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Nourishing Your Body Naturally

Veronica Villa,

Have you taken those short online quizzes to find out what supplements you need? Did it tell you that you should purchase a long list of supplements to improve your health? It would actually be more cost-effective if you invest that money into yourself by supporting well-balanced meals!

It’s easy to fall into the trap of relying on supplements for our nutritional needs. While supplements can play a role in supporting our health, it’s essential to remember that real food should always take center stage. Choosing food over supplements is not just a preference; it’s a strategy for nourishing our bodies holistically and gaining the full benefits of nature’s abundance.

The Role of Food in Nourishment

Food is what your body uses to run! Your body breaks it all down to absorb what it needs and discard what it doesn’t. Including a variety in your diet ensures that you will obtain a wide range of essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. All of which help your body function!

A difference between nourishing your body with food rather than supplements is what else the food comes with. Supplements often focus on isolated nutrients, potentially neglecting the importance of the interaction between different nutrients. One important interaction is iron and vitamin C. Vitamin C helps increase the absorption of iron. Some food combinations of this are beans with salsa/peppers and orange juice with iron-fortified cereal! Apart from these beneficial interactions, your meals will supply you with hydration, fat, fiber, and a variety of different vitamins and minerals.

Fat is another important component that helps with the absorption of vitamins A, D, E, and K. These 4 are fat-soluble vitamins, which means that they need fat to be best absorbed by your body. As for the other vitamins, B vitamins and vitamin C, those are water-soluble, best absorbed with water.

Dissecting Supplements

When we eat food, we can pretty much say we know what it is and what we are gaining from it. Supplements, on the other hand, are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. As a result, what is in the supplements is not always tested and overseen.

To ensure you are obtaining quality nutritional supplements, in the case of additional supplementation to your diet, always look for a verified third-party seal that tests the quality of the products. A reliable company is the United States Pharmacopeia (USP). You can find the USP labels on the front label to ensure that the product is of great quality.

Seek professional guidance by consulting with a registered dietitian at Alivio Medical Center to develop a personalized plan!