Taking multivitamins is a great way to supplement your diet and fill in any nutritional gaps. But did you know that taking them with food can increase the body's ability to absorb many of the nutrients? Eating a meal with healthy fats, such as lean meats, can increase vitamin C absorption by nearly 70 percent. Similarly, the body absorbs significantly more magnesium and zinc when taken with food. Vegans and vegetarians, for example, can benefit from the vitamin B12 found in multis, since we usually get that nutrient from animal foods.
Not only does taking your multivitamin with food help your body absorb more of the nutrients, but it can also help prevent nausea. All vitamins A, D, E and K need fat to be absorbed by the body, so having a snack or meal with healthy fats like avocado, olive oil, or nuts can help your body get the most out of those fat-soluble vitamins. It's important to note that taking multivitamins and other dietary supplements is not a substitute for a healthy diet. However, there is increasing evidence to suggest that taking a multivitamin is actually good for your health.
To keep the new habit going, set an alarm on your phone to remind you to open your multi at mealtime. If you continue to feel nauseous after taking your multivitamin, even when you combine it with food, you may want to consider changing your vitamin protocol or try to change the type of multivitamin you consume. Other vitamins and supplements can help reduce diarrhea and are easier on the stomach when taken with food. Fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin K, are generally best taken with a meal that contains at least one teaspoon of fat.
Vitamin B12 is best taken in the morning on an empty stomach so it won't affect sleep. When taking individual vitamin and mineral supplements it's important to have a little knowledge before you start taking them every day. Take your multivitamin and any fat-soluble vitamin (A, D, E and K) with foods that contain some fat, keep calcium and iron separate and you'll be fine. But it's always best to check with your doctor when adding or changing vitamins and supplements to make sure your body benefits.