Multivitamins seem like the perfect solution to those who lead a hectic lifestyle with little time for healthy meals – just pop a multivitamin every day, and you’ll be ready to go. So what do multivitamins these days consist of, and what makes them useful?
What are they for?
A multivitamin is basically a tablet that contains many different vitamins in one dose. Whereas specific vitamin tablets are useful for fixing certain ailments, multivitamins are intended to be something you take regularly to maintain healthy vitamin and mineral levels. The vast majority of our vitamin intake obviously comes from our food, and so multivitamins are intended for people whose diets may be lacking sufficient nutrients; this could be for various reasons, such as lack of food availability, difficulty eating or digesting, and many others.
What do they usually contain?
The exact ingredients of a multivitamin product are up to the manufacturer; however, most multivitamins contain a large number of common vitamins, minerals and beneficial herbal extracts in trace amounts. These can include B-group vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E and essential minerals such as magnesium, zinc, calcium and selenium. To find out what these various vitamins actually do for you, check this list.
Should I be taking them?
If you eat a reasonably healthy diet, with access to fresh, nutritious food, then a multivitamin usually isn’t necessary as your body is likely obtaining all its necessary vitamins from your diet. If however you think your diet might not be sufficient, or even if you’re just feeling a bit under the weather, then taking a multivitamin could be a good way to ensure you’re performing at your best. For more information on which multivitamins New Zealanders rate, check out our Canstar Blue ratings here.