Television commercials tout their benefits. Store shelves are lined with endless varieties to choose from. Friends take them. Family members take them. Should you be taking a multi-vitamin, too?
The answer is yes, for many reasons. Multi-vitamins are an easy way to ensure your body receives at least the daily minimum requirements for nutrients it needs to function properly. They can’t replace a healthy diet, but multi-vitamins can help prevent vitamin and mineral deficiencies from occurring. There’s also evidence that supplementing with certain nutrients can support overall good health. Multi-vitamins are most beneficial when:
- Your Diet is Less Than Ideal-
Hectic lifestyles, limited budgets, lack of knowledge and lack of interest lead to poor diets lacking in fresh, high-quality, whole foods. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 33% of Americans eat the daily recommended amount of fruit consumption, and only 27% meet the vegetable target. Instead, people are eating highly processed, packaged foods with little to no nutritive value. A multi-vitamin delivers delivers essential vitamins and minerals missing from such diets.
- Stress is Part of Your Daily Life-
Stress””an unavoidable part of life for many people””depletes the body of certain nutrients and causes hormonal and metabolic changes and imbalances. Vitamins A, B5, C and E along with the minerals calcium, selenium, magnesium and zinc are depleted with chronic stress. Multi-vitamins provide the body with adequate amounts of these nutrients and can replenish the body’s stores.
- You Are Pregnant-
It is well known that women who are pregnant have increased nutritional requirements. Daily multi-vitamins provide a spectrum of nutrients needed to support both the mother’s and developing baby’s health during pregnancy. Folic acid, for example, is crucial for fetal neural tube development and calcium (which is drawn from the mother’s stores) is needed for bone growth.
- You Are Over 60-
As the body ages, changes take place that make vitamin and mineral deficiencies more common. The digestive system slows down and becomes less efficient, and nutrients may not be absorbed as well as they used to be. Appetite also decreases with age and obtaining the right amount of vitamins and minerals through diet becomes more challenging.
- You Are Regularly Exposed to the Sun, Pollution, Chemicals or Smoke-
Just about everyone in the world who leaves their home on a daily basis experiences environmental threats creating free radicals, which can damage healthy cells. Vitamins and minerals are antioxidants that work to counteract free radicals and to protect healthy cells from their damage.