Are Food Supplements helping you?
Updated: Jun 10
Have you ever noticed how much people and media are talking about the importance of taking vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, K, A, vitamin D etc..oh, let’s not forget about magnesium. The list keeps going on.. Media is writing about how our current food does not have enough minerals and vitamins anymore and how everybody should always ingest extra in a tablet or a liquid form.
Could it be just a manufacturers scheme to attract consumers to buy more? Buy one get one free? Miracle fat melting tablets? Sun in a jar? Superfood? Very attractive names!
I remember the time when I believed that as well as I was not feeling great and thought this might change my life for the better. This is the main goal- to feel great, isn’t it? Definitely is. And when you are not feeling so good, you try your best to do everything (almost) to get to perfect health.
Problem here is that somehow all this "superfoods" trend has won everybody over by brainwashing them to take supplements in a jar. Why would you need to take bilbelly in a tablet form when there is an actual berry you can eat! How did we come to this place?
Well firstly, I want to talk about why are we not feeling great.
Your body goes through so many things in life- bad food, stress, trauma, illness etc. I said illness here because from a small cold or flu, if not treated correctly, can develop something more serious like lung infection, IBS, mononucleosis etc. There are so many illnesses to name as you probably know already.
I will give you a very simple example. You go out to a restaurant, you get a bacteria from undercooked meat, you fall ill-vomiting, diarrhoea and even a fever. You may not know what to do, so you keep doing what you have always done. You eat as much as possible (sometimes you don’t want to eat either, depends on what kind of person are you)and you maybe trying your best to go to work or school. It will take you probably around 3 days or more to get better. But it does not stop there.
What has happened now is that your body is exhausted, your digestion has lost its power and it’s much easier to get ill again now as your body is not strong enough to fight back. Next time you will have it, it may be worse. Sometimes it may go back to normal if you are lucky.
At that point, when the illness kicked in, you should have fasted from food, rested and drank enough fluids. All this vomiting and diarrhoea is a way for a body to get rid of whatever is causing the situation. It's putting all the energy into that to make you safe and healthy again. This is why you should not eat much when you are ill, as the energy has to go to digest food as well as getting rid of poison or bad bacteria and sometimes there just isn't enough of it.
When you start eating again(slowly), you start building up the defence in your gut. Right spices are a great start but not heavy foods like lots of protein, junk food or ama (toxins) causing foods.
This is the moment, people who are crazy about taking supplements, would start taking lots of vitamin C and maybe some other supplements as it's supposed to lift up your energy and immunity.
I do not agree with that. Taking something from outside and especially if it’s not in a natural form, is very difficult to digest or just won't get absorbed by your body. Vitamin C is water soluble and whenever it is taken in excess, the body will simply flush it out in your urine. The same is with vitamin B and many other. Iron on the other hand can cause even death or serious damage to your organs when taken in excess.
Other thing to think about is how much do we know about the actual fillers, binders, colours and coatings of the tablet or captule.
Some supplements contain ingredients to help preserve their appearance and effectiveness.
These types of additives aren’t all unhealthy, but anyone with food restrictions or allergies should take note.
Fillers: These are used to “bulk” a product up so that it’s actually less potent than it looks. If a product in powder form is unusually inexpensive, you should take another look at the ingredient list for any fillers.
Binders: These are products that hold ingredients together, usually to keep them in the “shape” of a tablet. They may also be used to add volume if the amount of the active ingredient in the actual pill is very low. Lactose and sucrose are sometimes used as binders, so those who are lactose intolerant should pay careful attention.
Coatings: Coatings such as gelatin are sometimes used to make capsules smoother and easier to swallow. Gelatin is made from animal products, so vegans will want to look for other options.
Coloring and flavoring: Many inexpensive products like vitamins use artificial colors to make them look more appealing. In most cases these will be natural, but it’s worth taking a look at the labels.
If you think your body is not getting enough vitamins and minerals from your food, why do you think it’s strong enough to digest something unnatural?
Body is very intelligent. It takes what it needs from food and usually it tells you if something is needed.
For example, if you have low iron, you most likely will probably start craving meat or when getting colds and flu too often and you haven't been our in the sun for a very long time, you could be low in vitamin D. Best way to get your vitamin D is to go out and stay under the morning sun for 10-15 min.
There has been many discussions and perhaps speculations what would help us to survive a deadly virus. The latest research says vitamin K is playing a big role in keeping us safe. Just a week earlier to thi newspapers were writing about vitamin D deficiancy being the cause etc.
Vitamin K for example is depleted by sulfates in our food, transfats, drugs, radiation etc. If you are a person who constantly eats junk food, drinking alcohol daily and take drugs easily then you might be missing not just vitamin K but the rest of the vitamins and minerals as well. In this case your hand should not be reaching towards the supplements but instead the right food or lets say the real food. With a lifestyle like this no supplement will be absorbed by your body. The best and quickest way to rise your vitamin K would be food such as green leafy vegetables, berries etc.
The same goes with all other vitamins and minerals.
If the body is not getting all the vitamins and minerals from the food you eat (assuming your meals are not made of junk food), it means there is a problem with your digestion, not the food. This needs to be fixed ASAP and not fill yourself with undigestible supplements. Ayurveda says health start with balanced agni (digestive fire).
The way science comes up with these results is they only look at one particular thing and usually do not see the whole picture. Yes, in a way they are right as well, but doesn't it just make you more confused as today you need to take vitamin D to stay healthy but tomorrow you it has chaged to K or B or whatever they might come up with...
We are given whole foods for a reason by the nature which means we are meant to be eating it as it is and not start separating each molecule every time we have a meal. That would be maddness! Lots of us don't understand yet the importance of the WHOLE. Each and every mineral and vitamin workd together with another. Iron is known to be more absorbing if you take it with vitamin C- Green soyabeans are full of iron and vitamin C, all in one! Isn't nature just great! :)
Conclusion is, if for any reason you might think you are low in vitamins or minerals, start eating food that will strengthen the digestion and then adding more leafy greens to your meals. Not raw, but nice cooked meals with spices. The solution is not to ingest undigestible supplements but eat right food. Ayurveda consultant can help you! Book your consultation now! Stay healthy :)