The start of the year can be a low point for many people health-wise; coughs and colds are more prevalent, and the NHS has reported a rise in cases of Norovirus, which is up around 80% from last year!
Why you need them
Food supplements can help to keep you healthy during the darker months, and a good multivitamin is a simple way to start. The body needs a complex range of vitamins and minerals to enjoy good health, and most of us don’t get the nutrition we need from our food. Whilst it is recommended to eat at least five portions of fruit or vegetables each day (some countries even recommend nine!), reports have shown that most of us don’t even eat half this amount. Most processed foods taste delicious but are very low in nutritious vitamins and minerals, so a daily supplement can help to keep your body healthy and happy.
Vitamin C has long been known to help the immune system, and this is particularly true during the winter months. Tiredness can be a problem for many people in January and February, and you might find that taking vitamin C actually improves your energy as well as protects you from coughs and colds. If your body has extra help in the fight against infection, it can offer more energy for other activities.
Coenzyme Q10 and B vitamins
Coenzyme Q10 and B vitamins are great for energy, so if you struggle to get up in the mornings or find it hard to stay awake in meetings, do consider buying a good vitamin B complex to take with your breakfast. There are a range of different B vitamins, so a ‘complex’ will include everything you need. Coenzyme Q10 is present in the body naturally, and is responsible for the generation of energy in the muscles. Taking this as a supplement can replenish your natural reserves, so it’s another good morning routine to get into.
Vitamin D, also known as “sunshine vitamin”, is essential for your health. A number of recent studies have found that vitamin D is among protectors against colds, flu, tuberculosis, heart disease as well as cancer and diabetes. Remember that the level of this vitamin in foods is very low so taking supplements is vital, especially during the colder months of the year when you may not get enough direct sunlight. However, you shouldn’t decide on the amount of vitamin D to take daily so consult your GP for optimal result.
Omega 3 fatty acids
Omega 3 fatty acids are believed to be essential fatty acids for the body to work properly. They are also helpful during pregnancy as well as for battling heart disease, depression, asthma, diabetes, arthritis, etc. As these acids are not produced by the body, people have to get them from their diets. Try eating fatty fish such as sardines, salmon, tuna, etc. You may also need a supplement like fish oil capsules or algae oil if you don’t eat fish at least two times a week.
L-theanine is an effective stress and anxiety reliever as well as a powerful remedy against insomnia. This amino acid is also contained in green tee, which is traditionally used to keep calm. Additionally to relieving both mental and physical stress, L-theanine helps achieve deep relaxation and tranquillity without drowsiness. Specialists advise taking the supplement 30 minutes before going to bed for quality sleep.
Lutein and zeaxanthin
As your intake of fruits and vegetables in winter is most likely low you may need additional lutein and zeaxanthin supplementation. Apart from that, smoking and regular alcohol consumption also indicate a need for foods rich in lutein and zeaxanthin. These carotenoids are powerful antioxidants and eye health protectors.
Start taking any supplements gradually; introduce them to your diet one at a time and build up slowly to assess their effects. If you are taking any other medication, be sure to seek advice from your doctor first.