Multivitamin / Mineral Supplements
If you were to take only one of the many dietary supplements available today, which would it be? Many nutrition experts recommend a high-quality multivitamin / mineral supplement (referred to simply as a multivitamin, or multi). A good multivitamin will provide you with a wide variety of nutrients that are necessary for the basic functioning of your body, and current scientific research reveals that many of the nutrients in multivitamins can also help prevent disease and promote well-being.
How important is a daily multivitamin? Consider this: In 2002, the American Medical Association published a recommendation that all adults take a daily multivitamin, because many Americans, especially women and high-risk groups (such as the elderly and those with chronic health conditions), don’t receive adequate levels of essential nutrients from their diets.
You may be thinking that there’s nothing revolutionary about vitamins; after all, they’ve been around for years. In a time when thousands of products line the supermarket shelves, daily news stories bombard us with miraculous health claims and slick infomercials tempt us with promises of instant results, a simple multivitamin may seem a little … well, simple. But for those who want to prevent nutritional deficiencies and boost overall health, there’s no better way to start than with a high-quality multivitamin.
No supplement – not even the best multivitamin – can replace a healthful diet of whole grains, legumes, fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, fish and healthy fats. However, many experts agree that the standard American diet (SAD) does not typically provide all of the nutrients our bodies need. Many factors – including over-processed foods, busy schedules, and modern agricultural practices, which reduce the nutrient content of some food s- make it difficult for more of us to get adequate amounts of all the nutrients our bodies need to function at optimal levels.
A high-quality multivitamin may be the best health insurance your money can buy, for several reasons:
- A multivitamin can guarantee that a less-than-perfect diet will not put you at risk for nutrient deficiencies and the health problems those deficiencies may create.
- Most multivitamins provide high levels of certain nutrients that are known to offer additional benefits at levels above what diet alone can provide; levels that also exceed the U.S. government’s reference daily intakes (RDIs), which many nutritional experts consider to be marginally adequate, at best.
- Multivitamins are convenient. Many people find it confusing, cumbersome and inconvenient to take a handful of pills each day to cover their nutritional needs; taking a single multivitamin tablet takes but a few seconds.
- Multivitamins are even good for future generations: researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have found that women who take multivitamins prior to becoming pregnant have a lower risk of preterm births.