The benefits of taking a multivitamin are many, especially if your diet lacks proper nutrients. Eating on the go is all too common for many people. Work, family and general commitments leave many reaching for a burger and fries as opposed to a well-balanced meal. While it's best to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and lean meat, popping a daily multivitamin can help provide essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients when eating right isn't possible.
There are 13 essential vitamins that should always be included in an everyday diet. These vitamins include vitamins A, C, E, D, K and seven B-complex vitamins. The essential vitamins provide a wealth of benefits to help keep the body functioning properly.
Each essential vitamin supports a number of important bodily functions. While all the essential vitamins are available in various foods, the benefit of taking a multivitamin is that it can fill in any gaps in your nutrition to maintain good health.
- Vitamin A helps keep eyes, skin and mucus membranes moist and can also help prevent tissue and cellular damage by neutralizing free radicals.
- Vitamin C helps heal wounds, promote a strong immune system and help teeth and gums stay healthy.
- Vitamin E is an antioxidant that neutralizes cell damage and helps blood clot properly.
- Vitamin D primarily aids in bone and teeth health, supports muscle and nerve function and can help prevent osteoporosis.
- Vitamin K is essential for blood clotting and also plays a major role in kidney function and bone growth and repair.
- B vitamins, which include B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9 and B12, play large roles in production and maintenance of new cells, nervous system and cardiovascular function and convert protein into energy.
The Benefits of Taking a Multivitamin
Benefits of taking a multivitamin are numerous. Popping a daily multiviamin helps keep bones, immune system and important bodily functions working normally, but there are also multivitamin supplements available for age groups and specific conditions. For example, there are multivitamins on the market for individuals over the age of 50, which include extra percentages of age-specific nutrients such as calcium for strong bones and antioxidants to prevent cell and tissue damage.
There are also multivitamins developed specifically for children and include high percentages of vitamin D to keep growing bones strong and healthy, vitamin A to support vision and vitamin B12 to help maintain nerve cells. Oftentimes children's multivitamins are available in the form of a chewable or gummy so that they are easy for children to take.
Multivitamins specifically for women often support breast, bone and reproductive health, in addition to providing the basic nutrients that we all need. Folic acid is a key nutrient found in many women's multivitamins because it helps maintain a healthy reproductive system and is essential for pregnant women.
- One A Day is a popular multivitamin brand that offers specific formulas for women, men, teens, individuals over the age of 50 and pregnant and nursing women.
- Centrum is a multivitamin brand that has many different formulas for men, women, children, seniors and also formulas for heart health and energy support.
- Generic multivitamin brands often contain almost exactly the same ingredients as national brands but are less expensive. Generic brands are found in drugstores nationwide alongside the national brand vitamins. There is often a label that will indicate to which national brand the generic formula is similar.
Dosage and Considerations
Always follow package instructions when taking a multivitamin and consult your doctor before beginning a regimen. You should take your multivitamins with a full glass of water and with food to avoid any stomach irritation. While not a substitute for proper nutrition, popping a daily multivitamin can help provide essential vitamins and minerals for healthy development.