6 Things You Need to Know About Multivitamins
Americans spend $30 billion yearly on vitamins and supplements (1); globally, $68 billion sold (2). With these figures, one might be tempted to think we have health to go along with it. Sadly, that is not the case; we have more disease than ever before…and costs to go with that. To put it in perspective, here are some hard numbers.
- $190 billion is spent on added health care costs each year from obesity. That’s almost 21% of the total U.S. health care costs!
- Heart disease is the number one killer in America (yes, even over cancer).
- And one last fact, diabetes has tripled in the last 30 years (CDC). In 2012, alone it costs us $245 billion, compared to $174 billion in 2007 (1)
So, what does this have to do with multivitamins and supplements? Glad you asked! It has to do with our inner health and what you put in your body on a daily basis. Most people eat junk products and then think that a multivitamin can counteract what they just consumed.
But wellness doesn’t work like that..
Let’s dive into this and learn about the 6 things you need to know about multivitamins.
#1. Multivitamins are not real food.
The best vitamin and minerals always come from pure, natural, organic sources, like kale, spinach, spirulina, chia and hemp. Each one of these real foods contains the essential vitamins and nutrients your body needs and craves.
God created us and He created foods to help our bodies thrive. He knew what he was doing! Pretty smart, eh?!
Eating nutrient-dense foods heal our body, give us energy, prevent illness and build strong immune systems. Eating real food throughout the day gives your body the chance to absorb the nutrients properly. Our bodies absorb the vitamins and minerals when eaten from real foods vs. swallowing a pill. Vitamins don’t contain antioxidants and phytonutrients that real food contains: micronutrients and macronutrients.
The important value of micronutrients and macronutrients are often overlooked.
- Micronutrients are the vitamins, phytochemicals, antioxidants minerals and trace elements that your body needs for health longevity.
- Macronutrients are protein, carbs, fat, which are essential for wellbeing, but from the proper sources. Healthy fat from organic coconut is healthy, while fat from McDonald’s French Fries is not.
You can remember the difference between these macronutrients and micronutrients by “I need” for micronutrients (the ones you want to focus on). You want to eat as many micronutrients as possible. These whole foods are some of the best sources of micronutrients: kale, beets, red cabbage, spirulina, chia, hemp. These are the best kind of multivitamin. Ever!
#2. Multivitamins aren’t a substitute for healthy living 24/7, 365.
They don’t cancel out the unhealthy products you consume on a regular basis. Eating bacon cheeseburgers, consuming soft drinks and sipping coffee dessert beverages (such as Cafe Mocha) aren’t only terrible for your health; they are depleting your body of vital nutrients.
This is why healthy living is a 24/7, 365 lifestyle, day in, day out. Wellness becomes routine just like the air you breathe. Wellness is a habit.
- You automatically reach for a glass of pure water instead of a soft drink.
- You make kale chips at home instead of devouring a bag of potato chips.
- You are what you eat. You are what you drink.
Could it really be that simple? Yes, it really is that simple… with a few other things added like emotional health, faith and physical activity. When we get back to the basics of consistently living healthy, multivitamins aren’t needed.
#3. Multivitamins need to be used with caution.
As with anything you buy, you have to always consider the source. Major pharmaceuticals companies make many multivitamins that you see on the store shelves (Centrum is made by Pfizer), and are made with synthetic (not real) junk ingredients.
How can something made in a lab be good for our bodies? Answer: it’s not. God intended for us to eat what He created. Plants like quinoa, chia, berries, kale, spirulina, spinach and hemp are wonderful sources of phytonutrients, essential minerals and micronutrients (remember that word?) to help keep our bodies well.
Buying a cheap multivitamin is not only wasting your hard earned dollars, it’s also not doing your health any good either. Very few multivitamins or vitamins are worthy of your money! If you do decide to take a multivitamin, then I recommend MegaFood. These vitamins are made from wholesome, fresh organic foods so you know you are buying the best quality vitamin.
#4. Multivitamins are needed in most people’s diets, but from the proper sources.
Because we live in a toxic environment and our food supply is filled with preservatives, additives and other chemicals, most of are probably aren’t eating real, whole foods. In addition, many of us hide from the sun because we’ve been inundated with ads telling us to slather on the sunscreen, making us vitamin D deprived.
- Muscle weakness
- Gum disease
Where can you get vitamin D? The sun! This is one of the best sources of vitamin D! The only plant-based source of vitamin D is found in mushrooms. Remember, the sun isn’t the enemy. Getting a daily dose of vitamin D (sun) daily is good.
Because people live fast-paced, stress-filled lives, magnesium is another mineral that people are low in, which can lead to:
- Sleep disruption
- GI distress
- Emotional stress
Instead of popping a multivitamin, get yourself some Natural Vitality Calm, which contains magnesium (and calcium) so you can begin to cure what ails you.
#5. Multivitamins don’t address the root of the issue.
It’s easy to go to a store, wander down the supplement aisle, grab a bottle, go home and swallow.
Popping a multivitamin, just like prescriptions, doesn’t address the root issue of why you need a multivitamin. Why are you stressed? Why do you have a headache? Why do you think you need that multivitamin? When we look beyond the surface of what’s really the cause of the health issue can we begin to heal our bodies. We’ve already established that we’re nutrient deficient, so figure out what foods you need to be eating more of.
We all can probably eat a lot more greens like these on a daily basis:
- Salad greens
Each one of these real foods contains vital nutrients to give your body life, like good eyesight, strong heart, liver function, and kidney support. Always come back to the source of why you need vitamins. A lot of us do need vitamin and mineral support, but taking a one size fits all approach isn’t benefiting your health.
Note: working with a holistic doctor or an applied kinesiologist can be extremely helpful in figuring out what your body is lacking and what minerals your body might be just fine with.
#6. Multivitamins aren’t a probiotic.
80% of our immune system lives in our gut and a multivitamin is not a probiotic. Do you get sick frequently? Instead of turning to a multivitamin that will just flush down the drain, start healing your gut to build a strong immune system.
So, don’t spend money on a multivitamin, invest that money into quality probiotics, preferably from real food sources. Kombucha and sauerkraut (in the fridge section, not shelf stable) are two of my favorite sources of probiotics. You can also choose Kefir.
You will find that by shifting the focus from “multivitamin, multivitamin” to heal-thy gut (did you catch that?), I purposely spelled out healthy into two words: health-thy. When we have a heal-thy gut, we heal our body and we become healthy.
Take away: always get your vitamin and minerals from real, whole, organic food sources first and on a daily basis. Be really picky about what you put in your body. Take care of your body and your body will take care of you. Address underlying causes. Get sunshine. Heal your gut. Following these keys will enable you to live a long and healthy life!