Consumers are concerned for their health more than ever before. They want to know exactly what they are putting in – or on – their bodies, which has forced companies to become increasingly transparent. That’s why you’ve seen the prominent display of calorie counts on restaurant menus and the new-and-improved Nutrition Facts label, along with numerous changes to the ingredients themselves.
But what does this mean for your multivitamin? A whopping 75% of U.S. adults are now taking dietary supplements. If you’re one of them, it might be time to consider food-based supplements. The health advantages to food-based formulas are significant and worth your attention.
While the benefits are wide-reaching, below are three major reasons to choose food-based supplements.
What Qualifies Food-Based Supplements?
In light of being transparent, “food-based” does not mean you’re consuming the equivalent of fresh, whole produce. Instead, food-based supplements are blends of carefully curated food concentrates that deliver consistent levels of active nutrients in order to support overall health and wellbeing.
Companies like Zahler Supplements create these types of formulas using concentrated and/or dehydrated forms of fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices. As a result, they provide nutrients that are as close to their natural form as possible.
Now that you have a clearer understanding of food-based vitamins and supplements, let’s explore their benefits.
3 Reasons to Choose Food-Based Supplements
By definition, a bioactive ingredient is a food or food constituent that has been shown to offer health benefits to a variety of body tissues. This can include vitamins, minerals or other compounds, like antioxidants or probiotics. However, for a bioactive nutrient to be most effective, it needs to be bioavailable, or ready for your body to use.
Food-based multivitamins are much more likely to supply the bioavailable form of nutrients, because they are made with the most natural sources: food or food concentrates.
Food-based supplements can provide bioavailable nutrients in a number of ways, depending on the nutrient itself. The preferred form of vitamin D, for example, is cholecalciferol (vitamin D3). That’s the kind of vitamin D you naturally produce when your skin is exposed to sunlight. Therefore, your body recognizes this form and knows exactly how to utilize it for various health processes.
Other nutrients may require special processing or nutrient pairing to make them more bioavailable. That’s why you might see a chelated form of iron, like the patented FerroChel® in Zahler real Calm Multi. Now, you’re probably wondering “what are chelated minerals?” Chelation is the method of combining minerals with other molecules (usually amino acids) to form a more absorbable form of the mineral.
Whether the nutrient has been chelated, methylated or phosphorylated, these are all processes that naturally occur in your body, anyway. Food-based supplements simply get ahead of the curve by providing the broken-down version upfront. This saves your body time and helps deliver the nutrient’s health benefits much faster.
2. They supply nutrient variety.
As you’ve seen, food-based multivitamins and supplements hold a high regard for quality nutrients, specifically the nutritional integrity and bioavailability. But there is also a distinctive focus on the quantity of nutrients.
Because they are made with food-derived compounds, these types of supplements often include the many phytonutrients that come from plants. Phytonutrients are the natural chemical compounds produced by plants to protect them from insects and UV radiation. In other words, food-based supplements provide the whole gamut of goodness.
In fact, some food-based supplements are so pumped full of nutrients, they deliver ample nourishment for a day. One serving of Zahler’s real Multis, for instance, supplies the equivalent to five or more servings of fruits and vegetables.
The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults consume 2-cup-equivalents of fruit and 2-1/2-cup equivalents of vegetables each day. Unfortunately, CDC data from 2015 showed a very small percentage of the population actually meets these recommendations on a daily basis. Therefore, taking a multivitamin with adequate supplies can help fill in those nutritional gaps.†
There’s more to those phytonutrients. A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found “that the additive and synergistic effects of phytochemicals in fruit and vegetables are responsible for their potent antioxidant and anticancer activities.” In other words, the phytonutrients in real foods create a synergistic effect.
Remember the TV show “Power Rangers”? Together, the five colorful superheroes possessed more strength than they did individually. That’s how food synergy works. When you consume a robust combination of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and antioxidants, they combine to enhance absorption and boost each other’s role on health.
Since food-based supplements supply targeted nutrients, you know you’re getting the right mix of those nutritional components that “power” together to nourish your body.
Zahler real Beauty Multi, for instance, features the carotenoid known as lycopene. Lycopene is distinguishable by its red pigment, which explains why it’s abundantly found in tomatoes and berries. The role of this carotenoid (and many others) is to act as an antioxidant, fighting off free radicals that can cause long-lasting harm throughout the body.† Lycopene is then paired with keratin, the key structural protein found in hair, nails and skin. It is this type of thoughtful package of food-based ingredients that creates targeted nutrition.
Shopping Tips: How to Choose the Right Food-Based Supplements
The supplement market is more flooded with options than the toothpaste aisle, which means you’ll have to be a discerning customer if you want to make the right selection. To help you narrow down the search, here are a few important tips to follow:
- Take note of the nutrient profiles.
Before starting any supplement regimen, you should speak with your healthcare provider. They will be able to guide you toward the mix of nutrients that best serves your body. From there, use that insight to find the formula that adequately fills the gaps in your diet.
For instance, if you need digestive health support, you might look for a multivitamin that offers nutrients that complement those needs. Zahler real Multi Digestion features probiotics along with a targeted blend of 22 other nutrients. This is just one example, but the goal is to find a nutrient profile that is designed to meet your specific health goals.
In addition to reviewing the overall nutrient profile, take note of the nutrient amounts per serving, or the potency. Your body may require a higher potency of certain vitamins and minerals and less of others.
Zahler real Multis are all advanced nutrition formulas that provide the equivalent to five or more servings of fruits and vegetables. The Zahler real Multi Digestion accomplishes this by supplying eight vitamins and minerals at 100% Daily Value or greater and another 10 at 50% Daily Value. Again, the potencies will vary from formula-to-formula, so be sure you take the time to compare them.
- Look for patented ingredients.
Patented ingredients come with substantial scientific support that confirm the nutrient’s potency and efficacy. Therefore, finding a food-based multivitamin that incorporates these well-studied ingredients can be especially beneficial to your health.
Here’s an example: If you are a woman who is pregnant or planning to become pregnant, you know the importance of folate in your diet. A formula like Zahler Prenatal Plus DHA 300 features the patented Quatrefolic® folate. It is the reduced and methylated form of folate that ensures a higher folate uptake.†
- Choose a brand you trust.
Above all, you should trust the supplement brand you select. But how do you know who you can trust? Companies with a proven track record and years of experience are a good starting point. Zahler Supplements is a third-generation family company, which was founded by Rachel Zahler, PhD on the grounds of integrity and innovation.
Not only are their products made of the purest ingredients from around the world, but they are then manufactured and bottled in a GMP-certified facility based in the U.S. These are the qualities you want in a supplement company, so you know what you’re putting in your body is exactly what you read on the label.
There is no arguing that eating a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables is the number one way to get the nutrients your body needs to thrive. But it’s also unrealistic to believe everyone’s diet is adequately nutritious all the time. So in the event you do plan on supplementing those gaps, make sure you’re choosing the next-best option: a real, food-based multivitamin. Your body will thank you for it.