Vitamins and minerals. Nutrients that your body needs work properly and keep healthy. Of course, we should all aim to get the vitamins and minerals we need through a healthy, balanced diet. But, let’s be honest, we all know that can be hard sometimes. That’s where multivitamins come in... the simplest way to make sure your body has all the essential nutrients it needs, all in one easy to take gummy or capsule.
So whether you are feeling a little run down, are deficient in a certain nutrient or want to supplement your already healthy diet - stick around and have a browse, it’s time to up your health game once and for all.
What are multivitamins?
Multivitamins are supplements containing a variety of vitamins and minerals. Some also contain other nutrients (like healthy bacteria, amino acids, and herbs).
Multivitamins are most frequently sold in tablet form, meaning you simply take one or two with a glass of water. Or, if you are not a fan of tablets, you can also find multivitamins in tasty gummy form, such as Nature's Answer Sambucus Mega Gummies. It’s as easy as that!
What vitamins and minerals are included in multivitamins?
There is no standard ingredient list for multivitamins. The vitamins and minerals in your chosen multivitamin will depend on your specific requirements and what you are looking for. However, there are some nutrients that make a more frequent appearance than others.
The vitamins most commonly found in multivitamins are, vitamin A, C, D, E, K, and the eight B vitamins (like folic acid and vitamin B12). The minerals most commonly found in multivitamins are calcium, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, selenium, and zinc. Multivitamins sometimes contain other substances that are good for the body such as herbs, amino acids, and fatty acids.
Why do people take multivitamins?
People take multivitamins for a variety of reasons, it may be out of instruction from a medical professional or out of choice. Generally speaking, multivitamins are a great and easy way to fill in any nutritional gaps in your diet. While we should be able to get all the vitamins and minerals that we need from a balanced diet, for certain people, it can be difficult to get enough. In these cases, people may take multivitamins to ensure their body gets all the essential nutrients it needs without any additional stress!
What are the health benefits of multivitamins?
Vitamins and minerals are not only nutrients that are brimming with health benefits, but they are essential to our normal bodily functioning. Our body needs 13 vitamins to keep healthy and functioning. Vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and then eight different B vitamins. Apart from 2 of these vitamins (D and B3), our bodies cannot naturally produce these vitamins. So, we must get them elsewhere. Eating fruit and vegetables, nuts, seeds, healthy sources of protein and wholegrain foods should be enough to give us all the nutrients we need - but in reality, we may not eat like this all the time!
If we do not get enough nutrients then health problems associated with low nutritional intakes can occur. This could include chronic diseases and unpleasant side effects in the body. Multivitamins ensure that we fill any nutritional gaps in our diet and prevent and protect against these health problems.
What are the side effects of taking multivitamins?
When taken correctly, multivitamins are not expected to cause serious side effects. However, if taken in too large doses multivitamins have been linked with causing side effects such as constipation, diarrhea, or stomach issues. These effects usually last for a short time and will disappear as your body adjusts. However, if any of these side effects continue or worsen contact a medical professional promptly.
Should I take multivitamins?
So now you know what multivitamins are, the first question on your mind - do I need to take multivitamins? Well, it depends. Not everyone needs multivitamins. Your diet, age, health background are all factors that will play into whether you should be taking supplements or not.
In general, the main categories of people who benefit from taking multivitamins are:
1. People with allergies or intolerances to certain foods. Often people with allergies or intolerances are unable to absorb particular nutrients or are unable to eat a varied enough diet to get everything they need.
2. Vegans or vegetarians (hello PlantX community!). While you can have a full, balanced and healthy diet without consuming animal products, it is true that certain nutrients are found more easily in animal products, such as vitamin B12.
3. Pregnant or breastfeeding people. Being pregnant increases the body’s needs for certain nutrients, for example, folate or iron. So, taking multivitamins can be beneficial for both the pregnant person and the development of the baby.
4. Older people. As our bodies age, they find it harder to absorb some of the key nutrients that we need, such as B12. Multivitamins can help older bodies get all the nutrients they need to keep functioning healthily.
5. People who have been recently ill or are feeling run-down. If your body is not at its best, for example, if you are feeling stressed, going through big life changes, or training for a big event such as a marathon, then you may benefit from taking multivitamins.
If you are in any, or a few, of these categories, then multivitamins may be worth it. However, don’t take our word for it - check for yourself! Getting a blood test is the most reliable and effective way to understand if you are getting all the nutrients you need from your diet. The results of a blood test will help you to know your body better, learn whether you are deficient in anything, and help you understand what kinds of vitamins and minerals you should be taking.
Even if you are not in any of these categories it is worth getting a blood test. With many changes to our environment in recent years, there is evidence to suggest declining mineral levels in our soils has meant a decrease in the nutrients in fruit and vegetables - meaning we all need to keep on top of the nutrition levels in our bodies!