Supplements aren't intended to substitute for food. They can't replicate all the nutrients and benefits of whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables. In an age of once-daily multivitamins and aisles upon aisles of supplements, it’s never been more convenient to tailor your personal nutrition needs at your local grocery store.
However, it’s important to remember these are called “supplements” for a reason. our journey to good health still needs to begin with food, not pills and capsules.
“Nothing replaces a healthy diet,” “Some people think that if they just take a multivitamin every day, then they can have chips and soda or whatever. But actually, the best way to get your vitamins and nutrients is through a healthy diet.” Fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains and healthy fats still represent the foundation of a wholesome diet. And the broader the variety in your cart, the better.
But if supplements contain the same vitamins and minerals as food, why is loading up on spinach, apples and almonds still the superior option?
For one, supplements are specific extracts of nutritional components to a healthy diet. When you’re eating natural foods, there’s a lot more nutritional punch in the food that the supplement doesn’t contain.
“The trace elements that are part of natural foods aren’t contained in supplements,” “They simply can’t replicate the wide array of benefits and nutrients of real foods and the fiber and other vitamins they contain.”
Experts suggest that food offers three primary benefits over supplements: Greater nutrition from the complexity of foods, essential fiber to manage constipation and help prevent certain diseases, and protective substances like “phytochemicals” that occur naturally and can help prevent cancer, heart disease, diabetes and others. Many natural foods are also high in antioxidants.
People consider supplements a shortcut to eating healthy because we’re busier today. We don’t have the time or the family structures to cook meals from scratch they way we did 50 years ago.”
As a result, people are eating on the run and consuming more processed foods because they’re more convenient. The supplement industry has capitalized on that on-the-go lifestyle, but if you’re already practicing a generally healthy and diverse diet, it’s unlikely you need extra vitamins.
Vitamin and mineral supplements should add to a nutritious diet, not replace healthy foods all together. Here are a few reasons you should avoid depending on pills and powders for your nutrient intake.