Food versus supplements is a self-choice rarely discussed. With vitamins, doctors recommend it as a last resort because they assume the patient tried everything (when the patient probably didn’t). Meanwhile, society takes vitamins as an easy route because it’s difficult to eat healthy all the time. Once you get a rhythm going, food is the best solution over supplements long-term. The subsequent reasons justify it.
Easy Access to Nutrients and Antioxidants
Food is a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to offering nutrients and antioxidants for the body. Most food contains more than one vitamin and mineral per bite. Eating one item such as kale or almonds include several vitamins and minerals at once. The body takes those bites and extends the benefits throughout the body. Supplements only cover one vitamin or mineral at a time.
Nutrients and Antioxidants Absorption
When the two go head-to-head in nutrient and antioxidant absorption, food beats supplements. Food is natural as it originated from nature. The balance in food makes absorption, digestion, and disposal easy. Supplements are factory-made pills. The body must figure out how to absorb nutrients from a pill and dispose of it properly because the chemicals in supplements cause an imbalance.
Food’s tree-growing and ground-growing history make it a proactive fighter against serious diseases like heart disease, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. Food alleviates diarrhea and constipation while making common colds and the flu more manageable. This is due to the food’s photochemical gene activating the benefit. Alternatively, food and supplements together may prevent serious diseases too. Consequently, there are no proof supplements alone can prevent disease.
Too much of anything is harmful. However, food is less likely to be a cause of death. You can eat plenty of food with hardly any consequences. Likewise, a supplement overdose is lethal. It could take your life if you fail to follow the instructions on the label. In fact, unless the vitamin supplements balance out, one vitamin supplement (i.e., iron) will absorb iron and other vitamins (i.e., zinc, calcium, magnesium). Additionally, different vitamin supplements may not mix well, creating consequences that are more dangerous.
Save money by tossing supplements and buying food. Nonetheless, food only provides benefits when you put forth the effort to eat right. A mix of leafy green vegetables, fruits, dairy, whole grains, protein, and healthy fats produce the best results with sweet/salty snacks and processed foods in moderation.