What are multivitamins good for?
Multivitamins are formed of essential vitamins and important trace elements, minerals, antioxidants and plant extracts that are important for processes taking place in our body. The ideal combination of active ingredients can essentially counteract certain vitamin deficiencies and ensures that our vitamin intake is optimal.
There are 13 essential vitamins and at least 16 minerals that have been proven beneficial to our health. The vitamins most important to us include vitamins A, B, C, D, E, K – while calcium, sodium, potassium, magnesium and iodine, for example, are among the very minerals we consider crucial for optimal health.
Although we can consume all of these vitamins and minerals through a healthy, balanced diet, a daily multivitamin is a convenient way to correct any nutritional deficiencies or gaps you may have in your diet and vitamin intake. Multivitamins should not, in any way, replace a balanced diet.
Did you know that there are certain people who are at greater risk of a vitamin deficiency? If you lead a predominantly meat-free lifestyle – that is, if you are vegan or vegetarian, a daily multivitamin could boost your nutrient intake if you don’t receive these nutrients from meat.
What is the best multivitamin?
It is difficult to identify the best multivitamin – mostly as everyone’s needs are different. Not one individual is exactly the same and neither are our vitamin requirements. There are various types and forms of multivitamin tablets you can choose from to suit your personal needs.
- Tablets and capsules: These are quick and easy to take on the go – however, some people find them difficult to take due to their size. These are mostly used for supplements containing oil or liquid.
- Chewable tablets: Multivitamin gummies are a great supplement for kids, as they are easier to ingest. Adult versions are also available.
- Liquid multivitamins: These are perfect for people who find it difficult to swallow or chew tablets or capsules.
- Effervescent tablets: These fizzy tablets are great for absorbing vitamins quickly – and particularly for those who find swallowing or chewing tablets tricky.
Is it better to take a multivitamin or individual vitamins?
Whether or not you should opt for individual vitamin supplements or multivitamins is a heavily debated topic. What has been proven is that combining certain vitamins and minerals, such as calcium and vitamin D, promotes better absorption by our bodies, which is why taking certain multivitamins has been recognised as beneficial and useful.
If you decide to take multivitamins, you should choose your multivitamins based on various personal factors. These include age, your diet – for example, perhaps you’re a vegetarian who needs more vitamin B12, immune system strength, and your health goals – for example, better energy and better sleep.
Experts recommend that the following social groups increase their intake of certain multivitamins including specific vitamins:
- Pregnant women: pregnancy multivitamins with folic acid
- Early childhood (6 months to 5 years): multivitamin supplements for kids with vitamins A, C and D
- Winter: multivitamins containing vitamin D