So, a question for opting to supplements or functional foods- which one is better?
A nutrient is a nutrient, whether or not you get it from your food or pills. Supplement provider claims about the absorption rate and the concentration versus functional foods. Let's not get too much into details of what gets absorbed better, which form does and which doesn't. I am going to write about the term completeness.
Completeness to me, meant total wholesome nutrients found in a single matter. Perhaps, the most natural complete nutrients are found in what we termed as food. I just had a box of fresh strawberry. It is so fresh that I feel the water content, the ripeness and the sugar. The richness in vitamin C with antioxidants and the amount of fiber intake makes my day. :)
Thanks to food processing technology, we can have this strawberry made into an extract. Typically, it is made not to just contain a few times of the amount of nutrients from strawberry but also, to extend the absorption of the nutrient, reducing the extra stuff such as sugar or fibers. It could be made into a high potency antioxidant supplements. Do you know that strawberry contains high amount of antioxidants, among the best 50 antioxidant sources? (1) Strawberries are fragile and their nutrient can be lost within 2 days(1). That is why turning them into an extract to preserve their properties make complete sense.
Food extracts or supplements are what I called complements. They are great help to us, to supplement what is lacking in our life. For those who eat less than recommended amount of fruit and vegetables, chances are taking antioxidant supplement would benefit you. Another example would be for vegan practitioner. Vegan often lack of vitamin B12 and they are typically advised to supplement their diet with B12.
Whether it is completeness or complement that we choose, always stay healthy :) Natural food gave us so much more than what it looks. Supplements promise us exactly it meant to deliver (on label).
1. Strawberry. The George Mateljan Foundation. . 2012-2013Retrieved from http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=32. October 5, 2013.