This article has been researched and written by Arelang Naturals® in-house writers.
Welcome to the new age. Time is fleeting, health and self-care have taken a back seat. It’s all about the money money, and running running. In the whole ‘chasing the dreams’ scheme of things, we completely neglect our bodies and the food we put into them. This is what actually forms the basis of the multimillion-dollar supplement industry. But can supplements do what food does? Can they completely replace food? Let’s see
Food is an essential part of our lives. Not just any food. Good quality, nutritious food. We’ve told you about micro and macronutrients and what they do for your body. Most nutrients that your body needs can only be found in food. Without these, your body can not function the way it is meant to. When you put good food into your body, it distributes all the essentials to different organs and excretes the rest. This food is what ensures your body works like a well-oiled machine.
When supplement pills and vitamins first came to be, they were meant to balance specific deficiencies in human bodies, and were prescribed by doctors along with the medicines intended for them. For example Calcium, B-Complex, Iron supplements. These were not specifically meant for preventative or rather protective health. These days, supplements and pills are used to avoid chronic illnesses. It sounds all rosy. But there is a problem. Supplement consumption has progressively increased but not by the people who lack nourishment. This means people that may not really need it are pumping excess vitamins and minerals into the body, way above the stipulated safety limit. Yes that can happen too, as they are taking multiple supplements each day, from different brands, delivering the same quantity of permissible vitamins through them! Excess Vitamins should be good right? Wrong. So here’s what happens to your body when you put vitamins directly into your body through supplements, instead of nutrient rich food.
When your body receives nutrition through food, there are several functions of absorption and distribution of food at play by some of the vital organs in your body. Each part of the digestive organs has a role to perform when it receives food. There are some that absorb, some that assimilate, some that convert and some that distribute the nutrients to the other organs to create their own enzymes, hormones, bile, digestive juices etc that are needed for your body to function properly. The digestive system converts the foods we eat into their simplest forms, like glucose (sugars), amino acids (that make up protein) or fatty acids (that make up fats). The micronutrients are isolated and absorbed by the ileum in the small intestine. Thats the job that is assigned to the various functions of the digestive system. Now with each part having its role to play in the grand scheme of the digestion process, imagine what would happen when you start putting vitamins, enzymes, hormones etc directly into your body. And again imagine what would happen to your body if that is done over an extended period of time. Yes - those functions stop performing and when you stop consuming the vitamins, hormones, enzymes, your body takes a long long time to restart the processes it was originally designed for.
Your body needs just the right quantity of nutrients, not more, not less, to sustain itself. It is so intelligent, that it only absorbs only what it needs.The rest of the nutrients end up going through your liver, putting additional stress on it to not just absorb and utilize now, but to store and expel as well - doing more harm than good for you as well as your liver. This results in hypervitaminosis, a condition that occurs when a person’s body stores the excess oil based vitamins leading to overactivity, irritability, and sometimes even toxicity. Your liver and pancreas are responsible for the proper digestion of food. Now, can you imagine what happens when you put in stuff that stresses out this very important organ? Natural foods rarely give your body excessive vitamins. The problem begins when you eat your food but supplement too, without being prescribed supplements for specific deficiencies in your body.
On the flip side, if you do not eat specific foods, your body lacks the ingredients it needs to work at full throttle. This inevitably means the body needs to supplement to do away with deficiencies. This brings us to another problem. You know you need more than just food to sustain, but what is the best way to supplement. Do pills work? Should we take powders? Should we take non-natural supplements? Are we reading our labels?
The quality and quantity of what you are putting into your body are of utmost importance. We have already told you about hypervitaminosis and the harm that it does. So while keeping that in mind, you must read your labels and compare them with your daily requirements of that particular essential micro or macronutrient. Another thing to keep in mind is the quality. Natural plant-based ingredients in supplements are what you should look for. Sugars, chemicals, and such are rampantly used in pills and do not need space in your body and life.
All in all, while supplementing is inevitable, the focus cannot shift from the food that you are eating. Feed your body well and only supplement those things that it lacks. Treat your body like the temple that it is meant to be. And remember, it does not have to be Man V/S vitamins. You can be one team, just with little shifts in the way you look at health and wellness. Shift to plant based ingredients that your body can recognize and easily absorb, that allows your body and all its functions to work the way it should and finally lays little to no stress on your liver!