As in any commodity, when you are considering buying vitamins, there are different levels of quality that should be considered before you make a purchase. Take oats for example: if you want fresh oats you will have to pay a premium for them, however, if you want oats that have already been though the horse once, they are considerably less expensive.
When buying multi-vitamins, get more than just a One-A-Day or Centrum.
Plant-based foods including fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, oils, and grains provide more than macronutrients (protein, fats, and carbohydrates/fiber) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). Plants are also a source of thousands of bioactive secondary metabolites called phytonutrients that are known to support the body in multiple ways. Eating plans that include a number of plant foods rich in phytonutrients, like the traditional Mediterranean diet, are associated with increased health and longevity. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage are loaded with a dynamic nutrient called sulforaphane glucosinolayte or (SGS), which scientists have identified as a natural long-lasting anti-oxidant which contributes to the integrity of all cells, promoting health and well-being. Recently, well documented epidemiological evidence has suggested that SGS may reduce the risk of cancer.
Non-essential, but extremely beneficial. There are no established daily intake requirements (yet), but scientists continue to uncover the many benefits of phytonutrients such as resveratrol, lutein, lycopene, citrus bioflavonoids, polyphenols, and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). These individual phytonutrients may target different health systems, and they may also complement each other to support the body in general wayslike protecting cells from oxidative stress that can increase with age, pollutants, unhealthy lifestyle habits, and even certain processes with the body itself. That's why health experts recommend eating a minimum of five daily servings of a wide variety of colorful, plant-based foodsto supply essential nutrients (proteins, fats, carbohydrates/fiber, vitamins, minerals) plus a spectrum of valuable phytonutrients.
So what is the moral of this story? The next time you are shopping for a multi-vitamin, talk to the person that is selling it to you about variables such as your age, gender, overall health. For instance if you're a male over 45 you should probably purchase a multi that has saw palmetto extract in it for your prostate. Similarly, if you are a female over 45 who is experiencing "hot flashes," the ingredient herb black cohosh might offer you some welcomed relief. The point is, there is a wide variety of natural supplements to choose from, one size does not fit all. Speak to someone knowledgeable about supplements before you make a purchase, or better yet, sit down at the computer and exercise your cerebral cortex... in the long run you'll be glad you did.
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