Why 'Pure, Potent and Sustainable' Matters
Long gone are the days when you’d have to hunt for supplements or functional foods at a specialist health store. You can find supplements and nutraceuticals everywhere these days - from salons to supermarkets. Which isn’t always a good thing! So, why wouldn’t you pick up a bottle of vitamins whilst you’re getting your weekly food shop?
If you choose to use supplements - quality is key. Read on to find out why you should care that the formulas you buy are Pure, Potent and Sustainable.
Why it matters
Whether you’re looking at a packet of food or a bottle of MCT oil, it’s important to know exactly what ingredients you’re putting into your body. Many times you can look at the front of the packaging and feel as if you’re making a healthy choice, but to really determine whether or not it’s as health-giving as it promises, you need to read the ingredient list.
Purity is of vital importance. Good quality products will be transparent about their ingredients and, if they are high quality, are likely to shout this from the rooftops. The first ingredient on the list is the most abundant in the product - good to know if the first ingredient you come across is sugar…
Low-quality supplements can often contain additives alongside the active ingredients such as lubricants, colourings, thickening or caking agents and binders, that may block your body from absorbing the nutrients you actually want. Or, in the case of some sweeteners or stabilisers such as dipotassium phosphate, they may mess with your microbiome. Fillers can sometimes contain allergens such as gluten or soy; unhelpful for those who need to carefully navigate these ingredients. Rest assured, all of Ancient + Brave products are 100% natural and free from artificial ingredients, GMOs, fillers, and refined sugars.
It’s also not common knowledge that in some low-grade supplements you can find contaminants such as mould, heavy metals like mercury, pesticides and other toxic substances.
Ensuring your formulations are pure starts with the sourcing of ingredients. Do they come from a non-toxic environment? Are they produced with natural farming processes which limit the amount of pesticides or hormones? It’s helpful to look for certification from organisations such as the Soil Association, who hold rigorous sets of standards in aspects of the supply chain. Sourcing the best ingredients from environmentally conscious and organic suppliers wherever possible, is a priority at Ancient + Brave.
It is also important to avoid animal products (e.g. where collagen comes) from low quality animal or marine sources, that have been grain-fed or with poor farming practices.
Whilst ethically this is an important choice, nutritionally it also makes a difference to the quality of the collagen.
Looking for words such as ‘grass-fed’ or ‘wild-caught’ can signify the quality of where animal derived products are sourced. Grass-fed or pasture-raised means the animal was able to forage and feed on its natural diet, which then leads to higher levels of certain nutrients compared to animals fed excessive grains and containing lower levels of antibiotics, pesticides, and other toxins. Simply, the diet the animals eat is also going to reflect in the quality of their collagen, which is why, in the True Collagen, Ancient + Brave choose grass fed cows sourced from the EU.
When using Bovine collagen it’s also key to look at ensuring that it is sourced from the hide rather than derived from bone or cartilage. Collagen sourced from the hide is thought to be the cleanest, as this part of the animal is constantly being regenerated and regrown throughout its life.
Similarly, wild-caught fish are also more likely to have a better nutrient profile compared with farmed fish thanks to their natural diets and active lifestyle. Farmed fish are often fed grains or pellets and are kept in small enclosures. This can mean they are at greater risk of lice and bacteria so are often treated with antibiotics and in some cases, hormones too. This has an impact on your own health when you ingest these compounds. Ancient + Brave's Wild Collagen comes from fish that are wild caught, free from hormones and antibiotics and sourced sustainably from the North Atlantic.
Finally, when it comes to purity, it is worth noting how your supplements, particularly oils are stored. Glass packaging, as well as being a better choice for the environment also forms a natural barrier against contamination and safely preserves its contents for longer. Dark coloured glass particularly protects the ingredients from light, which in the case of oils, such as MCT is important. Oxidation from light can cause the oils to go rancid, reducing the quality, taste, nutritional benefits and efficacy. Glass is also one of the few containers that does not leach hormone disrupting chemicals into its contents like many plastics can.
You’ll find our formulations in glass bottles and plastic-free materials where possible, plus our Ritual Jar cleverly filters out the damaging UV and infrared rays, which means that your product inside is preserved and helps maintain its nutritional value, taste, colour and aroma for longer.
Why it matters
In the Wild West of supplements, there are some products out there that simply don’t contain enough of the key ingredients to be effective. It’s not just knowing that the ingredient is in the product - the correct dose is required. Thankfully there is a huge number of nutritional research studies that provide evidence that certain nutrients have beneficial actions when supplied in sufficiently high enough doses. These should then be used to determine how much you find in your daily intake.
NRV or Nutrient Reference Value (which replaced the older term RDA - Recommended Daily Allowance) is a guide which is used to help prevent deficiency, but the levels may not be suitable for optimal health. Some lower quality products skimp on their levels to provide the minimum requirement. On the other hand, having too much of some nutrients can also negatively affect your health and at worst, cause harm. Our formulations do more than just address minimum nutritional requirements; we look to offer high, yet safe doses of some of the vitamins and minerals our bodies need for optimal health.
Potency in Plants
Rather than solely using nutrients in isolation, plants have a beautiful synergy in how they provide a broad range of bioactive compounds. It’s worth noting that plants and botanicals grown organically appear to have more of certain antioxidants and types of flavonoids, ensuring nutritionally they are most potent. Simply put, the sourcing of ingredients = better quality nutrition. We have looked to use mother nature as inspiration and included some of her best botanicals; from turmeric to haskap berry.
Key to potency is whether or not you are actually able to absorb the nutrition you are taking in. Rather than ‘you are what you eat’, more true to optimal health is ‘you are what you absorb’. For you to do that, you have to be able to break compounds down. Hydrolysed collagen peptides are a great example of a highly absorbable nutrient as they have already been broken down into a bioavailable form.
Bioavailability refers to the amount of nutrients that your body is able to absorb. There are also many different forms of nutrients and some are simply much easier for the body to absorb and use than others. Different forms also may have slightly different benefits. For example, magnesium is available in different forms such as oxide (cheapest yet worst at absorption) to citrate (great for constipation), bisglycinate (high bioavailability) or taurate (good for blood sugar balancing). It’s always worth doing your research or working with a health professional to find the right form for your goals.
Moving and resting your body and getting your nutrition in check is important for your health. But true health and wellness goes beyond the individual. It looks at the bigger picture. As part of nature itself, it’s important to consider how our health also impacts the health of the planet we live on.
As a company, Ancient + Brave are fully committed to developing the best products sourced from environmentally conscious, sustainable and organic suppliers wherever possible, not only to provide you with pure and potent ingredients, but also to consider how they are impacting the environment as a whole.
When it comes to sustainability, for Ancient + Brave - every decision matters. That’s why they strive to produce the best products whilst doing as little harm to the planet as possible.
If this is high on your agenda too, it’s key to look for certified brands which aim to work within the parameters set by organisations such as;
B-Corp - becoming a certified B-corp represents a steadfast commitment to building a more inclusive and sustainable economy which balances profit and purpose. By being a certified B-corp, Ancient + Brave hold themselves accountable to the highest standards of third-party verified requirements. From sourcing to packaging to workers, customers, community and the environment - no stone is left unturned.
Ancient + Brave have become a leader in the field by being one of B Corps highest scoring wellness brands globally.
1 % for the planet - Founded to prevent greenwashing, certify reputable giving and provide accountability, 1% For The Planet also means donating 1% of all sales to environmental causes that protect the planet - the more businesses and individuals that join the greater the impact this can have.
Soil Association - Ancient + Brave delicious organic blends Cacao + Collagen and Coffee + Collagen are certified by the UK’s leading organic body which imposes a rigorous set of standards in all aspects of the supply chain.
MSC certified - MSC certification is a way of showing that a fishery meets international best practice for sustainable fishing. Sourcing marine collagen with an MSC certification ensures you are buying sustainably caught fish
ESG Mark: Environmental, Social, Governance mark is awarded as a symbol of trust and distinction, which allows you the consumer to identify which organisations truly believe in and act to deliver a more sustainable future.
FSC Certified: This relates to the packaging used which can be recyclable or biodegradable for sure, but it should also be responsibly sourced and processed. The FSC certification ensures that the Forest Stewardship Council has confirmed the packaging used meets the highest standards of sustainability. Ancient + Brave use responsible and recyclable resources for all of our packaging including glass, FSC certified card and compostable pouches.