Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Real Food vs Supplements

I was reading my Well Being Journal magazine the other day. Its a really interesting little publication jammed packed with healthy little tidbits of information. What I really love about it is that on just about each page there is a side bar of short articles. And then there are longer content articles just like any other magazine without all the junky advertising.

What I just read was about the notion of vitamin supplements as a replacement for food. I think we can all agree on the fact, that its better to get our nutrition from food, right?

I think a lot of people feel like they are going to eat McDonalds or some other not so healthy things in lieu of a salad for lunch so they should pop a vitamin to make up for the missed nutrients. That's logical.

The problem with that, though, is that it assumes  our bodies react very simplistically to each vitamin and mineral in our bodies. It would assume that for every vitamin in a generic amount there is a set reaction occurring in our body. That just isn't the case.
Our bodies are like interconnected webs. They are very complex. Its a tad on the confusing side, even.

And, as if it wasn't confusing enough, and we all know this already, every single one of our bodies is made differently. We all need the same nutrients but we need them in differing amounts and formulations with other nutrients.

What studies have shown is that single nutrients, especially in a man made imitation form, is not only not helpful to our bodies, but can be harmful!!! You can actually overdose on vitamins. Even if you don't overdose on them, they can have an adverse effect! You can NOT however, overdose on fruits and veggies. The reason is that there aren't JUST vitamins in our foods. There isn't JUST vitamin C in an orange for instance.

In fact, an interesting little tidbit is that ascorbic acid, the ingredient found in vitamin C tablets is actually toxic! Who knew? Well....now YOU do!

There are other things in our foods that work synergistically together with all the other nutrients to make us healthy. The food is in itself a living web of an organism. Add to that our bodies are living webs of organisms with each organ and system working in concert with each other using food to create, repair, heal, and grow on a cellular level. Its all very complex. Our bodies pull out the nutrients from the foods we eat, send it where it needs to go, uses it, and discards the rest.

For it to be able to that, other nutrients and enzymes are needed in addition. They come from the foods themselves and in some cases our own bodies. That means, everything has to work together.

Now imagine you go to McDonalds for lunch. ( I use McDonalds as just a generic processed food. I could easily change that with ALL processed, man made, and chemical laden foods!!!) When you do that, you throw a monkey wrench into the works. Your body is still trying to use what it can. So, it pulls out what it THINKS is nutrients or the closest thing it can find and sends it into the systems of our bodies to be used. It goes into the cells, jacks everything up and recreates itself into a mutant!!

You know what mutant cells are?


Lets say its not that bad in your body. Lets say they don't mutate. Lets say, they just become weakened. A couple things happen there.
One could be you just have a weakened immune system leaving you vulnerable to contagious illness. The other could be that you have a weakened immune system that goes haywire and leads to auto-immune diseases like multiple sclerosis, parkinson's, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.

Maybe you already knew that. I mean, seriously. Who DOESN'T know that fast food is bad for you. 

But, maybe you didn't know this.......
Vitamins, even the "whole food" vitamins are not really that good for you. Because it takes away the "interconnectedness" of the food. Because even the whole food vitamins are man made with a little bit of dried vegetable and/or fruit powder mixed in and pressed into a tablet or capsule. Most vitamins are just man made representations of the natural vitamins. So, those are even worse.

You may be saying..."Wait a minute! I can go have blood work done and test the levels of all vitamins in my body." Yeah, well, maybe. In fact, that is true. You may have plenty of vitamins in your body. But, the real, bigger question is "Are those vitamins doing anything in my body??" If not, you'll know. You'll see them exiting your body in your urine. I know you've seen the bright yellow pee in your toilet after you've taken some vitamins.

If you just eat plenty of organic, fresh fruits and vegetables, grass fed beef, free range chickens, raw dairy, drink lots of water, get some exercise, and go outside for a bit and you won't even need supplements.
If you've read this blog any length of time, you'll know that we're enamored of Monavie. just 4 oz a day has the antioxidant equivalent of 13 servings of fruits and veggies. We use that as a supplement to our diet because its just 19 organic fruits from around the world. I'm not writing this article in an attempt to sell you Monavie. Although, if you want some, there is a link, over on the left hand side, to my Monavie website. I tell you all that, because I haven't found anything else on the market that does what Monavie does. Its not a "vitamin supplement". Its a food that has all the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids, and phytonutrients in it. Its not a cure of any disease or ailment. Its just good nutrition. It helps us to fill in the gaps of our diet and we can feel the difference in our bodies when we're drinking it.

I hope this helps in the confusing land of reports of vitamins...to do or not to do. If you eat crap all the time, you have to do SOMETHING to get nutrients into your body. So, don't read this and think 'I shouldn't take vitamin supplements.' No. What I'm saying is, you may not be doing your body any favors by taking vitamins and still eating junk. Or maybe I'm just telling you to stop eating junk!!!! Or maybe I'm saying you can eat junk and just supplement with salads...and fruit....LOTS of salads and fruit! Or maybe I'm saying Eat lots of salads and fruits...and supplement (very occasionally) with a little junk..........Yeah, the last one....I think THAT'S what I'm really saying! :)

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