Health, healing and vitality cannot be achieved without a balanced wholefood diet, exercise, detoxification and spiritual and emotional well-being. Sadly our foods are so adulterated these days that even when we think we are eating well, we are probably not. Even so-called “organically-grown” foods are often grown in mineral-depleted soils and many of the nutrients that man enjoyed when he “lived off the land” are now missing in our diets. Already back in the early 1900s Dr Charles Northern, a physician turned soil science expert, claimed “Human health starts in the soil“. So, supplementing our diets, no matter how healthy and organic we think they are, with nutrients that our bodies are designed to have, has become non-negotiable.
The big question now is: Which supplements are best? After all, as you will be aware, there are two distinctly different types of supplement – wholefood and synthetic.
What are wholefood supplements?
Wholefood supplements contain vital active ingredients, antioxidants, enzymes, co-enzymes, trace elements, vitamins and minerals, fibre, essential fatty acids all working synergistically to enable the whole complex to do its job effectively in your body.
Natural wholefood supplements offer the greatest level of nutritional and bio-available vitality.
Synthetic nutrients are what you are most likely to get in mainstream supplements found on the health store shelves. They are manufactured in a lab using chemicals not real food, and the processing methods may result in a product that is quite foreign to the body. Some contain more toxic additives in the form of fillers, colourants, sweeteners or binders than the nutrients they claim to provide. They are not unlike the processed Western diets they aim to supplement.
Synthetic nutrients are no replacement for a healthy, balanced diet.
Synthetic anything is not good for your body—or the planet, for that matter.
Synthetic supplement companies often release single-vitamin supplements, also known as isolated nutrients, unscrupulously disregarding the knowledge that certain compounds need other compounds to be both effective and safe. For example, calcium supplementation alone cannot remedy osteoporosis. Vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, potassium, boron and vitamin D are also needed for proper absorption of calcium. The vitamin C (ascorbic acid) or vitamin E (delta tocopherol) you can find on most health food store shelves are parts of an entire complex that serve a purpose when part of the whole. They simply cannot do the job of the entire complex by themselves and on their own they are less effective.
For an isolated nutrient to work properly in the body, it must also contain all the other parts that are naturally present in the food. If the parts are not all there from the start, the missing nutrients are taken from the body’s stored supply. This is how too much of any single mineral or vitamin could lead to depletion of the others. You may find that once your body’s store of extra nutrients is used up, usually after about 3 months, the isolated nutrient you’re taking doesn’t work as well anymore. So you may have temporarily fixed one deficiency but ended up creating more health challenges as other imbalances in your body occur.
It’s all about absorption
When it comes to supplementing nutrients in your diet it is not what you ingest that counts, rather it is what you absorb that really matters. Some people might absorb less than 10% of a synthetic pill. The fact of the matter is that your body responds quite differently to a serving of fruits and vegetables than it does to a capsule of artificial nutrients.
Why aren’t all supplements wholefood based?
There are many reasons, but it mostly comes down to the fact that it’s very costly to produce and preserve whole-food superfoods. It is essential that they are as close as possible to their natural form and they must be guaranteed organic – free of any contaminants such as heavy metals or pesticides. It takes time, money, and specialized equipment and techniques to maintain the integrity of the food once it’s been plucked from its source. The utmost care has to be taken in all phases of its production, from growing its ingredients, to manufacturing, testing for potency and quality control.
Even real-food supplements, if not balanced correctly or altered in any way, can lead to imbalances in the body. Luckily reputable companies like Vibrant Health, whose mission is to support the natural biology of the human body, and work with the environment that sustains it, do exist. Always only select from companies that have long track records of providing high-quality products with full disclosure labelling ie every ingredient and it’s quantity must be listed on the label.
Never sell your health to the lowest bidder.