Supplements Versus Raw Foods

November 2nd, 2010 by Tonya Zavasta

SupplementsVitamin Dosing Culture

Our entire culture has embraced supplements, indeed is leaning increasingly toward them. How many people do you know who start off their days with a multivitamin, a calcium tablet, an iron tablet, perhaps separate doses of vitamins A, B, C, D and on down the alphabet? Maybe you’re one of these people. Vitamin dosing is a normal practice for many who consider themselves “health conscious.”

We have already thoroughly absorbed a pharmaceutical model of health. So, as a culture, we feel easy, comfortable, even ‘natural’ as we dip into little plastic bottles to find the nutrients we’re deficient in, sometimes those we merely believe are deficient in our bodies. This might make a lot of sense initially, to take a concentrated form of vitamin or mineral. But is it a way of life? For some people, sadly, it is.

Aside from vitamin supplements, there are also “super-food” supplements, including the supplement powders and shakes that people depend on to become healthy. Yes, perhaps some of these have benefits if they are taken properly, but do you really need to take them all your life?

What’s the Next Miracle Pill?

Consider…every supplement that has ever hit the market has been through a rise and fall. For example, remember when you couldn’t go anywhere without seeing ads about the benefits of vitamin E? What about the “fact” that oat bran would lower your cholesterol? Or that if you didn’t get the needed amount of calcium, you’d most likely end up getting osteoporosis? Still with us are the magical acai or noni berries, though it hasn’t taken long for most to realize these are just glorified blueberries. We await the next magic berry, juice, elixir, or potion.

Some supplements can be useful, no doubt. A person working with a compromised and unhealthy body, transitioning into the raw food diet, may find useful, for example, probiotics. But once you are to the point of weaning yourself off of those supplements, don’t be afraid to rely on your food for all of the nutrition that you need. I have never needed any supplements to be vibrantly healthy while practicing a 100 percent raw diet for the past thirteen years.

Absorption is Key

Quantum Eating 2nd EditionWe have heard that soil is depleted. So I go for the best organic produce available. The problem is not that there is not enough nutrients in our produce, the problem is that very little of what is there is absorbed by our bodies. So my approach is to cleanse my body so that the digestive system will assure optimal absorption, and then raw foods will deliver all the necessary nutrients, making supplementation unnecessary. What’s more, supplements can have a negative effect on longevity. Read more in my book Quantum Eating.

Rely on Food

On the other hand, there are additional benefits to relying on foods to provide the nutrients you need. When you think of a vitamin or mineral, you may think of just one molecule of a certain type of food. Biochemistry has traditionally believed that elements and molecules can be segregated from their organic state and still retain their natural effectiveness. Nothing could be farther from the truth. (Most of us already know examples of this principle from high school chemistry. Common salt—harmless in small quantity, but its two constituents, sodium and chlorine, are respectively explosive and toxic. Ditto plain old water—you can put out a fire with it, but separated, the hydrogen and oxygen which are its components are each highly flammable.)

The fact is: Our bodies are designed to use nutrients in the way they exist in plants. What we find is that, as an integral part of a complex matrix of nutrient factors, we should in general leave vitamins and minerals as they are found in natural foods in order to be truly healthy. When food is put through heavy processing as in supplements, this natural integration becomes compromised.

Never Rely on a Pill Again!

If you are considering using supplements or perhaps are already hooked on them, it’s time to clear out your cupboards and medicine cabinets. If you can commit to the raw food diet, you are already on your way to a place where you’ll never need to rely on any pill or powder ever again. I found a way and, at age 52, I feel and look better than I ever have—supplement-free!

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