Whole Food Vitamins
Whole food vitamins are made from whole food ingredients, as opposed to manufactured, synthetic vitamins. The body can more easily absorb and use nutrients when they are ingested through food, as nature intended.
Whole food vitamins are gaining in popularity as consumers become more educated about food and nutrition, and begin to demand healthier choices. Find out why you should choose whole food vitamins for your health.
Why Whole Food Vitamins
The body needs whole food vitamins because most of us -- particularly on the western diet -- don't eat a properly balanced diet. And even if we did, much of the produce that we consume is grown in such nutrient-depleted that we need a dietary supplement of vitamins and minerals.
"Natural" vitamins aren't the same thing as whole food vitamins. Natural just means the vitamin's ingredients aren't synthetic -- which is a good thing -- but that's not enough to imbue a vitamin supplement with the same potency that eating the food would provide. Only whole food vitamins do that.
When we eat fruits and vegetables, our bodies get the cumulative benefit of a specific vitamin or vitamins combined with all the other nutrients in the food. Whole food vitamins retain that same constitution and combined benefit, rather than just extracting one single vitamin from a food the way that traditional vitamins do.
The nutrients in whole food vitamins are more available to and easily absorbed by the body than conventional supplements -- a concept called "bioavailability." Taking all the supplements in the world won't have any impact if your body cannot absorb them.
Another benefit of whole food vitamins is that they are easier to digest than traditional vitamins because they're food based.
MegaFood Whole Food Vitamins
MegaFood is my favorite brand of whole food vitamins, because all of their supplements are made 100% whole food nutrients, and they're pesticide and herbicide free. They're also gluten free, dairy free, and soy free, so people with common food allergies can still take the vitamins. They source ingredients from local and organic farms.
My Mom is actually the one who discovered MegaFood and told me about them. She was diagnosed by her doctor as being vitamin D deficient, and told to take a vitamin D supplement. After taking a conventional supplement for a year, her doctor found that her levels hadn't improved at all. Then someone at her local health food store introduced her to MegaFood's whole food vitamins, and explained to her that her body didn't recognize the synthetic vitamins, which is why she didn't see any improvement. She explained her body would absorb MegaFood supplements better because they are actual food. On her next visit to the doctor, her vitamin D level increased by 5 ng/ml by taking MegaFood's Vitamin D-3 supplement.
has digestive issues and a very sensitive stomach, and she noticed that
the MegaFood supplements didn't irritate her stomach. It's food
-- it's no different than eating broccoli or spinach. As a matter of
fact, you can take MegaFood whole food vitamins on an empty stomach.
MegaFood's whole food vitamins are produced without
extreme temperatures that could destroy the enzymes. They're processed
in a way that retains the most vitamins and delivers nutrients the same
way the food would have in whole vegetable form. This is different from
other brands, where the vitamins are extracted from the food. MegaFood
is made of concentrated food rather than extracted vitamins.
Choosing the Best Vitamins
I saw an eye-opening segment on Dr. Oz about testing if your vitamins dissolve fast enough for your body to absorb them. Ideally, a vitamins needs to be able to dissolve within 30 minutes for your body to be able to get the full value of it.
Test your vitamins by dropping one in a glass of warm water and stirring it around. Let it sit for 30 minutes. If there's still an undissolved chunk after half an hour, then that means your body won't be able to break that pill down to use it, and you should try another brand.