by Melissa Chichester
Eat a balanced diet. Exercise regularly. Reduce stress. Make no mistake, these are all great things to do. In fact, they are not only important, but they are also essential! But they aren’t always the easiest things to maintain. Sometimes life gets the best of us and we simply lose balance. We feel stress, we don’t sleep, we go through the drive-thru or snack way too late. Does that sound familiar? If so, don’t worry. It happens to everyone!
There is still a real problem with nutrition in the United States.
According to the Centers for Disease Control’s 2018 State Indicator Report on Fruits and Vegetables, only 9.3% of adults meet their daily vegetable intake recommendation.
Furthermore, only 12.2% meet the recommended fruit intake. This shows that despite significant evidence showing how important fruits and vegetables are, people are not making room for them in their diet and are missing out on essential nutrients.
The National Institutes of Health states that “Taking an MVM [multivitamin/mineral] increases nutrient intakes and helps people get the recommended amounts of vitamins and minerals when they cannot or do not meet these needs from food alone.”
They also note that multivitamins do not take the place of food.
Your approach to wellness will never be one-size-fits-all. However, a multivitamin can help you increase your intake of a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals and provide nourishment for daily living.* We’re answering some of the most common questions about multivitamins.
Nutritional needs vary from person to person. Taking a multivitamin and finding the right one for you should be discussed with a physician. For certain life stages, such as during pregnancy and older adulthood, multivitamins are especially beneficial.
Multivitamins are available in many different forms, including tablets, softgels, capsules, liquid multivitamins, powder blends, chewable tablets, and gummy vitamins. This will be the first decision you need to make. While tablets and capsules are convenient, gummies are easy to chew. If you have trouble swallowing tablets and capsules, another form might be beneficial to you. You can also use a pill crusher to split bulky multivitamins in half.
Another factor in your decision is the frequency of your dose. Some multivitamins need to be taken more than once per day. If that is the case for you, choose a once-daily multivitamin formula.
You should also look for specific nutrients. Most multivitamins contain the basics. The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center recommends looking for the following vitamins and minerals in a multivitamin: Vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, Vitamin B-6, Vitamin B-12, folic acid, pantothenic acid, biotin, magnesium, selenium, zinc, iodine, borate, molybdenum, Vitamin A (including beta carotene), Vitamin E, Vitamin K, and Vitamin D.
Multivitamins contain many micronutrients. This may cause a sour stomach for some people. Taking a multivitamin during a meal with a glass of water will help avoid potential stomach discomfort for those with sensitive systems.
With all of the formulations on the market, choosing a multivitamin can be difficult. Here are some options that might make the decision easier! To decide what is best for you, it is important to discuss taking a multivitamin with your physician.