Why Real Food: Food Synergy

Our bodies are able to absorb and metabolize nutrients from whole foods much more efficiently and effectively than vitamins and pills. Known as “food synergy,” nutrients from food are absorbed together, and work synergistically to produce health benefits that far exceed the merits of the nutrient on its own.

While food synergy applies to vitamins and minerals (the synergy between vitamin D, vitamin K and calcium being just one example), it also relates to a lesser-known category of non-essential nutrients found in plants called phytochemicals. Phytochemicals might not be necessary for survival (hence “non-essential”), but they boast an array of impressive benefits due to their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, such as cancer and Type 2 Diabetes prevention, and reduction in stroke risk.


Take the spice turmeric, which touts many health benefits such as Alzheimer prevention and the ability to lower the risk of heart disease. Turmeric is extremely rich in curcumin, a powerful compound with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Research shows that combining turmeric with black pepper can optimize turmeric’s medicinal effects. Piperine, the active ingredient in black pepper, maximizes the absorption of curcumin in the body by up to 2,000%, making the two spices the perfect pair.

While there are thousands of phytochemicals— some known and others unknown— that will never make it into a pill, it’s the combination of phytochemicals (such as curcumine and piperine) that produces the preventative benefits of a whole foods diet. And this synergy serves as the premise behind GEM’s real food bites. Since GEM is made from actual food— rather than isolated vitamins, minerals, or antioxidants— you’re consuming your daily nutrient essentials in one bite, leading to enhanced absorption, potent physiological benefits, and a healthier you.

Want to learn more? Check out a deep dive here: What is Food Synergy Nutrition?

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash