Whenever you sit down with your doctor or nutritionist, they usually ask you if you are taking a multivitamin. You either say, “Yes, of course,” or admit that you have the bottle on your kitchen counter but aren’t the best at remembering to take it. I think a multivitamin is kind of a safe “healthy” regimen that everyone feels comfortable recommending, but how important it is has fallen to the wayside. Read more to find out the magic of the multi!
Why is it important to take a daily multivitamin? I like to think of it as your daily insurance to make sure you’re getting all the nutrients your body needs. We are creatures of habit and tend to eat the same things over and over again. Think about your weekly trip to the grocery store-you most likely choose the same fruits, veggies and other food items week in and week out. By doing this, there is a strong chance that we may be missing key nutrients in our diet and can develop deficiencies. If you find out you’re not getting enough iron or calcium, for example, understand that this did not happen overnight. By including a multivitamin in your daily routine, you will help your body get any missing nutrients that are lacking in your diet. Also, by getting so much nutrition at once, a good multi can also give you a healthy energy boost too!
Another benefit to a multivitamin is that is can help ensure you are not missing any essential vitamins or minerals. What does essential mean? These are the nutrients that your body cannot produce on its own-you must get them from food. I’m sure you’ve heard of essential fatty acids or essential amino acids, these must be obtained from your diet. Essential also means your body requires them to function at an optimal level. Sounds pretty important to me! One key essential nutrient that may be missing is B Vitamins. Especially if you eat very little meat or are vegan/vegetarian, you are at risk for developing a Vitamin B deficiency. B Vitamins are super important for energy and weight management because they are responsible for converting your food to fuel. And if you’re not doing that, you will be storing it as fat and low on energy! Multivitamins can be your daily dose of Vitamin B.
The last key aspect of why a multivitamin is important is because of how nutritionally deficient our soil has become over the last 100 years. Since 1936 when the U.S. Senate published its findings on current mineral deficiencies, we have seen a steady decline since then. Just look at our farming methods! This has resulted in 99% of us experiencing some type of deficiency. Even if we eat 9+ servings of fruits and veggies a day (I shoot for 15!), we still need more nutrition in our bodies. I supplement with a multi to feel my best.
A note of caution on this-all multivitamins are definitely not created equal. I was talking to a doctor who said that when he x-rayed his patients to look at their spine, he was shocked at how often he would see whole vitamin tablets lodged in their intestine. Gross! We don’t realize how hard it is for our body to break these down. The majority of companies use USP-grade vitamins and minerals (synthetic), and commonly our bodies don’t know how to break them down and use them. I found this on Dr. Chris Cormier’s blog, “The nutrients in naturally grown whole foods, like oranges, are pre-assembled by nature in ratios that we are simply incapable of duplicating in a laboratory. Nature honors balance, not potency, and whole foods have the perfect ratio of vitamins, bioflavonoids, trace minerals, and all nutritional components working in perfect harmony. The ingredients listed on the label of your daily supplement should list naturally grown whole foods like apples, pears, and peaches, for example, instead of vitamins like vitamins A, B, C, D, E and elements like calcium, magnesium, and zinc.” The only one I have found that is 100% food based is Organic Total Nutrition. It is liquid too, which has been shown to be absorbed 90% better than a tablet or capsule. If you are pregnant or nursing, this is the one I love: Baby & Me!
So as you can see, there is definitely magic in the multi! Better health is all about taking one step in the right direction, and before you know it you are seeing positive changes. Make the commitment to take a good, high quality multivitamin every day, and you will be well on your way!
*The information on this site is designed for educational purposes only and has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Thank you!
~by Kimberly Olson