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We are what we eat, and what most of us wish to be more than anything is healthy. Our diets are our best sources of the vitamins and nutrients our bodies have deemed essential for its function. However, eating right doesn’t always lend itself easily to our busy schedules — which is where multivitamins come in. When choosing whether to start using a multivitamin, it’s essential to evaluate the pros and cons, and recognize that this isn’t a magic way to fulfill your nutritional needs. Marie Spano, M.S., R.D., nutritional consulting expert and nutritionist for the Atlanta Braves, says you should think of multivitamins as your “insurance.” They’re meant to complement an overall health plan, rather than take the place of one. After all, Spano warns that a supplement cannot provide all the benefits of actual fruits, veggies and whole grains — rather, they have the ability to fill in some of the gaps. Should you decide that you do wish to use a multivitamin, you will naturally want to maximize the pros of doing so. As such, Spano suggests that you find a supplement that provides all of these specific vitamins; for starters we have Folic acid, Vitamin A, and Niacin. Next up is our B Vitamin group consisting of Vitamins B1 and B2 (potentially listed as thiamine and riboflavin), Vitamins B6, and B12. Don’t forget about Vitamins C, D, E, and finally, look for copper and zinc on the label; while they’re not vitamins, they’re still essential. Now that you’re aware of the “major-player” vitamins that offer the most bang for your buck, the next thing to be cognizant of is dosage. The U.S. FDA provides a list of RDAs (recommended daily allowances) for all. Beyond this, it’s important to take your vitamin to your doctor for him or her to determine whether it’s the right one for you. If you choose a “specifically designed” multivitamin, make sure they contain proper dosages of crucial vitamins.The bottom line is: Don’t rely on banners spanning the front sticker — reading the bottle thoroughly and ensuring that the nutrients you need are there, is the only way to ensure you’ve chosen the correct multivitamin for you.
Source: Complete Nutrition

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