I have to say I have never been a fan of supplements. Ever since I started to have a healthier diet I also started to read everything about the subject and supplements were one of the first things I discarded, going more for the natural thing.
For nine years I have been following a vegan diet and never took a supplement, not even while pregnant, not even while breastfeeding. No deficiencies, no ailments.
During that time I read and discussed about the subject with experts of all kinds and my conclusion was always the same: synthetic nutrients are anything but good for our health.
Synthetic supplements like those in multivitamin pills are made artificially and with an industrial process whereas natural supplements are obtained from whole food. Although the majority of the supplements available in the market today are synthetic, you can also find the natural ones.
How to figure out which is what?
Well, read the label: if it is natural it lists the whole foods it is made of and if it is made artificially you will find a list of ingredients with names like ascorbic acid, vitamin C etc.
Synthetic nutrients are supposed to mimic the way natural vitamins act in our bodies. The problem with isolated nutrients (vitamin A, C, folic acid etc. individually) is the fact that the body does not recognize them and cannot therefore use them in any way. The result is just extra waste your filters (kidneys and liver) will need to deal with.
The vitamin C you can find in oranges is “magic” because of all the other nutrients surrounding and activating it; remove the vitamin C from its natural environment and the magic will be gone.
Furthermore, synthetic vitamins are devoid of necessary trace minerals and will force your body to use its own mineral reserves. Ironically, if you exceed with synthetic supplements you will end up with mineral deficiencies.
In conclusion, synthetic supplements are not bio-compatible and are to be avoided.
What about whole food supplements?
Fruit and vegetables are ideally a perfectly balanced compound of vitamins and nutrients; a diet with lots of raw fruit and vegetables is undoubtedly the best way to get all the nutrients you need; unfortunately, the produce we have available today do not offer the nutrient density they are supposed to, for various reasons:
- Soils are generally poorer, more contaminated
- Fruits and vegetables are picked up when they are still green to allow long transportation, i.e. an apple getting ripe in your kitchen will have half the nutrients of an apple picked up ripe from the tree.
- Storage in the fridge during transportation and sale alters the properties of the produce
So, even if you have a very healthy diet, with lots of fruit and veggies, you might still be missing some nutrients. In that case you might want to use whole food supplements, which are basically dehydrated fruits and veggies (same nutrients – water).
I started using such whole food supplements myself few months ago; I was going through a stressful moment and my defenses were low. A friend recommended them to me and, because I trust her, I gave it a try.
Four months later, I can say my energy significantly improved; I get tired less easily, when I work out my body responds better, after decades I am back enjoying running. Unbelievable for me!
What I like about these products is the concept behind the brand, the idea to make improvements in our health by acting on our lifestyle while taking these colorful nutrient-dense capsules. A well done coaching program to help you make small changes to boost your energy. Same thing I am doing.
I do keep a very healthy diet and I do not see these supplements as a replacement, but I am feeling benefits at different levels. Why not then?
Let’s not forget they have a chewable version! For the first time my daughter is allowed to have “candies”!!
I believe that a natural supplement might be particularly beneficial for those who are still stuck in an unhealthy diet and struggle with weight.
As soon as your body starts to receive real nutrients, it will ask for more because she is a smart girl.
My recommendation in general is to explore, experiment with foods and all the things that resonate with you. Just make sure to be curious enough and learn the good and the bad of it, read the label if it is food, look for opposite opinions for anything else.
But most of all, trust your gut and listen to your body. Search for the right thing, for you.