Winter is well on its way. The temperature won’t hit double figures. The leaves have fallen and, as if Covid-19 wasn’t enough, it’s now prime time for all those other germs and seasonal microbes to come out and play. With the common cold, seasonal flu and inflammatory disease flare-ups, you might be wondering what vitamins and minerals are essential to fully support a healthy immune system through winter.
We talk about this one a lot because so many people are deficient or teetering on the edge of deficiency. While essential for healthy bone formation, research suggests it may protect us from respiratory tract infections and interact with immune cells to fight certain types of inflammation.
The recommended daily intake is 10-20 micrograms (400 – 800 IU) for adults. It’s pretty hard to reach these levels through diet alone and 90% of the vitamin D our body needs comes from a daily intake of direct sunlight. So, in these weird times when social distancing and staying in are the new norm, make sure you’re getting your daily dose through supplements.
Vitamin C is essential to produce collagen in the body, giving bones, muscle and cartilage their structure. It’s also a powerful anti-oxidant and supports a healthy immune system. Lack of vitamin C has been associated with increased risk of infection.
There’s plenty of vitamin C in citrus fruits and many other fruit and veg. Clementines and oranges are in full season and taste delicious! If you’re not a fan of the citrus family, supplements are always available.
Multivitamins help bridge the nutrition gap and take care of your system in a holistic way. They usually come packed with all the vitamins and many minerals too. There are variations from brand to brand so do check the label first. We work with Cytoplan, a nutritional supplement company, owned by a charitable foundation. They supply us with bio-effective, wholefood vitamins and minerals.
The human intestine is a huge and complex eco-system, full of tiny organisms – good and bad. Probiotics are often thought of as the ‘helpful’ bacteria keeping our gut healthy. Research suggests they regulate gut flora and help protect against overgrowth of harmful bacteria associated with intestinal discomfort. You can find probiotics in supplements or fermented milk products such as certain yoghurts and kefir.
Supplements are a great way to support a healthy immune system, but they’re not a short cut to better health and chronic disease prevention. Reach out to our chiropractors for condition-specific advice. Optimal health and wellness stem from a balanced lifestyle. This includes a nutritious diet and regular exercise to maintain a healthy weight, alongside caring for your nervous system and keeping your spine in check.