We all know that health is important, and you (of course) want to be as healthy has you can be. And yes, most people usually have a good sense of what we should be eating to get our essential nutrients. But the truth is, we end up eating what tastes best – which usually leads to the junk food (or in kinder words, less healthy options) that we all love to eat.
But being the health-conscious person you are, you may be asking yourself this common question: “Should I be taking a multivitamin?”
Well, continue reading to learn more and/or watch this short video below – whichever you prefer !
WHAT ARE MULTIVITAMINS?
Multivitamins are supplements that contain different vitamins and minerals. They are available in many forms. The most common forms include tablets, capsules, chewable gummies, powders, and liquids, amongst others. They can be found in most retail locations such as pharmacies, large discount stores, or supermarkets. But keep in mind that the nutritional content of vitamins can vary by brand type and product type. Therefore, figuring which multivitamin to take can be a bit confusing and overwhelming when you stop by your local Walmart or supplement store and walk into an aisle of never-ending multivitamin options.
Aside from that, you can generally expect them to have common dosage of amount one or two servings per day. The frequency of dosage also depends on which type and form you purchase.
WHAT DO MULTIVITAMINS CONTAIN?
It important to know that there are 13 vitamins and 16 minerals that are essential to your health. These vitamins and minerals either aid enzyme reactions in your body or function as signaling molecules. Long story short, they help your body grow and work the way it should.
The 13 vitamins include —vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, B6, B12, and folate) (1). The 16 Minerals include calcium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, magnesium, manganese, sulfur, chloride, iron, iodine, fluoride, zinc, copper, selenium, chromium and cobalt (2). Some multivitamins may also contain additional ingredients, such as herbs, amino acids, or fatty acids.
These key vitamins and minerals found in multivitamins are the essential nutrients that your body needs for reproduction, maintenance, growth, and other of bodily processes. And ALL of those key vitamins and minerals mentioned above, are provided and supplanted in Multivitamins, in various forms and amounts.
SHOULD YOU TAKE MULTIVITAMINS?
To answer this question quickly, if you take your time and pick a multivitamin that best meets your dietary needs, then YES, you can take multivitamins. Just be sure to understand the following points:
According to the National Institute of Health “MVMs cannot take the place of eating a variety of foods that are important to a healthy diet”(3).This is because foods provide more than just vitamins and minerals. They also have fiber and other ingredients that may have positive health effects. `
UNDERSTANDING WHEN TO TAKE MULTIVITAMIN
There are certain people who truly cannot and do not get enough vitamins and minerals from foods alone, are on low-calorie diets, or have a poor appetite, or avoid certain foods in general – such as strict vegetarians and vegans (4). People who fall into those categories should consider taking an MVM.
Long story short, some people may simply benefit more than others from taking certain nutrients found in MVMs depending on their specific situation. For example, pregnant women should get 400 mcg/day of folic acid from fortified foods and/or dietary supplements to reduce the risk of birth defects of the brain and spine in their newborn babies (4). In postmenopausal women may need more calcium and vitamin D supplements to help increase bone strength and reduce the risk of fractures. And athletes, of course, for the obvious reasons such as their higher-than-normal energy expenditures that occur because of their intense trainings.
TO CLOSE -THE BOTTOM LINE
When asking yourself if you should take a multivitamin, understand that multivitamins will not be magical pills you take suddenly become super-healthy. It is still extremely important to eat nutrient dense food, and you should not take a multivitamin to fix a poor diet (because that will not work). Instead, try eating a balanced diet of fresh and whole foods.
However, if you take time to understand your current diet and how you typically eat, you can take a deeper look and find out where you lack regarding essential vitamins and minerals. Becoming aware of this will help you find a specific multivitamin that can supplement and fill the any nutrient deficiency that you might be missing from your current diet.
Again, try to get all that you can from food. Afterwards, if you realize your diet lacks in certain areas or you may require more essential vitamins and mineral for unique circumstances, then yes – you should be taking multivitamin that. But not just any random multivitamin, take one that meets your dietary needs.
- This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-NC
Categories: Vitamins & Supplements