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How to Recognize Whole Food Supplements

In last week’s posting I advocated whole food supplements because they are the only ones that provide actual nutrients to fill in holes and to help the body repair itself.

But how do you know whether a product is synthetic or made from food?

It is pretty easy to see what kind you are dealing with by looking at the nutrition facts label. Hopefully you have developed the habit of reading or at least glancing at nutrition facts labels for most of the products you buy whether they are food or supplements. This is the place where you often can find out the truth about ingredients.

For supplements, there are three criteria that let you know what’s in the bottle. First you may read ‘Vitamin Cas Ascorbic Acid.’ This indicates chemically produced ascorbic acid. If you find ‘Vitamin C from and a food source, you have natural vitamin C. Second look for the dosage. If you find 1,000% DV (Daily Value) i.e., you know it’s a chemical. Nature does not produce anything over 100%! Lastly look for the foods listed. When a manufacturer claims their products are made from food they have to list the food sources they are made from.

You really don’t have to read the entire label. Just look out for the important things. For supplements one of the important things is to be made from food. It’s only three things to remember: from, (up to) 100% DV anda list of foods.

Easy as 1,2,3! Happy vitamin shopping!

Benefits of Whole Food Supplements

The other day a friend asked me why I am so adamant about recommending whole food supplements. Some of her questions were “Aren’t all supplements the same? Don’t they all serve the same purpose? Is the more expensive supplement better than the cheaper one? Do we really need supplements?”

I would like to answer them in reverse order. Yes, we do need supplements. Our food cannot provide all the nutrients our body needs to function properly.This is especially true the more processed food is eaten. I think the majority of people realize this and therefore go and buy most often a multivitamin.
Most supplements are made in laboratories. They are synthetic. And although there is a long list of brand names, most supplements come from one of less than ten manufacturers. The price often differs due to brand recognition.
All supplements are on the market to enhance our health, to make up for what’s missing in our diet. However, synthetic supplements are chemicals and the body recognizes them as foreign substances, not as food. That can create deficiencies which we are trying to prevent and/or eliminate in the first place.
Not all supplements are the same. The biggest difference is whole food vs. synthetic which brings me to today’s topic.

We need supplementation because we are building a new body daily. We grow completely new skin in 8 days, new organs in 28 days, new ligaments and joints in a year and new bones in 7 years. The problem is that we are breaking down faster than we can rebuild, the body doesn’t have the right replacement parts. This is called degeneration. That’s where supplements come in.

Let’s take a look at Vitamin C. What is sold as Vitamin C in the US is ascorbic acid. Ascorbic acid is just the protective shell around six other components including copper, P, K and J factors that make up the complete Vitamin C. Ascorbic acid by itself doesn’t do anything but acidify the body. When we take ascorbic acid the body recognizes it as a part of Vitamin C and waits for the other parts to come so that it can complete all the processes that involve Vitamin C. But they are not being provided from the outside. Since they are absolutely needed the body will take what it needs from the stores in our body thus creating a Vitamin C deficiency with prolonged use of ascorbic acid. I think you see how anything like this cannot fill in the many holes we have created in replacing 24 billion cells every day.

In order to build healthy cells and a healthy body we need raw materials like vitamins and minerals, not chemicals, not supplements made from coal tar or by-products from oil or aluminum manufacturing processes. The average store bought multivitamin has about 30 ingredients (synthetic = chemical). A carrot has over 200 known nutrients, an apple over 400. What do you think is more beneficial to our health?
Of course, just an apple or a carrot cannot rebuild an entire body. Potency is determined by function, not by quantity. That’s why I use a multivitamin that contains about 2,500 nutrients all derived from food and mostly raw. The nutrients in food work synergistically and are able to restore and maintain good body functions. Raw, whole food supplements nourish the body and provide the building blocks to restore tissue and function.

Isn’t that what we want, slowing or reversing degeneration instead of masking a symptom?

Only real food can create real, good health! Choose your supplements carefully!

When you can’t afford it, but you can’...

A friend of mine bought a bagel shop a couple months ago. He realizes that there is a lot to be done to turn it around and make it the shop he envisions. Here is the conundrum: the profit margin is so small that there is no wiggle room for major improvements. However, he cannot afford to not make changes, if he wants to improve the establishment and increase his income.

I worked in food service for 15 plus years and know the front and back end of operations very well. So I went and over there and assessed the situation. And yes, the list of needed changes/improvements seemed endless. This could easily be perceived as overwhelming, but doesn’t have to be. My friend just needs to start somewhere, take the first step and change one little thing. This will create the necessary momentum. And soon he will be able to make more changes and to turn the shop around.

Nothing happens until something moves. Change cannot happen without action.

What does that have to do with your health? Often it is the same situation. You realize your health isn’t in the condition you would like it to be and if you keep neglecting it, your body and well-being will go down hill fast. The result won’t be pretty. You need to do something different in order to keep or regain your good health, but you think you cannot afford to spend money on it.

It’s the same situation as with the bagel shop.

Just start somewhere, one little step in the right direction will make a huge difference! Our bodies are amazing and they are extremely appreciative for every tiny, positive change. The body can heal itself. It just needs a little help from you. And guess what?  Many changes you can make don’t cost anything. On the contrary, they will save you money and possibly your good quality life in the long run! And as your health improves, your life improves, you will be happier and more good things come to you. You will have more assets to spend on your most precious asset: your health!

You already know many steps you could take. Let me remind you:

  • Reduce your intake of sugar and flour products
  • Eliminate chemicals from your food (read labels and if you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it!)
  • Eat more vegetables and fruit
  • Increase home cooking (you don’t need to cook a three course meal!)
  • Introduce beans and cut back on animal protein
  • Switch from coffee to tea
  • Substitute energy drinks for coconut water (it contains a similar level of electrolytes found in human blood)

There are many other options and only you know what you can do at this time. I want to encourage you to pick just one thing, one habit you want to change and to take a tiny step in that direction. Stick with it for one week and observe what happens, how you feel.

Change has to occur gradually, you have to grow into it. It’s the only way of creating lasting change. Make peace with where you are, focus on where you want to be and start moving in that direction, one step at a time. Change cannot happen without action. Take action today.

You cannot afford not to do it!