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Are You Getting Enough Nutrients in Your Diet?

Did you know that, on average, about 90% of Americans don’t meet the minimum nutrient requirements?

According to The Journal of Nutrition, a large majority of the population fails to incorporate the recommended servings of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and milk into their diet. These food groups are rich in the vitamins and minerals needed to support a healthy lifestyle. Because many Americans struggle to meet the minimum nutrient requirements through their diet, some individuals may benefit from taking a multivitamin.

Who needs multivitamins?

  • Individuals who struggle to meet their nutritional needs through food
  • Individuals who have a vitamin/mineral deficiency
  • People suffering from chronic medical conditions
  • Women who are pregnant or experiencing menopause

Recent health trends have resulted in a wave of supplements swarming the consumer market. Knowing what products may benefit your health will help you to select a multivitamin. Look for the following vitamins and minerals in a product

  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Folate
  • Zinc
  • Iron

Incorporating a multivitamin into your diet may prevent nutritional deficiencies or “insufficiencies.” Aim to get a large part of your nutritional requirements from food because multivitamins are meant to help improve your diet, not replace food items. With the recent interest in supplements skyrocketing, make sure to purchase a multivitamin that meets your daily requirements and doesn’t break the bank.

Keep in mind that it is never too early or too late to improve your food and beverage choices, and to establish a healthful dietary pattern. Each step you take toward eating healthfully can improve your overall health in many ways, including lowering your risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, cancer and obesity.

See “Do You Need a Dietary Supplement?” for a printable version.


By Alliana Houfek, NDSU Extension Dietetic Intern
Reviewed by Julie Garden-Robinson, Food and Nutrition Specialist

Filed under: fca newsletter

Sponsored in part by the Sanford Health Foundation.

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