October 19 – Strategy 19 – Vitamins: RAW is Best
Many people ask, "Are vitamins necessary, and what kind is best?" I have always taken vitamins, although I have to admit I never took them religiously. Even when I did, I thought the generic daily vitamin was enough. Until I got sick, I never gave a thought as to whether or not these vitamins were being effectively absorbed by my body. The idea to look for a raw food vitamin had never occurred to me. The fact is I was taking the most affordable and most popular synthetic vitamin.
Most of the vitamins you find on the pharmacy shelves these days are made synthetically through chemical processes. Synthetic vitamins are made in a laboratory setting and are cheaper to produce than natural vitamins. Nutritionists specializing in holistic and preventive medicine believe synthetic vitamins are useless and ineffective. Orthodox doctors and even some nutritionists argue that synthetic vitamins have a molecular chemical structure identical to the natural vitamin and that they are just as effective. So who’s right and who’s wrong?
Preventive medicine authorities believe the best multivitamin supplement must come from nature— not from a test tube! Raw vitamins contain nutrients that are found in nature (Think plants!) that we need for optimal wellness. Raw foods are rich in enzymes and many other phytochemicals that processing and heating destroy. Studies have found a link between enzymes and longevity. Enzymes are needed for good health so when they are depleted, health suffers. The body canproduce only so many enzymes endogenously (internally), and people realize food enzymes are as necessary to health as any vitamin. In most cases processed foods (and vitamins) lack such enzymes due to heat and other processing.
These enzyme molecules are only produced when food is in its natural state or fermented with beneficial bacteria. Fermented foods such as yogurt, miso, and even coffee, deliver an incredibly diverse supply of antioxidants.
Supplements, as the word clearly states, are meant to supplement a highly varied diet of whole, unprocessed foods. As an example, you can get bioflavinoids from citrus fruits, but you can’t know exactly how much vitamin C you are getting. Supplements are a way of assuring you enough nutrients to keep your body healthy. Where to get RAW vitamins? You can purchase them at a health food store, WholeFoods stores, Trader Joe’s and online. Be sure before you purchase that it clearly specifies RAW on the label.
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