30% of human-made emissions in terms of energy and fertilizer, making them a "key driver of climate change." It also highlighted the devastating impact of our food production on nature.
A big part of the problem is meat and other animal products. Though it might be a good source of protein, meat is terrible for the environment. Getting a kilogram of beef to your kitchen emits as much as 60 kilograms (130 pounds) of CO2-equivalent, according to a 2018 study published in Science. And with the world population set to surpass 10 billion in a little over 30 years, increasing demand for food — especially meat and monocrops like wheat, corn and soybeans — will further stress the climate, limited natural resources and biodiversity.
Pulses like peas and lentils, however, produce some 0.9 kg of CO2-equivalent for every kilo grown. And they provide a far higher protein yield per square kilometer than a herd of cattle or flock of chickens, meaning existing farmland can be used more efficiently and untouched forests can be spared.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has promoted pulses as "a good alternative to meat," pointing out that they "can play a key role in future healthy and sustainable diets." In recent years, calls from environmental groups for people in the Western world to drastically reduce their meat consumption, has inspired a growing trend toward vegetarian and vegan diets.
In a September analysis, climate data provider Carbon Brief said "a global switch to veganism would deliver the largest emissions savings out of any dietary shift," preventing some 8 billion metric tons of CO2 emissions annually by 2050. Current food production is responsible for around 13.7 billion tons per year.
"It is now becoming clear that a plant-based diet is not just a crock," said Christina Ledermann, head of the German advocacy group Humans for Animal Rights. "The future of nutrition is plant-based, or there is no future."
Pulses Enrich Soils, Save Water
Pulse crops are very efficient when it comes to capturing existing carbon from the air and storing it in the soil. One analysis suggested that legumes can store 30% more carbon than other plant species due to their ability to fix nitrogen in the soil via root nodules.
These nodules, which are formed by rhizobia bacteria attached to the roots, absorb inert nitrogen from the soil. This symbiotic relationship helps increase microbial biomass and improve soil biodiversity, while also providing plants with nutrients and energy.
Nitrogen, along with phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, calcium and magnesium, is one of the key macronutrients found in soil. And according to estimates by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 190 million hectares (470 million acres) of pulse crops contribute to as much as 7 million metric tons of nitrogen in soils around the world every year.
This naturally produced fertilizer results in higher yields for pulses and other crops and implies a lesser need for polluting organic and synthetic chemical fertilizers, reducing direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions and preventing further contamination of soils and waterways. Bean crop residue — stalks, leaves and seed pods — can also be used as fertilizer, or as fodder for livestock.
Beans also get by with much less water, making them ideal crops for regions prone to drought. The FAO has estimated that growing a kilo of lentils requires around a third less water than a kilo of chicken, and just a tenth less water than a kilo of beef. Some pulses like pea and lentils also rely more heavily on rain and other surface moisture for their water needs, leaving more groundwater available down below for future crops.
Healthy Way to Improve Food Security
Pulses make up 75% of the average diet in developing countries. Countries in South Asia, especially India, are famed for their extensive use of pulses — which are also very healthy. Besides being an excellent source of protein, pulses are also high in fiber, have little fat and no cholesterol.
The FAO devoted an entire year to pulses in 2016 to raise awareness about how important the likes of lentils, beans, peas and chickpeas are for billions of people around the world. And over the last decade, new seed varieties developed by programs like the Tropical Legumes initiative have made high-yield, climate-resilient pulses an increasingly important crop for smallholder farmers.
Pulses such as chickpeas and lentils are a key component of agricultural practices like intercropping, which help regenerate soils and foster the growth of other non-pulse crops. Planting them in rotation with other plants also helps ward off certain pests and diseases that only affect specific species.
Reposted with permission from Deutsche Welle.
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For the first time ever, a vegan restaurant in France has been awarded a coveted Michelin star.
The French edition of the Michelin guide, published Monday, awarded a star to ONA. The name stands for Origine Non-Animale, or animal-free origin, BBC News reported. The restaurant is located in Arès, near Bordeaux in southwestern France, and was started by chef Claire Vallée, a 41-year-old former archeologist who became a vegan after a trip to Thailand.
"[T]his star is mine, it is yours, it is that of the impossible," Vallée wrote in an Instagram post announcing the win. "It brings Vegetable Gastronomy definitively into the closed circle of French and Global Gastronomy."
The Michelin Guide started in France in the late nineteenth century as a road guide published by the Michelin tire company. Over time, it evolved into a highly respected restaurant review guide, thanks to reviewers who secretly visited them. The hierarchy of one, two or three stars became established by 1936. The Michelin system has since spread abroad, and currently rates more than 30,000 restaurants in at least 30 territories. The guide has awarded stars to vegan restaurants in other countries, BBC News reported, but never before in its place of origin. In addition to the Michelin star, ONA also won a green star, a recognition of ethical practices.
"It felt like I got hit by a train," Vallée told AFP of the win, according to an AFP story published in The Guardian.
Vallée and ONA had a winding road to success. Her first requests for a loan were denied by traditional French banks, who were skeptical of both her chosen location and her menu.
"They said the outlook for veganism and plant-based food was too uncertain," she told AFP.
Undeterred, Vallée crowdfunded her restaurant, and also obtained a loan from a bank called Le Nef, which funds ethical projects.
"This goes to show that nothing is impossible," she told AFP.
ONA opened its doors in 2016, according to BBC News. The restaurant offers a seven-dish gourmet menu that uses ingredients such as fir tree, boletus mushrooms and celery. However, it is currently closed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Coronavirus restrictions also made it difficult to publish this year's Michelin guide, Reuters reported, as inspectors only had a few weeks to visit restaurants in between lockdowns. The annual guide also comes at a tough time for restaurants.
"For people who get their first star, in the period that we're suffering through, this will be at least a comfort for them," chef Sylvain Sendra of Paris restaurant Fleur de Pave told Reuters.
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In Today's Eco Update
- Keystone XL is dead.
- Revived Siberian microorganism.
- The Big Con.
- Record CO2 emissions.
- Dr. Bronner's chocolate.
– summaries below written by Angely Mercado
"The Company will continue to coordinate with regulators, stakeholders and Indigenous groups to meet its environmental and regulatory commitments and ensure a safe termination of and exit from the Project," the company wrote.
The news was met with jubilation from environmental and Indigenous groups who had spent years battling the project over concerns it would worsen the climate crisis and harm the ecosystems and communities along its route.
24,000-Year-Old Microorganism Revived From Permafrost
Scientists in Russia have revived a bdelloid rotifer — a multicellular microorganism found in wet environments — after the invertebrate spent 24,000 years frozen 11 feet beneath the Siberian permafrost.
According to a study published in Current Biology, research has suggested these tiny creatures can slow their metabolisms down to almost stagnant and survive frozen for up to 10 years. Scientists from the Institute of Physicochemical and Biological Problems in Soil Science found that rotifers can survive for much longer. The 24,000-year-old rotifer was able to reproduce and feed after being thawed.
Report Details Fossil Fuel Industry's Deceptive 'Net Zero' Strategy
A new report published by a trio of progressive advocacy groups unveiled the so called "net zero" climate pledges, which are often touted by corporations and governments as solutions to the climate emergency. The report's authors argued that it's simply a form of greenwashing that should be eschewed in favor of Real Zero policies based on meaningful, near-term commitments to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions.
The report, The Big Con: How Big Polluters Are Advancing a "Net Zero" Climate Agenda to Delay, Deceive, and Deny, was published by Corporate Accountability, the Global Forest Coalition, and Friends of the Earth International, and is endorsed by more than 60 environmental organizations.
CO2 Reaches Its Highest Level in Human History
Last month, EcoWatch reported that atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels this year were expected to climb to beyond 2019 levels, despite falling during the pandemic. Two reports released earlier this week detailed that CO2 levels have indeed spiked, and that the annual peak reached 419 parts per million (PPM) in May, the highest level in human history.
Researchers from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), who published the reports, have tracked atmospheric CO2 for more than 60 years. But using other data, researchers were able to estimate that CO2 levels haven't been this high on Earth in more than 4 million years.
Dr. Bronner's to Launch Vegan, Organic Chocolate Bars
Dr. Bronner's, a popular natural soap brand, is releasing Dr. Bronner's Magic All-One Chocolate this Aug. 1 and will sell its product online by the fall. The dairy-free chocolate will come in six different flavors: roasted whole hazelnuts, crunchy hazelnut butter, salted whole almonds, salted almond butter, salted dark chocolate and smooth coconut praline. The bars will be made from cocoa grown through regenerative organic practices, and are made with lower-glycemic coconut sugar.
The push to produce chocolate began when Dr. Bronner's learned that the Ghanian farmers who supply its Regenerative Organic Certified Serendipalm also grow cocoa and decided to expand the partnership. The company's farming partners use dynamic agroforestry, a farming method used by Indigenous peoples of Latin America. Dynamic agroforestry creates "forest-like systems with high biomass production," according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Concerns about the environment and pandemics like the coronavirus have made a growing number of people hungry for meat alternatives, The Guardian reported Tuesday. At the same time, the plant-based meat market in the country is growing to satisfy this need, and analysts say China could even become a global player in the industry.
"[W]ith a local abundance of non-GMO soybeans and huge capacity to process plant-based raw materials including soy and pea, China has the potential to play a major role in accelerating the plant-based meat trend around the world by increasing production and bringing down costs," Global Food Institute Asia-Pacific (GFI-APAC) managing director Elaine Siu said in a 2019 GFI report.
Meat consumption in China has risen significantly since the 1960s, when the average person consumed five kilograms (approximately 11 pounds) of meat per year, The Guardian pointed out. By 2015, that number had risen to 48 kilograms (approximately 106 pounds). In the U.S., for comparison, per capita meat consumption was 218.6 pounds in 2018, according to Dr. Derrell Peel at Oklahoma State University.
China still eats 28 percent of the world's meat and half of its pork, according to The Guardian. Its meat market is worth $86 billion. However, in 2016 the Chinese government announced a plan to reduce meat consumption by 50 percent in the country and urged its citizens to limit their meat intake to 40 to 75 grams a day. While the government has not done much to forward this goal since the initial ad campaign, it is notable because few countries have incorporated the issue of meat consumption into their plans to address the climate crisis.
At the same time, there are signs that the food culture in the country is shifting. The vegan market in China was expected to grow 17.2 percent from 2015 to 2020, the fastest growth rate in the world, Inside Retail Asia reported in 2016. In Shanghai, the number of vegan restaurants rose from 49 in 2012 to more than 100 in 2017, Business World reported.
Even among those who don't identify as vegan or vegetarian, the new interest in plant-based meat is catching on, GFI reported. While more than 90 percent of Chinese people surveyed by the institute did not identify as meat-abstainers, 86.7 percent of them had tried plant-based meat. In 2018, the country's domestic plant-based meat industry was $910 million and experiencing a yearly growth-rate of 14.2 percent.
This is evident in restaurants across the country, The Guardian noted. KFC in China sells vegan chicken nuggets, while Burger King offers an Impossible Whopper and Starbucks offers Beyond Meat products. Domestic plant-based companies are also getting in on the action. Hong-Kong based OmniFoods has placed plant-based pork in McDonalds in Hong Kong and Aldi, White Castle and Starbucks in mainland China. It also is launching in 13 other countries this year.
This represents a real growth opportunity for China and the world, according to GFI. The country is already a major exporter of plant proteins and has great capacity to continue being so. As of 2016, it had the capacity to process up to 79 percent of global soy protein isolate, 50 percent of global textured soy protein and 23 percent of global soy protein concentrate.
Within China, OmniFoods is opening a factory next year, and hopes to decrease the cost of plant-based foods, which are currently more expensive than meat alternatives. However, the CEO of plant-based mince-maker Z-Rou thinks he can persuade middle class consumers to adopt the new foods despite the higher price.
"They would even be willing to pay more as they know they're getting a healthier product that's helping ensure the future of the planet their children are inheriting," CEO Franklin Yao told The Guardian. "That's priceless."
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Looking for a natural way to help protect your body from serious diseases, including certain types of cancer risks and heart disease? One important step is to ensure you get plenty of antioxidants. These nutrients can offer crucial protection against free radicals, which are produced any time your body breaks down food or is exposed to things like radiation or cigarette smoke. Free radicals can increase your risk of disease due to cell damage from oxidative stress. Antioxidants can help protect your cells and boost your immune system to promote overall wellness.
While you can get antioxidants from food sources, you might also consider the health benefits of antioxidant vitamins and supplements. The question is, what are the best antioxidant vitamin subscriptions and supplement options available today?
Our Picks for the Top Antioxidant Supplements
Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. Learn more about our review methodology here. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn a commission.
- Best Overall - Goli Nutrition Superfruits Gummies
- Best Resveratrol Supplement - Vital Plan Prevention Plus
- Best Vitamin C Supplement - Care/of Superberry Boost
- Best Superfood Suppplement - Your Super Organic Super Green Mix
- Best Coenzyme Q10 Supplement - Global Healing CoQ10 & BioPQQ with Shilajit
- Best Veggie Supplement - Sunwarrior Clean Greens and Protein
Which Foods Contain Antioxidant Vitamins?
One way to increase your body's production of antioxidants is through consuming the right foods. Vegetarian meals and vegan snacks allow you enjoy antioxidant-rich fruits andSome of the most common dietary antioxidant sources include:
- Vitamin A - This vitamin is commonly found in eggs, milk, and butter.
- Vitamin C - Most fruits and vegetables will boost your supply of Vitamin C.
- Vitamin E - Find this vitamin in nuts and seeds, including almonds and peanuts, as well as leafy green vegetables.
- Beta-carotene - You can find this important nutrient in carrots, peas, peaches, sweet potatoes, and mangoes.
- Lutein - Seek lutein in green, leafy vegetables, including spinach and collards.
- Selenium - You can often find selenium in different grains and pastas, including rice and corn.
- Lycopene - This carotenoid is most commonly found in red fruits including tomatoes, grapefruits, and watermelons.
By fortifying your diet with any of the above fruits, veggies, and vitamins, you can help boost your antioxidant levels. If you want an additional way to gain the beneficial effects of antioxidants, consider these antioxidant dietary supplements.
The 6 Best Antioxidant Supplements
Best Overall: Goli Nutrition Superfruits Gummies
- Includes antioxidant-producing vitamins such as vitamins A, C, and E.
- Made with bamboo shoot extract and a blend of superfruits.
- Gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO, gelatin-free.
Goli Nutrition makes it easy to increase your vitamin intake with flavorful gummies. Their Superfruits blend is packed with natural antioxidants from acai berries, pomegranates, bananas, apples, and strawberries. These gummies can also provide benefits like improved collagen formation for healthier skin.
Best Resveratrol Supplement: Vital Plan Prevention Plus
- Includes a number of antioxidant vitamins and nutrients, including Vitamin A and Selenium.
- Gluten-free, non-GMO, peanut-free, egg- and dairy-free.
Not only is this one of the best vitamin supplements for antioxidants, but it also includes vitamin D to boost your immune system, as well as vitamins C, B, A, and E. These capsules also include trans-resveratrol from Japanese Knotweed which can help your body defend against cardiovascular disease by promoting heart health.
Best Vitamin C Supplement: Care/of Superberry Boost
- A great natural source of vitamin C.
- Made with 11 superfruits, including organic acai, goji, and cherries.
- Non-GMO, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free.
Care/of Superberry Boost is made from 11 different superfruits, making it a natural antioxidant powerhouse. It's also an easy way to get natural daily servings of organic fruit and fruit juice by mixing it in with smoothies or shakes.
Best Superfood Supplement: Your Super Organic Super Green Mix
- Includes important vitamins like A, C, and K.
- Made with six green superfoods, including wheatgrass.
- Vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free.
Looking for a quick and simple way to increase your consumption of green superfoods? This is the perfect mix for you, allowing you to add plenty of natural antioxidants from wheatgrass, barley grass, chlorella, spirulina, moringa, and baobab.
Best CoQ10 Supplement: Global Healing CoQ10 & BioPQQ with Shilajit
- Made to promote energy production and heart health.
- Includes CoQ10, a vital enzyme for converting food to energy.
- Vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO.
These capsules are designed for mitochondrial health and natural energy production. They include coenzyme Q10, which provides antioxidant activity and helps boost metabolism. The organic Himalayan shilajit is meant to help increase CoQ10 absorption in the body.
Best Veggie Supplement: Sunwarrior Clean Green & Protein
- A great source of protein, calcium, and iron.
- Includes organic fermented pea protein.
- Soy-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, non-GMO, vegan.
This Sunwarrior blend includes natural plant-based proteins to help you build lean muscle, and a blend of vegetables with broccoli, onion extract, tomatoes, carrots, spinach, kale, and brussels sprouts. Ingredients like goji berries, yellow peas, and coconut add even more natural antioxidants.
What are Antioxidants?
As you shop for the best antioxidant supplements, it may also be helpful to learn more about antioxidants overall.
Essentially, antioxidants are molecules that fight free radicals within your body. Free radicals are the byproducts of the process your body uses to turn food into energy. They are very unstable molecules and can lead to real harm if they become too concentrated; for example, free radical damage can increase your risk of certain cancers and heart disease, and they may also lead to macular degeneration and premature aging of your skin. Making sure you get plenty of antioxidants is a great way to help maintain healthy skin.
Since free radicals are constantly being produced within your body, it's crucial to maintain balance with regular antioxidant production. Antioxidants help protect your cells by counteracting the oxidation caused by free radicals. If you don't get enough antioxidants from your diet, antioxidant supplementation can help.
How Do Antioxidant Supplements Work?
You can get antioxidants by eating the right foods, including foods that feature the vitamins and nutrients we listed above. However, dietary nutrition may not be enough to ensure you have the antioxidant levels you need. Antioxidant supplements give you super-concentrated doses of antioxidants or the nutrients your body needs to produce its own antioxidants.
How to Choose the Best Antioxidant Supplements
As you look for the best vitamin supplements for antioxidants, there are a few factors to consider.
- Vitamins and nutrients. Exactly which nutrients are you getting from your antioxidant supplement?
- Additives and other ingredients. Does your supplement include only natural ingredients, or is it made with a lot of unnecessary sweeteners, preservatives, etc.?
- Evidence and research. Many of the best antioxidant supplements will include scientific data to demonstrate their effectiveness. Always look for independent lab test results on the packaging or the brand's website.
- Value. Take into consideration not only the price point, but also any warranties or money-back guarantees that are offered.
Antioxidant Supplement Safety & Side Effects
Though it is certainly beneficial to have robust antioxidant production, there is definitely such a thing as overdoing it. In fact, there are a number of risks associated with taking high doses of antioxidant supplements. Overuse of antioxidant supplements may:
- Decrease your performance when you exercise.
- Increase the risk of lung cancer for smokers due to high levels of beta-carotene.
- Increase the risk of prostate cancer if they cause high levels of vitamin E.
- Pregnant women are advised against taking Vitamin A supplements, which can increase the risk of birth defects.
- Interact with certain prescription medications.
When choosing to take any type of dietary supplement, it's important to do your research so that you understand the potential benefits and the potential risks. Talk with your doctor to determine whether antioxidant supplements are right for you.
Josh Hurst is a journalist, critic, and essayist. He lives in Knoxville, TN, with his wife and three sons. He covers natural health, nutrition, supplements, and clean energy. His writing has appeared in Health, Shape, and Remedy Review.
When it comes to finding new shoes to fill your closet, finding something stylish and comfortable is likely the main goal. But shouldn't their impact on the earth matter just as much? Here is a roundup of the best eco-friendly and environmentally-conscious shoes.
Our picks for top eco-friendly shoes
- Best Recycled Plastic Shoe - SUAVS
- Best Zero-Waste Shoe - On Running
- Best Sustainable Materials - Cariuma
- Best Carbon Neutral Shoe - Allbirds
- Best Clean-Energy Production - Womsh
- Best Vegan Shoe - Beyond Skin
While flipping over a pair of shoes as you shop can tell you about the size of their literal footprint, discovering their carbon footprint isn't always as easy. That's because transparency, for many brands, remains less of a priority.
As a result, shoppers don't always have the clearest vision of how some shoe companies operate—including how and where they source their materials, and who actually puts them together. It's important to understand that the very practices that led to the mass production of so many classic brands are less than stellar for the environment and the people that actually make them.
How we chose the best eco-friendly shoes
To create our list of the best eco-friendly shoes, we compared brands on a number of factors. These included:
- Sustainable materials - Does the brand use recycled or sustainable materials to make their shoes? We looked for brands that utilize post-consumer recycled materials, like fibers from plastic water bottles or recycled paper, in their shoes and packaging. We also considered their sourcing of naturally-derived materials, like sugar cane, castor beans, cork, and wool.
- Transparency - How much does the brand tell you about its manufacturing process and materials? We checked out each brand's website to confirm their commitment to the environment and to make sure they weren't just green-washing their products.
- Ethical standards - Where does the brand manufacture their shoes and do they ensure fair labor practices? In addition to the environmental impact of a brand's shoes, we also looked at how they treat their people. We specifically looked for brand transparency and commitments around creating healthy and safe working conditions in factories, and that employees earn fair wages, as well as B-Corp certification.
- Giving back - We wanted to prioritize brands that do more than just make money. We looked for eco-friendly shoe brands that partnered with non-profits to give back, including projects like Soles4Souls, LifeWorks, and reforestation initiatives.
Discover five of our favorite eco-friendly shoe brands that you simply can't go wrong with. Whether you're in need of new sneakers, boots, flats, or heels, they've got you covered.
SUAVS makes comfortable, breathable, and sustainable shoes with uppers made of post-consumer recycled water bottles. They put the environment first and use only the safest materials that are better for the earth and you. SUAVS makes a point to give back and donates all extra footwear to organizations such as LifeWorks.
Why buy: Planning a vacation? Look no further. SUAVS shoes are known for being lightweight and flexible, allowing for easy packing and all-day wear. Their shoes have been featured in Buzzfeed, Conde Nast, Business Insider, PRNewsWire, and more for being a travel-friendly shoe.
Switzerland-based shoe brand On Running is beloved for its performance-based shoes that offer optimal performance without harming the earth in the process. The brand prides itself on sustainability, ethical sourcing, and transparency. They've even partnered with the ScienceBasedTargets initiative to ensure they lower their emissions to a level that will support the limiting of average global temperature raising to 1.5°C (34.7°F) above pre-industrial levels.Why buy: The Cyclon is a revolutionary zero-waste shoe. The sleek shoe is made with sustainable production efforts from castor beans and it's fully recyclable. The caveat? You can't own them. Instead, they're available via subscription to ensure that you recycle them back to the brand. By creating this production process, the brand is able to capitalize on circularity, effectively keeping materials out of landfills.
If you're a sucker for smooth-as-butter leather sneakers, Cariuma is the choice for you. Namely, the brand's OCA High Off-White Premium Leather high-top sneakers. Of course, the Rio de Janeiro-based shoe brand offers more than just leather, they sell canvas and suede silhouettes, too. The company is also committed to sustainability, planting two trees in the Brazilian rainforest for every pair of shoes sold.
Why buy: All of the materials used in Cariuma's shoe-making process are sourced sustainably and responsibly, from the leather and suede uppers and recycled plastic used in the brand's shoelaces, labels, and laces to the Bluesign-certified dye chemicals (which are non-harmful) and recyclable packaging. As a result of their rigorous eco-conscious efforts, the brand has earned seven sustainability certifications.
Known as Silicon Valley's most-beloved shoe, Allbirds are renowned for their versatile wool runners that are minimalist, sustainably-sourced, and cozy as can be. The brand is entirely carbon neutral. This means that they measure their carbon emissions each year, reduce their impact by using recycled materials, and offset whatever's left over by taxing themselves and putting that money toward projects that neutralize their footprint.
Why buy: These Tree Runners are made from FSC-certified eucalyptus trees, a castor bean insole, and a carbon-negative sugarcane midsole. While Allbirds shoes end up being carbon neutral, the company does provide their initial carbon footprint score. These running shoes come in at 9.0 kg CO2e.
Sustainability meets trendy fashion with Italian shoe brand Womsh (short for Word of Mouth Shoes). The celebrity-favorite sneakers are known for their chunky silhouettes overlaid with bold designs and text. Beyond their truly picture-worthy style, the shoes are created with sustainability at the helm.
Why buy: In addition to creating a fully vegan collection, as well as shoes that are fully recyclable, and producing their shoes in factories that use 90 percent clean energy, Womsh has teamed up with LifeGate to offset its carbon emissions. They do so by planting trees in areas that have been deforested. Since 2014, they've planted and protected over 118,403 square feet of forest per year. Talk about impact.
Sneakers aren't the only option when it comes to eco-friendly shoes. Since its inception in 2001, Beyond Skin has been committed to providing the world with luxury vegan footwear in the form of vintage-inspired sandals, mules, loafers, heels, boots, and more. All of the silhouettes are designed in England and brought to life in Spain using luxury Italian fabrics. By creating their products locally—as opposed to sourcing all over the world—they're able to reduce their carbon footprint. What's more, they use recycled materials in many of their designs, which makes them even more eco-friendly.
Why buy: In addition to paying mind to the materials used, Beyond Skin works very closely with their factories in Spain to ensure their workers are never exploited in the process of production. It is their mission to stand far apart from fast fashion, offering silhouettes that can withstand the test of time—both in terms of wear and classic styles—and practices that benefit the earth and its people.
Why choose eco-friendly shoes and products?
Eco-conscious and eco-friendly are used to describe products made with the earth in mind. In order to create eco-conscious products, a company must commit to sustainable manufacturing practices, the use of sustainable materials, and how much energy is used to create each product. This includes a commitment to use less water and fewer (or, better yet, zero) chemicals in production, along with paying mind to the amount of carbon emissions created as a result of production, the types of fibers that are used, and the quality of life offered to the workers creating the items. In other words, creating eco-friendly items—shoes, included—is a more involved process than is used for most mass-produced goods.
As a result, many earth-friendly brands are marked at a higher price due to the higher level of care dedicated to bringing them to life. The beauty is, however, when more care is devoted to the production process, the higher the quality ends up being. So, while a higher price tag may make you wince, knowing that the items will last much longer and will make less of an impact on the environment is definitely worth it.
Rebecca R. Norris is a writer in the DC metro area. She covers a number of topics in the sustainable beauty, wellness, and style industries. A graduate of George Mason University, the Virginia native is a lover of lists, Stevie Nicks, dark chocolate Sprinkles cupcakes, and the Oxford comma.
More than 500,000 people have pledged to try a vegan diet this January.
The annual challenge Veganuary announced Tuesday that it had received more than half a million sign-ups and counting, the most in a single year since it first launched in 2014. It also reached its sign-up goal earlier than any other year so far, the group noted on Instagram.
"Proof that 2021 really is THE YEAR for positive change," the group wrote in the post.
Veganuary is a non-profit dedicated to motivating people to try a vegan diet for the month of January, and maybe keep it up the whole year round.
"Throughout the year, Veganuary encourages and supports people and businesses alike to move to a plant-based diet as a way of protecting the environment, preventing animal suffering, and improving the health of millions of people," the group explained.
Their message is catching on. More than one million people from 192 countries have participated since 2014, according to the website. In 2020, more than 600 businesses participated and more than 1,200 new vegan products and menus were introduced. In fact, its potential as a product launch opportunity means it has become a bigger deal in the retail calendar than Christmas, co-founder Matthew Glover told Vegan Food & Living.
This year, its reach is only growing. In addition to its record sign-up count, the group celebrated an unprecedented buy-in from supermarkets in the UK, which are using the month to promote vegan products.
"While new vegan product launches from big name brands are exciting, the way British supermarkets have embraced Veganuary this year is truly game changing," Veganuary's head of communications Toni Vernelli said in a blog post. "They are not simply using it as a marketing opportunity but are promoting the many benefits of plant-based eating and encouraging people to give it a try. As bastions of our food supply, they know that the only sustainable way forward is plant-focused."
The month-long-challenge is spreading beyond the UK as well. The campaign has recently focused on Latin America, according to The Guardian, where 150,000 people signed up this year. The challenge also saw 80,000 sign-ups from the U.S. and 50,000 from Germany, as well as 125,000 from the UK.
The month's popularity comes as a growing body of scientific research indicates that adopting a plant-based diet is one of the best things that people in wealthy countries can do to reduce their environmental impact.
"It really feels to me that plant-based eating is no longer controversial," Vernelli told The Guardian. "Pretty much everyone has accepted we need to be reducing animal products in our diets for environmental reasons."
If you are still looking for a New Year's resolution, it is not too late to sign-up for the challenge. You can do so here.
- The EcoWatch Guide to a Simply Tasty World Vegan Day - EcoWatch ›
- Organic Meat Is Bad for the Environment, Study Shows - EcoWatch ›