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Nutritionists: Factors Your Multivitamin Should Have

Even a whole diet might not be providing you with the nutrients you want when you need them. That is where multivitamins come in.

For starters, a daily multivitamin will help give a good basis for your health. It can also protect you when you’re experiencing anxiety, sleeping poorly, or not getting regular exercise. Despite a “perfect” diet, all these issues can make it tough for your body to properly absorb the nutrients, clarifies nutritionist Dawn Lerman, MA, CHHC, LCAT, AADP.

But with so many vitamins and mineral combos, how can we know exactly what to look for while looking for a multivitamin? Fortunately, you don’t require an advanced degree in nutrition to find out which multi is well worth carrying along with your morning OJ.

1. Vitamin D
Vitamin D helps our bodies absorb calcium, which is important for bone health.

While you technically should be able to get your daily vitamin D by simply being in the sunlight for a quarter-hour, the truth is that over 40% of men and women in the United States do not. Residing in wintery places with little sun, working an office 9 to 5 life, and applying sunscreen (which blocks vitamin D synthesis) makes obtaining vitamin D difficult. This vitamin is also hard to find in meals, which is why Taub-Dix claims to search for this ingredient in your multi.

Pro-tip: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends that children 1-13 years old and adults 19-70, including pregnant and pregnant women, get 600 IU of vitamin D per day. Older adults should get 800 IU.

2. Magnesium
Magnesium is an essential nutrient, which means that we have to get it from food or supplements. Lerman notes that calcium is best known for being significant to our bone health and energy production.

But a lot of individuals are magnesium deficient as they aren’t eating the right foods, not because they want supplements. Try eating more lettuce, cauliflower, artichoke, soybeans, legumes, tofu, brown rice, or nuts (particularly Brazil nuts) before leaping to nutritional supplements for alternatives.

Pro-tip: Lerman proposes searching for a supplement with 300-320 mg of magnesium. The NIH agrees, advocating no longer than a 350-mg nutritional supplement for adults. The best types are aspartate, citrate, lactate, and chloride that the body absorbs more completely.

3. Calcium
People aren’t getting the mineral they need for strong bones and teeth. Women particularly start losing bone density before, and getting enough calcium from the beginning is the very best nutritional defense against this reduction.

Pro-tip: The recommended amount of calcium daily is 1,000 milligrams for most adults, and while you probably don’t need to acquire all of your calcium needs from a multivitamin, you really do want there to be a few, Lerman explains. This type arouses bioavailability, causing symptoms in people who have absorption problems.

4. Zinc
“Zinc tends to be low in older people and anybody under a great deal of stress,” says Lerman. That, (hello!) Is essentially everyone. Plus it is logical. Zinc supports our immune system and assists our body use carbohydrates, protein, and fat for energy. Additionally, it assists in wound healing.

The typical American diet isn’t abundant in foods that offer zinc, and the body can not store zinc, which is why Lerman recommends your everyday supplements highlight this ingredient.

Pro-tip: Lerman suggests finding a multivitamin that’s 5-10 milligrams of zinc. The NIH suggests you get about 8-11 milligrams of zinc per day, so the sum you desire your multivitamin to consume depends upon your diet.


5. Iron
Individuals who consume red meats usually get sufficient iron, but particular conditions like having your menstrual cycle, going through puberty, and being pregnant may increase the amount of iron you want. This is because iron is vital during times of rapid growth and growth. Vegetarians and vegans might also want to make certain their multivitamin has iron, particularly if they’re not supplementing meat along with other iron-rich foods.

Pro-tip: Search for multivitamins with 18mg iron. Any more than this and Valdez states you may feel nauseous.

6. Folate
Folate (or folic acid) is best known for aiding in fetus development and preventing birth defects. But if you are growing out your nails, fighting depression, or trying to fight inflammation, this ingredient is critical, also.

Pro-tip: You need to aim to get about 400 mcg of folate, or 600 mcg if you’re pregnant. “When picking a multi, start looking for methyl folate on the label. It’s a more active form which normally indicates a more whole product,” suggests Isabel K Smith, MS, RD, CDN. Valdez adds that if you choose folate with food, 85 percent of it is consumed, but when taken on an empty stomach, you are going to absorb 100% of it.