Changing your food habits will have major impact on your overal health. In this article we shed some light on food supplements and why they can be useful.

Let's have a look at possible reasons for suppletion:

  1. Decreasing nutrients in our soil: since World War II, food production has undergone enormous industrialisation, which led to intensive farming with deteriorating soil quality. Farmers focused on efficiency and mono-culturing without crop rotation. This resulted in soil depletion and food with fewer vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.
  2. Food is picked immaturely: most micro-nutrients in plants and fruits are formed during the last 10% of the ripening process. Our food often comes from far away, where it is picked unripe to guarantee freshness upon arrival In foreign harbours. This unfortunately leads to a loss of nutrients.
  3. Stress: we live in a world that is stressful for our bodies. We experience a heavier workload and live in a more toxic environment. The use of the right food and supplements can offer support.
  4. Recommended amount of vegetables per day: if you don’t eat the recommended 500 grams of vegetables per day, it may be wise to supplement. Vegetables contain, next to well-known vitamins and minerals, special phytonutrients, and fiber. Both are essential to the well-functioning of our bodies. If you don’t add vegetables to your meals, you probably won’t get the right amount of veggies.

10 Factors that determine the power and effect of your supplements

So, if you have decided you should take some supplements, you of course expect them to work quickly and efficiently. Which factors determine the success of these supplements and what should you pay attention to?

  1. Make sure you have enough digestive power: without proper digestion, your gut won’t be able to absorb the supplements. Focus on chewing, enough gastric acid, and a sufficient amount of enzymes. If you experience digestive problems, contact a nutritionist or therapist in order to restore proper function.
  2. Choose high-quality supplement: they have good bio-availability and absorbability. Bio-availability means that your body can process the supplement rapidly, so the beneficial properties of the substances can be expressed. Low absorbability of a supplement makes that the nutrients are lost and are removed with the stool. It can also lead to stomach and intestinal complaints and you will hardly notice any positive effects.
  3. Choose active vitamins: especially B-vitamins only work in their active form. You can recognise these by the following names on the ingredients list on the bottle's label:
    • Vitamin B2 = riboflavin-5-phosphate
    • Vitamin B6 = pyridoxal-5-phosphate
    • Vitamin B12 = methylcobalamin, adenosylcobalamin
    • Folic Acid = 5 methyltetrahydrafolate
    • Vitamin D3 = cholecalciferol (instead of D2 = ergocalciferol)
  4. Choose organically bound minerals: your body will find these easier to absorb.
  5. Choose natural, plant-based vitamins instead of the synthetic variant: cheaper supplements are often made of synthetic substances like petroleum, but they don’t operate the way the natural vitamins do. This is especially important with vitamin E: the natural form of d-alfa-tocopherol is much more powerful than the synthetic variant.
  6. The natural vitamin E comes together with similar substances, the tocopherols, which work synergetically. These should be included in your supplement:
    • D-Alfa tocopherol
    • D-Delta tocopherol
    • D-Gamma tocopherol
  7. Vitamine C is the exception to the rule: there is little difference in the effect of synthetic versus plant-based vitamin C. However, Vitamin C in nature is accompanied by bioflavonoids that amplify the effect of the vitamin. A good vitamin C supplement is therefore always accompanied by these flavonols. It should also be buffered by a mineral such as Calcium, magnesium, sodium, or potassium. As a bonus, you will obtain these precious minerals. Vitamin C is very acidic and can affect your gastrointestinal tract when using high dosages. 
  8. Some vitamins are fat-soluble: these are vitamins A,D, E and K (and other substances like Q10, Curcuma, and Oregano). Since our blood is a water-based solution it is harder for these vitamins to be properly absorbed. The solution is to take these vitamins in a micro-emulsion (existing of minuscule drops) which will make it easier for your body to absorb. The best emulsifier is Arabic gum. Try to avoid synthetic polysorbate 80.
  9. Look for synergy: combine substances for optimal results, such as:
    • Magnesium in combination with taurine and vitamin B6. The effect of this substance is highly correlated. Without B6 it is impossible for magnesium to enter your cells
    • B-vitamins: often coincide in nature and work strongly together
    • Anti-oxidants: anti-oxidants complement each other when neutralizing free radicals. They recycle each other so they can work longer
  10. Timing: did you know that the moment of intake influences the effect of the supplement?

Most supplements are best taken with your meals: your digestion is most active at these moments and therefore your supplements are best absorbed. But with some therapies it is better to take your supplements at specific hours:

  • Enzymes: when taken with your meal, enzymes will be used to better digest your food. Apart from meals they can be used systemically to help you recover from disease or injuries.
  • Looking for more energy? Take your supplements, like vitamin B or Q10 in the morning or during the day. Better not at night since they can give difficulties falling asleep.
  • Do you want to support your liver? Take your supplements at night since your liver does most of the detoxing during the night.

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