While most products are created and packaged for women or men and often for a life stage (pre-natal and pregnancy, menopausal, 50+, etc.) general vitamins for adults are better than nothing. In fact, if your diet is relatively healthy you might not need much more than a little boost of extra nutrition.

A balanced diet contains leafy greens, vegetables of every color, fruits of every description, whole grains, dairy or alternatives, and protein. It is a diet low in saturated fat, additives, refined or processed food. Most people, however, have a hard time getting all the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients they require from food alone. That’s why they take vitamins.

Components of Good Health

Why should a person take multivitamins instead of honing in on one specific nutrient and taking that one alone?

Vitamins and minerals work together symbiotically: calcium needs Vitamin D for full uptake; you need Vitamin C to absorb iron. Furthermore, certain supplements are difficult to get from food or consumers find appropriate foods unpalatable.

Flaxseed (for digestive health and omega fatty acids) is not everyone’s cup of tea. You can’t eat a cupful of melatonin-rich food. Fresh fish or fruits are not as readily available in certain parts of the country as they are in others or variety is lacking.

A Few Essentials

We are not talking about a weight loss diet, a bodybuilding diet, or a whole food regimen here: just good health for men and women in their adult years. Every body needs certain nutrients but at assorted levels according to their age, size, and sex.

Everyone requires iron to produce and maintain red blood cells which transport oxygen through your blood stream. You will need red meat to absorb enough of it. Calcium, magnesium, and Vitamin D build and protect bones and teeth. Many breads and cereals are fortified with these components. Vitamin A works to strengthen immunity, protects vision, and acts as an antioxidant. Eat tomatoes and colorful vegetables. In fact, vary the color of produce throughout the day for the most wholesome diet possible.

B Vitamins are hard working elements responsible for muscle, memory, moods, and more. Get it from fish, dairy, and leafy greens. If you don’t obtain Vitamin B from food and supplements, your doctor could send you for Vitamin-B shots: that’s how important this nutrient is.

Prevent disease and inflammation with Vitamin C found in red pepper, broccoli, and citrus fruits. Do not forget Omega 3: a fatty acid your body transforms into amino acids for muscle growth and repair, brain function, and blood pressure regulation. Get it from nuts, nut butters, and particularly fish. Studies show sufficient levels of Omega 3 can prevent Dementia and other neurological disorders.

Create a happy G.I. tract by adding probiotic-rich foods to your daily routine. They contain live bacteria which sound gross, but you need them to eat up bad bacteria which are going to find their way into your intestine one way or the other. Add a cup of plain yogurt or fermented vegetables to your daily menu.

Green Tea acts as an antioxidant, much like Vitamin C, and it’s easy to consume if you enjoy a hot drink of the same name. Vitamin C and Green Tea are also excellent anti-aging ingredients that work from within to promote glowing skin and healthy cells.

The Five Best Vitamin Supplements for Every Adult

Most “best of” lists contain a number of men’s or women’s products. This list of the best vitamin supplements focuses on generic products with one exception. They include gel caps, capsules, and gummies, and since each product is pretty decent you can purchase whichever one you find most appealing or easiest to stomach.

Gummies are most likely to contain ingredients people with allergies or sensitivities are trying to avoid. Buy these products at your grocery store, a health food store, pharmacy, or online. Check “best before” dates prior to making your purchase.

Also, talk to your doctor about supplements. Usually your body will naturally excrete a nutrient if you obtain too much but with others it’s possible to overdose (iron, for example) which will cause problems.

1. Nature’s Way Alive Max

Nature’s Way produces gummy vitamins but they are made with a host of ingredients some consumers cannot tolerate. Their vitamin capsule is free of most allergens such as wheat grain and dairy. Some of the extracts here are even organic. Nature’s Way Alive Max gives you digestive enzymes, amino acids, and 25 vitamins/minerals for all-round top performance. They cost a little more than some of the brands below but you get what you pay for: quality.

2. Carlson Labs Super 2 Daily

Take these gel caps if you are mainly interested in Vitamins like C, E, B, and A of which you will be consuming more than the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance). There is more to these capsules: the ones I cited are just the most impressive levels. Carlson Labs’ product is free of most irritants.

3. RAW One

For an injection of whole foods without actually eating any, take RAW One for men or women. These are veggie capsules suitable for vegetarians. This is the only men’s/women’s brand mentioned here, highlighted because there are not enough whole food multivitamins available and no others on this list.

4. Twin Lab Daily

Here is another non-allergenic product for men and women, one that is cost-effective. Their formula targets healthy heart and eyes but also contains folic acid. Men and women use folic acid to produce and look after red blood cells: it’s not just for pregnant women. Women in their childbearing years, however, should be consuming folic acid to prevent damage to the nervous system of their unborn child.

5. Kirkland Signature

Take this affordable multivitamin full of antioxidants to fight off cancer cells and other pathogens on the warpath in the average adult body. Kirkland’s formula also protects vision and heart health.