Whole Food Vitamins


Ask the Nutritionist
Christine Dreher, CCN, CCH, author of “The Cleanse Cookbook”

Managing your health and well-being in this modern age can be confusing and overwhelming with the constant onslaught of new technology, conflicting information and theories, improved foods (including GMOs), farming practices (with pesticides and other harmful chemicals), and our convenience products that contain mostly ingredients that we cannot even pronounce.

  • How do you sort through it all?

  • What is your tactical strategy?

  • What really is effective in safe-guarding your health and well-being?


My health strategy is to return to our roots and origins, by stepping back in time to the “proverbial Garden of Eden.” I feel Mother Nature got it right the first time around. I am reminded of the old margarine commercial which said, “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature.” Yes, I know I am dating myself with this reference, but I believe there’s truth in this statement. By fooling Mother Nature with genetically modified (GMO) foods, other processed foods that lack necessary nutrients, and exposure to chemicals and pesticides, we are harming our bodies and ultimately our health.

I recommend keeping as close to Mother Nature as possible by eating whole foods (organic when possible) that are non-GMO and chemical-free and avoiding processed, convenience foods. To ensure you are getting optimal nutrition, I suggest supplementing with natural, whole food vitamin supplements.

In my 12+ years as a Clinical Nutritionist, following are the top four nutritional questions that I am asked by clients:

  • Do I really need to take vitamins?

  • What is the best type of vitamin to take?

  • Why are whole food vitamin supplements better than isolates?

  • Do I really absorb the nutrients from vitamins?

Do I really need to take vitamins?

In this day and age with the popularity of the Standard American diet and our dependence on convenience, my answer is yes, I believe you certainly benefit from taking vitamins to ensure you are getting enough nutrients.

Ideally, you need to be eating a wide variety of whole, nutrient-dense foods for optional nutrition. Because our modern diet includes processed foods that provide substandard levels of nutrients, many are deficient in essential nutrients including vitamins, minerals, probiotics and other micro-nutrients needed for optimal health. By supplementing your diet with high quality vitamin supplements, you can provide your body with all of the essential nutrients needed for optimal health and performance.

What is the best type of vitamin to take?

I suggest taking vitamin supplements that provide superior nutrition in a form that is easy for the body to absorb and assimilate. Vitamin supplements that are made from nature’s whole foods provide the best source of nutrition and are absorbed and assimilated by the body, because the body recognizes these as food.


Why are whole food vitamin supplements better than isolated vitamin supplements?

Whole food vitamin supplements are derived from whole foods which contain the most complete sources of nutrients for your body. They contain all the necessary vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, fiber and other micronutrients that you need for proper nourishment. They are easy to absorb because they contain all the nutrients needed for assimilation and utilization by your body. Over 25,000 unique micronutrients known as cofactors have been discovered in whole fruits and vegetables alone. These micronutrients provide additional nutritional support and they also enhance the effectiveness and absorption of other nutrients contained in whole foods.

Isolates on the other hand, are extracted nutrients made in a lab that are void of the enzymes, cofactors and other micronutrients needed for the proper absorption and utilization by your body, because they lack the cofactors and micronutrients needed and are not recognized by our bodies as food In fact, taking isolated forms of vitamin supplements can even create additional deficiencies, as your body has to use its own nutritional reserves to try and process the isolated nutrients, so they can be utilized properly by the body. What can’t be processed is eliminated or stored by your body. Eliminated nutrients from isolated vitamin supplements are wasted and stored nutrients from isolates can create health issues over time.

A problematic example of taking isolated forms of vitamins is calcium. The absorption rate for calcium carbonate (an inorganic, isolated form of calcium made from rocks) is about 2% according to recent studies. This unabsorbed calcium can create an unhealthy build up in the body, which can result in kidney stones (a build up of calcium in the kidneys), cardiovascular and other health issues. Calcium can not be absorbed or utilized correctly without other trace minerals and cofactors for proper absorption. Ingesting inorganic, isolated forms of calcium can actually create a calcium deficiency over time. Calcium requires Vitamin D, magnesium, potassium and vitamin K2 for proper absorption. A whole food form of calcium provides all these additional nutrients needed for proper calcium absorption and utilization.

Whole Food Vitamin Supplements – Fermented/Cultured

By incorporating a culturing or probiotic fermentation process to whole food nutritional supplements, additional nutrients are created by the activated bacteria – creating a powerful, health-enhancing synergy of compounds, including probiotics, enzymes and other micronutrients that enhance the nutritional benefits of the whole food ingredients.

According to Dr. Richard Sarnat, M.D., co-author of The Life Bridge: The Way to Longevity with Probiotic Nutrients, "These (cultured) nutrients promote the health of the entire digestive system. It's the process of fermentation that unlocks all these wonderful nutrients."

My Recommendations:

Of course I recommend that you eat a healthy, whole food, natural diet, eating organic when possible, and stay away from GMO foods. I also recommend that you supplement with cultured or fermented, whole food vitamin supplements that provide a whole food form of nutrients that your body recognizes and utilizes efficiently, to provide your body with the complexity of nutrients missing in our modern diets.

I am extremely impressed with the following whole food vitamin supplement brands because they follow closest to Mother Nature by using only whole food ingredients and a fermentation or culturing probiotic process in their vitamin supplement formulas. These are the whole food vitamins that I take, buy for my family, and recommend to friends, clients and customers:


Additional Reading Resources:

The following articles provide additional information and research on the value of whole food vitamin supplementation:

To Your Vibrant Health & Well-Being!

Garden of Life New Chapter Mt. Capra Vitamin Code
Whole Food Vitamin Supplements Beyond Organics Primal Defense Probiotics Christine Dreher
Vitamin Code Vitamin Supplements Health Newsletter Minami Nutrition Live Beyond Organic
Host Defense Medicinal Mushrooms Kind Organic Multivitamins    






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