Product Review : Swanson Health Products

A few weeks ago I came across a review on a fellow bloggers page, and immediately became intrigued with Swanson Health Products. After all, I have never been impressed with my local health foods store or the selection of healthy items at the grocery store.

And let’s be real, I’m too lazy important to travel more than 2 miles for food.

After reading the requirements to be a potential reviewer, I sent in my “application”. I worked hard on it and hoped for the best, perhaps in a few weeks or months or even next year. Well, only a few short days after I emailed my info, they wrote me back to say I was being granted a $25.00 credit to the on-line store. Sweet!

My order consisted of:

For general knowledge and honesty, I must tell you this exceeded my $25.00 credit. Partially because shipping is $5.00 (unless you sign up for the newsletter, then it’s free after your spend like $45.00). Also the L-G I could have gotten in tablet form which would have been MUCH cheaper than powder, but I only knew to mix it in water. At the time I thought this would be more convenient. I also ordered products from the Swanson line, although some products were cheaper from another name brand. My thought was, I wanted to review not just the service, but the products too.

The Website/Business

Personally I found it to be very easy to navigate. Each item has clear images with very detailed descriptions. If there was a question in my mind, there was an easily discovered solution. One of my favorite things is how clear the nutrition facts appear. Some sites seem to hide this data, or it’s a tiny badly scanned hand drawn cave drawing. No secrets here.

Oh! And if you don’t know what you’re looking for, there is an excellent page with all categories and products listed.

From my experience the customer service is amazing. Questions are quickly answered and with enough detail that I felt I matter. I’ve been following them on Facebook and Twitter for a few weeks, and they have a laid-back style and are always posting new deals or giveaways.

I chose regular shipping and was sincerely impressed with how soon my products were on my door step. When I received my order, a coupon for 5.00 off my next order was in the box. This is great, because I’m going to need some refills!

One negative I found, and it’s not really their fault I suppose, some products are hmmmm let’s say not really meant to be left out in the sun too long. When my stuff was delivered it was on my front porch for a while…the sun butter needed to be in the fridge for about a day and the chia seeds wouldn’t open without going into the freezer for a while because the plastic got warped in the heat. If there is an option to ship w/ signature required, that might be nice, or if some of the boxes could be labeled “sun sensitive” or something?

Since I’m doing a review about an on-line store, aside from shipping and customer service, what is it that everyone wants to know? How are the prices?

As you read in the beginning, I’m lazy important. I don’t travel for food. So I compared my three choices with what I could find at Giant Eagle, GNC and Cappabianca’s (the local hippy store).

White Chia Seeds: Swanson $9.89 for a 16oz jar

                                 Giant Eagle: Could not find them

                                 Capp: $8.79 for a 12oz bag

                                 GNC: Per the store…they do not sell (or know what they are)

Organic Sun Butter: Swanson $5.99 for a 16oz jar

                                    Giant Eagle: $5.99 for a 16oz jar

                                    Capp: $6.69 for a 16oz jar (also a “crunchy” version on sale

                                               for $4.69, but normally $6.69)

                                    GNC: Not available

L-Glutamine: Swanson 14.99 for a 12oz jar (powder)

                        Giant Eagle: Only available as pills/tabs/caps

                        Capp: Available as pills (sold out of powder, normally $45-50)

                        GNC: Available as pills. Also $19.99 for 8oz/42.99 for

                                   16oz/$74.99 for 32oz, all buy 1 get 1 50% off

Before moving on, you should investigate the Top 5 Reasons to Shop at Swanson Health Products

The Products

Organic Sun Butter

According to the site: Introducing Swanson Organic SunButter. Organic Creamy SunButter contains only the pure goodness of certified-organic sunflower seeds–with no added salt or sugar! SunButter is power-packed with a mix of mono and polyunsaturated fats, high levels of vitamin E, protein, fiber, minerals and phytonutrients–all important to the nutritional quality of your diet. Delicious alternative to peanut butter–use in sandwiches, snacks, and other recipes. Kids love it! Made in a peanut- and tree nut-free facility.

One thing I was drawn to is the amount of added minerals compared to PB. Yes, it is high in fat/cals, but I think if you plan your meals correctly it’s a wonderful addition to a diet. The consistency has always been a little runny for me, even with keeping it in the fridge. So far I’ve tried it on crackers, fruit, toasts, and a sandwich. Each way I have loved it and wanted more! Peanut Butter always left an after taste in my mouth, Sun Butter doesn’t do that and I don’t feel like it’s still talking to me or coating my stomach a few hours later.

White Chia Seeds

According to the site: Chia seeds really are a nutrient-dense super-food, and if it’s Salvia hispanica it’s just that–chia! We’ll make no outrageous claims about our Chia seeds, except to say that just two tablespoons of these tiny little white seeds deliver a daily dose of fiber, protein, calcium, essential fatty acids and more. We sought only the finest White Chia seeds to carry the Swanson name. This product is guaranteed to be 100% pure, unprocessed and ready-to-use in your favorite recipe. Try it as a salad topper, mix it in soups, dips or sauces, or get creative–chia is versatile, nutritious and now affordable!

I decided to try chia seeds, because runner friends rave about them and I kept reading about them in various sports magazines. When given the chance to try them for “free” I jumped at it. At first I was a little leery; it was a jar full of seeds! Seeds people paste on ceramic molds to make strange counter decorations, right? Well, I’m glad I tried them, because I think they’re the bee’s knees. Honestly, I’m still not sure what purpose they serve. The site claims a good source of fiber, protein and calcium, all good for a growing lady who works out a lot and doesn’t always make great foods choices, huh? I asked around and was told they’re a great source of Omega-3. Ahh now that I’ve heard about!

Basically I’ve eaten them every which way for the past week+ and I’m pleased. They DO I repeat DO get stuck in my braces. This is annoying. Still a quick brushing solves the issue. And if you’re like me you will want to brush, because once these things get wet, they get slimy and that is not a good feeling between and against your teeth and gums! The first day I tried to eat them by drinking them in a glass of water. HOLY DON’T DO THAT! Eww. Like instant goo, instant WTF. Just don’t. I find they work lovely in oatmeal, yogurt, cottage cheese, my pasta/creamy dinner, on my SB toast. They add a little crunch to whatever you’re eating, but they don’t have a flavor to ruin whatever you mix it with. Also, one serving is one scoop (included) but I find this way too many seeds. I’ve been using only half a scoop and have been happy with the results. Not that I know what to expect, but I do feel cleaner and healthier and more energized on the days I use them.

L-Glutamine

According to the website: Fortify your muscles and your mind every day with the pure amino acid nutrition of L-Glutamine! A popular favorite among fitness buffs, glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in skeletal muscle tissues, where it works naturally to promote strength and endurance–but that’s not all it does. Glutamine’s unique molecular structure allows it to pass through the blood/brain barrier to nourish vital brain tissues. Once in the brain, glutamine is converted into glutamic acid, the base material for key neurotransmitters needed for healthy mental and nervous system function.

So far I’ve used it once. That’s right once. Partially because it’s not easy to use, partially because of the one time I used it. I took a bag with the powder in it to a group run one night. After the run I dumped the powder into my water (10 oz). It seemed to dissolve. As I was drinking it I noted a slight taste to my water. Not bad, but almost like it was chalky. Near the bottom I got a mouth full of powder which was unexpected and mostly gross. I’ve been afraid to try it since then, it wasn’t a good experience. The logical side of me knows I should simply put it in more water…but I’m not always logical. The reason I say it isn’t easy, it that I use water that’s in my car already (I carry a case of Aquafina). This is NOT green or environmentally friendly I am very much aware. Still, if I carry water bottles, I forgot about them and then they get moldy. I have no issue tossing a generic water bottle of Aquafina in the recycle bin. I have huge issues have to throw out my real water bottles.

I always read this is a great produce to use after a run. Personally I’m hooked on the chocolate milk + fig newtons routine. And I doubt I will be adding this to my C. milk! Although I read essentially what C milk lacks is L-glutamine or else it’d be a perfect recovery tool. Hmmm. Instead I’m going to try and drink it in the morning with my AM water. Getting something in my system is better than going without I suppose.

*****

Overall I am pleased with this site and products, for now they have my business. The prices are either the same as local stores or a ton better and for me, I’m not about to drive to 4 different locations for 3 products. This was a really fun review to do, and I’m glad I was able to learn about them from Allison.

P.S. If you have a blog and you’re interested in getting some free Swanson Health Products goodies to review, check out the Swanson Health Blog for all the details.

2 thoughts on “Product Review : Swanson Health Products

  1. I have been contemplating chia seeds for a while… I didn't know why, just kept hearing people talk about them, so I was going to do some research… The sunbutter looks interesting. I'd like to compare the nutritional info versus PB..

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