A Guide to Multivitamins

A Guide to Multivitamins

Everything You Should Know About Multivitamins

Multivitamin Supplements are highly sought after, both here in the UK and the rest of the world. They are the most commonly used supplement and you can easily see why. Knowing you provide your body with all the essential nutrients it needs, all in one or two capsules a day? Yes please! We’ll help you choose the best multivitamin supplements by providing you with the knowledge of what to look out for.

What are Multivitamins?

There are 13 vitamins and about 15 minerals which are essential to your health. They produce enzymes and hormones, boost your immunity, keep your organs functioning properly, and so much more. A balanced and varied diet would generally provide you with most of these essential nutrients, but our modern lifestyles and worldwide soil degradation often don’t accommodate these needs.

 

Multivitamins are supplements designed to overcome these nutrient shortages. They contain different vitamins and minerals, sometimes alongside further ingredients. Multivitamins are available in capsule form, chewable gummies, powders, and liquids.

What should Multivitamins contain?

Because there is no standard as to what multivitamins should contain, their nutrient composition varies largely from brand to brand.

Nutritionists suggest you should always make sure your multivitamins include these ingredients:

 

  • Vitamin D: The ‘Sunshine Vitamin’, which gets its name from the fact that we normally get it from the sunlight. Being mostly indoors and/or living in conditions where we can’t get enough sunlight naturally, it is recommended to get this vitamin from supplements.

 

  • Magnesium: An essential mineral that is found in a wide variety of food, including spinach, nuts or wholemeal bread.

 

  • Calcium: Another essential mineral, which you need for strong bones and teeth. You should technically be getting enough calcium from your diet; good food sources include fortified (cow’s or plant) milks or green leafy vegetables.

 

  • Zinc: Your body needs zinc to use carbohydrates, protein and fat for energy, as well as to support your immune system. It can’t store zinc, which is why a supplement is recommended if your diet isn’t high in rich in foods that offer zinc (which include organ meats, tempeh, tahini, spinach and pumpkin seeds).

 

  • Iron: Not everyone needs the same amount of this mineral (being on your menstrual cycle, pregnancy, or puberty are some reasons where you might need more), but it’s important nonetheless. Your body needs it for energy, healthy red blood cells, and better brain function. Plant-based sources of iron include spinach, legumes, pumpkin seeds, and broccoli.

 

  • Folate: A B-Vitamin also known as folic acid, this ingredient is important for foetus development and to combat inflammation. You can find it in avocados, beans, and dark leafy greens.

 

  • Vitamin B12: An important ingredient, especially for vegans and vegetarians, as most food sources are animal-based. It works to keep the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA, the genetic material in all cells.

Who should take Multivitamins?

It’s important to note that you should never solely rely on a multivitamin, they can be boosters but aren’t replacements for a healthy and balanced diet. If you’re already getting all of your nutrients from food, then supplementing with a multivitamin could even be harmful for you.

 

That being said, specific populations may benefit from multivitamins, including older adults, people on specialised diets (low calorie, vegetarian, vegan, etc.), or if you know that the food you’re eating doesn’t cover all bases.

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