Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Nutrients vs Foods

Omega-3, vitamin C, vitamin B, fiber, iron, etc., etc. We always hear about all of these nutrients and how healthy they are, which they are. However, there is a common disconnect between these nutrients and the foods they naturally can be found in. There is no vitamin C tree that just grows vitamin C. Believe it or not all of these nutrients can be found naturally in food, not just food sprinkled with the powdered form of these nutrients, and definitely not just supplements.  

Beth where are you going with this?
Funny, I often ask myself this same question J Let me, “illustrate” my point for you. Let’s pretend that bae comes down with a case of the sniffles and is being a bit of a drama queen about it...

Attempting to be a caring significant other, you fight through your anti-commitment issues and general annoyance with princess over there and head to the store to pick up some vitamin C supplements or just anything touting vitamin C in the label because everybody knows that’s what you need when you are sick (which is futile once you are already sick by the way but I already covered that in a previous post).  My question for you though is outside of supplements, where can you find vitamin C? Believe it or not, vitamin C is found naturally in foods such as citrus fruits, strawberries, peppers, kale, broccoli, etc. Ok so you probably got the vitamin C and orange juice thing, but what I am getting at is two things.
  1. You do not need supplements to get vitamin C—you can eat foods that naturally contain vitamin C.
  2. Vitamin C is only effective in helping lessen colds when used preventively, not when you already are sick

The same thing could be said for all of the other “trendy” nutrients such as omega-3. Instead of taking some fish oil supplement that makes your burps taste like fish, why don’t you actually eat some salmon or if fish isn’t your thing, try some walnuts. Just a crazy thought I know.

Why does this matter Beth?
Well, there are two reasons; the first and biggest reason is that food sources of vitamins and minerals are better absorbed by your body than those from supplements. The other reason being that people tend to think that you can eat like crap and then take a multivitamin or something and think that they are doing good. I hate to break it to you, but that’s not how it works.

Breaking it down
Should you be concerned with certain vitamins and minerals? If you eat a well rounded diet (aka eating fruits and vegetables) no, unless you are advised by your doctor. Not that I am the healthiest eater that ever roamed the earth (probs close to it though J ), but I don’t take any supplements and I also don’t keep a check list on me as to how many oranges I need to eat a day to ensure that I get enough vitamin C. I just eat a variety of foods that I enjoy. No need to haggle over certain nutrients and eat foods that you simply just do not like. So instead of running to get some vitamin C supplement the next time bae gets a ferocious case of the sniffles, tell him he should eat some oranges, strawberries, peppers, etc. on the regular to prevent them. After all, they taste better than the supplements do.  Well I probably should just take the rest of the day off; I feel a case of the sniffles coming on.  I am going to send this to my boss...

There is no way he can tell me no…kittens always win and I am even a dog person. I don't care who you are, that kitten is pretty cute. Until next time!

Keep it Fresh,
Keep it Green,