By: Macy Daniela Martin
(Note: Talk to your doctor before you start taking a multivitamin).
Most people in the U.S. do not eat their recommended daily value of fruits and vegetables, which would provide the majority of vitamins and minerals needed for optimal health. A few alarming statistics from researchers at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University (along with three accompanying research institutions) will speak for themselves regarding the diets of adults in the U.S.: a whopping 93% do not get enough vitamin D and E, 61% do not get enough magnesium and 50% do not get enough vitamin A and calcium.
Teens? Even more so. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES and NHANES III), “The highest prevalence of unsatisfactory nutritional status occurs in the adolescent group.” It isn’t that we are trying not to eat a balanced diet, but between school, sports and other extracurriculars, we are often so busy that we just grab something easy to eat. And oftentimes that is something processed. Processed foods do not have nutrients and will not give your body the nutritional support it needs.
Here's where a multivitamin could help. On her website, Dr. Lisa Watson calls multivitamins “the best health boost” for teens. Take the recommended dose each day, and you don't have to worry as much if you miss your recommended daily intake of fruits and veggies mark. Don’t know how much fruits and vegetables you should be eating? Calculate it here.
About a month and a half ago, I started taking a multivitamin regularly. I’ve noticed a tremendous improvement in how my body both looks and feels. What's changed? Well, my hair is shinier, my nails are softer, my skin is smoother, and I have more energy — all in a matter of weeks. Basically, I feel nourished. Like anybody else, I don't always eat enough. Or I eat too much of the wrong things. Or I don't eat my recommended daily value of fruits and veggies. We all occasionally slip up with our healthy lifestyles — a multivitamin will help your body receive the nutrients it might not get from your diet.
Obviously, it's important to eat as healthfully as possible. Aim to eat those fruits and veggies, but if you feel like you aren't eating enough of them, consider taking a multivitamin.