Whole food supplements are foods that have had the fiber and water removed, leaving the vitamins, minerals, organic compounds, and enzymes. Our bodies evolved with whole foods for thousands of years, so we function best if all of the needed ingredients are provided. Otherwise, it’s like baking bread without yeast – 95% of the ingredients are there, but the bread comes out like a rock.
Most supplements available in drugstores, discount retailers, and even nutrition specialty stores contain synthetic nutrients. The original product may be a whole food, but it is chemically processed and heated to isolate a single chemical compound. This compound was identified as having health benefits like preventing scurvy, using ascorbic acid (the approved chemical name for vitamin C) as an example. However, the complete nutrient is not there, because the enzymes and cofactors are missing. Let’s look at a simple carrot. When analyzed by chemists, it was found to have over 200 unique chemicals. It would take decades to figure out which of those components had certain health benefits. Since we know that our bodies are designed to eat whole foods like carrots, it just makes common sense to take them in whole food supplement form if our diets are lacking high-quality whole foods. The FDA’s labeling laws do not require manufacturers to identify on the label whether their ingredients are produced in a laboratory or come from whole foods with minimal processing.
Whole food supplements typically have less than 100% of the U.S. RDA for a handful of nutrients. In fact, one cannot get more than about 15 mg of vitamin C into a normal-sized tablet. All the pills with more than this amount are nothing more than the isolated chemical ascorbic acid, which is just a portion of the vitamin C complex. One of the many superior qualities about naturally-occurring whole food supplements is that small amounts are needed daily because the nutrient complexes are already whole. When you ingest a partial or isolated vitamin, the body assumes you meant to ingest a whole vitamin. The body will draw on its own reserves of nutrients to “build” the complete vitamin so it can be used the way our bodies have been using whole foods for ages. Also, the body cannot absorb large doses of isolated nutrients at once – any excess nutrients will be removed from the body as wastes.
It is difficult to eat enough whole foods every day to satisfy the body’s requirements for nutrition. In America, our bodies require more than “RDA” amounts of nutrients because we lack proper rest and relaxation and are exposed to multiple toxins in our food supply, our environment, the personal care products we choose, and the products we select to maintain our homes. Also, the soil is depleted of nutrients, so even organically grown foods are not as nutrient-dense as they were before the development of agriculture. Consult with a knowledgeable healthcare professional to determine whether there are toxicities and deficiencies in your diet that indicate the use of whole food supplements.
You may be surprised to know that in the 1940s, there were seven food groups. Before that, in the 1930s, there were TWELVE food groups. Since our attempts at making shortcuts in our diets have not succeeded in making us healthier, common sense suggests that we should return to eating a wide variety of whole foods, with extra help from supplements if needed. Create your vital life with whole food supplements!