Beat the 'blahs' with this simple vitamin

Life has its ups and downs -- but for an easy way to make sure you've got more ups than downs, take your vitamins so you can get all of the benefits of multivitamins.

Ordinary multivitamins can help protect your mood, slash your stress levels, and help keep you happy overall, according to new research on the benefits of multivitamins -- and that's on top of giving you the essentials needed for overall good physical health.

The new study looked at data from eight "gold standard" double-blind trials in which multivitamins went head-to-head against placebos -- and the multis came out on top by nearly every mental measure.

In as little as 28 days, volunteers who took multivitamins reported:

  • 65 percent lower risk of stress
  • 68 percent lower risk of anxiety
  • 70 percent lower risk of mild psychiatric symptoms
  • 73 percent lower risk of fatigue
  • 77 percent lower risk of confusion

Not bad when you consider that most people don't even take multivitamins for mental health in the first place.

The new study in Psychosomatic Medicine: Journal of Biobehavioral Medicine looked only at women, but you can bet that many men would see most, if not all, of these same benefits of multivitamins.

And while the trials didn't identify a single mood-boosting ingredient in the multivitamins, there is one category that stood out above the rest.

Overall, multivitamins with higher levels of essential B vitamins tended to provide bigger benefits than the ones with lower B levels -- which isn't surprising, since B vitamins are well-known brain boosters that can help protect mood, memory, and more.

But the benefits of multivitamins go far beyond supporting happiness, fighting stress, and increasing energy (as if that's not enough).

They're the very foundation for good nutrition, because even people who eat a healthy and balanced diet can have a hard time getting all the nutrients they need every day.

It's also hard to keep track of your daily nutritional intake -- so a multivitamin removes some of the guesswork and helps make sure you're covered on the basics.

Speaking of basics, there's one key vitamin that most people are missing out on. Keep reading for more.