Ritual’s Food First Philosophy
How’s this for a straightforward approach: Aim to meet most of your nutrient needs through the food you eat, and take a quality multivitamin (like Essential for Women or Essential for Men to help fill gaps.
“We do take a food-first approach,” says Dr. Nima Alamdari, PhD, Ritual’s Chief Scientific Officer. “This is because we’re aligned with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans that promotes the consumption of a healthy eating pattern and accounts for all foods and beverages under an appropriate calorie level. Consistent with this, we believe that nutritional needs should be met primarily from nutrient-dense foods.”
Building a nutritional foundation starts with a closer look at your diet, but not in the way you might necessarily think. Instead of getting caught up in the pros and cons of different styles of eating, we think those details should ultimately be up to you—based on what helps you feel your best, of course. There are members of our team who enjoy a plant-based lifestyle, others who have to consider food allergies, and still others who eat a little bit of everything. But what they have in common is this: They aim for a varied, well-balanced diet rich in whole foods, because that’s the best way to get a spectrum of nutrients on your plate. “These foods contain essential vitamins and minerals, and also dietary fiber and other naturally occurring substances, that can have positive health effects,” says Dr. Nima.
“Variety is probably one of the most important parts to our diets,” adds Dr. Luke Bucci, PhD, CCN, CNS, Research & Technical Fellow at Ritual. “This is best practiced by eating foods of all colors all the time, and less white, processed foods.”
Of course, there are always other elements to consider: The difference between macronutrients (carbs, protein, fat) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), for example, and the role of different nutrients in the body. These are really great things to understand, especially if you’re aiming to level up your nutrition habits. But it all starts with healthy variety on your plate.
How Multivitamins Lend Support
We wish that filling your plate with nutrient-rich foods would be enough. In reality, it can be really tricky to meet all your nutrient needs through diet alone, because there are many different variables that come into play. Along with many other resources, our science team relies on the NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey)—one of the world’s most comprehensive nutrition databases—to look at a representative sampling of what Americans eat versus what they actually need. And we’re constantly parsing through breaking research to stay up to date with the latest data. (1)