Natural Vitamins or Supplements

Do you need to decide between natural vitamins or supplements?

If you are able to eat a well balanced diet you are indeed fortunate.

If this is not always possible you may need to consider taking additional vitamin supplements.

Some people are lucky in that they can maintain a regular, well balanced diet; unfortunately, others lead such hectic, busy lives that they are unable to do so.

So, in this case supplements become a viable option - a choice between natural vitamins or supplements.

Only you can decide.

Obviously the first option is the best, but then none of us live in a perfect world, so work out which way is the best for you - natural vitamins or supplements.

Whichever course you choose to follow, a varied selection of good foods is essential.

If you scan down this list you will quickly see which are the very good foods and those that are not so good.


It was only in the l930’s that vitamins were first discovered. Now that their value is thoroughly understood they feature in almost every discussion on food and diets.

Read on for the brief low-down on each classification.

The following vitamins should be present in foods that form the basis of a good diet.

Vitamin A is essential for growth, healthy hair, skin, bones, and teeth and for resistance to respiratory infections. This vitamin is found in liver, kidneys, oily fish and dairy products. It is also found as beta-carotene in brightly coloured fruit and vegetables .

Vitamin B6 is essential for energy and to make red blood cells. This vitamin is found in liver, kidneys (again), yeast extract, beef, milk, eggs, wheat bran, wheat germ and molasses.

Vitamin C is probably the best known of all the vitamins being essential for healing wounds, burns and bleeding gums and preventing many viral and bacterial infections. It also helps the body absorb iron.

Good sources of the C vitamin are found in citrus fruits, berries, papaya, nectarines, peaches, dark green vegetables, peppers, potatoes and peas.

If you are a smoker, each cigarette smoked is thought to destroy 25mg. of the vitamin.

Probably more has been written about this one vitamin and any of the others. Many foods contain a supply of Vitamin C, therefore it is not always necessary to decide whether natural vitamins or supplements apply here. Perhaps the answer is to quit smoking.

Vitamin D is vital for the development of strong bones and healthy teeth. It is only found in very few foods such as fish liver oils, oily fish, milk margarine and egg yolks, and probably one of the best sources is direct from the sun which synthesises the oils in the skin. Therefore a walk will serve a double purpose - keeping you fit and topping up your vitamins. Definitely a plus point for the multi-taskers.

Vitamin E is found in vegetable oils, nuts (almonds) and green leafy vegetables and deficiency is very rare in humans. Therefore it may not be necessary to choose between natural vitamins and supplements here.

Much has been written about the beneficial effects of various vitamins in curing many ailments and diseases from the common cold to cancer. Probably the best and least stressful way to proceed is to eat well which takes the very down-to-earth view.

Taking the long and sensible view, it is best just to maintain a healthy diet and life style so that you are hopefully ready for anything that comes your way.

So quite literally whether you eat a healthy diet or whether you choose to take your vitamins by supplement tablets is your choice alone. Natural vitamins or supplements?

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Some of the best nutrients contained in food are:

Fibre This helps to main bowel health, facilitate movement and prevent constipation. found in baked beans, bran cereals, dates, pears and wholemeal bread.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids Will help maintain a healthy heart, immune and nervous system. Contained in oily fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel.

Potassium Regulates blood pressure and ensures cells, nerves and muscles work correctly. Found in potatoes, steak, bananas, almonds and Popeye's spinach.

Magnesium Builds strong bones, releases energy from food and promotes mood regulating brain messengers. Contained in brown rice (a richer taste than plain white), Brazil nuts, prawns and surprisingly, plain chocolate.

Riboflavin (Vitamin B.2.) Helps keep the skin, eyes, hair and nervous system healthy. produces red blood vessels and derives energy from food. Think Wheetabix, eggs, milk, pork and yoghurt.

Zinc A peculiar name but maintains the immune system and skin health. Also produces blood glucose-regulating insulin. Found in lean lamb, crab meat, pumpkin seeds, cheddar cheese and wholemeal bread.

Just keep eating the good stuff - no need to get paranoid about your diet. As long as you take natural vitamins or supplements you should be fine.


In a very recent study by Southampton University the following colourings were named as likely to be the cause of hyper activity in some children.

These are our old adversaries:

E.102 - Tartrazine used in lollies and fizzy drinks,
E.104 - Quinoline yellow a general food colouring,
E.110 Sunset yellow - found in squashes,
E.122 - Carmoisine found in jellies,
E.124 - Ponceau R a general red colouring and
E1129 -Allura red AC an orange/red food dye.

English food manufacturers will endeavour to stop using these colours in their foods by the end of 2009, but no guarantee is given for foods manufactured on the Continent. So parents will still have to remain vigilant.

Tinned strawberries, Battenburg cake and mushy peas are items that are likely to contain some of the above colours until suitable alternatives are found.

Just a thought - does Battenburg cake need to be bright pink and yellow? Why not add cocoa powder instead of pink colouring and have a chocolate and natural coloured sponge? So simple really. Just a case of deciding natural vitamins or supplements to suit your life-style.

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