Well, allbeauties, winter is coming! And whilst there’s many positives about the Winter season (hello jumpers, hot chocolate and Christmas!), temperature drops and seasonal transitions can wreak havoc on our health and wellbeing at the best of times, let alone when there’s a global pandemic.
Luckily, we are built to be adaptable – but regardless, winter can bring on a number of changes to your health. Think cold and flu season, think chapped skin, dehydration, allergies, migraines and low mood. And new for 2020 – mask-ne. Even if you aren’t usually susceptible, exposure to cold snaps in conjunction with more time spent indoors with central heating can have negative effects on our bodies, leaving us more prone to illness.
So what can we do to combat the Winter blues? As well as keeping our nutrition in check and getting fresh air on a regular basis, (even if the weather isn’t exactly beckoning you outside!), there are a number of vitamin and mineral supplements that you can take to help support your immune system.
Without further ado, we present you our guide to the winter vitamins and supplements that can give you the boost you need to balance the effects of winter on your body. We’ve sought out trusted advice from some of our brand favourites. Step in Solgar and Nature’s Bounty!
About the Brands
Solgar represents the gold standard when it comes to quality vitamins and supplements, with over 70 years experience in creating the finest nutritional supplements in small batches.
Nature’s Bounty’s dedication to quality, consistency, and scientific research has resulted in vitamins and nutritional supplements of unrivalled excellence.
See the Top 5 supplement types below, along with our recommendations on the products to shop from each brand.
Vitamin C – Introducing Ester-C
Vitamin C is a vitamin found in many foods. Consuming adequate amounts of vitamin C is important as humans rely on dietary sources – we can’t make our own. Vitamin C is found in high amounts in both the epidermis (outer layer) and dermis (middle layer) of skin, but as we age, the levels of vitamin C in skin tends to decline. Vitamin C is essential for tissue reparation, cell protection and maintaining healthy skin as well as collagen production. If vitamin C levels are low, the body is not able to make collagen. Collagen has many important functions within the body – such as aiding with skin structure and bone strength.
Oranges and citrus fruits are a good source of vitamin C. An easy way to get an additional boost is through capsule supplements, or for a bit of tropical fun, chewable gummies.
Shop Nature’s Bounty Vitamin C with Rose Hips
Shop Nature’s Bounty Chewable Gummies with Vitamin C
If you’re looking for something a bit different, Solgar’s Ester-C tablets can also be considered when looking for a Vitamin C supplement. Ester C is a non-acidic and highly absorbable form of vitamin C combined with fruit extracts and bioflavonoids. They provide advanced, active immune and cardiovascular support. Ester-C® Plus offers a gentler, more easily digested form of vitamin C which is pH neutral and non-acidic.
Shop Solgar Ester-C Plus Vitamin C Tablets
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is required to promote calcium absorption. Obtained from the sunlight or vitamin D rich foods, if you feel as if you are lacking in vitamin D, then you are not alone – over a billion people worldwide have very low levels of vitamin D. In addition to changing your diet and lifestyle, taking a vitamin D supplement is a good way to top up, especially in winter months.
It contributes to:
• the maintenance of normal teeth, bones and muscle function
• the normal function of the immune system and growth and development of bones in children
• the normal function of the immune system and inflammation response
• normal absorption of calcium and phosphorus
Solgar offers Vitamin D capsules and chewable tablets as supplement options.
Shop Solgar Vitamin D3 Chewable Tablets
Shop Solgar Vitamin D3 Capsules
Zinc is a key nutrient – it contributes to a healthy immune system and has properties that are useful for skin and beauty, vision and cognitive health. Zinc is especially useful for skin.
Zinc levels in the epidermis (outer layer of skin) are higher than in the dermis (the thickest layer of skin). This is because zinc is needed to produce and differentiate keratinocytes. Keratinocytes make up 95% of skin cells and produce keratin – the key structure which makes up your hair and nails. Keratin also gives skin its flexibility and strength.
Did you know that lines or white spots on fingernails often indicate a common sign of zinc deficiency? Our bodies don’t store zinc so we have to get it from food. If you’re vegan, vegetarian or don’t eat much red meat, you may be deficient.
Shop Nature’s Bounty Maximum Strength Zinc 25mg
Shop Solgar Zinc Picolinate 22mg
Iron is a key mineral and essential nutrient, required by the body for many different biological functions. We should be able to achieve healthy levels of iron by consuming a normal healthy diet consisting of foods such as red meat, pulses, nuts, eggs, grains and leafy vegetables. However, there are times when we may need some additional support. Getting enough iron has been shown to reduce tiredness and fatigue and support healthy energy levels. Iron also helps carry oxygen around the body to our active cells and tissues. In this way, iron contributes to normal cognitive function, normal energy-levels and supports a healthy immune system.
Unfortunately, Iron can be quite harsh on the intestinal system. Gentle Iron contains iron in bisglycinate form. This form is easy to absorb and gentle on the stomach.
The benefits of Gentle iron are that it is :
• A highly absorbable unique form of iron
• Useful for those with a restricted diet such as Vegans and Vegetarians
• Gentle on the stomach / ideal for sensitive stomachs
• Reduces constipation effects (a common effect of standard iron supplements!)
• Vegan, Vegetarian, Kosher, Halal and Gluten Free
• No Artificial Colours or Flavours
• No Dairy, Lactose, Soy, Wheat or Yeast
Shop Solgar Minerals Gentle Iron
Omega 3 – Discovering the Surprising Source of Full Spectrum Omega
Good fats, also known as Omega-3 fatty acids, are essential fatty acids. They are referred to as essential as the body is not able to make them on its own. Omega-3 fat types consist of the following:
• ALA (alpha linoleic acid)
• DHA (Docosahexanoic acid)
• EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid)
There are different types of Omega acids and Omega Fats. Omega-6 is another type of saturated healthy fat (found in food such as corn or soybeans) which is needed for a healthy immune system, however take-away and convenience foods may contribute to an imbalance between Omega-6 and Omega-3 in the body. This means we tend to have much higher levels of Omega- 6 in our bodies, compared to Omega- 3. To rectify this imbalance, there are a few options one can consider and they are relatively easy to implement and tasty too.
Which leads us to on to our next point…
One of the ways to incorporate Omega 3 into your diet is to eat more oily fish. Oily fish is a good source of Omega-3. In fact, the NHS recommends consuming at least two portions (140 grams each) of fish a week, including one portion of oily fish. Oily fish include salmon, mackerel, sardines, trout and herring.
For those who do not enjoy eating fish (it’s not for everyone!) Omega-3 fish oil supplements are available.
Solgar Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil
Our top pick is the Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil from Solgar. Sustainably caught and harvested from the cold waters of Alaska, wild salmon is one of the richest sources of important omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA.
These soft gels provide the full spectrum of omega fatty acids, helping you to increase your intake of good fats for a healthy heart. This product also includes Vitamin D3 to support your immune system and bone health, as well as Astaxanthin, an antioxidant.
So there you have it – our guide to the vitamins and supplements you can easily incorporate into your diet and daily routine in advance of those cold and unpredictable Winter months. Remember to seek advice before trying a new vitamin or supplement. Stay warm and stay safe!