Multivitamins: Your Best Health Insurance
Mar 1, 2012 Posted by: Michelle E. Latinsky BASc., RD
The same can be said about multivitamins, which help boost energy, keep your immune system strong and support heart health. In 2002, the Journal of the American Medical Association recommended that, in addition to eating a healthy diet, adults should take a daily multivitamin. It makes sense. In an age of depleted soils and deteriorating agri-business practices, nutrient levels in food have declined, making it nearly impossible for most people to get adequate nutrition from diet alone.
Today, the accepted preventive wisdom tells us that specialized multivitamin formulas provide essential vitamins and minerals that will boost energy and vitality, and support optimal health through every stage of life.
But which multivitamin is right for you? Here are five guidelines that will steer you to the ideal multivitamin match.
Choose a multivitamin formulated for your stage of life. The right nutrient mix does make a difference. Today’s multivitamins contain scientifically formulated ingredients to support our body needs at various ages. Kids’ multis, for example, include nutrients that lay the foundation for healthy bones, teeth, cartilage, gums, skin, eyesight and immunity. Prenatal formulas offer a complex of basic vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc and folic acid which prevents neural tube defects. Formulas for adults are nutritionally balanced to satisfy the health needs of mid-life and to help prevent disease as we age. In addition to the balanced supplement mix, multis for 50+ adults contain targeted nutrients that support vision and reduce inflammation.
Men and women have unique health needs. A balanced formula of essential vitamins and minerals will help a woman in the prime of life look and feel great. It’s also important to choose a premium formula made with nutrients proven to support breast, bone and urinary tract health, common issues that affect all women. Men, on the other hand, need a multivitamin enriched with male-factor nutrients that will support energy demands and prostate health, and help fight major diseases. New research shows that both men and women should take formulas enhanced with extra Vitamin D to help reduce the risk of chronic conditions from osteoporosis to heart disease.
Find a formula that fits your energy demands. The human body is a finely tuned, fuel-burning system. There’s no avoiding the fact that your body runs best when it is adequately nourished. Skipped meals, fast food and eating on-the-go are common reasons for multivitamin use in general. More to the point: Is a basic multi enough for you? If your activity or stress levels place greater demands on your body, a mega-potency or stamina-boosting formula will provide the nutritional advantage you need.
Get what you want and what you need. Vegetarians can find nutritionally balanced formulas made without animal products. Anyone trying to shed a few extra pounds should look for a formula with extra metabolism-boosting nutrients and an antioxidant, such as green tea extract, to help fight free radical damage during the weight-loss process. And as you age, optimal heart health is essential. For maximum cardiovascular protection, choose a formula with added Vitamin D and cholesterol-reducing nutrients.
Tablet, Capsule or Chewable
What system is best for you? By definition, a multivitamin is chock full of dozens of important nutrients. Today, your multi comes in a variety of formats. Large, dense tablets may be hard for some people to digest and the nutrients are therefore unable to target cells. There are several options available so take the time to think about what is best for you. If you have issues swallowing pills, a chewable tablet is a tasty and effective way to get the most from your multi.
Remember to always consult a healthcare professional before you start any multivitamin regimen, particularly if you have a medical condition or are taking prescription medication.