Top 5 Vitamins and Supplements to Stay Healthy Next Winter

Want to get your immune system ready for the upcoming winter months? The following list of top 5 vitamins and supplements should help you stay healthy and prepared to ward off seasonal infections much more effectively.

However, before you get yourself started on vitamin supplementation, remember that vitamins should be taken at precise dosages that differ from person to person, and that some supplements may interfere with certain types of drugs. Therefore, make sure to consult your healthcare provider before you start supplementing.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D

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Although the body creates vitamin D naturally by way of sun exposure, this is usually insufficient to fulfill the body’s daily vitamin D needs, especially during non-summer months. Many factors, such as decreased sun exposure, darker skin, and the use of sunscreen impair the body’s capacity to convert sunlight to vitamin D. 

However, vitamin D is absolutely essential for maintaining good bone integrity, neuromuscular function, a normal inflammatory response, muscle strength, calcium absorption, and — above all — a healthy immune system. 

In addition, optimal vitamin D levels have long been known to contribute to fewer injuries in sports and lowered risk of upper respiratory tract infections, and they are also needed for the regulation of good hair growth. Therefore, vitamin D supplementation is key to strengthening your immune response ahead of the winter season.

Magnesium

Magnesium

According to nutritionist Adam Kemp, magnesium is one of the most vital nutrients for a strong immune system. Individuals who frequently consume high-processed foods, suffer from blood sugar abnormalities, drink a lot of alcohol, or are vitamin D deficient, are at a higher risk of magnesium deficiency as well. 

Low magnesium levels have also been associated with irregular heartbeats and blood pressure, muscular cramps, and even irritability, anxiety, and depression. Luckily, there are many ways you can increase your daily magnesium intake through supplements and magnesium mineralized water, and you are sure to see many health improvements once your magnesium levels are in check.

Zinc

Zinc

Zinc is a nutrient found throughout the human body, and one that has been found to greatly contribute to the functioning of our immune system and metabolism. Zinc is also essential for wound healing, but also your sense of taste and smell — something that’s become increasingly relevant in the pandemic era.

Our bodies usually get enough zinc from a varied diet. Zinc-rich foods include chicken, red meat, and fortified breakfast cereals. A lack of zinc can result in a weaker immune response since it is required for immune cell activity and cell communication.

Zinc supplements boost immune cells and minimize oxidative stress; they also minimize the risk of infection and boost our bodies’ immunological response, making it an essential nutrient for people of all ages.

Probiotics

Probiotics

Contrary to popular belief, probiotics are not solely used when suffering from acute stomach issues — they are actually crucial supplements for maintaining gut health in general. Indeed, given that they are made up of millions of helpful microorganisms, probiotics are known to help with the correct functioning of the gut. The gut also includes pathogens and harmful bacteria that can impair gut function and cause sickness and disease, so maintaining a healthy mix of good and bad bacteria in the gut is extremely important for your overall health. 

Even if we eat a healthy diet and supplement with vitamins and minerals, bacterial imbalances in the gut can cause nutritional deficiencies. Hence, probiotic supplementation promotes healthy immunological function, inflammatory reduction, and even good brain health.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a core component of many multivitamin supplements, and most people are already aware of its numerous health benefits. However, given that our bodies cannot produce vitamin C on their own, it must be obtained from food and supplements.

Vitamin C is required for the growth and repair of tissue throughout the body, as it can contribute to the healing of wounds and the repair and maintenance of bones, teeth, skin, and cartilage. Vitamin C, as an antioxidant, combats free radicals in the body, which may help prevent or delay certain cancers and heart disease, as well as promote healthy aging.

Though it may not prevent a cold, there is some evidence that high doses of vitamin C may shorten the duration of cold symptoms, making it absolutely essential during the cold winter months.

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