What are multivitamins and why do we need them?
Multivitamins can help give you a strong foundation for your overall health. If you are struggling to sleep, suffering from stress, or working in an environment that exposes you to more common illnesses such as coughs and colds for example, a multivitamin can ensure that you have the recommended daily amount of the main vitamins and minerals that your body needs.
Different types of multivitamins
There are many different types of multivitamins, from those tailored towards your age or gender, multivitamins for women who are pregnant and those developed with a particular lifestyle in mind, such as multivitamins for those who perform a lot of sports.
With so many multivitamins to choose from it can be difficult to know which to pick. All good multivitamins though will contain the following as a minimum:
• Vitamin D – important for bone health as it helps us to absorb calcium
• Magnesium – important for bone health and energy production
• Calcium – needed for strong teeth and bones
• Zinc – supports our immune system and aids in wound healing
• Iron – helps with energy levels and brain function
• Folate – combats inflammation and is important in pregnancy to aid foetus development
• Vitamin B-12 – keeps our nerves and blood cells healthy
Sources of multivitamins
You can take multivitamins in a pill, capsule, chewable gummy, liquid or powder format, but there are other ways to get the multivitamins you need too. Vitamin D, for example, can be made by your body if you absorb enough sunlight. Most people don’t though, which is why all good multivitamins should contain it.
One of the easiest ways to get a wide variety of vitamins is to consume them naturally through the foods that you eat or through nutritional supplementation.
With particularly high levels of vitamin K, kale is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet! We need vitamin K in our diets as studies have shown it to be essential for blood clotting and it may also play a role in bone health.1 Kale is also a great natural multivitamin, being packed full of fibre, magnesium, vitamin B6, potassium and iron.
Eggs are a particularly great sources of vitamin B12, which is essential for the health of our brain, cells and nervous system. Just two eggs can provide almost half of your daily requirements for vitamin B12.2 Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency can include headaches, tiredness and irritability.3
Chocolate doesn’t have to be something to feel guilty about – particularly dark chocolate! Dark chocolate is packed fill of fibre, iron, magnesium, copper and manganese, and a study has shown that dark chocolate contained more antioxidants than foods such as blueberries!4
You can’t beat a balanced diet and you should always try to eat a wide variety of natural foods including fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds and – if your dietary choices allow – meat and seafood. That being said, multivitamins are a great way to ensure that you get the recommended daily dose of any of the essential vitamins and nutrients that you might not get enough of. Taking a good multivitamin, at the right time, can be a valuable way to ensure that you remain as healthy as possible.
- https://www.anaboliclabs.com/User/Document/Articles/Vitamin%20K/2.%20Cranenburg,%20Vitamin%20K2,%202007.pdf [↩]
- https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173424/nutrients [↩]
- https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitamin-b12-or-folate-deficiency-anaemia/symptoms/ [↩]
- https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21299842/ [↩]