It was once widely believed that one had only to eat a healthy, balanced diet to get all the nutrients required for good health. Although we should still eat fruits and vegetables of all colors, along with lean proteins, healthy fats and whole grains, experts from The Nutrition Source at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health recommend a nutrition insurance policy in the form of a daily multivitamin.
Why? For starters, most of us don’t eat a perfect diet every day. A multivitamin can fill in the nutritional gaps by providing nutrients such as vitamin D that aren’t supplied adequately from food sources alone, and making sure we’re consuming the recommended amounts of other essential vitamins and nutrients.
Another reason to take a daily multi is the fact that scientists have noted declines in the amount of nutrients in our foods over the past 50 years from soil depletion as a result of modern farming practices.
Finally, vitamin manufacturers are getting smart and incorporating other beneficial ingredients into their multivitamins. Thanks to recent research on the vast health benefits of a daily probiotic supplement, you’ll find these immune-boosting bacteria in many multivitamins today.
Multis to Try
Rainbow Light Men’s One and Women’s One Food-Based Multivitamin
These food-based multivitamins are gentle on the stomach and provide key nutrients, including a probiotic, for good health and increased energy. The women’s formulation includes female hormone-balancing herbs, while the Men’s One ingredients support reproductive and prostate health.
Natrol My Favorite Multiple Take One Multivitamin
This once-daily multivitamin supplement is made from whole-food ingredients. In addition to your essential vitamins and minerals, this formula contains an antioxidant-rich flavonoid complex with anti-inflammatory and immune-supporting benefits.
Jarrow Formulas Multi 1-to-3 with Lutein
This complete multivitamin and mineral supplement is formulated for both men and women. The iron-free multi also contains specialized plant nutrients like lutein and rosemary leaf extract to support eye, heart and liver health.
Karen Morse, MPH, is a freelance health and nutrition writer. In her free time, she enjoys Pilates, exploring nearby hiking trails and cooking up fresh, seasonal eats in the kitchen. Her work has appeared in Clean Eating, Weight Watchers, YouBeauty.com and others.