Whole Food Multivitamins: Are They Worth It?

08/24/2021 | 6 min. read

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When it comes to making sure that your children are getting the essential vitamins and minerals they need, it can be helpful to learn more about whole food vitamins in order to determine whether you want to start incorporating them into your lifestyle.

Whole food vitamins are made with natural ingredients sourced from whole foods, and they may be a healthier alternative to multivitamins with synthetic ingredients. As compared to processed and synthetic foods, whole foods have plenty of benefits.

Whole foods may improve your digestion as compared to synthetic sources of nutrients, and you may also experience an increase in your energy levels when you get your nutrients from whole foods rather than synthetic nutrients.

Whole foods are believed to be a much better source of nutrients than synthetic forms of vitamins and minerals, which means that the benefits you are hoping to experience may be maximized when you choose a vitamin with whole food ingredients.

You should always consult your doctor before you begin taking new vitamins or supplements, and consult your child’s pediatrician before you begin to give them a multivitamin.

A doctor can help determine which vitamins and minerals really do need to be supplemented. They may be able to recommend certain products and inform you of the correct dosing and other important information.

There are many different types of multivitamins available, and it can be helpful to focus on those that contain all of the vitamins and minerals that you truly need.

Some multivitamins may be lacking certain nutrients, and you may not realize this without reading the ingredient list prior to making a purchase.

Choosing vitamins with whole food ingredients may help you cover all of your bases.

Artificial Ingredients and Food Additives: What You Should Know About the Risks

Many different vitamins and supplements are commercially available, and it can be difficult to know which products have healthy and clean ingredients and which products may be full of additives that you should avoid.

Artificial ingredients and additives are common in commercial products, yet they may pose certain risks to your health and the health of your children.

Some artificial ingredients can interfere with reproductive health, puberty, and immune health, and others may cause severe allergic reactions and adverse effects. Some commonly used synthetic colors and dyes are particularly known to cause adverse effects.

You and your children may not even be aware that you are allergic to certain ingredients until you ingest them and experience a dangerous reaction, so it could be the best choice for you to avoid them altogether as much as possible.

Synthetic ingredients are those which have been manufactured rather than being naturally occurring, and more research still needs to be done to confirm what all of the potential health effects are of synthetic ingredients.

Whole food vitamins incorporate dehydrated whole foods, like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, in order to safely provide you with the critical nutrients you need.

Finding the Best Multivitamin: How To Recognize Real From Fake

Choosing between synthetic vitamins and supplements and those made with whole foods may be an important part of ensuring that your supplements and multivitamins are effective, so how can you go about recognizing synthetic options and natural options?

One of the best things you can do is make sure you take the time to read the drug facts label on supplements and multivitamins before making a purchase.

This label contains plenty of important information about all of the active and inactive ingredients in the product, and this list of ingredients can give you a heads up about what is included in the vitamin.

Whole food nutrients and synthetic forms of nutrients are processed and absorbed differently by your body, and synthetic options may not be as bioavailable as whole food sources. This means that if you ingest a synthetic version of an essential nutrient, your body may not be absorbing and using as much of it as you may think, and this means your vitamin might not be benefiting you as much as it should be.

As of now, there is very limited information available regarding the bioavailability of synthetic vitamins as opposed to whole food vitamins. Because it is widely understood that whole foods are one of the best sources of nutrients, you might be better off siding with whole food multivitamins out of an abundance of caution.

That said, there are a few things you can do in order to determine if a multivitamin’s ingredients have been manufactured synthetically or sourced from whole foods.

Read the Product’s Label Carefully

Be on the lookout for phrases such as “100% natural” or similar wording. These phrases can immediately tell you that the product contains mostly naturally sourced ingredients.

Check the label 

Check the product’s label for information about where certain ingredients were sourced from. Many products contain this information to warn consumers about potential allergens, which can work in your favor when looking for products with ingredients from specific sources.

If the product in question does not contain a list of natural food sources, you can safely assume that the ingredients are synthetic. It can be helpful to look specifically for food sources such as fish, yeast, vegetables, and citrus. If you are not sure whether your vitamin is natural or synthetic, you can consult your doctor or pharmacist for more help.

Review the Ingredient List 

Identify specific whole foods that are included in it, rather than looking for particular nutrients. If an ingredient list includes food that is known to carry a specific vitamin, such as acerola cherry powder for vitamin C, your multivitamin is most likely natural. However, if the ingredient list only lists “vitamin C” without a food source, it may be synthetic.

Look for Special Indicators

Special indicators can alert you to synthetic products. Ingredients that end in “-ide” or “-ate” may indicate that your multivitamin has been made with synthetic ingredients, but you can always consult your doctor or pharmacist for help if you are having trouble figuring out what is natural and what is not.

Determining whether whole food multivitamins are worth it largely depends on your own personal values and priorities. If clean supplements with natural ingredients are something that you consider to be very important, finding whole food multivitamins may be at the top of your priority list.

However, if you don’t have a preference on what your vitamins are made of as long as you are getting the nutrients you need, do your own personal assessment of the potential risks when using synthetic vitamins.

If you need further guidance in order to make a decision, you can speak with your doctor about the pros and cons of whole food multivitamins.

Your doctor will be able to help you determine the best form of vitamin for your needs and concerns. It is always best to talk to your doctor before you start adding new vitamins to your diet.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to finding the right multivitamin for your own needs and the needs of your children, there are plenty of different options that are commercially available for you to choose from.

This number of options may make it tough for you to decide on a specific product, and it can be helpful to learn more about whole food multivitamins and how they compare to synthetic vitamins so that you can determine whether or not whole food vitamins are worth it for you.

Synthetic vitamins are thought to have lower bioavailability than nutrients sourced from whole foods. This means that ingesting a synthetic vitamin may result in you absorbing less than if you would receive the same amount of nutrients from whole food.

When choosing a vitamin, checking the ingredient list carefully can help tip you off to synthetic ingredients as well as where certain ingredients were sourced from, making it easier for you to find multivitamins with whole food ingredients.

Healthy Directions Staff Editor