Friday, April 16, 2010

How to choose a multi-vitamin

So you hear that you should take a daily multi-vitamin in order to meet your vitamin requirements to keep your body healthy. Eating a variety of natural, unprocessed food is the very best way to get all of your vitamins and minerals because whole, unprocessed foods are naturally made to help our bodies absorb the vitamins that they contain. So if you are eating your recommended servings of whole grains (6 oz), veggies (2.5 cups), fruit (2 cups), low fat dairy (3 cups), lean protein-beans and meat-(5.5 oz), you might be getting enough vitamins and minerals from your food.

If you feel that you are lacking in some areas…say eating all your veggies and fruits… then a multi-vitamin might be a great option. There are like a zillion options for multi-vitamins, so to here are a few guidelines to follow when choosing your multi-vitamin:

  • Drs Orders! Ask you Dr. what he or she recommends for your specific needs. You might need a bit of a boost of a certain vitamin or mineral depending on health conditions you might have.
  • Be Pure! Make sure that the vitamin that you take is free of impurities. In order to do this, check the bottle to see that the brand has one of the following seals United States Pharmacopoeia (USP), NSF International (NSF), or (CL). Your best bet is to stick with name brands such as One-a-Day and Centrum.
  • Know your numbers! If you’re taking a vitamin, you might as well make sure that it has enough of each vitamin and mineral. Click here to view the USDA’s Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) which is how much of each vitamin you should be consuming each day. There are also limits to how much of a specific vitamin you should be don't treat those gummy vitamins the same way that you would eat gummy bears. Take the serving size and be done with them!

If you’re anything like me, multi-vitamins might upset your stomach. Here’s a few tips and tricks that have worked for me and others in the past.

  • Don’t take the vitamin on an empty stomach (lots of vitamins need a bit of fat to be absorbed)
  • Pop the pill right before you go to sleep
  • Try a different form of vitamin like water mix in or gummy vitamins


  1. Rachel ReinhardtMay 27, 2010 at 1:35 PM

    Hey Erin! I love the blog!! I take my gummy vitamins mid-morning. Is that bad?

  2. Great question, Rachel. It doesn't matter really what time you take it...but it is best to take with a little food with some healthy fat in it :)