The Most Important 7 Ingredients Your Multivitamin Should Have
If you’re looking to get the most out of your multivitamin, it’s important to look for a supplement that contains helpful amounts of all the nutrients you need. That’s why it’s crucial to look for a formula that’s formulated by an expert, like a nutritionist or dietitian. It’s also important to avoid fillers and additives that detract from the quality of the nutrients you’re taking.
1. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a water-soluble, non-enzymatic antioxidant that helps protect our cells from damage caused by free radicals and other oxidants. It also supports a healthy immune system and may lower blood pressure. Unlike some other vitamins and minerals, the body doesn’t store or make vitamin C on its own, so it’s important to get your daily dose from food or supplements. You can find vitamin C in a variety of foods, including oranges, strawberries, bell peppers, broccoli and kiwi fruit. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of vitamin C is 90 mg for adults and 75 mg for children. In addition, pregnant and breastfeeding women should take an extra 35 mg of vitamin C each day to ensure their infants are getting enough.
2. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that plays a major role in bone health, and it also regulates many other cellular functions in the body. It has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and neuroprotective properties that help support your immune system, muscle function and brain cell activity. The most common way to get vitamin D is by exposure to sunlight. But, not everyone can benefit from this natural form of the vitamin. If you live in a place where there is limited or no sunlight during the winter, if you have dark skin, or if you don’t use sunscreen regularly, it can be difficult to get enough vitamin D from the sun. Getting enough vitamin D is important for your overall health. A multivitamin that contains vitamin D can help you meet your daily intake of this important nutrient. The recommended dietary allowance for adults 19 years or older is 600 international units (IU) daily, while for people over 70 the recommendation is 800 IU.
Zinc is a trace mineral that helps you stay healthy, promotes wound healing and boosts your immune system. It’s also an antioxidant, meaning it reduces oxidative stress—which is believed to contribute to chronic disease and cancer. Your body can’t produce zinc, so you need to get it from food. The most common source of zinc is red meat, poultry and fish, but you can find it in whole grains, legumes, nuts and vegetables. It’s important for growth, wound healing, blood clotting and thyroid function. It also supports your sense of taste and smell, as well as brain development in children and adolescents.
Folate is a B vitamin that’s crucial for forming red blood cells. It’s also an important nutrient during pregnancy, as it helps prevent birth defects of the brain and spine. It’s available in foods naturally (and sometimes fortified) and through a synthetic form called folic acid, which is found in multivitamins and prenatal vitamins. Getting enough folate is especially important for women who are trying to get pregnant, as it may help reduce the risk of neural tube defects. This B vitamin is also important for your heart health, as it helps lower the amino acid homocysteine in your blood. Research suggests that high levels of homocysteine increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. It’s best to get your folate from natural sources such as dark green leafy vegetables, peas and nuts. Those who have digestive problems, such as celiac disease, may need to take a special supplement to ensure they get the right amount of this essential nutrient. A well-balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle can help you get enough of this B vitamin.
5. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is one of the 8 water-soluble B vitamins, which helps the body convert food into energy (glucose) and use fats and proteins. It is also essential for the production of red blood cells. When vitamin B12 is ingested, it first binds to haptocorrin in saliva and then releases into the stomach. This freed vitamin B12 then combines with intrinsic factor, a transport and delivery binding protein secreted by the stomach’s parietal cells, in the duodenum. This vitamin is essential for the development of a healthy nervous system, including the brain. It also helps to prevent oxidative stress-related cellular damage, which can be linked to several chronic diseases.
6. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant to neutralize harmful molecules called free radicals. It is essential for heart health, eye health and immune system function. It’s important to get enough vitamin E through your diet, and a multivitamin supplement is the best way to make sure you get it. This is because it is a nutrient that many people aren’t getting enough of through food alone, even if they consume the right foods. The most common sources of vitamin E are nuts, seeds, avocados and vegetable oils. It is also found in dark leafy greens and fish. Research suggests that vitamin E supplements may improve menstrual symptoms and reduce the risk of developing endometriosis. It also appears to reduce inflammation and help prevent a condition called eczema. In addition, it can help widen blood vessels and prevent excessive clotting. It might also lower your risk of cancer, heart disease and stroke.
Calcium is an essential mineral that supports bone and tooth health. It also plays a role in heart rhythm and muscle function. It’s also a cofactor for many enzymes, helping them work efficiently. There are many ways to get the calcium your body needs, including eating foods rich in this mineral and taking a supplement. Foods high in calcium include low-fat dairy products (such as milk, yogurt and cheese), fortified breakfast cereals, dark green leafy vegetables (such as kale and spinach), canned fish and tofu. If you need extra calcium, a multivitamin with this mineral is a good option. Typically, these supplements contain about 200 to 300 mg of calcium, depending on the product and its brand.