Many people use multivitamins to fill in any nutritional gaps their diet leaves. But walking down the vitamin aisle can be overwhelming with so many choices.
Nutrition experts suggest seeking third-party certifications like the USP or NSF seal. According to a registered dietitian nutritionist, you should also ensure the vitamins are listed in their bioactive forms.
Strengthen Your Immune System
The immune system is your body’s first line of defense against germs that can cause the flu, colds, and strep throat. It needs a range of nutrients to function correctly.
Eating a well-rounded diet rich in vitamins A, C, and D will give your immune system the boost it needs to keep you healthy. You can find these vitamins in fruits, vegetables, and dairy products.
Taking a multivitamin daily will help ensure you get enough of these nutrients, especially if your diet falls short in certain areas. Remember that “multivitamins aren’t a pass to eat poorly,” Dr. Okunnu says. Choose a multivitamin that aligns with your nutrient needs and is formulated correctly to avoid toxicity risks. (Check the label for these criteria.)
Keep Your Bones Strong
If you have a well-balanced diet, you usually don’t need multivitamins, as your food should provide all the nutrients you need. However, for those who have difficulty maintaining a healthy diet due to work or lifestyle limitations, a multivitamin can fill in nutrient gaps that can result in vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
Ideally, choose a multivitamin that contains calcium and vitamin D to promote bone health. Also, look for one that provides vitamin C (which helps produce collagen) and zinc, which can help boost immune function and support bone strength.
Finally, look for a multivitamin containing folic acid to prevent neural tube defects in pregnancy, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends. This is especially important for women of childbearing age.
Boost Your Energy Levels
Getting your daily dose of vitamins is crucial for keeping your body running smoothly. However, getting the nutrients you need when you’re on the go or eating a poor diet can be challenging. Adding multivitamins to your routine can help fill in the gaps in your diet.
Some vitamins in a high-quality multivitamin can also boost your energy levels. For example, B vitamins are essential for converting food into energy and helping your nervous system function properly. Vitamin C is linked to muscle tissue development and metabolism.
Other supplements that increase your energy include folic acid, iron, and magnesium. A good multivitamin and other vital nutrients for healthy living will have these. A quality supplement will also be free of any artificial ingredients or additives.
Improve Your Memory
A new study has found that daily multivitamin use can boost your memory as you age. Researchers from Columbia University and Brigham and Women’s Hospital enrolled more than 3,500 adults ages 60 and up. They randomly assigned them to take a daily multivitamin or placebo. Then, they completed self-administered online cognitive assessments annually over three years. They found that participants who took the multivitamins had memory performance comparable to those three years younger and those taking a placebo pill.
However, it needs to be made clear which micronutrients conferred this benefit. And since the multivitamins used in the study were Centrum Silver, it could be more apparent if any other high-quality brands would yield similar results. More research is needed to determine if the effects of these pills last over time and extend to different types of cognitive decline.
Help You Sleep Better
Getting a good night’s sleep is vital to overall health. Vitamins can help with this, especially the B vitamins. In some studies, taking multivitamins has been shown to reduce the risk of sleep issues and fatigue.
The best multivitamins contain methylated B vitamins, chelated minerals, and sustainable botanical bioactive. They should also be free of any allergens, fillers, and binders.
Multivitamins are a great way to fill in nutrient gaps that may be present in your diet. However, they shouldn’t be a substitute for a well-balanced diet. If you want to maximize the benefits of your multivitamins, consult with a dietitian or nutritionist who can assess your specific needs and recommend the right supplements for you.