The Benefits of Taking Vitamins with Food

Taking vitamins with food is a great way to ensure that your body is getting the most out of the nutrients you are consuming. Eating a meal with a multivitamin is preferred, and lunch is a good time. This is because nutrient-rich foods contain other things that are good for you, such as fiber. Eating a meal with healthy fats, such as lean meats, can increase vitamin C absorption by nearly 70 percent.

Similarly, you absorb approximately 15 percent of the riboflavin in a multivitamin complex without food, while this amount increases to at least 60 percent with food. While these effects aren't as dramatic in the case of minerals, the body absorbs significantly more magnesium and zinc when ingested with food. Taking multivitamins on an empty stomach can sometimes cause nausea and stomach discomfort. However, if you feel that it's best to take your multivitamin with water alone, the effectiveness won't decrease as much. Vitamins A, E and K are also present in leafy and green vegetables such as spinach, broccoli and cabbage.

Water-soluble vitamins include different types of vitamins B and C.Rather than easily passing into the bloodstream like most water-soluble vitamins, fat-soluble vitamins enter the blood through the lymphatic channels in the intestinal wall (see illustration). A study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that men absorb 32 percent more vitamin D3 when they take it with a fat-containing meal compared to a fat-free meal. Contrary to popular belief, some water-soluble vitamins can remain in the body for long periods of time. Within the body, adipose tissues and the liver act as the main retention points for these vitamins and release them as needed. It's generally best to get the nutrients you need from food, rather than from a pill.

Other vitamins and supplements can help reduce diarrhea and are more pleasant on the stomach when taken with food. If you don't get all your vitamins from your diet, it's better to take a multivitamin than not to. Multivitamins are best taken with food and plenty of water. Nutrients tend to work better when combined with other nutrients, so a meal increases the chances of this happening. For example, vitamin K may reduce the ability of warfarin, a common anticoagulant, to prevent blood from clotting. Read enough articles on the subject and alphabetical references to these nutrients, which are mainly known by their initials (such as vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K, to name just a few), will cross your mind.

If this happens, you may want to experiment with taking vitamins that don't exceed the recommended daily amount for each of them. Following a healthy diet is still the best way to get enough of the vitamins and minerals you need.

Ben Liebhardt
Ben Liebhardt

Amateur travel fanatic. General web buff. Certified travel junkie. Twitter nerd. Infuriatingly humble web practitioner. Certified beer nerd.

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