When in doubt, eat!

Chances are, at one point or another in your life, you have been told to take a multivitamin.  And you may or may not have even questioned the reasoning behind it.  After all, your body needs vitamins, this fancy little bottle says it has them, case closed.  But I challenge you to dig a bit deeper and ask why there is such a demand for multivitamins in this country.

1. Food is fuel.  There are no neutral foods; everything we eat does either good or harm to our body.  If we are eating the right foods and avoiding the wrong ones, we should get all we need in the way of vitamins and nutrients.  After all, were there vitamin bushes growing in the Garden of Eden?  Eating the right foods has a greater impact on the way you feel that what brand of multivitamin you eat.  Even the most complicated and scientific vitamin pill cannot replace healthy food.

2. Multivitamins are not effective, and may even be dangerous to your health.  Consumer Reports did a review on supplements late last year, and they have a list of ten dangers that may surprise you.  For the entire article, see here. The article summarizes that you most likely don't need to take them at all: "If you are already getting the recommended amount of nutrients by eating a variety of fruit, vegetables, cereals, dairy, and protein, there’s little if any additional benefit from ingesting nutritional supplements."

3. There is no magic pill.  We are all looking for that miracle vitamin that will make us healthy, while still allowing us to live and eat the way we desire.  But unfortunately, our choices matter, and no pill can totally eliminate the consequences.  Mulitivitamins have been touted as being able to compensate for a poor diet, but since most Americans take multivitamins, why aren't we healthier?

So when in doubt, eat!  Get your vitamins and nutrients in your food!  There is a mystery to how small amounts of vitamins when taken in their whole food context can have greater benefit than a greater amount in a vitamin pill, but it's all in the beauty of synergy.  I didn't take a mulitvitamin when I was pregnant with my third child; I merely ate better and ate extra JuicePlus+ (a whole food supplement with a food label) -- it's a wonderful choice for those of us who struggle to eat the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis.

So ask yourself who stands to gain from the plethora of multivitamins in this country?  Because it's certainly not you.

 

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