Getting the recommended amount of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals while sticking to a well-balanced diet can be a challenging task. Taking a daily multivitamin is a good start to ensure you are getting all the necessary nutrients your body needs to function at its best. It is important to note that a multivitamin does not replace the need for a healthy diet. Protein, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats are all essential parts of a balanced diet.
What to Look for in a Multivitamin:
- Read the label: look at what is included and amounts.
- Make sure it has the basics: Vitamin A,B,C,D,E and elements such as Zinc, Calcium, Magnesium, Iodine, Selenium, Manganese.
- Watch for unnecessary ingredients: Some vitamins state they are to help with energy and include caffeine while others may contain supplements such as saw palmetto. Be sure to check the ingredients as these supplements or extra active ingredients may not be appropriate for you.
- Check the percentages: Look for one that provides 100% of the daily value for most vitamins and minerals in the supplement.
- Pick a dosage form: Multivitamins now come in tablets, capsules, chewables, powders, and gummies – choose whichever one you prefer.
- Age and gender: Pick a multivitamin targeted for your age and gender this can be helpful because certain age groups may require different vitamins. For example:
- Women of child bearing age are recommended get an adequate amount of folic acid to prevent developmental concerns if they become pregnant.
- Older adults can benefit from supplementing with B12 and vitamin D.
- USP designation: If it says USP on the label it means it meets the standards of US Pharmacopeia and ensures the product is pure and actually contains said ingredients.
Why Take a Multivitamin?
- If you have a restricted diet: Vegans and vegetarians often lack nutrients found in meat. It may also be hard for people with a lactose, gluten, or other food allergies to take in all required nutrients through their diet.
- Lack of certain nutrients can lead to physical manifestations, such as depression, muscle pains, headaches, etc.
- To improve overall health: Adequate vitamin intake can reduce inflammation, fight off illness, and improve heart, brain, and bone health, to name a few.
Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist before taking any multivitamins to avoid drug interactions. You should also notify your healthcare providers if you have started taking any supplements that they are not aware of.
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