Why would I need a multivitamin when I can get all the nutrients I need from food?

So you’ve cut down on processed foods, replaced your lunchtime sandwich with a salad, and even started to steam your veggies a few times a week—that’s great! But while it’s true that a healthy diet such as this in theory can provide you with all the nutrients your body needs to be at its best, the truth is, despite your best efforts, it just might not be enough. Here’s why:

The importance of nutrients
Getting the required amount of daily nutrients is not only good for your overall health—it’s vital. Each vitamin and mineral plays a specific role in helping your body and all its metabolic functions to operate properly. If there’s a deficiency in any one of the essential nutrients, your body won’t be able to function at its optimal level and may be at risk for developing certain health concerns, such as low energy, weakness and even more serious illnesses such as osteoporosis.

Nutrients are found in many different types of food. However, even if you think you’re eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, there’s a chance you may not be getting your Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of all the nutrients you need each day to prevent deficiency.

For example, if you’ve been following a plant-based diet, there’s a good chance your diet is lacking in vitamin B12, essential for the nerves and energy. And while that salad you just ordered sans the fatty dressing may sound healthy, there’s only a sprinkling of beta-carotene-rich carrots in there (essential for eye health). And those steamed veggies you made for dinner last night? They were picked weeks ago from nutrient-depleted soil. These are just some of the common reasons why you may not be reaching your recommended daily allowance of nutrients. This is where a multivitamin steps in, to help supplement those missing nutrients.

Benefits of a multivitamin
Taking a multivitamin is a simple once-a-day way to provide the body with the missing nutrients to help ensure you’re getting enough. Supplementing with a multi has been shown to help boost energy levels, support heart health, keep your immune system strong, and last but not least, supply the body with the necessary nutrients to help lower the risk of developing health issues as a result of nutrient deficiencies.

A multivitamin can also help you attain those nutrients that are hard to get from your diet. Take vitamin D for example, a nutrient many Canadians are deficient in due to our winter months. Aside from sunlight, it is found only in small amounts in certain types of food such as fish, mushrooms, eggs and fortified dairy products. In order to get your RDA of 600 IU of vitamin D. you’d have to eat a large piece of salmon, 3 egg yolks and drink a glass of milk, which can be difficult to achieve on a daily basis.

Who needs a multivitamin?
In 2002, the Journal of the American Medical Association recommended that, in addition to eating a healthy diet, adults should take a daily multivitamin. And, recent studies show that 60% of Canadians are not getting the nutrients they need from their diet. You may want to consider supplementing with a daily multivitamin if you have checked off any of the following in this list:

  • Your diet is low in fresh fruit and vegetables, or your diet comprises of predominately processed foods or foods that are cooked.
  • You do not eat any animal products.
  • You live a busy, stressful or active lifestyle.
  • Your health care practitioner has diagnosed a health complication or illness.
  • You have poor digestion.
  • You are or plan on becoming pregnant
  • You have symptoms of fatigue, weakness, hair loss, brittle nails or poor skin health (to name a few).

*Remember to speak to your health care practitioner prior to taking any natural supplement to ensure it’s right for you.

So, while a daily multivitamin may not be required, it’s essential to help supplement the body with nutrients otherwise missing from your daily meals. To find out about how a Jamieson multivitamin can benefit you and your family, click here.