Yes, we can get a lot of nutrients from food, especially fruits and vegetables, but the fact is we don’t.
When we don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables, we miss essential nutrients, which can lower our risk for heart disease, stroke, cancer, and other health conditions. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), adults should consume 1.5-2 cups of fruit and 2-3 cups of vegetables daily. Yet, in a recent CDC study, they found that 76% of adults don’t eat enough fruit and 87% of adults don’t eat enough veggies.
So how to get your nutrients? A multivitamin. A multivitamin is like an insurance policy, a daily guarantee to ensure your body gets the vitamins and minerals it needs. It can make up for the shortfalls that happen when you don’t get what you need through food.
Healthy aging: As we age, our nutritional needs increase. At the same time, it gets harder for the body to absorb nutrients. Medications can further deplete our body of nutrients. A multivitamin can offset these deficiencies.
Good for your heart: Studies show that taking a high-quality multivitamin may reduce cardiovascular disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women in the U.S. Vitamins B1, B2, B6, K1, Niacin (B3), CoQ10 and magnesium, all play a role in cardiovascular health.
Reduces cancer risk: Vitamin use has been associated with a decreased risk of some cancers. A recent study of 14,000 men aged 50 and older found that daily multivitamin supplementation “significantly reduced the risk of total cancer.”
Boosts immunity: Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant known for strengthening the immune system. Vitamins D and E boost immunity, too. These vitamins can also help reduce allergy symptoms.
Supports eye health: Vitamins A, C, E, Niacin (B3), and selenium support eye health. Lutein and Zeaxanthin also protect the eyes from harmful light waves. Studies have shown multivitamins containing a combination of vitamins, lutein, and zeaxanthin can reduce the risk of macular degeneration. Shop: Focus Vision Pod
Water-soluble vitamins: Excess fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) are stored in the body. Water-soluble vitamins (B and C) are not. Excess water-soluble vitamins simply travel through the body. This means it’s necessary to take these essential vitamins daily.
Healthy hair and skin: New research says look for Vitamins B3 (Niacin), biotin, and Vitamin C for fuller hair. For healthy skin, look for Vitamins A, C, E, and CoQ10.
Feel better: Thanks in large part to the Vitamin B family, taking a multivitamin is associated with a boost in energy levels, feelings of well being, as well as a decrease in stress and anxiety. This alone makes it worth staying compliant with a multivitamin routine.
Do I need vitamin supplements?
Most people don't need to take vitamin supplements and can get all the vitamins and minerals they need by eating a healthy, balanced diet.
Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients, such as iron, calcium and vitamin C, that your body needs in small amounts to work properly.
Many people choose to take supplements, but taking too much or taking them for too long could be harmful. The Department of Health recommends certain supplements for some groups of people who are at risk of deficiency. These are described below.
Folic acid supplements in pregnancy
All women thinking of having a baby should have a folic acid supplement, as should any pregnant woman up to week 12 of her pregnancy. Folic acid can help to prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida.
Some groups of the population are at greater risk of not getting enough vitamin D, and the Department of Health recommends these people take daily vitamin D supplements.
These groups are:
all babies from birth to 1 year of age (including breastfed babies, and formula-fed babies who have less than 500ml a day of infant formula)
all children aged 1 to 4 years old
people who are not often exposed to the sun – for example, people who are frail or housebound, are in an institution such as a care home, or usually, wear clothes that cover up most of their skin when outdoors
For the rest of the population, everyone over the age of 5 years (including pregnant and breastfeeding women) is advised to consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D.
But most people aged 5 years and above will probably get enough vitamin D from sunlight in the summer (late March/early April to the end of September), so you might choose not to take a vitamin D supplement during these months.
All children aged 6 months to 5 years should take a supplement containing vitamins A, C and D. This is a precaution because growing children may not get enough of these vitamins, especially those not eating a varied diet – for example, fussy eaters.