Don’t decide whether or not to quit your multivitamin before speaking with your doctor or a nutritionist — a professional will be better equipped to tell you whether or not you truly need a supplement to get the nutrients you need. But the average healthy eater shouldn’t need a multivitamin, in theory, to get adequate nutrition from their diet.
There are two main types of nutrients that the body needs: macronutrients and micronutrients. Macronutrients include protein, carbohydrates, and fat — all of which must come from the food you eat. Micronutrients are more difficult to keep track of, however, since not all foods contain them. A bag of Cheetos, for instance, has far fewer micronutrients than a vitamin-rich superfood.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture dietary guidelines, adult Americans may not get enough of certain micronutrients: calcium, fiber, folate, iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin E. Many people choose to rely on a multivitamin to supply these crucial micronutrients. But instead of a multivitamin, a diet rich with these 15 nutritious foods could supply enough of these nutrients instead.