Do you take a multivitamin? If so, how do you choose which one? Do you grab whatever is on sale, take the one you're significant other uses or do you have a preferred brand? And if you don’t take a multivitamin, why not? If it’s because you don’t know where to start, you’re not alone.
Walk into any supermarket, drugstore or health food store and you’ll see racks of shelves housing about a zillion different multivitamin brands. You can find even more options online. We’re going to help you navigate this chaotic landscape so you’ll be better prepared to choose the best multivitamin!
Before we get into the specifics of multivitamins, we should talk a little about their benefits. Unless you’ve lived your entire life in a carefully constructed, hermetically sealed enclosure free of all environmental toxins, you’ve eaten only fresh, wholesome foods grown and raised within your enclosure, you get eight hours of restorative sleep each night and you live a stress-free life, your body could likely benefit from a daily multivitamin!
For many of us, regularly eating a healthy diet full of fresh fruits and veggies, getting enough sleep and reducing our stress is simply not possible. As a result, our bodies often don’t get enough of the nutrients we need for optimum health. A high-quality multivitamin can help fill in the nutritional gaps.
Even if you eat a well-balanced diet, sleep well and manage your stress, your body is continually fighting disease, free radicals and toxins. Adding a multivitamin to your arsenal can help strengthen your immune system. High-quality multivitamins can also help you sleep better, feel more energized and improve your mental clarity.
If you follow a specific diet plan such as paleo, keto, vegetarian or vegan, some of the foods you’ve eliminated from your diet contain nutrients your body needs — taking a multivitamin daily can replace some of these lost nutrients.
Just as buying a package of low quality $1.75 vegetable soup mix compared to purchasing a premium organic $7 brand loaded with vegetables, the nutritional quality of multivitamins can vary quite a bit. You might be thinking how can this be? Vitamins and minerals come from the same basic sources, so how can one multivitamin be far superior to another? Actually…vitamins and minerals do not come from the
same sources or in the same forms. And lower quality multivitamins can contain artificial ingredients and even toxins known to be harmful to our bodies!
In addition to a plethora of brands, you’ll also find different types of daily multivitamins. Again, think of walking down the vitamin aisle or browsing online. You’ll find unisex vitamins, some for specific genders, some with ingredients beyond vitamins and minerals, some are single-pill servings and others require multiple pills per serving — so how do you choose? Let’s take a look at the factors that matter.
Fortunately, there are a few easy ways to determine if a multivitamin is worth your time and money. Here’s what to look for:
Artificial or Toxic Ingredients: While this seems like a no-brainer, many lower cost multivitamins and supplements contain artificial ingredients such as food coloring! Why would a multivitamin manufacturer add food coloring? To merely make the vitamin look “prettier” — or worse, to potentially mask that the active ingredients have degraded due to poor storage conditions.
So, now you know a few of the ways multivitamins can differ. The big mass producers of multivitamins often use lower cost ingredients so they can offer inexpensive vitamins to consumers who haven’t taken the time to compare. Yes, you might have to read the labels carefully — and be prepared to spend more, but once you find a high-quality multivitamin, you can stick with it. Consider subscribing to an online seller, which will save you time and money. Many online sellers offer significant discounts if you sign up for regular deliveries!
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