A recent article from the famous Mayo Clinicmakes it abundantly clear that most people are better off to get their nutrition by eating whole, healthy foods than to take concentrated dietary supplements, especially synthetic ones. Here’s an excerpt:
Supplements vs. whole foods
Supplements aren’t intended to be a food substitute because they can’t replicate all of the nutrients and benefits of whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables. So depending on your situation and your eating habits, dietary supplements may not be worth the expense.
Whole foods offer three main benefits over dietary supplements:
- Greater nutrition. Whole foods are complex, containing a variety of the micronutrients your body needs — not just one. An orange, for example, provides vitamin C plus some beta carotene, calcium and other nutrients. A vitamin C supplement lacks these other micronutrients.
- Essential fiber. Whole foods, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes, provide dietary fiber. Most high-fiber foods are also packed with other essential nutrients. Fiber, as part of a healthy diet, can help prevent certain diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and it can also help manage constipation.
- Protective substances. Whole foods contain other substances important for good health. Fruits and vegetables, for example, contain naturally occurring substances called phytochemicals, which may help protect you against cancer, heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. Many are also good sources of antioxidants — substances that slow down oxidation, a natural process that leads to cell and tissue damage.
Even before I was aware of these recommendations from the medical community, the USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services, and was importing my first shipment of Baobab Fruit Pulp, this made intuitive sense to me. I do not take vitamins or supplements, but I eat a balanced diet with almost no processed foods, and am quite healthy. Some people in the natural foods industry thought I should import and sell Baobab as a supplement, since it would likely be sold in that aisle of strores due to its superior nutrition profile. It did not seem right to me. In Africa, Baobab is eaten on its own like candy or as an ingredient in porriges and sauces. I decided to import it as what it is: a food ingredient.
I suppose you could look at it as a supplement because it has tons of vitamins, minerals, prebiotic soluble fiber, roughage (insoluble fiber) and ranks among the best antioxidant superfruits. Baobab Fruit Pulp is a pure, wild harvested food product. It is not altered, fortified or concentrated in any way. It is really not a supplement, but a nutrient-dense food.
David Sandoval, President of Purium Health Products and syndicated talk show host writes:
In super whole foods, nutrients exist within complex combinations of enzymes and other activating and synergistic elements. Those foods, when they replace processed foods in our diets, can change our very physiology at its deepest, cellular level. The trace elements, enzymes and cofactors present in whole foods actually make the nutrient or antioxidant work! They activate the elements.
In the same article, Daniel H. Chong, N.D. is quoted as saying:
A whole food-based nutrient supplement can deliver (a) more than adequate nutrient punch with lower doses because of improved bioavailability and synergy between the various nutrients.
Baobab Fruit Pulp is really an archtype of the “super whole foods’ Mr. Sandoval writes about. A good deal of the nutritive synergy it offers is by virtue of its prebiotic effect, which helps to create a nurturing environment in the digestive tract for healthy probiotic bacteria such as those found in yogurt, which improve digestion and help with nutrient uptake.