Most people never think much when they’re about to take their daily capsules of magnesium, calcium, or better yet multi-vitamins. It is also less common for people to stop and think about how much of these nutrients they’re actually getting from these supplements. Let’s first look into the difference between synthetic and real supplements.
Synthetic supplements are typically what you find in most retail and/or grocery stores. They claim to be the vitamin you’re looking for, with all the nutrients and beneficiaries needed. However, these supplements actually contain fewer nutrients than what they claim to be stating. Synthetic supplements are not derived from whole foods, as what you find in vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, carrots and so forth. The production consists of creating complex structures that resemble ones found in actual whole foods, but this creates a problem (Rubin, 2006). Not only is there a lack of recognition of these supplements in the human body, these complex recreated structures are not used as food in the human body – which is all due to the lack of important nutrients (Rubin. 2006). This simply means that there are very little or no nutrients being absorbed as it passes through the digestive system. You’re probably thinking, “Well why are they selling these supplements in stores?” Sadly it’s all about the money. Companies have found ways to produce cheaper supplements, and with cheaper supplements it increases their ability to make more at a lower cost.
In contrast, whole food supplements are derived from the very source of the food it comes from. The process it goes through is known as probiotic fermentation (Rubin, 2006). This process allows the nutrients to be fermented in a way that is similar to the human body’s digestive process (Rubin, 2006). As the nutrients from the whole food supplements pass through the digestive system, it is recombined in the identical form found in food (Rubin, 2006). This allows the body to both identify these whole food nutrients and use it. Whole food supplements can be found in health food stores and/or organic markets such as the Whole Foods Market, Organic Garage, etc.
However, supplements should never be used to replace eating real whole foods, such as vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Supplements are just a means to help assist our dietary lifestyles. They help to boost improvements in our immune system which helps to defend our bodies from diseases such as osteoporosis. Supplements should be working alongside a well-balanced health conscious lifestyle. The balance includes all that is physical, mental, spiritual and emotional. Supplements will not improve your health if your holistic well-being is not balanced. Remember it takes two to tango!
Really great whole food supplements to invest in are whole food multi-vitamins, omega-3 cod-liver oil, whole food calcium, magnesium, and flaxseed oil (Rubin, 2006).
With continuous mimicking of nature, it is no wonder we’re left with less of what we started with. Herbs, spices, vegetables and fruits were created for a reason. Let’s take it upon ourselves to embrace these foods in their whole forms and nothing less, because at the end of the day you’re doing this for you and your body and no one else.
- – Amanda
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