I would like to share this article by Gavin Levy, MD with you if anybody wondered why whole foods are better than supplements.
Does a Vitamin C supplement have the same impact in the body as Vitamin C from an apple? 🍎
Professor Liu and his research team sought to answer this question. They found that 100 grams of fresh apples contained 5.7 milligrams of Vitamin C. However, 100 grams of fresh apples had an antioxidant, Vitamin C-like activity equivalent to 1,500 milligrams of Vitamin C. The Vitamin C-like activity of 100 grams of fresh apples was an incredible 263 times more potent than the actual amount of Vitamin C found in the apple!
What does this all mean? It highlights that nutrition is extremely wholistic. When you take a Vitamin C supplement in isolation, you don't get the thousands of other nutrients found in the apple that work together to give Vitamin C its potency. This same concept applies to other whole foods and supplements. A nutrient found in a whole food functions very differently in the body to the same nutrient obtained from a supplement.
Whilst supplements have a role, they should not take the place of obtaining your nutrition from whole food plant based sources. To solely rely on a supplement is a narrow mindset based on the premise that good nutrition can be reduced to a list of isolated nutrients that need to be consumed in strict regimented quantities. However, as we can see from the apple, nutrition is exceptionally complex and when consumed in whole foods, nutrients work synergistically to either stimulate or suppress the potency of other nutrients. There can therefore be no substitute for eating a whole food plant based diet.
Study: Antioxidant activity of fresh apples (R.H. Liu, M.V. Eberhardt)