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Are Vitamins a Waste of Money?
  /   Dr. John Snow

Are Vitamins a Waste of Money?

There are two groups of people: those who live by their vitamins or dietary supplements and those who swear they don’t need them. 

Vitamins are a bit misunderstood. Vitamin or mineral supplements can be a valuable wellness tool for people who need them, but many people can get by just fine without them. 

Before you take vitamins, you need to know if they may be useful to you and your family.

Are Vitamins Really Necessary?

Getting enough vitamins is absolutely necessary. They’re essential for human health. If you don’t get enough of a particular vitamin, you’ll begin to notice uncomfortable symptoms associated with vitamin deficiency. 

Each vitamin plays a specific role in your overall health. Vitamin B12 helps your body to manufacture blood cells. Vitamin C is necessary for immune system health and wound healing. 

Vitamin D is necessary for the absorption of calcium. If you aren’t getting enough of these vitamins in your diet, you can experience complications.

Are Vitamins a Waste of Money?

You need to consistently meet your recommended daily value for each vitamin and mineral. One way or another, that’s the goal. Whether or not vitamins are a waste of money largely depends upon how you eat. 

Some people can meet their goals through a well-balanced diet, but most people don’t have a perfect diet. Allergies, food aversions, busy lifestyles, and limited diets can exclude a lot of foods.

If you’re really in tune with how you eat and put a little bit of everything on your plate, you may not need supplements to boost your vitamin intake. However, if your eating habits aren’t ideal, vitamins are likely to be useful. 

Who Doesn’t Need Vitamin Supplements?

Unless your family gets three well-balanced meals a day with a few healthy snacks, you probably might need vitamins in your house. However, that’s not always the case for many families. 

Most families in the U.S. don’t eat a healthy diet. In fact, less than one in ten adolescents eat enough fruits or vegetables, according to the CDC.

While there may always be exceptions, it’s important to visit your family doctor to assess your general health. You can always talk to your doctor about your family’s nutritional goals and plan a healthy diet with a nutritionist.

Who Needs Vitamin Supplements?

If you believe your family would benefit from vitamins, the best thing to do is ask your family doctor. A doctor may agree that vitamin supplements would be helpful in many situations and circumstances. 

Sometimes, certain supplements may be recommended for health benefits even if you do get ample levels of the nutrient from your diet. It is always best to consult your doctor for advice.

People with Deficiencies

People with vitamin deficiencies undoubtedly need vitamins. A deficiency is a sign that, for one reason or another, you aren’t getting enough of a particular vitamin or mineral. The only way to treat a deficiency is to incorporate more of that vitamin or mineral into your diet. 

Supplements are a great way to resolve vitamin deficiencies with high doses of the necessary nutrients, especially if a complete change in diet would be difficult to achieve. In cases of severe vitamin deficiencies, doctors may recommend vitamin injections to help the body meet its needs faster.

People With Allergies 

In households where someone suffers a severe allergy, those foods are often off the table for everyone. If you have a child with a life-threatening shellfish allergy, you probably don’t keep shellfish in the house. You also don’t serve it up for dinner. 

Foods like shellfish, fish, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, eggs, and wheat all provide many of the vitamins and minerals we need to stay healthy. They’re also the most common major food allergens. When your family is limited in what they can eat, they’re also limited in the vitamins and minerals they’ll receive through their diet.

Vitamin supplements can be created without the presence of major allergens. They provide your family with a safe way to stay healthy that accommodates necessary restrictions.

People With Limited Diets

There are plenty of benefits to switching to a vegetarian, vegan, or pescetarian diet. It’s absolutely possible to remain healthy and eat a balanced diet while eliminating foods you don’t feel good about serving your family. While you can achieve a well-rounded meal plan that meets these parameters, it’s often tricky.

Plant-based households may benefit from vitamin B12 supplements because adequate B12 is very difficult to achieve through a vegan diet. Vitamin B12, and some other B vitamins, primarily come from animal foods, and if you aren’t eating any animal foods, you aren’t getting enough vitamin B12. Vegan B12 supplements can help satisfy your body’s needs without compromising your lifestyle.

Supplemental omega-3 fatty acids may also be necessary for those following restricted diets. Omega-3s can help support heart health and maintain healthy blood pressure.

People With Absorption Issues

Conditions that impact the digestive tract can limit the body’s ability to absorb vitamins and minerals from food, even if they eat a healthy diet. People with gastrointestinal disorders, people who have had intestinal surgery, and people who have had gastric surgery may have a reduced ability to take the vitamins from food and convert them into forms that their bodies can use.

If someone in your household lives with one of these conditions, your doctor has probably already advised you that malabsorption is a possibility. We can use vitamin supplements to provide our bodies with more vitamins than we need, which increases the chances that the body can absorb enough to stay healthy. 

In rare cases, people with significant absorption issues may occasionally need vitamin injections or infusions to prevent or resolve absorption-related deficiencies. 

People With Picky Eating Habits 

Some people become picky eaters in childhood and stay that way throughout their lives. Multivitamin supplements can temporarily help these people meet their nutritional needs while they’re working to resolve their picky eating habits.

The best course of action for people who are picky eaters is to work through the issue and attempt to achieve a well-balanced diet. A multivitamin supplement can be great, but it’s not as great as eating a proper diet. 

Severe food aversions, or conditions like ARFID (avoidant restrictive food intake disorder), may require professional help for a resolution. It’s not easy for people who live with these conditions to convince themselves to eat new foods. Therapy might be necessary to address the root cause of the issue. 

Should My Child Be Taking Vitamins?

Children tend to pick and choose what they’d like to eat. Of course, they’re more interested in their macaroni in cheese than they are in their side of broccoli. 

Macaroni and cheese is a fun food that’s found in many family households. It tastes good, and that’s all your child understands. They’ll quickly finish an entire bowl of macaroni and suddenly be “too full” to eat their vegetables.

With time and patience, it’s possible to help your child develop an interest in healthier foods. Sometimes, simply acting like it’s weird that they don’t like salad can be enough to encourage them to eat it. It’s a little bit of positive peer pressure demonstrated by good role models. 

While you’re still working out the kinks and explaining the merits of asparagus, your child may need a little extra nutritional support. Children’s multivitamins can help fill some gaps until your child can fill and clean a well-balanced plate. 

Ask your child’s pediatrician about using a daily multivitamin. 

What Kind of Vitamins Should I Use?

If your doctor agrees that multivitamins are beneficial for your family, you have to choose the right form of a multivitamin. Some are better than others, and it’s essential to choose a multivitamin that may work for your family.

Pills

Multivitamin pills are the traditional form of multivitamins. Many people have trouble swallowing large pills, and they aren’t suitable for children. 

Gummies

Gummy multivitamins are a popular choice for many reasons. They taste good, look like candy, and don’t have to swallow a large pill. Many families use gummies because everyone in the household finds them easy to take.

There are a few problems with conventional multivitamin gummies. They’re often sweetened with sugar and made with gummy junk that can cause cavities. Gummies are also notoriously bad compared to other forms at holding vitamins. In the end, gummies are like vitamin-fortified candy. This is contrary to the idea of promoting your health, which is why we suggest no gummies. 

You don’t want to give your children sugary gummies and tell them it’s something to make them healthier. You could be giving them the wrong idea about a balanced diet. 

Chewables

Chewable multivitamins help solve a lot of problems for picky eaters. They’re much easier to use than tablets. Any child old enough to properly chew their food can safely have a chewable multivitamin. They’re also a lot less reminiscent of candy. 

Hiya’s Chewable Multivitamins Are Made for Healthy Kids 

Hiya was made with kids in mind. Our once daily children’s chewable multivitamin is free from sugar and gummy junk. Our vitamins are naturally sweetened with monk fruit and naturally flavored with a fruit and vegetable blend. Kids love them. 

We formulated Hiya with picky eaters in mind. Hiya contains the vitamins and minerals that most picky eaters don’t get enough of through their regular diet. Our multivitamin is vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and non-GMO. It’s made for every family member in mind. 

So what are you waiting for? Talk to your child’s pediatrician about multivitamins and pick up an eco-friendly bottle of Hiya.

 

Sources:

Food Allergies | FDA

Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) National Eating Disorders Association

Malabsorption (Syndrome): Symptoms, Causes & Treatment | Cleveland Clinic

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