Most people would agree that vitamins are expensive to buy. But you’ve been told you need them to stay healthy, which is odd, because 90% of those vitamins and minerals are synthetic isolates. You’d be much better off growing your own, because the truth is that the so called “health supplement” industry makes all of these supposedly awesome for your health products from petroleum and sugar derivatives.

And you were worried about chemical additives in processed foods? Granted, multivitamins with iron are small things taken once a day, but you aren’t doing yourself any favors here at all, not when most B vitamin supplements are made from coal tar, and Vitamin A is not an isolate.

Now, if you eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and the like, you really shouldn’t need multivitamins. Everything you eat from meats and dairy to nuts, grains, and fresh produce has different amounts of natural vitamins, minerals, and all the lovely things that cost so much when you buy them packaged as supplements. Of course, if your diet is mainly processed foods, then yes, you are getting less of these than you need, but processed vitamins and minerals is not going to fix that.

Food manufacturers know you’re concerned about getting good nutrition for what you eat, so they’ve got beverages with extra Vitamin C, or Vitamin D fortified milk, and what not, but these are also synthetically derived. Is that what you want in your diet, false enhancements puffing up what registers on the surface? Look at all of you shaking your heads… What’s worse, is that these manufactured vitamins and minerals are incomplete, which dilutes or erases their effectiveness.

Natural Sources of Real VitaminsThe thing is that unless it’s from a true food source – fresh or simply dried leaves or flesh, perhaps freshly squeezed juice or puree – it is processed. Like cooked for preserving, pasteurized, something to keep you safe from scary stuff. Let it say ‘natural’ all over the package, it’s still not what you would call natural 99% of the time. Petroleum is a natural substance, you know, the earth oozes it through the surface, and if you know where to drill you can tap right into a flowing vein. Technically, they aren’t misleading you, though I don’t know anyone who would agree that a petroleum derivative is natural for human consumption internally or topically.

The largest concentration of most vitamins is in things with intense flavonoids, like oranges, tomatoes, greens, and herbs. Of course, if you’re going to be able to give your body every ounce of natural goodness these foods offer, you won’t be getting them from any supermarket or grocery store. No produce kings like Trader Joe’s either. Big, or small, any retailer who sources food from the food chain wholesalers are selling you old food. The longer its been disconnected from the plant, the less of your daily nutrient needs it will contain, along with reduced flavor and crunch. It may still be edible, but it’s cheating you of vital nutes and antioxidants.

Processing for long term storing of any food removes precious vitamins and minerals that the health supplement industry is all to happy to provide you with. Unfortunately, these fake nutrients give you added synthetic results, and are missing important factors, not to mention being isolated from questionable substances. Furthermore, what portion of today’s health problems can be attributed to the petroleum and sugar derivatives in all these synthetic vitamins and minerals? They’re not just coming from your multivitamins, it’s the same source for added nutrition in processed foods.

Fresh is better than dried in every instance, except perhaps intensity of flavor. Removing the water content of anything condenses the taste and makes the flavors richer, but any part of it’s nutritional values that are water-soluble vacates with the moisture content. Unless it is air-dried, as in hanging bunches from the rafters in a dark room, there is heat involved. Even when the process uses low heat, this destroys a greater portion of what you really needed from the source. That being said, consider the fact that any product processed commercially before being packaged for sale involves procedures completed as rapidly as possible. Never forget that time is money to all businesses, which translates to a loss of vital vitamins, minerals, and other healthy benefits in whole food dietary supplements too.

So, the best resort for anyone is to either grow your own, or purchase from local farmers and market growers. The same is true of meat, eggs. grains, dairy products, etc.

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Tammy Clayton

Contributing Writer at Garden Culture Magazine

Tammy has been immersed in the world of plants and growing since her first job as an assistant weeder at the tender age of 8. Heavily influenced by a former life as a landscape designer and nursery owner, she swears good looking plants follow her home.