What picky eater hasn't fantasized about a magical supplement that would somehow contain all the vitamins and minerals the body needs, freeing up the day's menu for cheeseburgers and milkshakes?
It sure would be nice. Indulging taste buds and all the while staying in optimum health sounds great, but unfortunately, it's a pipe dream.
First of all, several companies have tried—and failed—to market such "wonder drugs" in the past. Most scientists agree that it's just impossible to concentrate a day's worth of fruit and vegetables into one pill, no matter how large.
Bioavailability, or how much of a particular nutrient the body can actually absorb, also comes into play. Our bodies have an easier time digesting and using some vitamins and minerals than others. The form of the vitamin, what we've eaten, and other vitamins ingested during that day all make a difference.
Ingesting too much of certain nutrients can also actually be harmful. Overdoing it on vitamin A, for instance, can cause debilitating headaches, nausea and vomiting, joint pain, and even death.
The best way to ensure nutritional balance? A trustworthy multivitamin. But the idea of "trust" is key here. You don't want a pill packed with any old nutrients. Instead, look for SmartyPants vitamins, which are made with essentials that are hardest to get from food.
"When you look at the back of our nutrition panels, you won't see 100 percent or 1000 percent of every vitamin," says Daquent Robinson, SmartyPants Director of e-Commerce, "and that's because you get plenty of some of those nutrients from your diet."
Better yet, their nutrients come from the highest quality sources. Their omega-3s are derived from cold-pressed fish oil made from sustainable, small fish like anchovies and sardines, and the vitamin E comes from the most bioavailable, natural formula (it goes by the chemical name of mixed tocopherols).
Plus, none of SmartyPants' fruity vitamins contain high-fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors, or preservatives. The company even offers sugar-free versions of both their kids and adults multivitamins.
So no, there's no miracle pill out there, but you can get some impressive health benefits by making little gummy vitamins a part of your routine.
Photo credit: Paul Delmont