Science keeps uncovering the synergistic relationship between the items we ingest as food and/or supplements. For example, the process of masticating (chewing) your food turns out to be very important. The process of digestion begins with the chewing process and cannot be isolated to any one mechanism. Furthermore, recent research has shown that the act of mastication increases the rate of neurogenesis (creation of new neurons) in the hippocampus. It’s important to eat as much whole, real food as possible in order to ensure our bodies can make use of all the phytonutrients and phytochemicals available in the food.
Further information on the science behind this can be found in Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition, by Howard Jacobson and T. Colin Campbell and Bright Line Eating: The Science of Living Happy, Thin, and Free by Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D.