Is it better to take vitamins or eat food?

It is often said that, because of our modern, complex lifestyle, that we skip meals and may run short of vitamins.

This may occasionally be true, but the “cure” advocated by many self-styled “health experts”, which consists of the indiscriminate consumption of vitamin tablets is not a logical solution to this problem.

In the first place, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that, in our community, vitamin deficiency, even minor deficiency, exists to the extent that the sales of vitamin preparations would indicate.

Secondly, it is obvious that swallowing vitamin pills is not a satisfactory alternative to eating a well-balanced diet. For a start, a more widespread dietary deficiency in our community, which is fiber (roughage), is almost totally excluded in our “fast food and vitamin pill” way of eating.

It is obvious, then, that eating a well-balanced diet containing plenty of wholegrain cereals, fresh fruit and vegetables would not only taste better but also supply all the vitamins we need and protect us against diseases associated with lack of dietary fiber (such as bowel cancer, diverticulitis, and piles).

Thirdly, by popping Vitamin pills, we don’t change our way of life, with its pressures and worries which cause the ailments and ills that send us rushing to the vitamin bottle for relief and reassurance.

By taking time out to eat a salad roll and a piece of fruit in the middle of the day, instead of grabbing a pie and a bottle of soft drink, we would not only help break up the tensions in our day, but get healthier in the process, and more able to cope.

Finally, it is virtually impossible to over-dose on vitamins by eating properly, whereas eating too many vitamin pills can cause damage to your body. For example, taking large amounts (megadoses) of vitamin C can cause kidney stones, and large doses of vitamin A can cause headaches, nausea, and fragile bones.

In summary, if you’re feeling tired, run-down, and sick of work, don’t just run for the vitamin bottle, but think about having a healthy snack: a simple but effective change of lifestyle.

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