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Ever since you were a kid, have your parents told you to remember to take your multivitamin every day to stay healthy and strong? You likely remember those chalky fruit flavored vitamins in cartoon shapes you had to eat every morning.
With such a task being ingrained into us as children, you may have continued the multivitamin tradition into adulthood as well. Multivitamins are promoted as something everyone should take on a daily basis to ensure you are getting the necessary vitamins and minerals according to your daily goals. They are said to help fill in the gaps for the vitamins and minerals you are not getting from your food.
Unfortunately, most adults are not getting the required number of vitamins from food they require in a day. With diets are that filled with frozen foods, prepackaged chips and cookies, and diets that mostly consist of carbs and starches, the lack of fresh fruits and veggies make it very challenging to get in those necessary vitamins. This leads many to believe, or assume, that adding a multivitamin will make up for their poor diet, but this is not the case.
Many studies have been conducted that all show multivitamins do not reduce the risk of brain decline, heart disease, cancer, or early death. Since most people are taking a multivitamin to fill in nutritional gaps in hopes to help prevent certain health issues, they are likely not going to see any benefits from the vitamins.
The popular saying, “you cannot out exercise and unhealthy diet” is the same for vitamins. You cannot out supplement an unhealthy diet. If you are eating lots of sodium, sugar, starches, carbs, and processed food, taking a multivitamin is not going to make you healthy or give your enough vitamin and mineral content to be healthy.
However, if you do eat a healthy well-rounded diet, with fruits, veggies, protein, healthy carbs, grains, and limit processed food, fast food, and sugar, taking a multivitamin may be more beneficial. In this case, you are not trying to make up for a poor diet, but rather, are using a multivitamin to supplement your already healthy diet. That way, if you do have any vitamin gaps in your diet, a high-quality pure supplement may actually help fill in that gap partially as compared to fully.
Even still, you should simply aim to add more fruits and veggies into your diet that contain high levels of all the main vitamin groups your body needs. To make sure you are getting the right vitamins and minerals, eat the color of the rainbow on a daily basis. Red, orange, yellow, purple, green, blue, and all shades in between in food each contain certain vitamins and minerals your body needs. Simply adding an extra serving of red raspberries each day can fulfill your required vitamin C intake for the day.
You can make a big salad for lunch or dinner to pack a punch when it comes to your vitamin and mineral intake. Choose a dense leafy dark green like kale as your base. Add in red tomatoes, yellow bell peppers, red cabbage, green sugar snap peas, fresh corn, black beans, lean baked chicken breast, avocado, and other fresh veggies of your choice to make a meal that can provide you with a good portion of your vitamins for the day.
For breakfast, bake veggies into egg cups, make veggie muffins, or eat fruit and yogurt, or fruit and oatmeal. Aim to eat fruits and veggies with every meal of the day in the proper serving size for your height, weight, and gender and you will be well on your way to a healthy, balanced, and vitamin packed diet.
A multivitamin is generally not necessary for most people. Eat a balanced diet and get your vitamins from food. So, get out and buy some blueberries and kale!