Millions of people take multivitamins every day. These diminutive tablets are supplements that back up a good diet by providing extra fuel for the body.
The term ‘vitamin’ was coined first by the wonderfully named Casmir Funk in 1912, who based his research on hundreds of years of previous medical discoveries about the substances the body needed in order to stay healthy.
It is worth noting that multivitamins are not always the best option. If you have a specific mineral deficiency or gap in your diet, you might want to introduce a more targeted supplement into your daily routine. Check out Noor Vitamins for a useful list of specialist supplements. Most modern multivitamins contain roughly the same constituent elements. Here’s an enlightening guide to some of the most common ingredients in multivitamin supplements.
Magnesium is an essential nutrient. Our bodies use it in all sorts of ways, from fueling bone growth to keeping our red blood cells healthy. A good intake of magnesium can help you sleep more soundly and reduce stress. Look for a supplement that provides up to 350 grams of aspartate, citrate or lactate. These are the kinds of ingredients from which the body can most effectively process magnesium.
Vitamin D is completely unique. Although it is a vitamin, it functions more like a hormone. Every cell has a receptor for it, and it can be obtained partially through exposure to radiation from the Sun. Despite this, around 1 billion people worldwide have a Vitamin D deficiency. This is partially due to genetic predispositions and partially due to changes in how humans spend their time: we no longer spend all day working outside as our prehistoric ancestors did.
Zinc is an element that the body uses to aid in the breaking down of carbohydrates. This means that it is essential in the production of energy from food. Older people and those who feel under stress are likely to have Zinc deficiencies, and doctors typically recommend taking a supplement to help balance things out.
Calcium is another very common active ingredient in multivitamins. Calcium is necessary for the development of strong bones, teeth and nails. It is naturally occurring in milk and eggs, but can be consumed in vegan multivitamins.
If you are low on Iron, you’ll find that you have very little energy and may struggle with quick mental processes. Luckily, almost all multivitamins contain Iron in reasonable quantities. Iron is essential for the maintenance of healthy red blood cells. Your red blood cells carry energy around the body, which is why you’ll feel so tired if you don’t have enough iron in your system.
Vitamin B-12 helps keep the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy. All good multivitamins contain some source of this kind of vitamin. It is especially important for vegans to find a supplemental source of B-12, as they might struggle to get it naturally as part of their cruelty-free diet.