Do you think it’s necessary to take a multivitamin? I’m often asked whether or not I think taking a multivitamin is a good idea. In other words, is it necessary? It’s a good question, and one that deserves an answer, so here’s my thinking on the topic.
Let’s first look at a few statements we’d all agree to.
First, our bodies were meant to absorb vitamins and minerals from food itself, not from some man-made product.
Second, it’s not possible to take the nutritional benefits we get from fruits and vegetables OUT of those whole foods and put them in pill form. Even if a chemist would argue this point, I’d still say it would be an inferior alternative to eating the foods themselves.
If you’re like me, and you’ve always eaten plenty of fruits and vegetables, that’s great. I don’t get it when someone tells me that they don’t like fruits and vegetables. “How’s that possible?” I ask. NOT one fruit or vegetable??
But there are people like that.
For them, it is a challenge to eat the recommended amount of vegetables and fruit that would give them enough vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. For them, or for you, if you fall into this category, taking a multivitamin is a good idea.
How to Find a High Quality Multivitamin
That means no cheap ingredients, artificial fillers and preservatives. This may be one time when price reflects quality. Be vigilant about reading labels and the companies that focus on nutritional products do a better job at keeping their standards high.
Is it better to take your multi in a capsule, powder or liquid form for optimum absorption?
Another good point to consider.
There are favorable points to all three choices, but in general I’d say that the quality of the product is more important than whether you choose liquid, powder or capsule form.
When choosing your high quality multi-vitamin, consider these three points:
1. Is it made from whole foods? Many brands put this on their label. You can also check company websites for product ingredients and sources.
2. Where are you buying your supplements? Chances are if you’re shopping for vitamins at your local grocery store, the employees are not qualified to answer your questions or give you any information on the product. This varies widely from store to store and where you live. You’ll likely find better educated and trained sales people at local health food stores or specialty stores that carry health foods and vitamins. Or you can use a company that you can reach online to answer your product questions.
3. Read the list of ingredients. If a supplement lists red dye and all these other chemical names you can’t identify, chances are it’s not the best quality product. Watch out for hidden sugars. Sugars are anything ending with -ose (like sucrose). Also watch out for soy fillers and hydrogenated oils. You don’t want these in a multi-vitamin product either.
This little bit of research on your part will be worth your effort.
If the multi-vitamin you currently take fits the above three criteria, that’s great.
It is important to remember that a multivitamin cannot in any way replace a healthful well-balanced diet. The main purpose of a multivitamin is to fill in nutritional gaps. They provide only a hint of the vast array of healthful nutrients and chemicals naturally found in food.
Please remember two important points, though.
1. Don’t skimp on your fruits and vegetables just because you take a multi-vitamin.
2. Eating whole food is always the best choice!
So, if you’d answer the question, “What’s your favorite fruit or vegetable?” with anything other than, “Gee, so many fruits and vegetables to choose from, so little time!” PLEASE make an effort to expand your repertoire and give more fruits and vegetables a chance!
If you feel stuck and need additional support to adopt a new healthy habit or routine, consider working with me. We can partner up in setting goals, drawing on your skills and strengths, and implementing strategies to help you find your way to lasting healthy success.
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For over 15 years, Shelli has been a freelance writer and wellness habit coach on Joyinmovement. She writes about brain fitness, creating a healthy lifestyle, traveling the world, and making positive habits stick. Stop procrastinating! Take action, join her free newsletter.