There are many activities we should be doing daily but…aren’t. Flossing our teeth, making our beds, applying sunscreen, and fitting in those elusive 30 minutes of exercise are all tasks that tend to fall by the wayside when the demands and distractions of everyday life take priority.
Taking our daily multivitamin is another of these tasks often skipped or forgotten entirely. But while forgetting to make your bed won’t necessarily have an impact on anything besides the tidiness of your bedroom, not getting the right amount of daily nutrients can have a knock-on effect on many other aspects of your health and wellbeing.
But do I really need to take a multivitamin?
That depends – but in most cases, you should probably consider it. While multivitamins should never substitute a nutrient-rich diet and healthy lifestyle, they’re an effective way to boost our wellbeing at times when a healthy diet and lifestyle may not be enough. Here’s why you should consider taking a daily multi.
You have a busy lifestyle
Peak hour commutes, long days at work, juggling kids and family, weekend social gatherings and squeezing in regular time at the gym – does this sound like your weekly schedule?
If you lead a busy and active lifestyle, chances are you’d benefit from a daily multivitamin to help sustain your body’s energy levels. Multivitamins high in iron and B vitamins, for example, can help to boost your energy levels and allow your body to better manage both mental and physical stress.
Iron is vital for the body to make haemoglobin – a protein in red blood cells that transports oxygen from our lungs to all of our organs and tissues. Without adequate levels of iron, our red blood cells struggle to carry oxygen to the body’s tissues, resulting in iron deficiency anaemia, which can leave us feeling fatigued and weak.
The same goes for B vitamins, particularly B12, which helps our bodies transform food into usable energy for our cells, and also keeps our body’s nerves and blood cells healthy.
You struggle to eat a nutritious diet
As any health professional will tell you, no supplement or medication can – or should – replace a healthy, nutrient rich diet, and when it comes to maintaining wellbeing and preventing illness, food should be the first medicine. However, despite our best efforts, getting all of our essential vitamins and nutrients through daily diet can be difficult, especially for those of us who are short on time or cooking for fussy family members!
If you’re worried you’re not getting enough essential vitamins, a multivitamin may be just what you need.
Opt for a formula high in vitamin D, zinc, calcium, iron and folic acid. As most of us know, calcium is vital for strong, healthy bones and teeth, and vitamin D helps our bodies absorb calcium. However, a lack of calcium or vitamin D can not only weaken bones and cause bone pain but may also weaken our immune system and increase our chances of becoming sick.
Similarly, zinc is another essential vitamin for immune support and wound healing, but it also helps our body use carbohydrates, protein, and fat for energy. The average person’s diet is typically not high in zinc – which is found in oysters, pumpkin seeds, organ meats, sardines and wheat germ, for example. Plus, our bodies can’t store zinc either, so a daily multivitamin high in zinc is the way to go.
Multivitamins have a wide range of benefits, and while they’re by no means a magic solution, consistent use of high-quality formulas can play an important role in maintaining your general health and wellbeing. There are countless different multivitamin brands and formulas out there, from children’s to over 50’s, pregnancy to high-potency immune boosters. Most formulas contain key ingredients like iron, magnesium, potassium, and vitamins B and C. You can opt for popular brands like Swisse, Blackmores or Nature’s Way, generics like Vitaminorum or pharmacy brands like Amcal Once Daily Multivitamins – just ask your GP or pharmacist what’s best for your unique health needs.
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