Article by Ben Mester
Whole food supplements are a pretty new thing in the world of supplements. They’re starting to gain mass acceptance and popularity, probably because people are finally starting to educate themselves about taking their health into their own hands and how standard supplements work and effect their bodies. They’ve begun to understand how most cheap supplements are just synthetic isolates of the real thing and not all they’re cracked up to be.
Most multivitamins and other supplements made from poor synthetic isolates have less than 50% efficacy, meaning that less than half of the vitamin is absorbed by the body, and even less is actually used by the body. The rest of it is basically waste, depending on the quality of the synthetic. It’s starting to become common knowledge that the real thing is always better than a supplement. Eating a fresh orange is pretty much always better than popping a vitamin C pill, for example. Whole food supplements aim to be as close to the natural as possible, helping your body to absorb and utilize as much of the nutritional vitamin and mineral content as possible. Even though you might find them to be more expensive, they’re also more powerful, which gives you more for your buck. A standard cheap multivitamin is basically the fast food of the supplement world. Don’t sell yourself short.
So what is a whole food, and what is a whole food supplement? A whole food is defined as a food which is unprocessed or unrefined. Basically, it’s a food that’s in its natural state. It should be obvious why they absorb easier in the body, because they seek to mimic the natural state of food. A whole food supplement, in most instances, is nothing more than a fruit or vegetable that has been compressed and encapsulated into a pill. In order to be a true whole food supplement, it should come from a raw food. As you can imagine, this raises many quality standard issues, since a lot can go wrong with mass producing a raw food product. If you’re in the market for a whole food supplement, look for a company with high levels of quality standards and certifications.
In a way I’m against whole food supplements, since in the long run, it’s really better to just change your habits. People love the ease of taking pills and multivitamins, but if they would just be intentional about grabbing an organic piece of raw fruit or a raw vegetable for a snack every day, they could largely reduce their need for supplements of any kind. It’s really not that difficult to have some carrot sticks or raw green beans sitting in a bowl on the desk of your office. Think about how many vitamins and minerals you could be getting just by munching on a few organic whole foods throughout the day.
The other thing I like about this approach is the good, filling fiber you get from munching on raw vegetables throughout the day. Because raw vegetables often have lots of indigestible plant matter, or fiber, snacking on them throughout the day greatly reduces your calorie intake. Since your stomach is always partially full of indigestible plant matter, you can’t fill it with as much of the other stuff. So essentially, by munching on whole foods throughout the day instead of just taking whole food supplements, you’re putting yourself on an unconscious diet plan as well. It’s a win-win situation.
But if you do absolutely want to get started on a whole food supplement, there are many good ones on the market. Like I said earlier though, just make sure you buy a whole food supplement from a supplier that has high quality standards so you can make sure you know what you’re getting. Don’t just buy the first whole food supplement you come across. Take some time reading whole food supplement reviews.