Multiple Choice: What’s New in Multivitamins
A daily multivitamin/mineral should go beyond basic wellness support to help ensure your body is receiving the essential nutrients it needs to stay healthy and active. Here’s how to choose the best multi for you.
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Even the best-fed Americans may be lacking in certain key nutrients—all the more reason to fortify yourself with a well-designed multi. And you have more options than ever before. Check out our list below for some of the newest selections for your multiple choice.
1. Multis, but food
Back-to-the-plate formulas are less about high-tech delivery systems, and more about basic ingredients. Food-based formulas focus on whole plants like berries, kale, spinach, mushrooms, beets and apples, and contain complex compounds that optimize absorption and bioavailability. Studies suggest vitamins and minerals derived from food are more bioavailable than their synthetic versions. And food-based multis generally include a clean ingredient list that’s organic, raw, vegan and/or vegetarian, and laced with fiber, probiotics, and naturally occurring antioxidants.
2. Grown-up gummies
Why should kids have all the fun? New, adult-friendly gummies and chews are easier to take — especially for people who can’t swallow pills — and enhance compliance. In other words, you’ll be less likely to skip your morning multi when it’s in the form of a sweet, chewy treat. And adult gummies are formulated for grown-up needs, like bone protection, heart health, prostate support, and stress.
3. Drinkable multis
Powdered drink mixes and liquid multivitamins make supplements easier to swallow, and are ideal for pill-haters. Like gummies, they bypass “pill fatigue,” common in adults 45 and older, who often take more than four prescription pills per day. Because multivitamin powders and liquids don’t rely on binders and fillers—needed to compress nutrients into pill forms—they’re easier to break down and absorb. And they’re convenient; add liquids or powders to breakfast smoothies or juice, or toss individual packets into your purse or briefcase for on-the-go nutrition.
For best absorption, split the daily serving into two or three doses, and always take your multi with meals.
4. More for mommas
More sophisticated (and natural) than prenatal vitamins of earlier generations, new multis target all stages of motherhood—important, because proper nutrition from conception through nursing is crucial for the prevention of adulthood diseases. Pregnancy multis vary from streamlined, food-based formulas to more complex blends that increase energy, boost fiber, or support moms over 35. Conception multis include fertility-boosting nutrients and botanicals, and postnatal formulas are designed to support energy, mood and lactation, with herbs to enhance lactation.
Remember the last time you went on a trip and had to take bulky bottles of supplements (or transfer various combinations to Ziploc bags)? Prepacked products make it easy to take your dailies—even if you’re not going anywhere. Plus, they’re targeted for specific needs. Most include a full-spectrum multi, with additional capsules, tablets, or softgels of other nutrients like omega-3s, green tea, saw palmetto, probiotics, or L-citrulline.
Did you know…
The greatest benefits from multivitamins come from consistent use, so make them a daily habit.
Even well-fed kids may be lacking in key micronutrients, but a growing crop of multis focuses on specific needs at every stage of development. Many include probiotics to offset the overuse of antibiotics, as well as omega-3s for brain development, fiber for digestive health, and nutrients to support immune function. Teen-based multis include nutrients for energy, stress, healthy skin, and brain power. And most offer kid-friendly formats, like gummies, powders, or chocolate chews, with lots of sugar-free and organic options.
7. Herbs. And more herbs
New multis go beyond basic vitamin-and-mineral blends to include herbs, botanicals, and adaptogens for optimal health. Look for blends with turmeric to ease inflammation; ginkgo biloba and rhodiola rosea for mood and memory; hawthorn berry or knotweed (polygonum) for cardiovascular health; ashwagandha and holy basil for stress and anxiety; echinacea and mushroom extracts for immune function; dong quai and red clover for women’s health; or saw palmetto, ginseng and muira puama for men’s health and energy.
These products can all be found in Vitamin Shoppe stores and on vitaminshoppe.com