Banner

Total Body Wellness: Before You Swallow That Pill

Total Body Wellness: Before You Swallow That Pill
When it comes to vitamins, there are the good, the bad and the ugly. See how you can avoid confusion next time you make a trip down the supplement aisle.


When it comes to nutrition, our moms taught us right in some respect — stuff like carrot good, donut bad. Beyond that, most people are even familiar with the concept that whole foods are better that refined, processed foods — organic chicken good, McNugget bad.

 

If we're playing rock, paper, scissors, brown rice is rock and white rice is scissors. Rock wins every time. So I'm not exactly delivering cutting edge material here, we all know processed foods are garbage.

 

But here's a key point most of us are missing: The same principle that applies to food, also applies to vitamins — whole foods based good, processed garbage.

 

Whole food based supplements are vitamins or supplements that are derived from food — no junk, no fillers, just honest to goodness, nutritious food. The first ingredients in my multi read Whole Food Vitamin Blend — carrot, green peppers, orange, alfalfa … I could go on: broccoli, wild yam, spinach. Alright, I'll stop. You get the idea.

 

Typically these types of vitamins are produced without extreme heat, chemicals or refining methods, and they naturally deliver the nutrients of the foods that they come from. If you're science-y, they carry their naturally occurring phytonutrients and coenzymes right into your system when you take them.

 

When you give your body a whole food based supplement, it knows exactly what to do with the nutrients (the same way it knows what to do with nutrients from food). It's easy to break down and easy to absorb.

 

So, does that mean your body gets confused when you take synthetic vitamins? Um, yes — in so many words.

 

We're going to get personal for a minute here. Have you ever taken vitamin C then peed bright yellow? (Somewhere right now my mom is dying from embarrassment that I just said peed to the entire city of Cincinnati. I'm still a lady, Mom, I promise.)

 

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is part of an entire complex. It functions properly when it's a part of that whole complex. Now when you give your body an isolated or synthetic nutrient, it rapidly excretes it. That's how you end up with neon pee.

 

It's the equivalent of meeting your friend for a bike ride at the Loveland bike trail with a wheel. To make it happen, you need the whole bike. You need the entire system. You don't know what to with the wheel, the same way isolated, refined vitamins confuse your body. Nature does not produce any nutrient in an isolated form. You have to take it the way it was naturally intended, in a whole food form.

 

In fact, recent research shows that taking vitamin C supplements in the form of ascorbic acid may actually lead to heart disease. Ascorbic acid is not vitamin C. Ascorbic acid is one small part of a complex that makes up the entire vitamin C formula. Complete vitamin C also contains Rutin, Bioflavonoid, and J- and K-Factor.

 

So when you take incomplete vitamin C, your body is forced to use its stored nutrient reserves to make complete vitamin C. Your body ends up robbed of nutrients it needs, which can lead to serious health issues.

 

But before anyone makes a mad dash for vitamins, let's get on the same page about something: Supplements are supplemental. They supplement a healthy diet. You could spend $100 a month on the best vitamins out there, and if you eat junk, you're just spinning your wheels.

 

We've already addressed some basic nutrition, so start there. Eat fresh, nutrient-dense meals. That way when you do decide to add in whole food based vitamins, they can act in synergy with your body and you'll receive the combined effects of all parts of food.

Ashley Berlin -

Ashley Berlin is the health and fitness columnist for Cincy Chic and the owner of BEAT Personal Training in West Chester. Want more information about something you read here? Send her an e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .Read More >>


More articles by this author

Total Body Wellness: Preventing Cancer
Total Body Wellness: Preventing Cancer Cancer is a disease that impacts...
Read More >>
Total Body Wellness: To Eat or Not To EatTotal Body Wellness: To Eat or Not To Eat
Total Body Wellness: To Eat or Not To Eat The reports...
Read More >>
 

subscribegraphic

eventsgraphic


Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner