top of page

Vitamins, Minerals And Supplements – Do I Need To Spend A Fortune On Them In Winter?

The short answer is no, you do not need to spend lots of money on supplements this winter. The only thing you do not get enough of in winter, which you probably get plenty of in summer, is vitamin D. If your diet is balanced, and contains plenty of different fruits and vegetables, protein sources, and sources of calcium and iron throughout the year, then you should be covered otherwise. This is with exception of course to people who have been diagnosed with low iron (iron deficiency anaemia), low calcium, or low vitamin B12, for various different reasons. If you think you may be deficient in something, because of diet or because of how you have been feeling, then you should have a blood test done with your GP, as there can be a number of different reasons for feeling run down/exhausted. Make sure to get your bloods done as soon as possible, and not to take supplements before you do – as this may mask an issue, which may then go undiagnosed.


Vitamin D

As you may already know, we need sunlight to be able to produce vitamin D in our bodies, and in winter time, with shorter days, being inside all day, and not a whole lot of sunshine besides that, anyone more than 30 degrees north or south of the. equator. Most likely suffers from vitamin D deficiency in the winter months. For that reason, in the UK and Ireland (and most likely in many other countries also), it is recommended to take a vitamin D supplement from October through to March. The dosage recommended is 10 micrograms once daily, and this equates to 400 International Units (IU).

This is the supplement I am taking at present:



Probiotics

From September onwards, as the kids go back to school, and viruses and bacteria spread like wildfire, our immune systems are put under immense pressure. There is some evidence to suggest that taking a probiotic (which contains healthy bacteria for our gut, which in turn strengthens our immune system) could help boost your immune system. The evidence mostly supports taking them to help with gut problems, such as IBS, or to take them alongside antibiotics, to minimise the occurrence of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea (a side effect of taking antibiotics). Taking probiotics will not do you any harm, just if you are going to spend a lot of money on them, I would only do so if you are feeling run down, have gut problems (such as IBS), or are taking/have taken a course of antibiotics. The probiotic I have highlighted below is excellent, and can even be taken by women who are pregnant/breastfeeding and by adults and children aged 5 and up.





The best things you can do for your immune system this winter is make sure you...


• Get 6-8 hours sleep every night

• Maintain regular exercise

• Consume a healthy, balanced diet, consisting of ‘raw’ foods, like fruits and vegetables

• Don't smoke/quit smoking.

• Maintain a healthy weight.

• If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.

• Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently and cooking meats thoroughly.

• Try to minimise stress.


I hope this short article helps you decide what to prioritise in terms of boosting your immune system this winter, and that if you are going to spend money on supplements, it should be on thsoe that will actually make a difference in your life this winter, and that you may actually be lacking in (like vitamin D from lack of sunlight). The rest of your vitamins and minerals should be obtained from a healthy balanced diet.


If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact me on social media or by email, and share with me the supplements you take in winter... I would be super interested to know what you guys prioritise! xx


Lauren



16 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page