“The Healing Power of Plants”

“Vitamins:  Pills and Capsules or Meats, Vegetables & Fruits?”

Ricardo Mazcal Herbalist and Nutritionist

Reprinted from PV Mirror, January 21, 2022



Today more than ever is imperative to make the best food and supplement selection of what can keep us healthy. With all the fears about contagion, our bodies need to be hardened against incoming dangers. Our immune system needs to be at the best point of our lives, regardless of age. In addition to the current threats, health problems like lung cancer, obesity and type-2 diabetes are sweeping the world. There seems to be more conflicting nutritional advice than ever. Should you go on a vegan diet? Should you be a keto follower? Should you take bottled vitamins and supplements? The supplements vs. food debate has been ongoing ever since pharmaceutical companies realized they could bottle nutrients and sell them. In the United States, the dietary supplement industry's overall economic impact in 2016 was $122 billion, and it continues to grow. Much of this growth is due to consumer demand for health and wellness products. Should supplements be a part of your life? Or should we focus our attention on what we eat? I am outlining a better understanding of the pros and cons involved will save you money, effort and benefit your health.


Vitamins play a major role in the proper functioning of our bodies. Nutrients do everything from creating red blood cells to keeping our eyes, brain, heart, lungs and many organs in good working condition. Deficiencies in different vitamins and minerals can have severe, adverse effects. A well-known ailment might be iron deficiency anemia, a common type of anemia in which blood lacks adequate healthy red blood cells causing fatigue, heart palpitations, and many other symptoms. With millions of people deficient in iron and increasing numbers at risk of multiple deficiencies, we need a better nutrient strategy.


When we eat food, our digestive system and enzymes separate different nutrients for different purposes. Our body takes what it needs and throws away the rest through fecal or urine waste. Nutrients aid each other like Vitamin D, for instance, boosts the body's calcium absorption. When we eat an orange, which contains calcium and vitamin D, we absorb more calcium. When you take a single calcium supplement, it won't get that aid. Vitamins and minerals in food sources are easier to absorb than supplement form. With the added benefit of the other nutrients found in food, eating healthily gives far greater benefits than opting for supplements and eating poorly. The average diet is now high in ultra-processed, low-nutrient food. This is why we are eating more than ever but are less healthy and have more deficiencies. Eating a healthy diet of whole fresh foods is expensive and difficult, so it is hard to get all of your nutrients through your diet. It is increasingly hard to eat healthy all the time. So do supplements help or hurt?


While our body can get rid of many excess vitamins and minerals, some stay in your body and do damage. Vitamin A is an example of an essential nutrient that's dangerous in excess. A deficiency of vitamin A is rare, which means you're most likely getting enough in your diet. If you take multivitamins containing vitamin A, you could be at risk of taking too much. Too much vitamin A is harmful, particularly for pregnant women. Vitamin A is fat-soluble and is naturally present in many foods. It is vital for normal vision, the immune system, reproduction, and it helps the heart, lungs, and other organs work properly. As it's difficult to know your nutrient intake from food, taking multivitamins or single vitamins can be risky. Supplements can also be expensive, especially compared to a whole food, unprocessed diet. Whole grains, vegetables, and legumes are very affordable foods and are naturally rich in nutrients. Our body can stay healthy by getting nutrients from food, not supplements. But there are exceptions.


Herbal supplements in tinctures or capsules can resolve current contagion problems. If vaccinated, tinctures of neem, dandelion, star anise, fennel and other herbs can inhibit the production of spike proteins. This is according to the World Council for Health (WCH), a worldwide coalition of health-focused organizations and civil society groups that seek to broaden public health knowledge. Some medical conditions prevent the body from absorbing enough of a specific nutrient, and supplementation is the only way to get it in high enough doses; that is when supplements made with organic herbs and spices are helpful.All of my products can be purchased at a number of locations.  If you are outside of the Puerto Vallarta area our website is https://naturallymazcal.com/  We ship almost everything worldwide and accept all major credit cards, ACH, bank wires. Cash APP, Venmo, Zelle, and crypto currencies.  Remember that our online prices include priority delivery to your door anywhere in Mexico, the US or Canada.  The cost is calculated by the delivery address zip code, and all shipments are insured.  Express delivery is available for an additional charge.

For any comments or questions you may have about this column, contact me by email or find me at the Cuale Island Friday Market located on Cuale Island in the old Babel Bar, from 9:00 am to 1:30 pm. I am also at Arte Viviente (Living Art), Libertad 303, Centro Vallarta, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm. There you will find an extensive assortment of herbal supplements, tinctures, tonics and many natural products such as organic coffees and teas, apple cider vinegar with the Mother, and 38 different spices, including turmeric and Ceylon cinnamon. Superfoods such as Indulge chocolate with 70 % cocoa, Veggie Power and Maz-Mix Digestive Formula and so much more.  Arte Viviente ships everywhere as well, accepting  PayPal and credit cards for payment. My email is ricardo@naturallymazcal.com for information about organic herbal supplements to increase your immune system health and achieve your nutrition and health goals.  To pre-schedule an appointment and speak with me personally, give me a day and time you would like to either meet in person or talk by phone and call my office at +52 (322) 150-2957.

Vitamins: Supplements or Food?


Ricardo Mazcal

1/22/20224 min read