Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice. Consult your doctor before making radical changes in your health lifestyle.
Multivitamins Don't Fill the Gap
Most of the "good stuff" found in multivitamins that people are trying to work into their diet come from fruits and vegetables. This tends to be the downfall because some people just don't like fruits and vegetables.
Luckily there has been a surge in the cooking world to make healthy eating taste better. This is typically through:
But for those who are still clinging to their meat and potatoes diet, cringing at the idea of green on their plate, you should know that popping a multivitamin each day isn't the same as snacking on carrots or topping your cereal with fruit.
Check out this article at WebMD that summarizes three studies from December 2013 on multivitamin usage for Americans.
While you may be tempted to try a weight loss supplement that you see on late night TV, part of you (hopefully) recognizes their ads as blatant marketing strategies aimed to convince consumers to purchase their product despite its lack of results.
For some reason, multivitamins and some health supplements seem to have been categorized differently by consumers because they are providing nutrients, right? that should be in your diet, right?
But just like all the other supplements you see at the store, they are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. So what? Well, the "so what" is that what you see on that black and white label stuck to the side of the bottle is no way guaranteed to reflect what is inside that pill.
Also, if you search for articles on the internet about whether or not you need a multivitamin (perhaps thats how you stumbled across my article) be aware of the website. Is it a news article quoting scientific studies or is it a marketing doctor's website who tells you that all multivitamins are bad...except his line! If it's the latter, you can lump his article in with other company's efforts at marketing.
Fill the Gaps with Food
Like I mentioned before, there are a number of strategies to increase the nutrients in your diet without resorting to your grandmother's boiled green bean recipe.
For lean proteins like fish and chicken, try marinating and grilling - or grind nuts (almonds) with spices for a crunchy topping. Recipes here: almond-crusted tilapia and marinated chicken breasts
For green vegetables, try roasting and steaming to retain flavor as well as nutrients. Boiling vegetables results in green water...and that green water has all the nutrients that you want in the food you eat! Links here: How to Steam Vegetables and a recipe for Roasted Vegetables
For fruit, think about the types you like. Do you like stone fruits such as peaches and tangerines? Or are you an apples and oranges kind of person? Think about fruits you've tried and liked, and then try similar fruits. And then...try different fruits! You'll likely surprise yourself. For some yummy ways to add fruit to your day check out these links from Harvard Health and Cooking Light.