Food vs Supplements: Is One Better Than the Other?

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Food vs Supplements: Is One Better Than the Other?

The times are ever-changing, with our diets following suit. Unfortunately, some of these dietary changes aren’t for the better. Today, the typical American diet consists of processed foods, added sugars, and refined grains. What do they all have in common? They aren’t nutrient-dense!

Sure, you can always turn to supplements like Pure Encapsulations at Supplement First to get the vitamins and minerals you need. But will this suffice and help you overcome a bad diet?

Short answer: Not really. Find out why!

Food vs. Supplements

Though vitamins and minerals are tiny, they play a significant role in our mind and body function. The nutrients we consume do everything to help keep us healthy, from red blood cell formation to maintaining good eyesight.

If one were nutrient deficient in certain vitamins or minerals, severe effects may occur. For instance, iron deficiency can cause fatigue, heart palpitations, and other symptoms.

Again, supplements can’t replace food, even if they come from established brands like Integrative Therapeutics.

Whole foods have benefits supplements can’t provide, including:

  • Whole foods have more complex, varied nutrients that supplements don’t have
  • Whole foods have antioxidants and other necessary nutrients
  • Some nutrients can be more potent from whole foods compared to supplements
  • Vitamins from food have beneficial nutrients like carotenoids and flavonoids

How Our Bodies Use Nutrients

When eating food, our enzymes and digestive system work to separate nutrients for varied purposes. It would take what it needs and throw away the rest through waste.

Some nutrients can help each other out. For instance, vitamin D can improve calcium absorption. So if you consume an orange, which has both calcium and vitamin D, you can absorb more calcium. Compare that to taking a supplement that only contains calcium and you’ll see you won’t get as much compared to eating the right food.

Moreover, vitamins and minerals from food sources are easier to absorb compared to those from supplements. As such, it’s better to get the right nutrients you need from healthy foods, rather than to out-supplement a poor diet. While it may sound difficult, taking the steps towards a diet filled with whole foods can help lead to a healthier life!

Are Supplements Bad?

With all that said, you’re probably planning to throw all your supplements out. But wait! Supplements aren’t evil. They also have their uses and benefits. For many people, they can be necessary and life-saving.

Those who are vitamin deficient will need supplements, as they likely won’t be able to get enough from diet alone. For example, some medical conditions can prevent the body from proper nutrient absorption, making supplementation an effective way to get enough of what you need daily.

Other reasons supplementation may be required is from age, dietary restrictions, and pregnancy, among others. It’s always best to consult your doctor regarding your nutrient needs based on your individual conditions.

Wrapping It Up

Make sure you speak with your doctor about your diet and learn whether or not you’ll need to take supplements to make up for a deficiency.