If you’re looking to make sure that you’re taking in enough essential nutrients, vitamin supplements may be a good option. But it’s important to remember that not all supplements are created equally.
If you’re truly worried about your health, it’s in your best interest to take whole food supplements instead of synthetic ones. At this point you may be asking “What’s the difference between the two?”
Whole Food Supplements
Supplements that are made from whole foods are exactly what they sound like: Vitamins are extracted from actual, “whole,” fruits and vegetables. So for instance, a whole food vitamin C tablet might be made from nutrients that originally existed in the form of an orange. Because of this extraction method, this vitamin C tablet will contain flavonoids, enzymes and mineral traces that’ll help in nutrient absorption by the body. These absorption aids are known as “co-factors”. Additionally, no heat is used in the processing of whole food supplements – this also helps to guarantee maximum nutrient absorption when the supplements are consumed.
Using synthetic versions of vitamins is cheaper than rendering them from plant sources. As a result, many of the popular vitamin brands make use of synthetic vitamins in order to keep prices down. The problem with this is that synthetic vitamins are often coated with chemicals that make absorption less effective. Plus, the cofactors found in plant-sourced vitamins aren’t found in synthetic ones – this further limits absorption rates.
For most people, a health conscious diet should provide adequate amounts of vital nutrients. But if you have a specific nutrient deficiency or are set on supplements, pay the extra money and get the whole food variety.