WINNIPEG, MB. - It can be easy to slip from our healthy routines during the winter months. But in this time of high stress and chilly weather, it's important to make sure we're getting the nutrients our body needs to stay in tip-top shape.
To do this, consider these three essential supplements to take in the winter recommended by the Canadian Health Food Association.
Vitamin D. Known as the “sunshine vitamin,” vitamin D plays an important role in our bone, muscle and immune health. Our bodies are able to produce vitamin D, but this is harder in the winter. From October to April, the sun's rays in Canada are too weak to help us produce adequate levels of vitamin D, which is where supplementation comes in. Health Canada recommends children and adults from nine to 70 years old supplement with 600 IU of vitamin D per day, but this may vary. Check with your health care practitioner to see how much is recommended for you.
Zinc. Once the temperature dips, we put up our defences against the cold and flu, and keeping our immune system strong can begin with zinc. This mineral is essential for healthy white blood cell function (these cells protect you from foreign invaders) and is one of the most relied-upon supplements in the winter. Studies show that even after someone contracts the common cold, zinc can help to reduce the duration and severity of symptoms.
Probiotics. Eating foods that you don't typically eat can cause indigestion, and probiotics are one way to counter this proactively. Supplementing with probiotics helps to make sure your digestive system is able to handle these new foods. As a bonus, some strains can help to prime your immune system to defend against the cold and flu. The best way to know exactly how much and what strains of probiotics you're getting is to supplement.
Check out your local CHFA Member health food store to find all these supplements and more. When purchasing supplements, always look for the eight-digit Natural Product Number (NPN). This certifies that Health Canada has reviewed and approved the product for safety, efficacy and quality.
newscanada.com for the Manitoba Post