The question of whether we should be taking vitamins and mineral supplements to improve our health and wellbeing is still frequently asked, and the answer is really not that complicated.
First and foremost, sourcing your micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) intake from your diet should be your priority. Eating a variety of different foods, preferably plant-based (fruits, vegetables, tubers, whole grain cereal & legumes) every day, is, by and large, the best nutritional tactic.
However, in spite of our best intentions, eating a healthy diet doesn’t guarantee that we will get the recommended daily intake of every micronutrient that we need. There are many reasons behind this potential deficit, and in this article, I will focus one: where you source your food.
Depending on where you live, the vegetables you are buying from your local shop might have been grown on soil that lacks certain minerals. The quality of the soil will vary depending on the geographical area where the land is located, farming practices and soil management to name a few influential factors.
For instance, I recently learned that the soil where I source my vegetables from is deficient in selenium, which is an essential nutrient that supports our reproductive function, DNA production, thyroid gland function and immune system. Although I thought that I was getting my recommended daily dosage of selenium every day through my selenium-rich diet (spinach, lentils, mushrooms, beans, etc.), I apparently wasn’t.
To correct this imbalance, I can always go to the supermarket and buy my vegetables from other producers from around the world, but how do I know for sure that the soil those vegetables where grow in contain the minerals I need? Even if their farming practices and soil management are of the highest standards, selenium may exist in that soil in a form that is either absorbed by plants with difficulty or unavailable to plants altogether.
Selenium has been shown to be a powerful antioxidant that helps defend the body from chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease, so if I’m unsure as to whether I’m getting the full amount, what are the options?
I have spoken with many different scientific experts that agree with a large number of scientists in the nutrition community. They support the idea of taking multivitamin & multimineral tablets as an insurance policy against potential nutritional gaps. So if a medical doctor hasn’t advised you against taking multivitamin & multimineral supplements, then I think you should play it safe and consider supplementing your healthy diet with high-quality supplements.
1.-Eat a variety of different foods, preferably plant-based (fruits, vegetables, tubers, whole grain cereal & legumes) every day to maximise your natural intake of micronutrients.
2.-Make sure that a medical doctor has not advised you against taking multivitamin & multimineral supplements before you start supplementing your diet.
3.-Taking supplements don’t give you the freedom to embark on an unhealthy diet. It would be best if you still ate as healthy as you can.
4.-Multivitamin & multimineral supplements vary in quality. Do your research and find reliable manufacturers you can trust.