It is estimated that half of all American adults take a multivitamin each day. While there are indications that there are benefits to be gained from the minerals in multivitamins, experts point out that gaining your nutrients from a healthy diet is a much more effective choice in the long run.
It should also be noted that there are supplements, such as Vitamin E, that can actually be detrimental to your health if taken in too large doses. Because the supplement industry is not regulated, making sure that your multivitamin choice is tailored to your needs can be challenging.
Multivitamins Are Not the Best Option for Disease Prevention
If you are consistently low in some vitamins and minerals, a change in diet is more important than a change in supplements. Additionally, if preventing disease is one of your goals, indications are that a daily multivitamin will not reduce your risk of heart disease or cancer. As possible, focus on whole foods. Whole grains provide you with more nutrients and fiber. Because whole grains are inherently complex, they will fill you up for longer and help you to keep your blood sugar from spiking. Fresh fruits and vegetables, both raw and cooked, offer additional fiber and even more nutrients.
These foods, especially berries and veggies that are rich in color, also offer an abundance of antioxidants. As we go about our daily lives, we are exposed to toxins. As our bodies break these toxins down, free radicals are released to move through our bodies and cause tissue damage. Antioxidants in our foods will move through our systems and neutralize these free radicals, lowering our risk of toxin damage. Additionally, fruits and vegetables support our cleansing organs. Fruits and vegetables are naturally high in water, which supports our kidneys. They are low in fat, which takes pressure off our livers. In the last stages of the digestive process, raw fruits and veggies are high in fiber. Our gut needs fluid and fiber to move more toxins out of the body through excretion. Many citizens may be cutting down their intake of fresh fruits and vegetables due to high grocery costs.
A simple way to boost your intake of healthy foods and keep costs down is to increase your intake of legumes. Beans often get a bad rap. Not only are they at the humble end of your grocery shopping trip, but they are extremely high in fiber and can cause some gut discomfort. To guard against a bad reaction to beans, take care to stay fully hydrated on the days that you incorporate beans into your diet. Because beans are so high in fiber, your gut will need more lubrication to move them through.
However, if you can plan a day or two each week that contains no meat but incorporates beans, you can enjoy
- a healthier gut biome
- lower cholesterol
- lower systemic inflammation
Not only are beans very high in fiber, but they are loaded with B vitamins. If you have backed off your meat consumption as costs have skyrocketed, you can recoup some B vitamins you may be missing by trying new beans on your meatless days. Additionally, you can gain additional health benefits by swapping processed foods, particularly deli meat, with soy products. If you have a hard time working with fresh soy cake, look for dried TVP to add to casseroles instead of hamburger or frozen soy breakfast sausages to add to soups for flavor. If you have been cooking at home for a time and are thoroughly tired of your regular grocery run, take a trip to a local Asian market.
Not only will you find new and interesting vegetables to try, but the variety of beans available will give you many new options to try in your food preparations. It should be noted that all of the healthier options listed above are lower in fat. If your tastebuds are used to a high-fat diet, you may find that your new food choices will take some getting used to. However, a daily multivitamin will not give you the benefits that a low-fat diet will. To help your tastebuds adjust, allow yourself smaller portions of your favorite fatty treat on the weekend as a reward for healthy choices Monday through Friday. We can help, call now 205-352-9141.