Christine Dreher, CCN, CCH, author of “The Cleanse Cookbook”
Managing your health and well-being in this modern age can
be confusing and overwhelming with the constant onslaught of new technology,
conflicting information and theories, improved foods (including GMOs),
farming practices (with pesticides and other harmful chemicals), and our
convenience products that contain mostly ingredients that we cannot even
How do you sort through it all?
What is your tactical strategy?
What really is effective in safe-guarding your health and
My health strategy is to return to our roots and origins, by
stepping back in time to the “proverbial Garden of Eden.” I feel Mother
Nature got it right the first time around. I am reminded of the old
margarine commercial which said, “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature.” Yes,
I know I am dating myself with this reference, but I believe there’s truth
in this statement. By fooling Mother Nature with genetically modified (GMO)
foods, other processed foods that lack necessary nutrients, and exposure to
chemicals and pesticides, we are harming our bodies and ultimately our
I recommend keeping as close to Mother Nature as possible by
eating whole foods (organic when possible) that are non-GMO and
chemical-free and avoiding processed, convenience foods. To ensure you are
getting optimal nutrition, I suggest supplementing with natural, whole food
In my 12+ years as a Clinical Nutritionist, following are
the top four nutritional questions that I am asked by clients:
Do I really need to take vitamins?
What is the best type of vitamin to take?
Why are whole food vitamin supplements better than
Do I really absorb the nutrients from vitamins?
Do I really need to take
In this day and age with the popularity of the Standard
American diet and our dependence on convenience, my answer is yes, I believe
you certainly benefit from taking vitamins to ensure you are getting enough
Ideally, you need to be eating a wide variety of whole,
nutrient-dense foods for optional nutrition. Because our modern diet
includes processed foods that provide substandard levels of nutrients, many
are deficient in essential nutrients including vitamins, minerals,
probiotics and other micro-nutrients needed for optimal health. By
supplementing your diet with high quality vitamin supplements, you can
provide your body with all of the essential nutrients needed for optimal
health and performance.
What is the best type of vitamin to take?
I suggest taking vitamin supplements that provide superior
nutrition in a form that is easy for the body to absorb and assimilate.
Vitamin supplements that are made from nature’s whole foods provide the best
source of nutrition and are absorbed and assimilated by the body, because
the body recognizes these as food.
Why are whole food vitamin
supplements better than isolated vitamin supplements?
Whole food vitamin supplements are derived from whole foods
which contain the most complete sources of nutrients for your body. They
contain all the necessary vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes,
proteins, fats, carbohydrates, fiber and other micronutrients that you need
for proper nourishment. They are easy to absorb because they contain all the
nutrients needed for assimilation and utilization by your body. Over 25,000
unique micronutrients known as cofactors have been discovered in whole
fruits and vegetables alone. These micronutrients provide additional
nutritional support and they also enhance the effectiveness and absorption
of other nutrients contained in whole foods.
Isolates on the other hand, are extracted nutrients made in
a lab that are void of the enzymes, cofactors and other micronutrients
needed for the proper absorption and utilization by your body, because they
lack the cofactors and micronutrients needed and are not recognized by our
bodies as food In fact, taking isolated forms of vitamin supplements can
even create additional deficiencies, as your body has to use its own
nutritional reserves to try and process the isolated nutrients, so they can
be utilized properly by the body. What can’t be processed is eliminated or
stored by your body. Eliminated nutrients from isolated vitamin supplements
are wasted and stored nutrients from isolates can create health issues over
A problematic example of taking isolated forms of vitamins
is calcium. The absorption rate for calcium carbonate (an inorganic,
isolated form of calcium made from rocks) is about 2% according to recent
studies. This unabsorbed calcium can create an unhealthy build up in the
body, which can result in kidney stones (a build up of calcium in the
kidneys), cardiovascular and other health issues. Calcium can not be
absorbed or utilized correctly without other trace minerals and cofactors
for proper absorption. Ingesting inorganic, isolated forms of calcium can
actually create a calcium deficiency over time. Calcium requires Vitamin D,
magnesium, potassium and vitamin K2 for proper absorption. A whole food form
of calcium provides all these additional nutrients needed for proper calcium
absorption and utilization.
Whole Food Vitamin
Supplements – Fermented/Cultured
By incorporating a culturing or probiotic fermentation
process to whole food nutritional supplements, additional nutrients are
created by the activated bacteria – creating a powerful, health-enhancing
synergy of compounds, including probiotics, enzymes and other micronutrients
that enhance the nutritional benefits of the whole food ingredients.
According to Dr. Richard Sarnat, M.D., co-author of
The Life Bridge: The Way to Longevity with Probiotic Nutrients,
"These (cultured) nutrients promote the health of the entire digestive
system. It's the process of fermentation that unlocks all these wonderful
Of course I recommend that you eat a healthy, whole food,
natural diet, eating organic when possible, and stay away from
GMO foods. I also recommend that you supplement with cultured or
fermented, whole food vitamin supplements that provide a whole food form of
nutrients that your body recognizes and utilizes efficiently, to provide
your body with the complexity of nutrients missing in our modern diets.
I am extremely impressed with the following whole food
vitamin supplement brands because they follow closest to Mother Nature by
using only whole food ingredients and a fermentation or culturing probiotic
process in their vitamin supplement formulas. These are the whole food
vitamins that I take, buy for my family, and recommend to friends, clients
Additional Reading Resources:
The following articles provide additional information and
research on the value of whole food vitamin supplementation:
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