Did you know that the majority of Americans eat a diet that is too high in calories but too low in nutrients? In fact, less than 20% of people in the United States get the recommended amount of vegetables in their daily diet.
It’s no secret that a poor diet is detrimental to your overall health and quality of life. And even if you make an honest effort at proper nutrition, it’s easy to have gaps. That’s where taking a multivitamin comes in!
Not only do vitamins help fill nutrient gaps in our diet but the additional health benefits of multivitamins are many. If you’re considering adding a multivitamin to your daily routine but are wary of taking supplements, the benefits listed here just might convince you.
Keep reading to learn more!
What to Look for in a Multivitamin
There is a wealth of multivitamins available on the market, and it can be difficult to know which one is best for you. Before we get into the benefits of taking multivitamins, it’s important to mention that not all vitamins are created equal.
All vitamin companies are, of course, going to do their best to convince you that their product is worth purchasing. However, the best multivitamins are those that are natural, allergen-free, purity tested and made without fillers, artificial colors, or other additives.
They will also have scientific evidence to support their claims and be able to offer sources that confirm this evidence.
What Type of Multivitamin Should I Take?
After you’ve narrowed down your options to those that are worth taking, you need to look further into the ingredients. As you’ve probably noticed, there are multivitamins targeted toward every group: children, adults, men, women, those aged 50 and up, etc.
This is because no two bodies are the same, and what works for your friend or partner might not be helpful for you. Before you introduce any vitamins into your diet, it’s a good idea to consult your physician or a registered dietician.
They will be able to go over your lifestyle, eating habits, and health history with you and recommend the specific vitamins and minerals you need to look for in a potential multivitamin.
The only caveat is that regardless of the vitamins and minerals you might be deficient in, it’s important that you do your best to fill the gaps with actual food. Vitamins are called supplements for a reason – they’re meant to enhance your diet, not act as a replacement for good nutrition.
The Health Benefits of Multivitamins
Now that you know what to look for and how to choose the right multivitamin for you and your lifestyle, it’s time to get into the health benefits. As we’ve discussed, different multivitamins contain different combinations of vitamins and minerals.
That said, there are a handful of vitamins and minerals commonly found in health vitamins. Knowing what each can offer you will help you choose between the many options available to you.
1. Vitamin D
Getting a sufficient amount of vitamin D in your diet is absolutely paramount to good health. In addition to the benefits it offers, vitamin D is also needed for the absorption of calcium, another crucial nutrient.
Vitamin D protects you from illness, chronic pain, bone and hair loss, and helps with cancer prevention. One of the most effective ways of getting vitamin D is through sunlight, but more and more people are spending far less time outside than they should.
If you experience chronic depression or anxiety, vitamin D can regulate your mood. It’s also useful for those looking to lose weight and reduce their risk of heart disease.
Like other nutrients on this list, magnesium is an essential nutrient, meaning that your body isn’t able to produce it. Magnesium is known for its benefits to your bone health and energy levels, but it provides many more advantages as well. In fact, magnesium takes part in over 600 reactions in your body.
This essential nutrient helps to reduce stress by calming your nervous system, ease insomnia, balance blood sugar, and regulate both muscle and bone. With a lack of magnesium, you’ll experience difficulty exercising, high blood pressure and sugar, and can develop chronic inflammation.
To maintain optimal health, your body demands a rather high amount of calcium. This is because calcium is necessary for the circulation of blood, muscle function, and the release of hormones. It also helps to carry messages between your brain and other parts of your body.
As you age, your bones naturally begin to lose density, which worsens with calcium deficiency. In order to keep your bones and teeth healthy into your later years, you need to get enough calcium in your daily diet.
This means that calcium is even more important for women than men, as women are at greater risk of developing bone diseases such as osteoporosis.
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States. An astounding 40 million adults suffer from chronic anxiety every year. This is in part due to our chaotic lifestyles, but can also be blamed on the lack of zinc in the typical Western diet.
Not only does the average diet not include enough zinc but your body is also incapable of producing or storing it. A lack of this essential mineral is particularly harmful to your health, as zinc is needed for immune function, skin health, wound healing, protein synthesis, and body growth and development.
Zinc is also necessary for the health of your senses. On top of all of the other problems zinc deficiency can cause, it can reduce your ability to smell and taste.
If your diet includes red meat, you likely get enough iron. This means vegetarians and vegans might need to supplement their diet with a multivitamin that includes iron. In addition, those going through puberty or pregnancy need more iron than others.
Iron is a mineral that provides some highly important benefits to your body. These include increased energy, improved brain function, and healthier red blood cells, as iron boosts the formation of hemoglobin.
Those suffering from low iron often find that they become anemic. This is the result of your hemoglobin levels dropping below the normal range. Anemia causes fatigue, dizziness, difficulty breathing, and heart palpitations.
If you’re low in iron, you might also have difficulty with exercise, as your muscles will reach fatigue quicker. With insufficient iron, your muscles don’t have the oxygen they need for contraction and endurance and will become inflamed and painful.
6. Vitamin C
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is an important nutrient for the development and repair of all body tissues. It helps your body form collagen, absorb iron, and heal wounds.
Vitamin C is also vital for the maintenance of bones and teeth, as well as a healthy immune system. This is why vitamin C is recommended for those attempting to stave off illnesses such as the flu and the common cold.
Those with vitamin C deficiency are more likely to develop stress disorders and serious physical conditions such as macular degeneration and cardiovascular disease. Getting enough vitamin C in your diet is also essential for preventing premature signs of aging. By taking a vitamin C supplement, you’ll notice fewer wrinkles and less dryness in your skin.
B-Complex is the term for supplements that contain the eight B vitamins. Individually, they are:
- Thiamine (B1)
- Riboflavin (B2)
- Niacin (B3)
- Pantothenic Acid (B5)
- Pyridoxine (B6)
- Biotin (B7)
- Folate (B9)
- Cobalamin (B12)
B vitamins are water-soluble, meaning they aren’t stored by your body. As such, you have to give your body plenty of them through diet. The eight B vitamins have unique functions and provide a variety of benefits, but many play a major role in metabolism and converting food into energy.
In addition, vitamin B7 is often the main ingredient in hair and nail supplements like SugarBearHair. This is because it’s thought to improve the strength of hair and nails, as well as the health of your skin. To learn more about these particular vitamins, you can browse more on the SugarBearHair website.
Add Multivitamins to Your Health Regimen Today
Even the most conscientious eater might not hit their vitamin goals on a daily basis. And while it’s important to try your best to get proper nutrition from food, the health benefits of multivitamins are too good to ignore.
When you supplement a healthy diet with vitamins, you can ensure that you’re giving your body everything it needs to maintain optimal health.
For more tips on fitness, nutrition, and overall health, be sure to take a look at our blog!