More than one-third of all North Americans take a multivitamin. But this trend could just be a force of habit — there’s some debate over whether these supplements are really necessary at all.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from 1990 to 2006, the number of Americans taking some sort of supplement increased from 40 to 53 percent. However, studies show that, with a few specific exceptions, most Americans already get an adequate amount of nutrients through fortified and whole foods.
So are supplements really necessary? For some people, they do serve an important purpose. People over the age of 50 have trouble retaining vitamin B-12 naturally through food, for instance, and for vegetarians, iron derived from spinach and other plant-based sources is not as easily absorbed by the body. Keep your individual nutrition needs in mind and consult your doctor, then, before eliminating any supplements from your diet.
If there are no medical concerns, however, you can start weaning yourself off supplements today by eating these 10 foods instead.