Many feel multivitamins are not that useful as many of us believe. So can we do without them in our daily life?
Yes, its certainly possible to do without them, as long as you can ensure a well-balanced daily diet of cereals, fruits and vegetables.
Few years back, doctors around the world mostly suggested a standard multivitamin with few minerals each day. They’re cheap, and many studies show they do show positive effect on humans. For instance, it was found that B vitamins and folic acid lowers risk of stroke, heart disease, and possibly cancer. More recent in-depth studies show no additional benefits of multivitamins for all those who’re healthy and eat a balanced diet.
Experts feel that easiest way to get your nutrients is through food. A well-balanced diet-one that has lots of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains-offers you a mix of minerals, vitamins, and many other nutrients (and many are yet to be identified). They may collectively meet your body’s natural requirements. Maybe what actually counts is the synergistic interactions of all these vital nutrients-which might also explain why so many trials of each single nutrient often don’t pan out.
Still, there are many reasons for some people to consume vitamins.
Women need about 450 microgram of folic acid per day during childbearing years. This amount is easily available through standard multiple vitamin capsule or tablet. Sufficient amount of folic acid can prevent pregnant women from having a child born with spina bifida.
Also, many aren’t exposed to sunlight too often- which may result in vitamin D deficiency-may greatly benefit from a multivitamin. Sunlight is needed to transform inactive vitamin D in the sink to its active form. Most of those who reside in upper regions of the northern Hemisphere don’t get enough sunlight during winters and most part of the spring and fall as well. Also, all those who’ve been advised to avoid sunlight because it speeds up aging of our skin and may also result in various types of skin cancers.
I’m providing yet another reason to take multivitamins: it slows down macular degeneration. It’s an eye disease common in older people. However, it’s not clear if these vitamins actually prevent the disease.
Even strict vegetarians should take vitamin B12. They may also need a good iron supplement.
The standard multivitamin doses are safe. If you feel your diet lags essential minerals or vitamins, multivitamins is still a low-cost way to safeguard your body against many vitamin deficiencies.
If you’re on a low calorie diet, make sure you are getting essential minerals and vitamins you need. I’m providing a short list of nutrient-dense foods:
• Chard, kale, collard greens, mustard greens, spinach
• Brussels sprouts
• Bell peppers
• Mushrooms (shiitake and crimini)
• Sweet potatoes
• Baked potatoes
• Cantaloupe, raspberries, papaya, strawberries
• Low-fat yogurt
• Seeds (flax, seasame, and sunflower)
• Peas, lentils
• Dried beans (navy, pinto, kidney, garbanzo)
• Almonds, peanuts, cashews
• Salmon, cod, halibut, scallops, tuna, shrimp
• Barley, quinoa, oats, brown rice
• Chicken, turkey
• Lamb, lean beef, venison