In general, health food is food that is supposed to provide health effects for humans that go beyond a normal and healthy diet. This may be whole foods or organic foods but also dietary supplements. More specifically, functional food is described as food that gives an additional function - mostly related to health promotion or disease prevention - by adding specific nutrients such as vitamins or minerals. Herbal medicines are defined as one type of dietary supplements. Mostly, they are sold as tablets, capsules, powders, teas, extracts or dried plants. Just like the categories mentioned above, herbal medicine is used to maintain or improve health.
Countries in Asia Pacific are the largest consumer of functional foods worldwide. In Australia, revenue of the complementary medicine industry amounted to 2.77 billion Australian dollars during 2017, and sports nutrition attracted revenue of one billion Australian dollars in the same year. Additionally, general health supplements had around a seventeen percent market share in 2017.
When it comes to the purchase of vitamin products, Australian women across almost all age groups bought more over an average six-month period during 2018. The preferred vitamin product (by average daily intake) was Vitamin C; Australians consumed 95.8 milligrams of the vitamin every day.