Vitamins are organic nutrients required by the body for growth, repair and optimal health. It’s recommended to get these nutrients from fresh foods but it’s not always as easy as it seems. About 90 percent of the population fails to consume the recommended daily amount of vitamins and minerals and these shortfalls can impact your overall health.
Your daily diet should maximize your health—supplementing with a multivitamin and minerals can help fill nutritional gaps in your diet. A sensible program of nutritional supplementation will ensure adequate intake of vitamin D, B-12, B-6, calcium, potassium and magnesium—the leading nutrients most people find difficulty in achieving.
Furthermore, if you are on a restricted diet e.g., vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free or dairy-free, you may find multivitamins useful to help fill in the missing nutrients of your diet. For example, it’s estimated that most vegetarians tend to be low in iron, B-12 and vitamin D. Depending on your age, you may be at risk for nutritional deficiencies.
Many adult women struggle to meet the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for calcium, vitamin E, vitamin B-6, magnesium and zinc. Often women try to reduce their calories by following a low-fat or fat-free diet, reducing their intake of dairy and omitting healthy whole grains. Hectic schedules, eating on-the-go or skipping meals can also lead to low levels of nutrients needed to maintain good health.
A women’s nutritional need changes with age. Women of reproductive capacity need higher levels of calcium, folate and iron. Women over 50 are at a higher risk of deficiencies in vitamin B-12, A, C, D, calcium, iron, zinc and other trace minerals.1
Although most of your nutrition should come from food, supplements can offer benefits that whole foods provide with easy-to-swallow tablets, capsules or liquid form.
Men may need higher levels of specific vitamins and minerals depending on body size and muscle mass to maintain optional health. Multivitamins specially formulated for men are often higher in zinc and lycopene, because of its protection against prostate cancer. In comparison to women, men’s multivitamins offer little or no iron because they need much less of it.
Kids and Teenagers
The rapid growth rate during adolescence increases the need for iron and calcium more than any other stage of life.2 Today, children are consuming more processed foods which lack enough nutrients to meet their daily nutritional needs.
A typical teenager regularly consumes quick, easy-to-grab meals and snacks. According to the CDC, teenage boys and girls don’t eat enough fruits and veggies. Only 22 percent of high school students reported consuming fruits and vegetables five or more times per day. Children 4–18 years of age did not eat the minimum recommended amounts of whole grains, which for many is five 2–3 ounce servings per day depending on age.3
Multivitamins specially formulated for kids and teens can offer a comprehensive nutritional profile that contains nourishing vegetables and nutrient-rich fruits. These provide the essential materials needed for growth and repair.
Variety of Multivitamins
From basic to gender-specific multivitamins, liquid to tablets or capsules, choosing a multivitamin is similar to buying a car. You can choose a lower-cost, basic model or you can buy a super-charger with all the bells and whistles. Ask a Sprouts team member to help you find the supplement that fits your nutritional needs. Striking the right balance of vitamins and minerals can be a good part of your overall wellness plan.
1 Mayo Clinic Women’s Health Source, July, 2009 page 1
2 (2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Report)
3 CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Sept. 16, 2011. www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr6005a1.htm