We’ve all heard the doctors orders: exercise, eat an apple a day, and take your multivitamin. How important is that last one really, though? Some consider it a “best practice” while others never miss a pill. In fact, nearly half of Americans take a daily multivitamin. We’re here to tell you, it’s difficult to get all the nutrients we need through diet and lifestyle alone, even on the healthiest of diets. Here’s what you should know.
Multivitamins fill in the gaps in your diet.
While most of us try to eat healthy, it’s nearly impossible to get enough of every nutrient we need, every single day. Factor in any sodas, alcohol, and fast food which are essentially empty calories, and we’re likely to miss key nutrients. This is especially true for vegans, vegetarians, gluten-free, dairy-free, or other allergen-avoidant diets who miss out on certain food groups. Supplementing with a multivitamin ensures we get what we need.
Strengthen your immunity.
Certain vitamins boost your immune system and help ward off the risk of a cold or flu. During the health crisis we’ve all been experiencing, it’s a good time to start popping a daily multivitamin if you haven’t been already. It’s always best to prevent sickness, rather than treat it later.
We absorb fewer nutrients as we age.
Our bodies become less efficient at absorbing some nutrients including B12 which helps create red blood cells and Calcium for healthy bones. These are essential nutrients, especially as we’re getting older, so it’s important to supplement if you aren’t getting enough through diet alone. Vitamins also help keep our hair and skin looking healthy.
Some people may not need a multivitamin.
We’re happy to be seeing an uptick in healthy lifestyles including whole foods diets and nutrient/macro tracking. These individuals tend to get more nutrients from their diet, which are actually more absorbable when they come from food rather than a multivitamin. In fact, nutrient toxicity is possible, although rare. If you’ve been eating healthy, tracking your intake, and suspect you may be covering your nutritional needs, talk to your doctor and request labwork done. They can tell you if there are any voids a multivitamin could fill. Alternately, they may suggest you supplement with a specific vitamin, such as Iron or Calcium, which are two of the more common deficiencies.
We always recommend talking to your family doctor before starting a new health plan.