Today's busy lifestyle can make eating properly balanced, healthy meals on a regular basis a challenge, so having a good grasp of multi vitamin facts can be very important to good health and wellness.
Multi Vitamin Facts: Defining the Need
While it is true that the body absorbs nutrients most efficiently from foods, ideal daily levels of nutrients can be hard to obtain from diet alone. The variety and quantity of foods that must be included in the daily diet for optimal health is difficult to manage for the typical person who is pressed for time between work and family demands. All too frequently, many of us have little choice but to place convenience above nutrition on the priority list.
Adding to that challenge is the fact that modern farming techniques have caused soil depletion, stripping away a good portion of the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that plants are able to obtain from the environment in which they grow. This is passed along the food chain in the form of lower nutrient levels in fruits and vegetables, as well as in livestock feed products, lowering the nutritional value of virtually all foods available to consumers today. For this reason, even those who eat a wide variety of wholesome foods daily can have difficulty obtaining the recommended daily allowances of many necessary nutrients.
Good Nutrition for Good Health
Proper nutrition is good for the body and mind in a wide variety of ways. A healthy, nutrient-rich diet can help prevent many health conditions and diseases, playing an important role in health maintenance. Heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes are among the diseases that poor dietary habits can contribute to, as are obesity and depression.
These issues make supplements an option to consider carefully for the health conscious consumer. Of the supplements most frequently recommended by health care providers, a multi vitamin that contains a comprehensive and well balanced combination of the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients the body needs tops the list.
Finding the Best Multi Vitamin
A wide variety of multi vitamin products are available on the market today, sold in drug stores, supermarkets, health food establishments, and on the Internet, among many other sources. Choosing the right one to fit your needs can be quite confusing given the vast amount of information and advertisements about the subject. Once one begins to look at multi vitamin facts, it becomes clear that there is no one right answer to the question of which one is best, as people have varying nutritional needs, depending upon factors such as age, gender, activity level, general health, and physical condition.
The nutritional needs of women vary greatly throughout the stages of their lives. For instance, women of childbearing age need higher levels of folic acid and other B vitamins, as these nutrients are essential in the very early stages of fetal development. Women who are deficient in these critical vitamins are at much greater risk of having a child born with certain birth defects, including neural tube defects that can cause lifelong disability or death. These defects generally occur during the first six weeks of fetal development, a time period during which many women have yet to realize they are expecting, so maintaining proper levels of these essential nutrients at all times is the wisest course of action. Taking a multi vitamin that is formulated specifically for women of childbearing age can be good insurance against such issues.
Aging changes the nutritional needs of the body. Antioxidants like vitamin E, vitamin C, and Beta-carotene become more important to combat the effects of time and the environment on our bodies. Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial aids to maintaining heart health and preventing diabetes, and the body demands more iron and calcium. Using a multivitamin formulated for the changing needs of those over fifty years of age can address those issues, as well as maintaining energy levels and a general feeling of well-being.
Children's nutritional needs are quite different from those of adults, with mind and body still in the stages of growth and development. Their smaller body size means that lesser amounts of some nutrients are needed, while their growth and high energy levels demand more of others. These factors make it important to choose multi vitamin formulations that are specifically targeted to the needs of children. Multi vitamins are produced for differing stages of childhood, from infancy to the teen years, so be sure to check those labels carefully.
While supplements can be helpful in augmenting the supply of vitamins and minerals obtained from the diet, they should not be used as a substitute for healthy, wholesome foods. While many essential nutrients are present in a good multivitamin, others, like fiber for instance, are not. For the best in health and well-being, a good diet should be combined with the extra insurance of a well balanced multi vitamin supplement.