How to choose natural products for your health
Eating a balanced diet provides you with key nutrients that your body needs. However, it can be challenging to eat a well-balanced diet all the time. With today's reliance on convenience foods, you may find your diet is lacking in some key areas. This is where supplements can come in, filling in any nutritional gaps you may have in your regular diet.
But there's more to a well-balanced diet than reaching for any supplement you can find from the grocery store shelves. To get the best nutritional benefits, look for supplements that are made from natural health products.
The problem with synthetic nutrients
Synthetic nutrients are isolated from their food source. They are unlike complete natural products, which are made from concentrated and dehydrated whole foods. Usually, synthetic nutrients are processed artificially and made in a laboratory or industrial setting.
When vitamins were first discovered in the early part of the 20th century, it was a huge scientific breakthrough. It didn't take long for vitamin supplements to become big business, and when doctors began to recommend them, the industry exploded.
However, there are some important factors the early vitamin discoveries did not take into account.
- The body reacts differently to synthetic nutrients than it does to whole foods. When you consume your vitamins and nutrients from your diet, you aren't consuming isolated nutrients. You are consuming a complete range of beneficial compounds that work together inside of your body. A good example of this is vitamin E. Studies have shown that natural vitamin E is absorbed at twice the rate of the synthetic version.
- Isolated vitamins may not provide any health benefits. Synthetic nutrients are produced in a completely different process than when they are created by plants and animals. The importance of this wasn't fully understood when vitamins were first discovered, but now we know vitamins don't operate independently in your body but rather work together with other compounds.
- Vitamin C should be paired with bioflavonoids. Vitamin C was originally isolated and used as a supplement. It wasn't until recently that it was discovered that vitamin C needs bioflavonoids, found in foods and natural healthcare products, to complement the effect of vitamin C in the body.
- Synthetic supplements often contain artificial preservatives, which have been linked to hormonal disruption. Some common food additives have been found to mimic hormones. For example, research has shown BHT, a common antioxidant added to preserve nutrients, disrupts the endocrine system.
- Synthetic supplements can be harmful. Some vitamins, when taken in excess, are simply flushed from your system. Others, such as vitamins A, D, E and K are stored in your body. Take too many of these, and you may end up with excessive amounts accumulating at high levels.
The benefits of natural products
As we have discussed, natural supplements are more readily absorbed by the body than their synthetic counterparts. You need the entire range of nutrients, vitamins, bioflavonoids, antioxidants, minerals and enzymes from whole foods to keep you feeling your best. Supplements containing whole foods are complex, containing important micronutrients:
- Whole food products contain protective substances, such as antioxidants, that protect cells from free radicals.
- The ingredients from natural supplements are combined as they are in whole foods, and your body can better absorb them.
- Whole food supplements are impossible to get in too high of doses, as you can with synthetic supplements. When you break down the compounds of vitamins chemically and synthesize them, you may end up with very high dosages.
- They are convenient. You may not be able to cook up a heart-healthy salmon dinner twice a week, but you can take products that contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
How to choose the best natural health products
There is more to choosing a natural supplement than looking for the word "natural." Check the labels for organic ingredients and whole food products. Look for supplements that contain whole health vitamins. Also, organic supplements will be free of harmful pesticides and toxic ingredients.
Furthermore, avoid the following ingredients, as they are found in synthetic supplements:
Additionally, be sure to follow the directions on the bottle when you take your supplements. Some absorb best if they are taken with a meal, while others perform best if they are taken on an empty stomach.
Ultimately, remember to think of your supplements as an addition to your already healthy diet. They're meant to supplement, not replace, healthy foods.
The bottom line
Ideally, you would get most of your vitamins from eating fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and other whole foods. Even when you do your best to eat healthfully though, you may find your diet is deficient in some areas. This is where natural supplements come in to fill any gaps.
However, for times when maintaining a well-balanced diet becomes difficult, you can benefit from choosing natural healthcare products to fill deficiencies in your diet. Just remember to do your research and choose the healthiest products for your body.
Quantum Health is committed to providing only the best health products that have been developed from thorough scientific research. You can be certain that our supplements contain high-quality and effective ingredients.