Try as we might, it’s nearly impossible to get all the vitamins and nutrients recommended daily. That’s where multivitamins and vitamin supplements come in; however, not all supplements are created equal and not all of them are necessary.
The official stance of the NHS is that if you eat a healthy, balanced diet, most people will not need to take vitamin supplements. In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, that sort of diet might not be possible to achieve everyday which is where supplements come in. Pregnant women, young children, and the elderly are often the most common groups to take supplements often advised to do so by their doctor. Also, people with certain health conditions may be required to take supplements.
Now if you don’t fall into of these categories, it doesn’t mean you should just write off multivitamins and supplements entirely. One of the “trends” in the multivitamin world right now and the ones I take is Vitamin D. The NHS recommends that anyone over the age of five should consider taking a vitamin D supplement, particularly between October and March. The main natural source of vitamin D is the sun which doesn’t contain enough UVB radiation in the winter. Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones, teeth, and muscles and a lack of vitamin D can cause soft and weak bones. Foods that include vitamin D include Salmon, milk, and eggs; however, sometimes it’s still not enough. That’s where a supplement comes in!
Another popular multivitamin/supplement and another one that I swear by are probiotics which are live bacteria and yeasts. Probiotics claim to help with digestive; however, the science around probiotics is not certain. The NHS states claims the probiotics can cure diseases like eczema are unfounded and without evidence. There is also a question about the labelling of probiotics. It can be difficult to tell whether or not a product contains the advertised bacteria or the degree to which it’ll be effective. That being said, introducing probiotics into your diet can be beneficial. They say a healthy stomach will keep inflammation and all sorts of diseases away.
There are billions of little bacteria in and on the human body, but don’t worry! They help your body function and are essential to your wellbeing. One easily accessible food that contains probiotics is yogurt! You don’t necessarily need a pill, rather you can buy yogurt in your local grocery store. Make sure you read the ingredients carefully because yogurt often contains a lot of added sugar. Look for organic plain yogurt with less than 10 grams of sugar, and add your fresh fruit and oats for some extra flavor and a little crunch. My favourites are the Greek yogurts.
When in doubt, consult your doctor before trying a multivitamin or supplement as many do not have proven benefits. Your doctor will also be able to tell you if you have a specific vitamin or mineral deficiency and help you find the right product for you. Remember that the best thing you can do is eat a healthy, balanced diet. If you do that, you should be able to get most of the nutrients you need!