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What To Look For In Your Multivitamin

I have been trying to get all of my nutrients from my kitchen instead of my medicine cabinet, but let us be real, sometimes this is not possible. Here is where supplementation comes in handy, especially in some health cases like pregnancy, menopause, or chronic conditions. 

If you are trying to get into multivitamins and not sure what these should consist of, you are not alone. The fact that the FDA has not yet defined what a multivitamin should consist of can leave things a bit confusing. Also, the definition that suggests that a multivitamin product should have three or more vitamins and at least one mineral leave a lot of room for interpretation. With so many vitamins and mineral combos, how do we know what to look for in a multivitamin? 

1 || Vitamin D 

Vitamin D helps our bodies absorb calcuim, which is omportant for bone health. Of course, you need to do some tests to know whether you have enough of this vitamin or not, but some of the signs your body is not making enough vitamin D are: bone and back pain, bone and hair loss and getting sick a lot. According to research, a lot of us have vitamin D deficiency. This is due to lack of foods containing the vitamin, limited or reduced sun exposure, and skin tone. To get your daily vitamin D, you need to sit in the sunlight for 15 minutes which is hard for a lot of people. Also, applying sunscreen blocks vitamin D synthesis. Add to that, vitamin D is hardly found in food which makes looking for it in your multi a must.

2 || Zinc

Zinc supports our immune system and helps our body use carbohydrates, protein, and fat for energy. Women of childbearing age, old people, and anyone under a lot of stress are at risk for inadequate intake. The fact that our diets are not rich in foods with zinc, and our bodies do not store this mineral makes it an important part of your multi. The amount of zinc you need in your multivitamin depends on your diet.

3 || Iron

This mineral is needed in your multivitamin, but not everyone needs the same amount. People who eat red meats have enough iron. But if you are pregnant, having your menstrual cycle, or going through puberty you will need to up your intake. Vegetarians and vegans may also want to make sure their multivitamin has iron. Look for a multi with around 18 mg of iron in the form of ferrous sulfate, ferrous gluconate, ferric citrate, or ferric sulfate. 

4 || Vitamin B-12

Important for sustaining the body’s energy, keeping the nerve and blood cells healthy, and helping make DNA, the genetic material in all cells. If you are vegan, you are prone to vitamin B-12 deficiency. The recommended dosage is less than 3 mcg, so look for a multi with 1 or 2 mcg of vitamin B-12 as your body will get rid of any extra amount when you pee. Look for it in the form of methyl-B12, as it is the easiest form to absorb.

5 || Folic Acid

Or folate is best known for aiding in fetus development and preventing birth defects. It is also important for strengthening nails, fighting depression, and combating inflammation. When buying a multi, look for “methyl folate” on the label as it is a more active form of folic acid. Generally speaking, you should take 400mcg, and. 600mcg if you are pregnant.