Insights & Actions for Healthy Living

I take a multivitamin, should I?

This is an interesting question. Many people wonder whether they should take a multivitamin or other nutritional supplements or not.

The goal for all of us should be to eat a wide variety of nutritious foods that will meet all of our daily nutritional requirements for essential nutrients.

Whole foods provide us with nutrients we know about but also those yet discovered. We get fiber, water, phytonutrients, antioxidants and other properties that are not available in supplement form without eating more pills than we can count.

The problem comes in when we either are not sure what we need or don’t eat enough variety. It is at this time when many people feel that they need an insurance policy in the form of a multivitamin that can give them what they may be missing.

Many people restrict their intake in order to lose weight, are eating processed foods lacking in nutritional content or have increased needs due to a physical reason. Using a nutritional supplement for some health conditions can be beneficial.

What we want to be sure that we are not doing is foregoing eating whole foods rich in nutrition because it is easier to rely on a pill. That is unhealthy for all of us.

We should also note that supplements for people who are getting a good variety in their diets–lean proteins, whole grains and healthy fats, can really just be a waste of money. As many have said, you’ll have the most expensive urine in town as the excess nutrients spill out through your urine.

Another concern with nutritional supplements, especially those taken in isolation, is the danger of taking too much. Some nutrients can be toxic to our body if taken in excess.

Learning about what nutrients are important for you and your family depending on your stage in life will help you plan your meals accordingly to be sure you are meeting your nutritional needs. Do you need to get 3 servings of dairy foods, a source of iron, more calcium and vitamin D or increased fiber? Every person is a little different.

With a little planning, It is not too hard to eat healthy, tasty and nutritious foods every day that can give you and your family all the nutrients you need without depending on a multivitamin and is well worth the additional attention.

Will a multivitamin a few times a week hurt you? Probably not but start with food as medicine.

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