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The Evidence is in – Source Matters!

by Marilyn Polon

February 20, 2020

Hello Loyal Soup People!

While healthy diet recommendations have varied over the years, one piece of advice that has always remained constant is that we should eat as many vegetables and fruits as possible. The micro nutrients (vitamins and minerals) contained in produce seem to be the key to keeping us healthy, fighting disease, and more. More and more evidence shows that these micro nutrients are only truly effective when consumed in their natural state. In short – pills are not effective substitutes for eating whole fruits and vegetables.

At least half of all Americans take some sort of dietary supplement. Any why not? They are advertised as magic pills for health, largely due to the fact that they are very loosely regulated. Unfortunately, when we dig deeper, we learn that at best, many supplements are basically useless. At worst, they can be dangerous. For example, a 2016 study found that a high intake of vitamin E can significantly increase men’s risk for prostate cancer. A 2019 study conducted by Tufts University found that sufficient consumption of vitamins and nutrients from food yielded a lower overall risk of death. On the other hand, adequate consumption of the same vitamins and nutrients from supplements yielded no decreased risk of mortality.

Why? Source matters! Our bodies naturally absorb micro nutrients found in food. Also, these vitamins and minerals work in synergy when naturally occurring together in food. When we consume them individually, they lose their effectiveness.

What does this all mean? One – talk to your doctor before taking supplements. If you simply decide to take them as “insurance,” you’re wasting your money. Two – eat real food. Load up on vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. Health doesn’t come in a pill. It comes on your plate!



*NOTE – Soupermom is not a licensed dietitian, doctor, personal trainer, or anything like that. She’s just extremely knowledgeable about healthy living!! But if you slip and fall while taking her advice, it is not her fault!

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