Multivitamins are like an insurance policy; they cannot replace good nutrition from real food.It sounds easy, doesn’t it? Just pop a multivitamin and don’t worry too much about what you’re eating. Multivitamins can seem like a simple dietary solution for sound nutrition, but if only that was the case!

You may have heard that a good multivitamin can be a great insurance policy in the world of nutrition. And yes, that’s true because let’s face it — no one is perfect and most of us come up short during the day in some areas. However, while a good multivitamin  can ensure you get what you need when you may fall a little short, it certainly can’t take the place of a healthy and balanced diet.

Limitations of Multivitamins

Whole Foods Achieve More

A multivitamin may have vitamins and minerals you need, but with whole foods you get so much more! Let’s take vitamin C for example. Yes, a multivitamin can easily provide all the vitamin C you need for the day. However, you could also achieve this by eating strawberries which are naturally very high in vitamin C.

If you eat one cup of strawberries, you can get 100 percent of your recommended daily amount (RDA) for vitamin C. But in addition, you’ll also consume fiber, water, folate, potassium and valuable antioxidants. You can’t get all that in a multivitamin!

You Need a Better Balance

A balanced diet packed with fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains will provide you with most of the vitamins you need every day. It should also give you the right mix of protein, carbohydrates and fat to keep your body moving and functioning well.

Can Multivitamins Help Me Manage My Weight?

Staying Nutritionally Sound

There are no specific vitamins that help with weight-loss, but making sure you are nutritionally sound can help. For example, if you are deficient in iron, you probably feel tired and sluggish. This would make it hard to manage your weight. Newer research indicates that some probiotics can help with weight management. You will see more of this in the future.

To sum it up, nothing can replace a healthy and balanced diet — but a multivitamin can be a nice addition to your nutrition plan. Here’s to maximizing your health!

About the Author:

Sarah Muntel, RD, is the Bariatric Coordinator at Community Bariatric Surgeons in Indianapolis, IN. She has 15 years of experience working with bariatric patients and loves to watch people as they change their lives and improve their health. Her favorite part of her job is her weekly support group. In her free time, Sarah enjoys spending time with her husband and three children.