You care about your family’s health, and you want to make sure they’re getting all the vitamins and nutrients they need. You also live in a world full of work obligations, sports practices, meetings, events, and any number of responsibilities that might get in the way of ensuring perfect nutrition in the meals you prepare.
So, maybe you turn to dietary supplements to fill the gap. You’re not alone: Almost half of all adults in the U.S. take vitamins, with that number reaching 70% for those over the age of 65. People take vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplements every day to help keep up with their bodies needs.
But if part of the reason you’re using vitamins and other supplements is because of your on-the-go lifestyle, you might need a little help keeping up with your regimen.
Why should I take vitamins?
First, let’s talk about the value of taking vitamins. Why and when are they necessary? Most people who take vitamins and other dietary supplements do so to improve or maintain their health, but do they really need to?
Generally speaking, you should be able to get all the essential nutrients you need from your diet. A well-balanced diet includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein, and healthy fats. However, supplements – as their name suggests – can help where your diet falls short. For instance, about 90% of Americans fail to consume the Estimated Average Requirement the National Academy of Medicine has set for vitamins D (which helps the body absorb calcium) and E (an antioxidant that prevents cell damage) in their diets. And in a world of rushing from school to practice or work to other obligations, there are many of us who may default to quick meals that are easy to prepare rather than prioritizing the full range of nutrition we need.
If you’re considering supplementing your diet with vitamins, you should first discuss your plans with your healthcare provider. While vitamins do not require a prescription, they are regulated as food, not as drugs, so your doctor might have more insight into what your best course of action may be or how a particular vitamin might interact with any medications you’re taking.
Best vitamins to take daily
With a full aisle of vitamins in the grocery store, where should you start building your vitamin regimen? Again, you’ll want to talk to your healthcare provider for specific recommendations, as everyone’s exact vitamin needs vary, but there are a few popular options to consider:
- Prenatal vitamin: One vitamin that is consistently recommended for a large subset of the population is folic acid for all pregnant women. Folic acid, or folate, is a B vitamin that can help prevent neural tube defects and spina bifida. This is especially important early in pregnancy. As such, since not all pregnancies are planned, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all women ages 15-45 (generally considered childbearing age) take 600 micrograms of folic acid every day. One of the best ways to do this is through a prenatal vitamin, which typically also contains nutrients such as iron, calcium, vitamin D, and DHA.
- Multivitamin: While multivitamins are not for everyone, they can be beneficial for older adults and vegans or vegetarians, who may need help getting enough vitamin B12, calcium, vitamin D, and other vitamins they may not get from their diet or may have trouble absorbing.
- Vitamin A: Vitamin A helps fight infections, maintains healthy vision, and can help maintain heart, lung, kidney, and bone health.
- Vitamin B: The eight B vitamins are needed for metabolizing carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, for normal blood cell production, and for normal nervous system function. They’ve also been shown to improve cholesterol and brain function, and they may reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Vitamin C: You might only think about vitamin C when you feel a cold coming on, but taking it daily can not only help reduce your risk of getting a cold in the first place, it may also help improve skin and tissue health and strengthen your teeth and bones. If you have an iron deficiency, vitamin C can also help your body absorb iron better.
- Vitamin D: Vitamin D, which we stated helps the body absorb calcium, is difficult to come by naturally in food. Although many foods are fortified with vitamin D, most people will still only obtain enough through a supplement.
- Vitamin E: As we stated before, vitamin E may help protect cells against damage. It may also help prevent blood clots.
Other popular vitamin supplements include vitamin K, calcium, and iron, especially if you have dietary restrictions that prevent your from getting enough of these vitamins through what you eat.
How a pill organizer can help you keep up with your vitamins
When your schedule is busy or your plate is full of important things to remember (let’s be real – no amount of planners, calendars, Post-it notes, or white-erase boards can completely relieve our mental load), remembering to take your vitamins might be the last thing on your mind. That’s where a pill organizer can help!
If your primary concern is keeping your vitamins handy – especially if you travel, aren’t home much during the day, or take multiple vitamins throughout the day, the Ezy Dose® Vitamin Organizer is a convenient way to pack everything up in one handy container.
Looking to keep track of which vitamins you’ve already taken for the day? A pill organizer allows you to pre-sort vitamins for the week or month, making one less thing to keep track of. You can simply check the slot for the day to see if you’ve already taken your supplement. Some pill organizers are even sorted by time of day, which can be helpful if you have vitamins that work better in the morning or evening, or if you also take medications that can’t be taken at the same time as a vitamin.
One pill organizer that’s especially useful for travel or for vitamins you take while you’re out for the day is the Ezy Dose® Weekly Rainbow AM/PM Pill Planner. You can portion your vitamins for the day (separated for morning and afternoon/evening if necessary), and contain them in a carrying case you can easily slip into a purse, duffle bag, backpack, carry-on, or suitcase.
Another option that may help you keep your vitamins handy while on the go is to sort them into pill pouches, which can keep multiple supplements together and then disposed of after you take the contents.
Vitamin supplements are one way to keep your family healthy, especially when you’re busy, traveling, or consistently on-the-go. Using tools that allow you to conveniently take your vitamins with you, and not have to think too much about them, only adds to their convenience.
Harvard School of Public Health: Should I Take a Daily Multivitamin?
Johns Hopkins Medicine: Is There Really Any Benefit to Multivitamins?
NIH News in Health: Should You Take Dietary Supplements?
Healthline: Do Multivitamins Work? The Surprising Truth
Cleveland Clinic: 9 Vitamins and Minerals You Should Take Daily