The best supplements for fall and winter
Fall is here, and winter is right around the corner. With the change in seasons comes less sunlight, harsher weather, and flu/cold season. That means it's time to switch up your vitamin and supplement regimen. Here are eight supplements you need during fall and wintertime:
1. Vitamin D3
Vitamin D is a crucial supplement for the fall and winter. Why? Because it's primarily obtained through exposure to direct sunlight. But because daylight hours become shortened in fall and winter, it's vital that you take vitamin D3 supplements. This nutrient is essential for bone strength, helps your body absorb calcium better, and increases feel-good hormones in your brain. Make sure you take vitamin D3 instead of vitamin D2 — D3 is derived from a natural source, whereas D2 is synthetic.
Elderberry, also known as Sambucus, is a berry native to North America and Europe. Since elderberries are rich in antioxidants, they can help boost your immune system, which will protect you against colds and flu.
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant, protecting against free radical damage, chemicals, and pollutants. While vitamin C is naturally found in foods such as berries, citrus, kiwis, and pineapple, you can supplement it to ensure your body gets enough of it. Vitamin C will help to protect you against viruses that might be going around during fall and winter.
4. Vitamin E oil
Skin tends to become dry and flaky during the fall and winter months. Vitamin E oil, when applied topically, promotes healthy skin. It's also an antioxidant, protecting skin from free radical damage.
Zinc is an essential fall and wintertime mineral. It helps support proper immune function and eye health. What's more, zinc protects your body from free radical damage. Zinc has the bonus of shortening the severity and duration of colds.
Echinacea is a herbal supplement that can boost your immune system during cold and flu season. Studies have shown that echinacea can reduce your chances of catching a cold by up to 50 percent. It can also shorten colds by 24-to-36 hours.
Garlic has been used for centuries as both a food and medicine. It contains potent compounds that help the immune system fight viruses. When eaten regularly, garlic can reduce your chances of becoming sick in the first place. If you're already ill, garlic can reduce the duration and severity of your symptoms.
8. St. John's Wort
Millions of Americans suffer from seasonal affective disorder each winter, which is caused by a lack of daylight. St. John's wort is an herbal treatment that can help alleviate depressive symptoms. Before starting St. Jon's wort, consult with your doctor, especially if you're taking medications, since it may interfere with them.
Protect your health this fall and winter
During the fall and winter months, the days grow shorter, and cold/flu season starts, which can negatively affect your mental and physical health. Protect yourself from viruses and increase your well-being by taking vital supplements.
- "5 Must-Have Winter Supplements," Vitacost, March 29, 2017.
- "Natural Cold and Flu Remedies," WebMD, n.d.
- "The Best Supplements to Prevent and Treat Cold and Flu," Common Sense Home, January 10, 2018.