Blimey it’s cold out there! Along with the chills Winter takes it toll on the body, affecting your immune system, hair, skin and nails (central heating wreaks havoc on these, making everything feel drier).  Changing up your winter supplements can really help to keep you cold free, boost mental wellbeing and protect your skin and hair from drying out.

1. Vitamin D

vitamin DThis is a bit of a no brainer.  With reduced day light our exposure to the sun is greatly diminished.  Many people become deficient in Vitamin D as the sunlight in Winter is inefficient to stimulate the production of Vitamin D in our skin.

As this essential Vitamin is crucial for our immune systems as well as our mental health and moods (if you suffer for SAD then stocking up is especially important) it’s imperative to replenish sources.  Good dietary sources include oily fish and dairy products, or you can take a spray/supplement.  Look for a dose of at least 5000 iui of active Vitamin D3.

2. Zinc

Zinc supports the liver and as it is an aniti-viral mineral, helps to support the immune system helping to prevent colds.  It’s great at protecting the skin too.

3. Echinacea

A Winter staple in my house, I take herbal tincture at the first sign of a cold to help prevent its onset.  Whilst it has a ‘distinctive’ (read, not very nice) taste, it has antibiotic properties and is thought to boost the number of infection fighting white blood cells.

4. Essential fatty acidsfish oils

Deficiencies of Omega 3 fatty acids have long been linked to depression and more specifically, SAD due to its serotonin boosting properties. As an added benefit  omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil capsules can also benefit your hair, making it shinier and stronger. Omega-3s are a healthy fat, helping to reduce skin dryness that can lead to dandruff or an itchy scalp. My favourite is Eskimo Brain Sharp by Nutri.

5. Garlic

Not only does it ward off Vampires, but garlic is known to ward off colds and in a recent trial the active ingredient in garlic, allicin, was shown to help ward off colds and alleviate flu symptoms.

Garlic can be taken in powdered capsule, oil capsule, liquid extract or fresh cloves.