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Multivitamins: Friend or Foe

By February 12, 2013Health & Fitness, Home

Do you currently take a daily multivitamin? How do you even know if you need to take one? Let me first start off by saying that the right decision on multivitamins is going to depend on you. What do you typically eat on a day to day basis? Do you consume a protein bar or meal bar regularly?

multivitamins

Does your diet regularly include some sort of protein bar, meal bar, protein shake, or other nutritionally enhanced drink or mix?

These foods often already have vitamins and minerals incorporated into them, so by taking a multivitamin, well, you’d be doubling up and no when it comes to our vitamins and minerals, it’s not double the fun. If you are over you are consistently over your recommended daily intake of certain vitamins and/or minerals, you could run into problems, the same way not consuming enough vitamins and mineral can have negative effects.

(Also, with protein shakes, bars, and nutritionally enhanced beverages, be careful of the added sugar and other chemicals that can come with processed foods.)

So, lets say on a daily basis, you consume a meal or protein bar, or a nutritionally enhanced beverage of some sort that contains the majority of your recommended daily amount of vitamins and minerals, well you probably don’t need to take a multivitamin on top of that, just make sure you eat a well-balanced diet that includes lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. If you look at the nutrition label on the food in question and the vitamin and mineral values seem a little on the low side, perhaps a multivitamin should be incorporated into your diet to supplement.

Now if you don’t really consume any sort of food products that contain a lot of added vitamins and minerals, then you probably should incorporate a daily multivitamin.

Picking the right multivitamin is important. When it comes to your health, try not toskimp on price because if its cheap in price then it’s probably cheap in quality.

You can get multivitamins in pill form or liquid form, however not all multivitamin

 

s are created equal. They can contain different combinations of vitamins and minerals, as well as different %DV (percent daily values) of these vitamins and minerals depending on the brand or specific type within a brand. Do some research and talk to your doctor to find out what is right for you based on your current state of health and remember that the minerals are just as important as the vitamins.

Pill/ Tablets

  • Quick and convenient
  • Can upset stomach, take with a meal
  • Pay attention to quality and % DV provided

Liquid

  • More quickly absorbed (does not have to be broken down like the pill)
  • Can upset stomach, take with a meal or mix with smoothies, shakes, or other beverages (this will also help to eliminate any unpleasant taste)
  • You measure out your own amount of liquid so its easier to mis-measure and overdose and this can be dangerous

I want to end by saying that multivitamins are a SUPPLEMENT and that is all they ever should be. They should be used to supplement your balanced diet and NOT a replacement for fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts/seeds, lean meats…you get the idea. There is a lot that we still do not understand about the plants that we consume and all of the benefits, including the phytonutrients that they provide. Something you can’t simply get from a pill in a bottle. Remember this, fruits and vegetables FIRST, multivitamin SECOND.

Check out this Chart of Essential Vitamins & Minerals that contains a list of vitamins, minerals, and the effects of deficiency and overdose.

Adios!

-Letisha

 

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