Thank you to Ricola® Herb & Throat drops for sponsoring this post as part of an ongoing campaign with Socialstars. #swissherbs
I’ve been paying attention to what’s in my food for a long time now; I counsel my AnneTheRD clients to look not at calories and fat but at ingredient lists – and to make sure that what’s listed is not a mile long, and also all things they recognize as real food.
But it only occurred to me a couple years ago that food wasn’t the only thing I should be looking at ingredients lists of – much of our medicine cabinet and over-the-counter cough/cold products required a second look, too.
Years ago, I remember looking at the ingredient list on some old cough drops we had lying around, and saw the following: Menthol, Eucalyptus Oil, FD&C Blue 2, FD&C Red 40, Artificial Flavors, Glucose Syrup, Soy Lecithin, Sucralose, Sucrose, Water. Another one I found had this list: Menthol, acesulfame potassium, aspartame, beta carotene, FD&C blue no. 1, flavors, isomalt, sodium carboxymethylcellulose, soy lecithin, water.
Hold up. What?! There’s food dye, lots of stuff I can’t pronounce, artificial flavors, AND artificial sweeteners in something that’s supposed to make me feel better?! I seriously could not believe that a product like that was being marketed as health promoting, and I felt like an idiot I hadn’t realized sooner that I should be looking at ingredient lists on more than just food.
Since then, I worked to rebuild not just what we kept in our pantry but in our medicine cabinet and bathroom drawers, too, and during this process was when I first found Ricola.
I spotted Ricola one day at Whole Foods, and figured that since they were being sold at Whole Foods (which has high standards for products it accepts/what can be in those products) they had to be better than my old drops. Sure enough, here was the ingredient list on the Ricola revitalizing herb drops: Sugar, starch syrup, citric acid, sodium bicarbonate, ginseng extract, lemon juice concentrate, natural flavors, extract of lemon balm and a Ricola herb mixture (elder, horehound, hyssop, lemon balm, linden flowers, mallow, peppermint, sage, thyme, wild thyme), natural color (beta-carotene).
Wow. That was sure an improvement, huh?
Ricola gave us free rein on the topic for this month’s partnership post, and I thought this would be an interesting and hopefully helpful thing to post about. I figure I can’t be the only one who didn’t realize that more than just packaged food has bizarre additives!
So, my friends: next time you’re picking something up at the drugstore, take a look at that ingredient list! I’ve been really surprised by what’s hiding in many products I previously wouldn’t have thought twice about buying. Obviously, if there’s no other choice, then sometimes you have to make do with the options that are there, but if you do have a choice, why not pick something with a more real, natural ingredient list?
What products have you swapped out lately for better alternatives? Another big one for me was chapstick, since I realized that mine had food dye in it, and considering I used it all day every day/probably swallowed half of it, I felt it was worth the switch! I found some great ones made with coconut oil and essential oils that I love. I’m planning to share a post with some of the best natural beauty/home products I’ve found soon, if you guys are interested! I was especially pumped to FINALLY find a good natural deodorant… and organic mascara!