Even with the best intentions, sometimes we fall short on our nutritional needs. Food is the best source of nutrition, of course. However, taking a multivitamin can be a great way to fill any small gaps you might have in your diet. Let’s face it, there are only so many hours in the day. While I would love to be cooking delicious and nutritious food for every meal of the day, sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way. Taking a multivitamin is the most convenient way to make up for small deficiencies which could eventually lead to chronic diseases.
This is not an excuse to replace your chicken Caesar salad with a Quatar pounder from Maccas. Vitamin supplements don’t replace a healthy diet and lifestyle, they, well, supplement it. They live together in harmony. Healthy lifestyle + supplementation = optimal health.
The easy part is deciding a multi is right for you, the hard part is choosing one. With trillions of brands lining the shelves, we’ve got a few tips to help you choose the right vitamin.
Too Much of a Good Thing is Never Good
You want to make sure you’re getting all the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that your body needs to function at its best, but you don’t want to overdose on nutrients which can be toxic in high doses.
Do some research on the safe upper limit of nutrient consumption and compare it to supplements before you buy. Remember, the nutrients you consume through food are included in this limit too. You don’t need to sit with a calculator to do the math. If your multivitamin has reached, or is above the safe upper limit of a nutrient, this is not a good thing.
Your Health is Worth More Than Cheap and Nasty
I like a good bargain. Sure, who doesn’t love a cheap tee from Kmart or a good deal on gas? But one area not to skimp on is yourself. Invest in your health. You could argue that investing in nutritious food and quality vitamins is a waste, but c’mon, you’re gonna be stuck with your body for a long time, in fact your entire life, so treat it well!
As Ryan Gosling said, be better than the Gap.
Third Party Testing Approval
Testing from a trusted independent tester, such as ConsumerLab.com, can give you the confidence that your multivitamin has the ingredients it says it does. A a seal of approval for label accuracy and purity from a third party tester can give you some peace of mind that you’re taking a quality supplement.
The reason third party testing is important is that it is essentially the company’s responsibility to ensure their own product is high quality and complies with laws. There is no pre-approval process for dietary supplements in New Zealand. It remains the responsibility of the sponsor (the person legally responsible for placing the product on the market) to ensure the product is made to an acceptable quality, is safe to use and complies with the law.
Choosing the Best Multivitamin and Other Supplements for Your Individual Needs
There are certain times when the status quo doesn’t work for you. A multivitamin is designed to help you meet the daily recommended intake of vitamins, but you could need something a little different. For example, if you’re pregnant, a prenatal would be better suited for you because you have different nutritional needs. The same logic means children and teens would be better taking a children or teens’ multivitamin suited to their age. Additionally, you might want to take a specific supplement on top of your daily multivitamin to suite your individual needs.
I think you’re ready now to tackle the task of finding the best multivitamin for you.