Multivitamins, are they good bad or indifferent? There is a lot of information out there about multivitamins and vitamins in general. There is no doubt that vitamins and minerals are essential to good health. My personal belief is that there is a long term benefit of overall health, quality of life and longevity from putting good things in your body (including a good quality multivitamin). If you don’t have a healthy balanced diet or are vitamin deficient then a multivitamin is a good idea to get the vitamins you’re missing. Ideally you should get most of your nutrients and micronutrients from your diet but I like to take a multivitamin to top everything up. If you are taking or want to take a multivitamin there are a some things you want to consider before buying the cheapest multi on the shelf at your local Walmart. Just earlier this year GNC, Walmart, Target and Walgreens were accused of selling adulterated ‘herbals’. So if a multivitamin is something you decide to take you want to make sure that you look for these 5 key things.
Wholefood vs. Synthetic Multivitamins
Look for a whole-food plant based ingredients that haven’t been heat treated or chemically processed to retain as much nutritional value as possible. How can you tell? If the label doesn’t list plants/fruits/veggies on the label it’s probably a synthetic vitamin. A synthetic vitamin is not natural, your body doesn’t recognize them as food and doesn’t process them the same. If a vitamin has wholefood ingredients it will list the actual plant-based ingredients instead of just the vitamins.
Do the dissolve test, put your multi in a glass of warm water and time how long it takes to break down. If it takes longer than 30 minutes throw it out.
Cheap vitamins tend to have a thick plastic coating that your body isn’t breaking down. If your going to spend money on a vitamin you want to make sure you’re getting something out of it! The multi I take has a thin minty fresh coating so that each pill is as fresh as the first and quickly dissolves (within 15 minutes) as well as controlled-release technology to give you nutrients throughout the day.
Look for a full range of vitamins, phytonutrients and antioxidents. As mentioned a wholefood vitamin will actually list the plant based ingredients. The multivitamin I take is naturally derived from over 30 pesticide-free, plant-based, non-gmo ingredients. The premium natural sources providing an increased amount of vitamins A, D, B6, B12, C and E. Typically, the cheaper vitamins found in your local bigbox retail store is not the best quality, with a thick coating, synthetic ingredients and filler.
Source & Processing
Where do the ingredients comes from, are they wholefood, organic, non-gmo? The quality of the ingredients and how their processed to retain nutritional value are important. A liquid gel vitamin may dissolve quickly and a chewy vitamin may be easier to get down but what did they have to do to the ingredients to get them into that liquid, jelly or even powder form? One of the things I love about my multivitamin is that there is no high heat or chemical treatments, the plant-based ingredients are dehydrated to retain the as much nutrients possible and then shredded up. When you do a dissolve test you can actually see the bits of fruits and veggies!
If you want to check out the multivitamin I take you can find it here. I really believe this is a great quality multivitamin, my boyfriend switched from his liquid gel once he thought about the heat treatment and chemical process it must have gone through. My mom, who is vitamin deficient, also switched from drinking Ensure to get vitamins to the same multivitamin and veggie Greens powder (I am not a fan at all of Ensure as it has minimal vitamins and a lot of sugar) and doesn’t get sick all the time like she did before.