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Now Vitamins Are Gaining Popularity

At some time in your life, your doctor has probably asked you about your family history of illness and disease. When you start making a list, it can actually get quite frightful. Chances are you have had relatives who have had things like diabetes, heart disease or cancer, which potentially increases your risk for the same conditions. So you may wonder why vitamins are increasing in popularity and will help prevent you from developing any of the illnesses that your family seems prone to get.

Are vitamins the answer to all our problems?

A staggeringly high number of Americans, some estimates being as high as 50%, now take a multivitamin or mineral supplement every day. Opinions vary; however, as to whether or not this is the right strategy for combating chronic disease. Most likely the one-size-fits-all solution offered by a multivitamin is not going to be appropriate for everyone, but considering our poor eating habits and tendency to spend too much time on the couch watching television, chances are a multivitamin has to do some good. However it might be better to pinpoint a specific area of concern, and take the correct vitamin supplements. For example, if you're at risk of developing osteoporosis, it is advisable take a calcium supplement.

So if you eat well, exercise consistently and generally lead a healthy lifestyle, do you really nee to now take vitamins? The answer is uncertain. There are other factors that affect health, that are much more difficult to combat. Stress is now a big issue for many people today, and it can cause an enormous amount of harm to our bodies. Stress is not just emotional. Our environment can also stress our bodies, because of the toxins and pollutants we are constantly exposed to.

Some people argue that foods today contain lesser nutrients than they did a decade or two ago. So even if you believe you're eating a healthy diet, it is possible that what you're eating still doesn’t contain enough of the necessary natural vitamins and minerals for good health. Not only that, but the foods are likely to contain traces of toxic chemicals. Dealing with these toxins may well deplete the natural vitamins to the point where there is not enough left for general good health. More people are becoming aware of this and now vitamins are being taken as supplements to fill the gap.

Which foods are rich in vitamins?

Vitamins are organic compounds, and are naturally found in the foods you eat. They are split into two groups, fat soluble and water soluble. Under each group vitamins are labeled with the help of alphabets.

Fat Soluble Vitamins - A, D, E, K

Water Soluble Vitamins - B complex, C

Now vitamins are contained in almost all foods in some form. Some of the vitamins are found in certain foods more than they are in others. Vitamin C, for instance is found abundantly in citrus fruits and can improve blood cell health. Milk is rich in Vitamin D. Most fish contains a Vitamin E, which can help improve skin health and other bodily functions.

Since many foods contain a high content of a certain type of vitamin, it is wise to eat balanced meals, with a variety of fruits, vegetables, meats, breads and milk or juice. When you eat a balanced meal, you are not only getting vitamins, but also abundant amounts of minerals and nutrients, which work together with vitamins to help your body function properly and keep you healthy.

Vitamins should be taken in the right doses

Now vitamins should be taken, but in the right doses. Getting the right amount of vitamins is vital for good health, but an overdose is harmful. It is best to follow the Recommended Dietary Allowances or food guides for the four food groups to find out how many are right for you.

Someone with a balanced diet may not need to take supplementary vitamins. However, someone with an unbalanced diet or chronic illness is likely to benefit. The need for vitamins however may increase during pregnancy. Consult with a doctor before taking any vitamins if you are in one of these conditions. Certain vitamins could constitute a health risk.

Busy lifestyle is a factor in increased usage of vitamins

The question is not whether taking a daily multivitamin is a safe daily regimen boils down to whether an individual can get all of the required vitamins and minerals from their diet.

With today's hectic lifestyle it becomes very difficult to plan, prepare, and serve a nutritionally well-balanced diet. With people spending more time at work, or shuttling the kids to sporting and other extracurricular activities, eating out has become a standard practice for most individuals and families. Eating fast food, or over-sized portions from the local diner, leaves a lot to be desired from a nutritional point of view. These foods are often prepared with artery clogging cheap oils, saturated fats, and nutritionally deficient ingredients. When was the last time that you felt you ate a well-balanced meal at a local fast food restaurant?

Another trend is that many people skimp on meals, or miss them altogether, because their busy schedules take precedent over supplying their bodies with needed nutrition, including vitamins and minerals. Such people feel that popping a vitamin pill will counter the deficiencies in their diet.

So, in answer to the question "Are vitamin supplements gaining popularity the answer is a definite YES. Both children and adults in large numbers are benefiting from taking vitamin and mineral supplements on a regular basis.