When shoppers visit the medicine aisle at their local supermarket they are met with a vast array of vitamins and mineral supplements ranging from those that are for specific ailments or conditions or those that are for general health and wellbeing. Distinct health food stores have an even wider range of products for the health-conscious shopper to select from so what are the benefits of incorporating vitamin and mineral supplements into our diet?

One of the most important things to realise is that these products are called supplements for a reason and that is that they should be taken in addition to having a well-balanced, nutritious diet containing plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and as little processed food as possible. Some scientists maintain that if our diet is good then we do not need these supplements, but unfortunately modern farming methods and food production has in some cases reduced the amount of nutrients that were found naturally in our foods. It must be said on the other hand that some vitamins are added to common foodstuffs to increase the amount of minerals and vitamins available to us such as fortified cereals and bread and calcium enriched dairy produce.

Vitamins taken regularly after an illness along with a healthy diet may help to support the body in its recovery and as such are a useful way to boost the body’s natural defences.