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Do we need supplements?


Avoid deficiency with a multivitamin tablet

As Dr Arasu says, "Ideally we would get all our nutrients from a health balanced diet but getting nutrients from food is not  always easy as they appear in low levels in highly processed foods."

Supplements can help us plug some of the gaps left by seasonal indulgence.

"It is by far the best approach to try to get all your nutrients from food, but if you are falling short then supplements may be necessary.

"Vitamins A,C,E, and selenium, B Complex vitamins, Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids and coenzyme Q10  are some of the most important." Says Dr Arasu,

"Avoid deficiency with a multivitamin tablet a day but don’t go overboard and overdose which is potentially harmful and certainly unhelpful."

Watts and Butler both agree that getting enough vitamin C is a must, especially during the winter months.

"Have a daily 1000mg vitamin C" says Watts, "It is not always possible to get the levels of this essential nutrient that we need, especially if our fruit and veg are travelling long distances before reaching the shops.

"We use up more in the face of stress and pollution and may find ourselves more prone to infection when levels are low. It is natural to pick up viruses like colds and flu in the winter but we should be able to get over them quickly, which is where vitamin C may come in."

"Many people feel better energy, mood and blood sugar balance – including less sugar cravings – when they take extra B vitamins, zinc, magnesium, vitamin C that gets used up quickly by stress and also help our bodies cope with it." Says Butler,

"Vegetarians in particular may see low levels and should also consider extra iodine, iron and B12. The modern diet is low in omega 3 oils which have shown to help mood, weight control and heart disease prevention."

Though Butler agrees that diet ought to be enough she recommends supplements to "safeguard any shortfalls".

"As winter approaches and infections are rife, individuals may benefit from increasing their intake of nutrients including vitamins A and C, zinc and probiotics to naturally support immune defences."

Vitamin D

Butler says "Scientists have discovered that vitamin D is crucial to activating immune defences."

"The majority of vitamin D is produced through the skin’s exposure to sunlight, however getting enough sunlight during the winter months is almost impossible." She warns. 

"During this darker time of year, it is often worth supplementing the sunshine with vitamin D whilst also increasing dietary sources such as oily fish and eggs."


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