So I’ve been getting a lot of questions regarding multivitamins, dietary supplements, and whether I take them or whether or not you should take them.
As you know, my philosophy on diet is this: the nutrients you need to sustain a healthy lifestyle and well-nourished, balanced diet should come from whole, natural foods. It is obviously the best to eat less processed things – local, organic, and fresh is the finest you can do for your body.
However, the reason why the health food business is booming right now is because a lot of people just don’t have the time to grow and cook their own food. In fact, MOST people will end up being deficient in certain vitamins and minerals because the average American does not eat clean. At all. Think hamburgers, fries, ice cream, pasta, cookies, soda, muffins, etc…on the daily! Eek. So multivitamins are not a bad idea. Just don’t think it cancels out bad food by any means. It is a SUPPLEMENT not a SUBSTITUTION.
I think you POPsters are quite superior in your knowledge of health and fitness (the fact that you’re following this blog indicates that), so I don’t need to preach clean eating – however, I do want you to be aware of the value that these vitamins provide.
- Vitamin A: You need it for healthy bones, vision and cell function. It makes white blood cells that helps your body ward off infections and promotes nice hair and skin.
- Source: Organ meats, milk, fortified cereals, cheese, eggs, carrots, spinach and sweet potatoes.
- B Vitamins: You need it to convert food to energy, make healthy red blood cell, reduce the heart disease risk, reduce or even eliminate PMS symptoms, reduce or eliminate anemia, minimize or even eliminate depression, and to prevent birth defects.
- Source: Whole grains, fortified cereals, milk, yogurt, meat, fish, poultry, fruits, nuts, peanut butter, eggs and green vegetables.
- Vitamin C: You need it to protect against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, prenatal health problems, eye disease, and even wrinkly skin!
- Source: Tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, broccoli, oranges and cantaloupe.
- Vitamin D: You need it to absorb calcium and phosphorus!
- Source: You can get some from the foods you eat but most is made by your body after sun exposure.
- Vitamin E: You need it to neutralize free radicals in the body that cause tissue and cellular damage. Meaning…you want to have this to stay young-looking!
- Source: Nuts, seeds, vegetable oils and fortified cereals
- Vitamin K: You need this for blood clotting. Without it, a small cut would cause continuous bleeding in the body.
- Source: Green veggies like broccoli, spinach, asparagus, brussel sprouts and cabbage.
- Calcium: If you don’t enough, you could develop osteoporosis or weak bones.
- Source: Cheese, yogurt, milk, sardines, dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, turnips, and collard greens, soybeans.
- Fish Oil: Omega-3 fatty acids help to prevent cardiovascular disease.
- Source: Fatty fish like salmon, flax seeds.
If you’re interested in knowing exactly how much you need, you can check out the USDA’s chart broken down by age group and gender right here.
Are you getting all of these vitamins in your diet right now? If you’re eating whole and clean, you should be! But if not, it’s ok to take a multivitamin to make sure. When I was on my bikini diet for my bikini comp, my coach actually advised me to take vitamins because I was missing out on a lot of food groups. I barely had any carbs and fats. Like I said during my recap of the whole thing, dieting down for that competition was not exactly the HEALTHIEST and most SUSTAINABLE way to lose weight. It was fast and it worked, but I definitely felt a slowing-down in my cognitive processes sometimes…lol. NOT GOOD! You need carbs for energy and to make those neurons fire!
I actually took gummy vitamins because I COULDN’T STAND swallowing pills. It’s like the worst thing ever. Also, the gummies were like candy so it was a nice treat to have that was good for me. Make sure that when you choose a gummy vitamin choose something that uses organic sweeteners and NOT high fructose corn syrup.
One brand I am honestly obsessing over right now is SmartyPants. Their gummies taste like sour punch candy straws! OMG that was and still is my fave candy! Ooh, that and watermelon belts. OMG dying, LOVE!!!!
This is what the nutrition label looks like:
I think 6 gummies for 50 calories and 11g of carbs and 8g of sugar daily is not bad at all. When I take these, I do it right before a run or workout to boost my energy. If I use those carbs right away, they won’t store as fat. So it’s nothing to really worry about. My favorite is the red one :)
I asked SmartyPants if they’d be willing to treat you POPsters to some of the goods and was soooooo happy to hear that they said yes!!! Ahh can’t wait to share these with you guys. They are honestly TOOO GOOD. I can easily overdose on them :P
We are giving away FIVE 1-month supply bottles of the adult vitamin gummies to FIVE lucky POPsters who can tell me in the comments below…
“WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE CANDY!!???”
I’ll be picking randomly picking winners on Monday July 2nd, 2012! This is an international contest, so go bozonkers people!!! And if you simply cannot wait, the peeps made a generous coupon code for us to use. “BLOGILATES20″ for a 20% discount. Woot woot. Love saving $. You can get em here.