It’s a question I get asked often.

In an ideal world, we’d get everything a healthy body and mind requires from the food we put into our mouths. Before the mass production of pre-processed foods, men and women did rely on food to provide them with vital nutrients. Had there been Vitamin C in pill capsule when travel was by the high seas, there would have been a little incident of scurvy.

Our diets have changed quite a lot in the name of convenience. If the food we’re eating comes in a bright and shiny package, there’s a good chance the nutrients inside are not the same as those our forefathers were taking in. That’s why most nutritionists advise their clients to shop the perimeter of the store, avoiding the inner aisles. The more “natural” foods are found around the bulks of those pretty packages.

It’s important to remember that multivitamins and other dietary supplements cannot make up for an unhealthy diet and lifestyle. They can be taken to assist us in getting the nutrients we may be missing in our diets. If you’re not a fan of fruits and vegetables, you might not be getting enough vitamin C or vitamin A. If you’re not a meat eater and/or don’t like greens, you may not be absorbing enough iron.

Consult with your doctor or with a licensed nutritionist to see if you can supplement with dietary changes and/ or additions. If you can’t they may recommend a multivitamin or supplement.