Supplements versus Whole Foods – Part 1

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It is estimated that 75% of Americans take some type of supplement in the form of vitamins, minerals, specialty supplements, herbs / botanicals, sports nutrition or weight loss formulas. This is a $30.7 billion dollar industry that continues to grow as people try to retake control of their health.

Eating food with limited nutritional value and taking vitamins to balance poor foods choices is not a way to manage your health.

There is so much emphasis placed on key nutrients that consumers feel the need to take supplements to ensure that they are getting the proper nutrients.

In this post and my next one, I am hoping to simplify some information so that you can make a more informed decision as to whether or not you need to supplement your diet.

 “When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct, medicine is of no need.”—Ayurvedic proverb

When we isolate a nutrient from the food, such as Magnesium (which is found in legumes, nuts, seeds, leafy greens and delicious dark chocolate to name a few sources) we lose the benefit of the fiber and other nutrients. The body has a harder time knowing what to do when you only give it a magnesium capsule. If you provide the body with foods that are rich in magnesium it can properly process and use it to fuel and nourish the body’s tissues.

Taking supplements has become a careless pastime of many people. Without understanding the maximum Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) that one should take in a day can lead to build up of that vitamin or mineral in the fatty tissue of the body’s organs, cause intestinal discomfort or just create really expensive urine!

Is taking supplements an easy out for better nutrition?

By taking supplements and relying on them to serve as nourishment for your bodily tissues you are depriving your body of being able to function as it is supposed to.  Supplements do not satiate the body’s need for good quality food.  

We have become a society that wants to rely on pills instead of taking back that beautiful connection that we use to have with food and being able to intuitively understand what our body needs to function efficiently.

Learn what foods are best for your constitution and condition you are trying to manage. Be present when preparing meals for yourself and your family. See if you can incorporate all the colors of the rainbow, almost a guaranteed way to ensure you are getting all of your vitamins and minerals naturally through whole food.

In my next post I will discuss when taking supplements for a short period of time or under certain circumstances can be helpful to maintain your health.

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