It can be very difficult in our fast paced lives to get all the necessary vitamins and minerals we need to live the healthiest lives possible. However, it is critical that we supplement our diet with a daily vitamin. Why do we need vitamins? A few of the reasons are to repair and rebuild cells, have a healthy immune system, carry oxygen around our body, build strong teeth and bones and to possibly even prevent wrinkles. However, a walk down the vitamin aisle may leave you overwhelmed! How do we make sense of it all? How can we find the highest quality vitamin with no extra fillers, binders and chemicals? Here is a list of some things to look for.
Make sure your vitamin does not contain any artificial colors. Typically this tends to be red dye 33 and red dye 40. People have had adverse reactions to artificial dyes, especially children. Studies have shown that artificial dyes tend to cause hyperactivity in children. Most vitamins for children sold in chain stores tend to be colored with artificial dyes. Why do vitamins need to look pretty anyway?
Be aware of candy coated vitamins that may contain aspartame. This has been known to cause headaches and lead to much more serious issues.
Propylene Glycol is an industrial antifreeze and the major ingredient in brake fluid. It also lurks in some vitamins… even prenatal vitamins! Avoid prefixes such as PEG and Polyethylene. Why would anyone want their unborn baby to be exposed to this? Please read the labels very carefully.
Some soft-gel vitamins take their form through the use of hydrogenated oils as fillers! Hydrogenated oils are a form of trans fat. The crazy thing is that some of the vitamins used to treat and prevent heart disease contain trans fat!
Take your calcium supplement separately. People should take 1100 – 1200mg daily and this amount can not fit into a multi vitamin.
Additionally, vitamin D, especially in the winter, is crucial. Children should be taking 500mg of vitamin D and adults should be taking 1000mg.
One more thing to keep in mind… Should you not be able to consume enough fish, walnuts, or flax seed, please remember to take Omega 3 supplements. Due to my history, if anyone in your family suffers from macular degeneration, or other eye diseases, you should consider taking Occugard to protect your eyesight.
Look for the USP stamp. This stands for The United States Pharmacopoeia. It is a non-governmental agency. Vitamins which have the USP stamp must have met certain standards for quality, purity, strength and consistency.
This may sound silly but please remember to check the expiration date!
These are few things to look for to make wise decisions on buying vitamins. We must read the labels very carefully, just like we would read food labels. Pay attention that there are no added food colorings. I personally like the website, http://www.vitacost.com. They have great vitamins at fabulous prices. This website was recommended to me by a local physician. Therefore, I am happy to pass it on!
You might be one of those people who are fortunate enough to be getting all the vitamins you need through food consumption. If you are not sure, consider supplementing your diet. You will be grateful in the long run!