Vitamins and supplements are an important part of a healthy diet, considering most people do not eat enough fruits and vegetables, and are also important in maintaining the health of the body. They are necessary today more than ever because our food contains few nutrients, our environment is more toxic and almost all Americans have nutritional deficiencies as a result of poor or insufficient eating habits.

Vitamins and Supplements can be used to help support even the healthiest of diets. Vitamins can either be bought separately, allowing an individual to custom make a diet supplement plan, tailor to their specific needs, or bought as part of a multi-vitamin formula.

Vitamins and supplements are now recognized in playing a role in the health and vitality of every organ in the body, from skin and bones to the nervous and immune systems, right up to the brain. Studies have shown that being well nourished with vitamins and minerals can lower cholesterol levels, help wounds heal faster, make you more resistant to colds and flu, asthma, cataracts, and even gum disease.

Vitamins and supplements are more popular among athletes. They use supplements as energy boosts that will make them work out longer and harder. They are also very popular, especially for those who have active lifestyles and find it difficult to consume the necessary vitamins and minerals they need from proper meals. Therefore, those with busy lifestyles turn to them to give their bodies what it needs to carry out day to day activities. Or some times people who are more deficient in certain vitamins and minerals need to take extra doses.

Vitamin A, for example, is an antioxidant and as such helps to clean your body of free radicals, which have been shown to be a cause ofcancer. Vitamin A is also necessary for night vision and healthy skin.

Vitamin C reduces the risk of cataracts and increases resistance to ligament and tendon injury, and also protects from x-ray radiation. Vitamin C is necessary for the formation of collagen, a protein that gives structure to bones cartilage, muscles and blood vessels, and contributions to the proper maintenance of capillaries, bones and teeth. Vitamin C promotes the healing of wounds, bone fractures, bruises, hemorrhages and bleeding gums and reduces risk of stomach, cervical, and pancreatic cancer.

Vitamin D increases absorption of calcium, and helps in bone growth and bone integrity. Vitamin D deficiency in childhood can lead to rickets in childhood and softening of the bone and convulsions as an adult. Vitamin D levels have been falling in Americans because they are getting less sun and consuming fewer dairy products.

Vitamin E protects fats and vitamin A in the body from destruction by destructive oxygen fragments.

Vitamin B-Complex helps the body convert carbohydrates to energy, effect in preventing heart disease.

Just a word of caution for mothers to be, vitamins that dissolve in water, such as Vitamin B, Vitamin C and minerals such as iron, calcium, copper and zinc do not accumulate in breast milk and are considered safe. Vitamins that dissolve in fat, such as Vitamins A and E, can accumulate in the mother's milk and cause harm to breastfed babies if taken in excessive amounts.

Always keep in mind, Vitamins and supplements are in no way, shape or form a replacement for a healthy diet. Eating fast food daily is not going to be offset because you are taking vitamins and minerals supplements.

Vitamins and supplements are there for you when you just need that additional boost. You work out a few days a week, you eat as healthy as you can, but you just can not seem to have a rainbow of food every time you sit down at a meal.

I personally purchase all my vitamins and supplements through Puritan's Pride, who are the nation's largest direct-to-consumer vitamin brand, serving over 4 million customers. Puritan's Pride has a solid 40-year history of serving health-conscious consumers with the finest quality supplements, reliable and convenient service and money-saving factory direct prices.

Vitamins and Supplements – A Sure-Fire Way to Maintain Optimal Health! by John J. Foley