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Supplements or Whole Foods: Cut the Noise and Make a Clear Choice

There is a perennial debate on natural diet vs supplements. In this debate the key lies in your clarity on the subject. Supplements may be your convenient go-to for a whole diet, but at the end of the day nothing beats a natural and wholesome diet. Come and read on with us to know before you choose any one as this is going to be your source of overall well-being.

Edited By : Lifestyle Desk | Updated: May 22, 2024 15:52 IST
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Supplements or whole foods

Food and water are the basic necessities of life without which humanity would have perished.  Food contains many natural nutrients like carbs, proteins, fibre, fats and water which are essential for human health. These are required for bodily functions like muscle growth, bone development, organ functions and tissue growth. However, there are times when a natural diet does not provide everything that a human needs. It is then those supplements are required for the human body.      

What Are Natural and Supplementary Diets?

Natural Diet

A natural diet is that which is obtained from the daily food intake of humans. They are wholly natural sources of food. It is the food that every person consumes on a day-to-day basis. Ideally it is the best form of diet that one can consume and should consume. They are generally considered as whole foods. A natural diet comprises fruits, vegetables and whole grains among others.


A diet that comprises synthetic or factory-made nutrients are referred to as supplements or isolated nutrients. They are usually made synthetically or in a factory by industrial processes. They are not whole foods, rather they are made from concentrated and dehydrated whole foods. However, today most of the supplements found on the market are artificial. They comprise vitamins, antioxidants, amino acids and minerals. They are generally found in pill, powder or liquid form, capsule, tablet forms. They are manufactured such that they can replicate the activity of natural nutrients that act on our bodies.

When Are Supplements Required?

Now that you know what a natural diet and a supplement-rich diet is, it is time to understand when you actually require supplements in your diet. However, it is wise to note that supplements cannot replace a natural diet under any circumstances and it may have some adverse effects on your health. It is always recommended that a natural diet which is best for anybody be consumed. If you do think you need some supplements here are some signs that you may consider, but after consultation with an expert.

  •       When you start eating less than two meals a day
  •       When you are taking a restricted diet
  •       When you unnecessarily gain weight without making any conscious effort to do so
  •       When you take three or more medications
  •       When you consume more than three alcoholic drinks a day
  •       When you are pregnant
  •       When you are moving towards menopause or are in postmenopausal stage

These are the situations when you will require supplements.

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Who Should Be Looking to Supplement for Healthy Body Functions?

Bearing everything in mind, it is time to know the benefits most from supplements. Here is a list of those who most need them:

  •       Potential mothers and pregnant women
  •       Adults over the age of 50
  •       Vegans and vegetarians
  •       People with limited diet

However, before planning on buying supplements from the market, you should at all costs consult your doctor or caregiver.

Risks of Taking Supplements

Just as supplements may up the deficiencies in your body, yet there are potential risks to taking supplements. Excess vitamins and minerals may stay on in the body and cause more damage than good. Additionally, supplements sometimes do interfere with certain medicines and cause a person to fall ill. It is to be remembered that the body can remain healthy with a natural diet, so supplements should be consumed only when there is a genuine requirement by the body which only an expert can decide on.

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First published on: May 22, 2024 03:52 PM IST

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