The word supplement means a small component or accompaniment to something greater. In other words, it is "fractured" or "incomplete" rather than "whole".
This alone should highlight why supplementing your diet with pills and capsules will never take the place of real whole food.
To take or not to take supplements has become a very controversial area, mainly due to the prevailing propaganda that states that today's soil and food supply is devoid of nutrition.
However, the problem with this narrative is that it fundamentally ignores the truth about how plants grow and how mother nature creates food.
Whether you take supplements or not, the real questions are:
- Do you really need them? (or do they just create expensive urine)...and;
- Are they bridging 'the gap' of your perceived nutritional deficiencies?
The true meaning of nutrition
When considering whether to take nutritional supplements or not, you should first remind yourself about what the word "nutrition" actually means.
"Nutrition" is a two part word - "Nut" and "Rition", with "nut" being derived from the latin "nux" which means "light", and "rition" meaning "process".
In other words, the true origins of the word Nutrition, means "process of light".
So by definition, something that is nutritious should have some form of electrical energy or life force. And logically speaking, this means it must be "living", which means "whole plant foods".
With this perspective, it is difficult to comprehend how a colourful isolated powder, wrapped in plastic and which has no life force, can be called "nutrition".
The Vitamin industry argument against food
For the most part, the notion that today's plant foods have no nutrition anymore because of bad soil, has been used to promote the global sale of vitamins, pills and capsules annually in the billions of dollars.
And whilst there is some truth to the fact that industrial farming practices and chemicals have depleted the soil in some areas, this prevailing narrative completely overlooks the natural process by which plant foods grow in the earth.
How a plant food grows
Plants don't even eat soil. They rely on an electric signal received beneath the soil from the castings of microbes that eat the soil and excrete these castings.
This electric activation signal goes to the seed/root of the plant. Then, once the plant reaches the surface, it uses water, sodium and sunlight to photosynthesise and grow up into the food that you see.
In other words, if you pick up a berry or apple or tomato and it looks, smells and tastes like a berry, apple or tomato, it got everything it needed.
Now, of course, there are many scientific studies that will prove that conventional, mass-farmed produce in particular, contains much less nutrition than it once did. And there is some truth to this fact. But that doesn't necessarily mean that fragmented synthetic supplements can bridge the gap.
The reality is that nature is complex so that we don't have to be. We don't need to over analyse how much Vitamin C, B12, zinc, iron, amino acids, pectins or magnesium there are in every food that we eat. We just need to be intuitive with our approach to nutrition, apply common sense, eat a wide variety of whole foods and the better off we will be.
What's the best type of produce to eat?
There is no doubt that industrial farming practices have compromised food quality using genetic modification of certain crops, chemical pesticides and herbicides etc.
However, this is not a reason to avoid fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains, which are real sources of nutrition.
The best type of produce to eat is that which you can source locally and in season. That means from your local growers or weekend Farmer's Markets where ever possible.
Interestingly, it's been proven that our cells share a frequency with foods that are grown within the temperate zone in which we live. Meaning, the nutritional recognition and uptake is higher when you eat foods grown in your local area.
And this is one of the problems with today's supermarket produce - it is difficult to know the source, how it's been treated and how long it's been in transportation, storage and on your supermarket shelf.
Not to mention it sits in stagnant air indoors all day surrounded by plastic!
Is organic better?
It makes sense to shop for certified organic produce whenever you can, particularly locally grown, as it will have been subjected to quality farming practices without sprays.
The next best is spray-free local which may not have the organic "certification".
If you're unable to source local, organic produce, choose conventional local produce and rinse it with an Apple Cider Vinegar wash at home before you store it on your bench or in your refrigerator.
Simply add 1 cup of raw apple cider vinegar to a sink filled with 2-3 litres of cold water. Add your produce in batches, swish it around and allow it to soak for a few minutes, before rinsing in clean water, pat dry then store it.
This will remove any surface chemical residues before you store your food.
The Main Take Away
Think twice before spending your money on expensive synthetic supplements that promise to bridge deficiencies in your nutrition.
Plant whole foods are still highly nutritious, even if modern day industrial farming practices have compromised their nutrient content to some degree.
This is not a reason to avoid fresh fruits and vegetables, or to feel like you're not getting enough nutrition. If you eat a variety of plant foods which are packed with the vitamins, minerals and fibres that your body needs for good health, you'll have it made.
Shop at your local farmer's markets for fresh produce whenever you can and look for organic or spray-free if it's available and affordable.
When it comes to vitamins and optimising your nutrition, the main point is to look to whole food rather than fancy plastic pills pushed by big marketing campaigns that are more concerned with profit than your health.
Do this and you'll develop a more conscious relationship with food, you'll save money and you'll be better off in the long run.
Tolman Self Care.