Want to give your immune system a helping hand? We’ve got the perfect additions to your winter wellbeing routine
We all know that eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise helps keep us fit and well, but during winter months especially, we sometimes need a little extra help to keep our immune system balanced and happy. Here are the most vital vitamins for this time of year.
Come autumn, the sun is usually a rare sight in the UK – that’s why many GPs recommend taking a vitamin D supplement. “It is now widely accepted that there is a link between vitamin D deficiency and poor immunity,” says Keeley Berry, nutritional expert and new product development executive at Better You Ltd (betteryou.com), “with Danish scientists discovering that vitamin D is crucial in activating the body’s immune defences. Without it, the cells of the immune system will not be able to react and fight off serious infections in the body.” Try BetterYou’s DLux 3000 Vitamin D Oral Spray provides fast and effective immune support, in a spray. £8.45 available from Boots, Holland & Barrett, Amazon, all good health stores, pharmacies and betteryou.com
There’s a reason why we instinctively fill our fruit bowl with oranges at this time of year, they’re jam-packed with this vital nutrient. Aimee Benbow, Director of Nutrition at Viridian Nutrition, says: “Vitamin C is crucial for the normal function of the immune system and is required for the normal operation of many structures in the body including bones, teeth and gums. It also supports skin by contributing to normal collagen formation.” Try Viridian’s Extra C 950mg – a high-potency form of vitamin C, delivering enhanced absorption. From £11.35 for 30 capsules, viridiannutrition.com
Vitamin B6 is a critical nutrient for our immune system during winter, even more so as we age. “Amongst other things, B6 acts as a helper for enzymes that play a role in stopping bacteria and viruses dead in their tracks,” says Lola Biggs, dietician at Togetherhealth.co.uk. “It’s also good to note that the body needs B6 in order to absorb vitamin B12 and to make red and white blood cells key components of our immune system.” Opt for a good quality B complex supplement such The Together Health B Complex with Bioflavonoids, £8.49, togerherhealth.co.uk
“B12, like the other B vitamins, play an essential role in brain health and energy production,” says Kathryn Francis, general manager at VitOrtho. “Low B12 levels are linked to anaemia, and if iron is low and you are feeling especially fatigued, it’s worth checking your B12 levels. Vitamins B12, B6 and folic acid are involved with metabolising a compound called ‘homocysteine’ which is associated with memory loss and brain function in general.” Try Vitortho’s Now B12, £13.20 for 100 lozenges, sironasupplements.co.uk
Curcumin, the main active compound in the wonder spice turmeric, is a powerful natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. “By reducing inflammation in the body, curcumin can help relieve symptoms of conditions including eczema, joint pain and gut issues and can support muscle recovery,” says Sophie Nazareth, Founder of Your Bodhi. Try Your Bodhi’s Natural Turmeric Curcumin, £23.95 for 60 capsules, yourbodhi.co.uk
Maintaining a healthy balance of good gut bacteria is key to immune health and probiotic supplements can help with this. Try ProVen Probiotics brand new Urgent-C Everyday Immune Support, £14.95 from provenprobiotics.co.uk
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