A well-balanced diet is sure enough to add all the essential minerals and vitamins needed by our body for good health. If you need some nutrients stored for use later (kind of a deposit), taking a multivitamin/mineral (MVM) is the best way to fulfill your requirements. While there are more than enough multivitamins available in the market, you cannot choose anything that you see. Here is a checklist of items that can help you choose the right one:
Never go overboard on dose value: Anything bigger or more is better. But not in the case of multivitamins. Choose MVMs that fulfill 100% of the FDA’s Daily Value (DV) for nutrients. Vitamin D is the only exception to this as the DV is 400IU for this nutrient and the value is mostly higher for most individuals.
Think twice before consuming: Numerous studies done on these supplements show that there is not much difference in the health quotient of individuals-the chances of getting affected by heart disease or cancer remain the same among both, those who consume MVMs and those who don’t. Although not harmful, they are only a waste of money and time.
MVM composition differs as per needs: The multivitamins are packed with the nutrients in different proportion as per the need of the individual. Older adults need more of vitamin B12, D and calcium while women need more iron, calcium and vitamin D comparatively. Such individuals are prescribed the rightful MVM by their physician as per their needs.
Avoid the bait: Never be lured by marketing gimmicks. These multivitamins have no proper regulations and spending too much money on these little pills are totally a waste. Although advertisements might show flashy data and extreme advantages, nothing is 100% true. Believe in real food for nutrition.
Pregnant women must eat MVMs: Questions may arise regarding the mandatory need of MVMs for pregnant women. Our mothers and great grandmothers ate food that were devoid of any harmful pesticides without any adulteration. But today, sustainability has become questionable and we eat fruits and vegetables that have been artificially ripened and stored for moths together before reaching the market. Eating such produce will not supply the pregnant woman with all the nutrients required by her. So, it becomes mandatory that she takes 400 mcg/day of folic acid from fortified foods or some prenatal supplement to avoid neural tube problems in the growing fetus.
Don’t go for excess iron: Certain individuals (adult men and postmenopausal women) are advised against consuming more than 18 mg of iron. If there is no iron deficiency, excess iron can collect in body tissues and organs causing damage to them.
Lock away the supplements: Always store any medicines hidden from children, as they might mistake these to be chewable candies.
Keep an eye on fortified foods: Fortified foods are also rich in nutrients and provide your body with the essential vitamins and minerals. Juices are fortified with calcium and eggs have added omega-3s. Fortified foods have conquered the market in various ways. Individuals have started favoring these foods for the various advantages that are elaborated in www.firsteatright.com. Consuming MVMs in addition to these foods might not be needed in most cases.
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.