Is there such thing as the best vitamins and supplements for minimalists? I am not a big fan of “one size fits all” when it comes to health and supplements. I strongly believe that multivitamins are a waste of money and the majority of vitamins should come from your diet. For the last two years, my only choice of daily vitamins was vitamins C and D. But I also like to keep an open mind when it comes to “functional” supplements. That’s why I was excited when I discovered Care/Of. They are a service that helps you build a personalized daily vitamin pack tailored to your needs and concerns, and then delivers that pack on a monthly basis. Even if you prefer to buy your own vitamins, I urge you to try their awesome supplements personalization engine.
Personalized Vitamin Pack
The whole process takes about 5 minutes. This visually engaging quiz asks approximately 40 questions about your attitudes towards vitamins, lifestyle, health goals and values. At some point, you need to choose the most important health goals. Naturally, I chose BRAIN, ENERGY, IMMUNITY and STRESS:
After you answer few more questions, Care/Of will present you with the list of recommended vitamins and supplements:
My initial list of recommendations included Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, Kanna, Vitamin D and Astaxanthin. Each recommendation includes:
- a detail description of the supplement
- functional benefits
- research statistics
- dosage information and ingredients
- price per monthly pack.
Among my recommendations, the cheapest supplement was vitamin D (5 dollars per month), and the most expensive were Kanna and Astaxanthin (10 dollars per month). The other two, Rhodiola and Kanna, cost 8 dollars per month. The total cost of the recommended pack was 41 dollars:
Quality of Ingredients
Care/Of provides detailed information on where they source the supplements and guarantees the purity and high quality of the ingredients. I guess I will have to take their word on it. But from what I have seen so far, the quality of their products look promising:
- Ashwagandha is certified organic, non-GMO and Care/Of sources it from sustainable small farms in India
- Rhodiola parts are sustainably collected in the Altai Mountains (Siberia)
- Zinc (see below) is balanced with copper, a very combination that ensures a mineral balance in the body
- Kanna (sceletium tortuosum) is grown and harvested sustainably in South Africa
Is Care/Of Cheaper than Amazon Brands?
Naturally, the first thing I did was to go to Amazon and look up the cost of each of the supplements there. As an Amazon Prime member (you should definitely try Prime membership for free!), I looked only at the Prime options (which come with free one or two days delivery). After taking a number of pills and dosage in consideration, the prices were comparable:
On Amazon, organic Ashwagandha would cost me approximately 10 dollars per month – compared to 8 dollars per monthly pack from Care/Of.
Amazon offers a monthly supply of Rhodiola for about 11 dollars – compared to 8 dollars from Care/Of.
The monthly supply of Kanna (Sceletium Tortuosum) sells for about 40 dollars – compared to 10 dollars per monthly pack from Care/Of.
Vitamin D, no doubt is one of the best supplements for minimalists living in the areas with low exposure to sun. But I already have a good supply of it and it can be found much cheaper on Amazon, so I removed it from the pack (yep, you can easily adjust the contents of your pack before ordering it).
Finally, the price of monthly supply of Astaxanthin on Amazon is about 9 dollars – which is comparable to 10 dollars per pack form Care/Of.
Supplements for Minimalists: My Personal Selection
I then ran additional research online about each of the supplements and decided to remove vitamin D (I already have it), Kanna (benefits are minimal or unproven) and Astaxanthin (redundant) from the pack. I did, however, add Zinc (5 dollars per month) for immunity support. As a result, I ended up with the following monthly pack:
The total amount came to 21 dollars, with free shipping (Care/Of offers free shipping on all orders above USD20). This is definitely cheaper than buying all 3 separately online or from the brick-and-mortar pharmacy. Overall, I think Care/Of is a convenient and affordable source of dietary supplements for minimalists like me.
I will post an update when I receive my first pack!