I am sure that you here all the time that you need to take a good multi-vitamin. “They are good for you.” “You need to take vitamins to keep up your energy.” “If you do not eat healthy, you need to take a good multi-vitamin.” And everyone has an opinion of what a good multi-vitamin is. Or what company you should buy them from. So I am going to let you in on the secrets of what to look for in a multi-vitamin.
Let me just start by saying, I did not start taking a multi-vitamin until very recently. Like just a few months ago. This is because I did not know what to look for in a multi-vitamin. So I just did not take anything. I figured that I was pretty healthy, so I didn’t need to take a multi-vitamin. But this is the wrong way of looking at it. You don’t take a vitamin just when you are unhealthy or sick. You need to take a vitamin to stay healthy. Also, a probiotic is important to take with the multi-vitamin. Go here for what to look for in a probiotic!
Your Multi-Vitamin Needs to be from Whole Foods
I know that is kind of a weird concept that is hard to understand. So let me explain what that means. The vitamins that are in our foods are easily absorbed in the body. So the vitamin A in the kale you eat or the vitamin K in the spinach you eat. Is easily absorbed by your body. The problem is that I do not eat these vegetables daily, or even weekly. And I really do not like kale, so I eat that, usually never!
Since most of you guys are like me, not getting all your vitamins from the foods you eat (no guilt from me!). You need to take a multi-vitamin. And they need to be from whole foods, which means, the vitamins are directly from food sources. And the food source is not broken down to get out just the vitamins (why it has to be from whole foods).
Sometimes vitamins are isolated from the food or even synthetically made in a lab. This makes it difficult for your body to even recognize these as vitamins. So your body will not absorb them. This is why it is so important that your vitamin is from whole foods. So your body can absorb the vitamins. Otherwise, taking a multi-vitamin is a waste. Because your body is not absorbing any of it anyway.
The multi-vitamins made from whole foods are more pricey. But it is not a waste of your money. Like the cheaper vitamins that have synthetic vitamins in them.
Your Multi-Vitamin must have Iron in it
So a lot of times multi-vitamins will be sneaky and leave out iron from the ingredients. This is because iron does not taste very good. So it is difficult to put in a gummy vitamin or a chewable vitamin. Also, it can hurt the tummy if you take a vitamin with iron in it. Which are two reasons that some companies leave out the iron.
Honestly, I am one of those people that gets an upset tummy if I take iron on an empty stomach. But, simple solution I do, is eat right after I take the vitamins and then I am good to go. I used to use this as an excuse as to why I did not take vitamins. Because I do not eat breakfast before I go to work so I figured I couldn’t take my vitamins with iron in them, BUT I just take them with me and take the vitamins when I do eat something. (I use a little pill carrier to take my vitamins with me to work).
Now, why is iron so important to your body? So iron is in your red blood cells and these cells take oxygen all through your body. This is why when your iron is low you get very tired. Your body is not getting enough oxygen. So it is super important that what to look for in a multi-vitamin is iron.
Don’t Be Fooled By Percentages
If you look at multi-vitamin labels they always tell you what percentage of the daily value each amount of vitamin is. Do not be fooled by this. If it says a hundred percent of your daily value. You need to think about where these percentages came from. Like when Vitamin D says 400 international units is 100 percent of your daily value, this is based on how much Vitamin D you need daily to prevent rickets. A disease that is not around much anymore because only people that have, no Vitamin D in their diet get it. Now, with new research, we know that we need more Vitamin D in our bodies than just enough to prevent rickets. This is why those percentages are so misleading. Even if the ingredient on the multi-vitamin says 100 percent, that does not mean that you are getting the enough of that vitamin.
Also, many times, the ingredient list on a multi-vitamin will say something like 300 percent of of your daily value of a particular vitamin. This makes people think that they are getting too much of that vitamin so will not take the multi-vitamin because they don’t want too much. This is just not true, since these daily value percentages were set up a long time ago. And more current research says that technically these amounts of vitamins are more what you need. So I usually just ignore all these percentages, and just make sure I am taking what I know to be a good multi-vitamin.
Multi-Vitamins Are Not Government Regulated
What does this mean exactly? So all medications are government regulated by the FDA, and so each drug has a set dosage you are supposed to take. Both prescriptions and over the counter medications. And these dosages are regulated by the government, so no matter what company is making the drug, the recommended dose will always be the same.
With any vitamins or supplements, the dosage is not regulated by the government. So one company could say you only need to take 100mg of Vitamin C a day while another company could say you need to have 500mg of Vitamin C. There is no regulation and each company can say what they want.
Basically this means that you need to trust the company you get your multi-vitamin from. I get mine from my essential oil company because I trust them to make an incredibly great vitamin that has everything I need in it at the right dosages.
I know picking out a multi-vitamin can be confusing and sometimes this leads to not taking one at all. That is why I am giving you the secret sauce of what to look for in a multi-vitamin.