Anyone who aims to stay as fabulously fit and healthy as possible likely knows that it’s essential to eat a nourishing diet that will provide you with the proper amount of vitamins and nutrients. At the same time, you’re also surely aware of the fact that it can be challenging to ensure that your meals are balanced and that you’re getting exactly what you need in order to keep your body feeling well and working properly. Although taking vitamin supplements can fill in some gaps in your nutritional needs, it can also be tricky to figure out what kind of vitamins you should be taking on a regular basis. That’s when multivitamins might enter the picture. But how do you know if you need a multivitamin?
An undeniably popular option, it’s thought that around one-third of adults in the United States take multivitamins or minerals, according to the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements. That’s perhaps why it shouldn’t be surprising to find out that these particular supplements made up 38% of sales when it came to vitamin and mineral supplements in the U.S. during 2019.
With that in mind, you might be wondering if you should be taking a multivitamin, which is why you’ll definitely want to check out the following information from Lexi Moriarty, MS, RDN, CSSD, RYT, owner of Expert Nutrition and Wellness, LLC, who tells Eat This, Not That! that there can be some tell-tale signs that you may need a multivitamin.
You get tired and lose your breath easily
Experiencing low energy levels on a regular basis can be a sign of various issues. For instance, you might have an illness, you might be overworked, or you may not be sleeping well. At the same time, having trouble breathing can be a sign that you need to check the health of your lungs.
On the other hand, Moriarty says that, “Low energy levels or feeling more easily winded could be a sign that you’re anemic or have low iron stores.”
While you may be unsure about your own iron levels, around 10 million people in the United States are iron deficient, according to the National Library of Medicine. Among those individuals, five million deal with iron deficiency anemia. If you suspect that you have anemia or simply need more iron in your system, then the Mayo Clinic notes that you may also notice other symptoms such as pale skin, headaches, dizziness, and chest pain as well as cold hands and feet. They also suggest seeing a doctor if this is the case. The health professional will be able to give you guidance around possible treatments, including potentially adding a supplement to your daily routine.
You have brittle hair and nails
Moriarty says that “Taking a multivitamin with iron can help boost your iron stores and increase the quality of your red blood cells, which can improve energy levels and oxygen transport,” which will certainly leave you feeling refreshed and reinvigorated.
According to Healthline, dry hair that tends to break and split may be the result of living in a place that happens to be hot, using harmful styling products, or having certain health issues. As for brittle nails, they can be caused by hypothyroidism, Raynaud’s syndrome, and aging, as well as not getting enough moisture.
You get sick a lot
Beyond that, Moriarty explains that “Brittle hair and nails can be a sign of a nutrient deficiency,” meaning that you might not be getting enough “zinc, iron, biotin, or other B vitamins.”
As you might have hoped, Moriarty also says “Taking a daily multivitamin can help to cover your bases when it comes to meeting all of your vitamin and mineral needs, and can ultimately improve your hair and nail health.”
“If you notice that you’re getting more than the average three to four colds per year, this could be a sign that you’re missing key nutrients in your body,” Moriarty says, while pointing out that having a poor immune system is something that you need to avoid in order to keep yourself healthy.
Along with helping you fight off colds, your immune system can protect you from various germs and unwanted organisms—such as viruses, parasites, bacteria, and fungi—as well as diseases and infections, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Fortunately, Moriarty points out that “There are nutrients that are essential for supporting a healthy immune system, like vitamins C, A, and D, and a daily multivitamin can help make sure that you’re meeting your daily needs.”