Including a high-quality multivitamin in your daily routine is a great way to boost your immune system, reduce your risk of heart disease, and even lower your blood pressure. Many of the benefits of a multivitamin and successful supplement plan can be measured in the conditions you don’t have to deal with as you age. Like a good diet and regular exercise program, a multivitamin can hold off the health challenges and infirmities of aging.
Make an Age-Appropriate Choice
Many of the multivitamins on the market today are designed to protect your body at different ages and stages of life. While the recommended multivitamin for women in their child-bearing years may be wonderful, women over 50 will need a different mineral configuration. For women who are planning to become pregnant, a conversation with your doctor about the benefits of starting a pre-natal supplement program is a good idea.
If you can’t take pills, take heart. There are now gummy vitamins for adults that can make your morning routine easier and less uncomfortable.
Diet Isn’t Enough
It’s important to note that vitamins are not regulated by the FDA. Supplements can make a lot of claims that simply can’t or aren’t measured. However, there are self-regulatory agencies that run programs to verify that supplement makers are in fact, selling what’s on the label.
That being said, we do know that the Standard American Diet does not provide the nutrients we need for good health now and in the future. With diligence, you can avoid the excess salt and fat found in much of our processed foods. When supplementing your diet with additional nutrients, look for multivitamins that are
- chemical and coloring free
- allergen and filler-free
Consider Your Activity Level
If your activity level is high, you may want to look for a supplement high in magnesium and calcium for bone protection. Bodybuilders in particular would do well to find a supplement that includes zinc for immunity-boosting power. High levels of Vitamin C can help you fight off illness and protect soft tissues, such as your gums. Carefully review the dosage recommendations and try to plan out your supplement habit so you can take your multivitamin with food if directed.
Those with a family history of heart disease or rheumatoid arthritis should consider adding omega-3 fish oil capsules to their supplement routine. If you’ve tried these in the past and found them hard on your stomach, or if you noticed an unpleasant aftertaste, freeze your supplement and take it cold. By the time your body breaks down the caplet, hopefully, the oil will be far enough down the digestive tract to not cause any unpleasant aftertaste.
Fish oil supplements provide omega-3s docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). If you have a family history of high cholesterol, fish oil can help lower your blood triglyceride levels. The higher your bad cholesterol and the higher your blood pressure, the more a fish oil supplement can help.
Protect Your Tummy
Some people find that a multivitamin can cause nausea, reflux, or another stomach upset. To reduce this risk, try
- reducing your dosage and taking two vitamins a day
- always take your vitamin with food, preferably something fatty
- not taking your vitamin until after you’ve exercised
For example, when you get back from your morning workout, try taking your vitamin with some peanut butter toast or scrambled eggs. The fat in your breakfast will help guard your stomach while your body breaks down the vitamin pill, putting the fat-soluble minerals to work immediately.
If morning nausea after taking your vitamin continues, try taking it with your lunch or at whatever point in the day you’re done drinking coffee. The acid in coffee can make digesting your vitamin more of a challenge. A more digestible format, such as a vitamin gummy, may also help.
Depending on your budget, your need, and your tolerance, there are many multivitamins that can serve your need. Get something formulated for your health and activity level, as well as compensating for any family history concerns.