I am very careful when choosing vitamins and supplements due to the cost factor and just reducing them to essentials. There are ones I take all the time and certain ones that are extremely beneficial in the winter months.
So there are a few essentials I use in the winter for sure. And a few extras I suggest but are not my essentials.
It is best you get them from foods but sometimes that isn’t always possible and we need a boost with supplementation. My essentials are ones I do need extra for. But perhaps for you diet is sufficient for them.
The essential Winter Supplaments for me
Most Canadians do not actually get enough vitamin D and certainly not in the winter. Also, my doctor suggested for chronic pain I be on 5000 iu anyway. Not to mention I am at risk for SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) but boosting my vitamin D can actually help me with that which suggests I may not have SAD at all but low vitamin D in the Winter.
So while I take it because it is recommended by my doctor anyway, I certainly take a little more in the Winter. (I never take to 5000 she recommends because it just costs a lot. I take about 2000 in the winter. I think it would be better to take 5000 in the winter but such is life).
Vitamin D is both a nutrient we eat and a hormone our bodies make. It is a fat-soluble vitamin that has long been known to help the body absorb and retain calcium and phosphorus; both are critical for building bone. Also, laboratory studies show that vitamin D can reduce cancer cell growth, help control infections and reduce inflammation. Many of the body’s organs and tissues have receptors for vitamin D, which suggest important roles beyond bone health, and scientists are actively investigating other possible functions.Harvard
Found in foods:
- Fish (Like Salmon, Sardines and tuna)
With chronic illnesses we don’t have the best immune systems in the world and boosting vitamin C during cold and flu season is a good idea. (see study) I have started this for winter and I do hope it gives me a boost since I seem to catch every single little thing. It can reduce the duration of colds and if you add zinc, which also does that, even more of a boost.
Found in foods:
- Leafy greens
- Citrus fruits
- Bell peppers
Like Vitamin D, fish oils are one I take all the time. However, it is another one for a Winter Slump of anxiety, fatigue, decreased energy. And fish oils can help with a good mood balance. I take them for numerous reasons.
Research with clinical trials has long supported omega-3 fatty acids in the treatment of depression. For instance, a systematic review and meta-analysis of 31 observational studies with more than 20,000 cases of depression published in the Journal of Affective Disorders in 2016 supported the claim that dietary omega-3 is associated with a lower risk of depression.Doctors Health Press
Found in foods:
There are many reasons to take a B complex on a regular basis if you are chronically ill (I take them for migraine and other reasons). But B12 (found proteins) is quite useful in the winter due to positively affecting mood and brain functions. Low levels of b-12 are linked to depression and can help with anxiety and even with SAD. Since depression can increase in the winter, along with stress, it can be beneficial to boost this. But overall they help with tiredness and fatigue which can help with the winter slump- and just with chronic illness overall.
Beneficial vitamins to think about for winter
Vitamin E (Or Vitamin E Oil)
I can get Winter itch or dry skin in the winter and vitamin E especially when applied topically can really help reduce dry skin issues for the winter. However, there are a lot of lotions I use that do the same thing so this is on the maybe list.
A large study of nursing home residents in TheJournal of the American Medical Association found it could make a big difference in staying healthy this winter. “We showed that supplementation with 200 IU/day of vitamin E for a year resulted in significant reduction in respiratory infection –particularly upper respiratory infections, including common colds,” says Simin Nikbin Meydani, DVM, PhD, a senior scientist and director of the Nutritional Immunology Lab at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts UniversityWebMd
A deficiency in A can reduce the immune system so it is good to ensure you are getting enough of A in your diet or through supplementation.
This supplement is often mentioned for stress but there is some research to show in people with chronic illnesses it helps with fatigue. In the winter, fatigue can be an extra hard issue to manage so if it is something that is for you this is a good supplement to give a try to boost your energy.