- Health tips, Nutrition

Fruit or vitamin pills: Which is better?

This article answers the question, fruit or vitamin supplements Which is better? To this end, we compare the advantages and disadvantages.

Fruit or vitamin pills: Which is better?

The beginning of 2017 in Germany was without question dominated by one of the unfortunately recurring food scandals. And of course such a scandal moves not only the foodstuffs (chicken eggs) concerned this time into the special focus of the consumers, but also all remaining foodstuffs and our eating habits in general. Sustainable organic supermarkets and the farmers and producers who work with them naturally benefit from this new nutritional awareness.

Because there is no doubt that products and food from real organic farming – for example eggs, cucumbers, apples, pears or plums – should be the vitamin-rich basis of any conscious nutrition.

Now comes the big “but”: despite the continuing organic food boom in Germany, the vast majority of food still comes from classic mass production. Large farms, large dairies and livestock farms continue to dominate on the producer side. Consumers are certainly right to ask: What is the real vitamin content in these products?

Do vitamins from mass food production suffice – or do we need additional vitamin preparations?

A quick look at the extensive market for dietary supplements could quickly tempt you to answer this question with a clear “yes”.

Both in online shops and in retail stores, but above all in the programmes of the home shopping channels, there are countless products for nutritional supplements today. Who occasionally has the impression that especially in the area of home shopping not only serious products are presented, is certainly not so far off with this opinion. Independent state and scientific institutions usually also disagree on the subject of vitamin supplements and, in contrast to most manufacturers of dietary supplements, support their theses with valid studies, studies and analyses.

The websites of the Max- Rubner- Institut (Bundesforschungsinstitut für Ernährung und Lebensmittel) and the BfR (Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung) can be an interesting contact point for all consumers interested in information about vitamins and vitamin preparations. These institutes agree that there are more than enough vitamins available for consumers in today’s foods – even though many of them have been produced ethically, at least in a dubious way, by mass production. Of course, this requires – not surprisingly – a balanced diet!

An healthy diet from meat, fat, potatoes and pickled vegetables is – regardless of the vitamin content of the food used – no vitamins. Here, of course, the aforementioned fruit plate comes into play. Together with sufficient movement and conscious nutrition it actually covers the vitamin need of most humans in sufficient measure. Except in rare special cases – for example if a patient has a metabolic disease – additional vitamin preparations are not necessary for consumer health even with an average healthy diet.

A persistent rumor: Fruit and vegetables have much less vitamins today than before

An astonishingly persistent rumour among many consumers, however, has not yet been dispelled by the above-mentioned renowned bodies and institutes. Especially in the vastness of the internet there are numerous comments, posts and articles, which come to an essentially identical opinion:

Food – especially fruit and vegetables – contain much less vitamins than before! Could that be?

Of course I don’t. Fortunately, opinions about today’s vitamin content are not only based on subjective perceptions such as an aqueous taste or an external form changed by breeding. In addition to up-to-the-minute measurements, there are also long-term studies on the vitamin content of fruit, vegetables and animal food offered in Germany: Apart from minimal seasonal fluctuations, the vitamin content in fruit and vegetables has remained at least constant and in some cases even increased slightly due to breeding, crossbreeding, fertilisers and better farming methods.

Plants offer even more than “just” vitamins: Secondary metabolites

Plant foods are often reduced to vitamins in advertising, although many plants often offer more than “just” vitamins: The magic word here is secondary plant substances or as they are called more precisely in expert circles: secondary metabolites or secondary plant substances. In the field of naturopathy, which is currently becoming more and more popular, the term phytamine, based on the word “vitamins”, has often been coined in the past for these essential secondary plant substances.

Quite a few crops are even cultivated mainly because of the secondary plant substances contained in them. Besides the well-known primary metabolites of the metabolism – amino acids, carbohydrates and carboxylic acids – these secondary metabolites are an indispensable part of a balanced and therefore generally healthier diet. Today’s available vitamin preparations usually do not contain any of these secondary metabolites and also often ignore elementary metabolic relationships. They simply offer supposedly simple solutions for complex questions in the right nutrition.

Vitamins from an unexpected source: Vitamins in animal food

Vitamins are certainly associated with healthy fruit or vegetables by the vast majority of consumers. However, there are other products that are sources of vitamins: Animal food

Interestingly, recent studies have shown that the vitamin content in animal foods today is usually much higher than in earlier times. The reasons for this are quickly determined: Both in factory farming and in more species-appropriate organic animal husbandry, the animals are supplied with more nutritious and vitamin-rich feed than even years and decades ago. This should by no means be a call to consume animal food on a more regular basis! However, it clearly shows that the consumption of the sometimes very expensive vitamin preparations is now really not necessary for the vast majority of people.

Fruit and vegetables is essential for a balanced diet.

However, there are also major differences in the vitamin content of fruits and vegetables. Vitamins are vital for the human organism. Vitamins help to obtain energy from fats, proteins or carbohydrates. This energy is particularly important for our brain. In addition, vitamins are important for building enzymes, blood cells or hormones.

Since the body cannot produce most vitamins itself, the most important vitamins should be taken in daily through food. There are thirteen different vitamins that the body can utilize through food. These vitamins include vitamins A, D and E as well as B1, B2, B6, and B12. Also folic acid, biotin and panthothenic acid. Vitamin A is preferably found in foods such as carrots, spinach or eggs folic acid increased in cabbage and leafy vegetables.

However, a one-sided diet can quickly lead to a vitamin deficiency. This can be indicated by various signs. The first symptoms that can speak for a vitamin deficiency are for example fatigue and the associated loss of performancel. Therefore, you should always be careful to keep your diet balanced. However, there is no basic rule as to how many vitamins someone needs. This depends on individual factors. Mental and physical stress plays an important role. Other important factors are age, diet and possible chronic diseases.
But an increased vitamin intake is also necessary during pregnancy and lactation.

In most cases, however, it is not so easy to provide your body with sufficient vitamins every day. However, special vitamin supplements can prevent vitamin deficiency. The acai berries contain antioxidants that detoxify the body, dissolve water deposits and thus promote acai berries not only a weight loss but can also be used as anti-aging agents.

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