7 Things to Consider When Choosing Multivitamins

Multivitamins are important to your health. You should take them because they give you the nutrients and minerals that your body lacks. Multivitamins and supplements should serve as a backup to your healthy diet.

They shouldn’t replace your diet. Not all multivitamins are considered the same. Some brands are better for you than others. How do you know which ones to choose? Check out SmartyPants Vitamins. They focus on the nutrients that some people have a hard time getting from their food. Here is more information to help you choose the right vitamin.

Avoid Megadoses

Don’t look for more than 100 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamins and minerals. One exception is vitamin D, which has a daily value of 400 IU. Most people should take vitamin D and may require a higher dose. Avoiding megadoses can help with other vitamins like vitamin A, which only requires a daily value of 200 IU.

Look for vitamins that don’t go above 3,000 IU of vitamin A. Beta-carotene shouldn’t exceed 60 percent of the daily value. Smokers shouldn’t take this vitamin since it can increase their risk of lung cancer.

Avoid Formulas that Contain Calcium and Iron

Some nutrients like calcium and iron should be taken separately as a supplement. Calcium may interfere with iron’s absorption, which isn’t great if you’re taking it for health reasons. Choose a multivitamin that contains just one of these minerals. Then take a separate supplement that contains the other mineral.

Look for Other Active Forms of Nutrients

Some name brand multivitamins contain nutrients and minerals that have been converted into active versions. Vitamin B6 may be taken as pyridoxine or pyridoxine 5-phosphate, an active form known as P-5-P. Another example of an active nutrient is riboflavin-5-phosphate for vitamin B2. Active minerals and nutrients absorb better. It also skips a step for your body, would have to take care of the nutrient to perform its job.

Avoid Synthetic Folic Acid

Some people have a genetic mutation that prevents them from getting the nutrients they need. This defect often goes undetected, it’s always better to take folate rather than folic acid. This mineral is often listed as folacin, folate, or 5-MTHF. Folate is often found in leafy green and orange foods such as asparagus, avocado, broccoli, citrus foods, legumes, lentils, and mushrooms.

Choose Multivitamins with a Vitamin E Complex

Check the label of your multivitamins to make sure you’re getting enough vitamin E. The vitamin E should be mixed with tocopherols, which means you’re taking a vitamin E complex, not one kind of vitamin E. A vitamin E complex contains alpha, beta delta, and gamma.

A mixed tocopherols vitamin should contain all of these minerals. Most over-the-counter vitamins only contain alpha-tocopherol, which only contains one type of vitamin E. Studies have shown that other forms of vitamin E are just as important for your health.

Stay Away from Additives and Fillers

Make sure that your vitamins don’t contain additives and fillers. Look out for any ingredients, flavors, or coloring used to enhance the taste and to make them more visually appealing. Certain vitamin brands add these components to extend the product’s shelf life and to make them less expensive to produce. It’s highly recommended to purchase natural vitamins and supplements, especially from brands that come from whole food sources.

Choose a Multivitamin Targeted to Your Gender or Age

Vitamins for men and seniors don’t contain iron, which is a plus since those groups don’t need as much iron as women do. Too much iron can lead to organ damage in individuals with hemochromatosis, a disorder that causes iron buildup. Senior vitamins may contain more vitamin D than others on the market. Women’s vitamins may contain more calcium, but it’s still not enough to meet the daily requirement.

If you’re unsure what nutrients and multivitamins to take, get the help of a holistic medicine specialist. You can also ask your physician or holistic health care provider for more information. Some people who don’t get all of their vitamins and minerals may benefit more from a healthy, balanced diet.

Receiving your nutrients from supplements is not the same as receiving them through the foods you eat. That’s because whole foods and plant foods contain phytochemicals that can interact with each other in ways that supplements can’t. The wider the food variety, the more nutrients you get. Sometimes it’s best to get most of your nutrients and minerals from whole foods rather than multivitamins and supplements. Make sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables at every meal.

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