The typical American diet is very rich in calories but low in nutrients. We have access to lots of food but unfortunately all of the food we consume on a daily basis is not beneficial to our health.
The purpose of eating is to FUEL our body but instead the food industry caters to our tastes buds. As humans, we tend to crave fat, sugar and salt and it is no secret that today’s food is loaded with these three ingredients. Our taste buds are happy but we may not be receiving the proper nutrients daily that our body needs to function properly.
With that being said, multivitamins are a great way to help supplement our diet. The key word being SUPPLEMENT. Supplementation is the addition of an extra element, something added to complete a thing or to make up for a deficiency.
Supplements are not designed to replace a regularly balanced diet but to make up for any nutrients we may be lacking in our normal diet, consider it as a way to fill in the gaps!
Supplement shelp to fill in the gaps!
A common misconception is that you can eat whatever you want and taking a multivitamin will make up for it…..sorry folks, this is not the case.
Composition of a Multivitamin:
In general multivitamins are composed of vitamins and minerals that act as cofactors to help enzymes perform their function in aiding metabolism in the body. They usually contain the following but this is not an all-inclusive list as there are many different multivitamins on the market:
- Fat Soluble Vitamins, which means they can be stored in the body for long periods of time (greater risk of toxicity if consumed in excess).
- Vitamin A (Retinol) helps with eye health and cell division.
- Vitamin D helps us use calcium and phosphorus, it also plays a role in immunity and cell growth.
- Vitamin E helps increase immunity, and promotes healthy skin and eyes.
- Also known as Ascorbic Acid.
- Water Soluble vitamin, not store in the body and must be supplied daily.
- Needed for growth, development and repair of all body tissues.
- Functions in the formation of collagen, strengthening the immune system, wound healing and maintaining healthy cartilage, bones and teeth.
- Thiamin, Riboflavin,Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, B-12, Folic acid.
- Water-Soluble, which means they are not stored in the body and must be supplied daily through our diet (B-12 can be stored usually in the liver until it is needed).
- Play an important in converting nutrients to energy, regulation of the nervous system, red blood cell development and acting as an antioxidant
- Calcium, Iron, Zinc, Selenium, Magnesium and Copper.
- Help to build strong bones and teeth, maintain healthy blood, skin and hair.
- Aide in proper nerve and muscle function.
As you can see, vitamins and minerals play very important roles in the body. If we become deficient, or we are lacking the proper nutrients then this can lead to dis-ease in the body.
In summary, yes taking a multivitamin can be helpful in supplementing a regularly balanced diet but should not be looked at as a “crutch” to eat anything you want.
As always, before you start to take any additional supplements it would be wise to check with your doctor; especially if you are on any other medications, pregnant, nursing or have a current medical condition.
In my opinion, your main focus should first be on eating a variety of healthy foods that supply your body with nutrients needed to function properly. Nutrients that we receive from the food we eat tends to be more beneficial than taking a supplement. One reason is that food also has other components such as fiber which plays an important role in our digestive health.
If you do decide to take a multivitamin, be sure to read the label, all multivitamins aren’t created equal. Check the label for synthetic colors, fillers and ingredients you don’t recognize.
Be sure to do what you think is right for you!
Find Health in Every Day!
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