You’ve probably already made your closets winter ready, packing away sheers and shorts in favour of sweaters and scarves. But remember that as temperatures drop, so do immune systems. Stay ahead of seasonal sniffles by arming yourself with the right supplements and making sure your diet is chock full of the right fruits and veggies. Let’s get your medicine cabinet winter ready with 5 vitamins to take in winter!
The immune system superhero, Vitamin C can help reduce the frequency and severity of coughs and colds. Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant which protects you against harmful free radicals, chemicals, and pollutants, also protecting you against heart disease and cancer. It’s also a key player in the production of collagen in the body, keeping skin elastic and joints supple.
How to take a Vitamin C Supplement
The recommended daily dose is 40mg a day for adults and 25mg a day for children, but the natural health community recommends a higher daily dose for maximum support: 500mg and up for adults. Vitamin C comes in a variety of shapes and sizes: chewables, capsules, powders.
As the winter blahs set in, your energy levels might start to wane. Keep them high with an iron supplement! Iron is necessary for the formation of red blood cells which carry oxygen around the body, meaning it’s pretty necessary for energy and combating lethargy.
How to take an Iron supplement
The recommended daily allowance is 15mg for women, 9mg for men, and 2-9mg for children, and you can find iron in capsule and liquid form at your local health food store.
Ordinarily, Vitamin D is obtained through direct exposure to sunlight. So, you can see why you might need a little boost during the dark days of winter! It gives Vitamin C a hand supporting your immune system, it promotes a positive mood, and it supports bone strength by helping maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorous.
How to take a Vitamin D Supplement
The recommended daily allowance is 600 IU for children and adults, and 800IU for adults over 70. Vitamin D comes in capsules and convenient chewable softgels for little ones. (But it’s good for mom and dad, too!)
This one is a unique one because the supplement goes ON your body rather than in it, but Vitamin E oil is a perfect supplement for wind-burned and dry winter skin. Like Vitamin C, it’s an antioxidant, blocking harmful free radical damage, but it also helps skin retain its natural moisture and suppleness.
How to take Vitamin E
Apply topically to the skin, just like a lotion. Or, mix with other oils like almond or apricot to give your dry winter skin a treat.
Zinc is not just for noses anymore! Taking a zinc supplement in winter can help you cut down colds by up to a day if you take it as soon as you feel the cold coming on. Besides supporting immune function, Zinc supports your eye health and creates superoxide dismutase in the body, which plays a key role in protecting us from free radical damage.
How to take Zinc
Zinc comes in a host of different formats: capsules, tablets, and even lozenges. The RDA for women 19+ is 8mg/day, the RDA for men 14+ is 11mg a day, and the RDA for children is between 3-8mg depending on their age, so double check for your little ones.