What Should You Look for in a Good Multivitamin?

Over half of all American adults, including 70% of those age 65 and older, take a daily multivitamin. To get the best, do you know what to look for in a multivitamin? Because of poor growth practices and pesticide use on foods, the typical American diet is sadly lacking in sufficient amounts of vital nutrients. Without a doubt, the wise choice is to supplement your diet with a robust multivitamin/multimineral product. But how do you pick the right one?  

Wouldn’t it be great if you could just eat regular food and get sufficient amounts of all the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and plant co-factors that you need? Unfortunately, this is simply not true – the majority of foods in our typical food supply are grown in undernourished soil that lacks sufficient minerals and trace elements and worse yet, has often been riddled with pesticides (with traces of toxic contaminants remaining on foods). A robust, healthy food supply replete with high amounts of vitamins and minerals has simply not been the case for quite some time.   

Did you know that fruits and vegetables that were grown 20 or 30 years ago were much richer in vitamins and minerals than what most of us eat today? Disturbing research shows that this downward nutritional trend is directly due to soil depletion. Today’s intensive farming methods have stripped vital nutrients from the soil at an increasing rate – the very soil that our foods are grown in. As each ongoing generation of fast-growing, high-synthetic fertilized foods is produced, these foods are truly another step down in nutrition for you.  

A prominent 2004 study by a team of researchers from the University of Texas, published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, analyzed the U.S. Department of Agriculture nutritional data from the years, 1950 and 1999, for 43 different vegetables and fruits. Sadly, the data from these two years, 49 years apart, found extensive nutritional drops in the foods grown in 1999 in the amounts of protein, calcium, phosphorus, riboflavin (vitamin B2), iron and vitamin C. The research team attributed this downward nutritional content to the modern agricultural practices that focus more on mass production (such as specific traits of size, growth rate, pest resistance) than nutritional content. 

Other studies report similar findings. The Kushi Institute analyzed nutritional data from 1975 to 1997. Focusing on 12 fresh vegetables, the researchers found that average calcium levels declined 27%; iron levels were lower by 37%; vitamin A levels plummeted 21%, and vitamin C levels bottomed out at 30% lower. These are strikingly giant downward leaps in declining nutrients! Another study analyzed British nutrient data from 1930 to 1980, published in the British Food Journal. Reviewing 20 vegetables, the researchers found that the average calcium content had dropped 19%; iron decreased 22%; and potassium was lowered by 14%. Another interesting study pointed out that you would have to eat eight oranges grown today to get the same amount of vitamin A as one orange grown only a generation ago.

What to look for in a superior multivitamin product: 

  • Nutrients are whole-food, whole-herb, plant-based (no synthetic vitamins). 
  • The nutrients are organic (kick out those pesticide traces and GMO’s!). 
  • A comprehensive formula: the nutrient list covers all the bases with a full list of natural vitamins and all the key minerals. 

Look for a supplement that contains comprehensive, plant-based nutrition. One of the most common deficiencies in the standard American diet is vitamin D. This is an important vitamin which helps your body absorb calcium and improves immunity. Look for plant-source magnesium, an essential mineral for bone health and energy production. Plant-source calcium promotes strong bones and teeth. In addition, a supplement containing plant-source zinc, iron, folate, and vitamin B-12 helps boost nutritional gaps in your diet.  

A plant-based multivitamin is treasured for its bioavailability and can be a great weapon in your nutritional arsenal. Bioavailability depends on the sourcing of quality ingredients as well as the manufacturing method used to produce the multivitamin. Bioavailable ingredients may also be fermented, which helps your body absorb the natural-state nutrients they provide.  

Look for one formula that you can rely on daily to provide all of these advanced nutrients in their natural state. Check the label for essential vitamins such as vitamins A, C, D3, B1, B2, niacin, B6, folate, B12, biotin, and pantothenic acid.  

Can you get a wide range of vitamins and minerals from natural sources that your body can easily recognize, metabolize, and absorb? Sounds too good to be true! While this is a high standard, be sure to take an organic multivitamin that offers only the highest in nutritional quality from a trustworthy company that diligently tests their products for any potential contaminants such as pesticides, non-organic materials, and heavy metals.  

Finding the perfect multivitamin for your daily nutritional regimen may be easier than you ever expected - just be sure to take a careful look at the label to ensure you’re getting the best nutritional supplement possible. Your body will thank you!