What’s the deal with supplements? Why do we need to take them?
You need to build your resilience
So autumn is here, the pandemic doesn’t appear to be waning, but we have to get on with our lives which quite frankly are not what they used to be and, in my opinion, quite rightly so. In order to build our resilience and support our immune system it’s important we practice good lifestyle choices like healthful eating, get exercise, reduce stress, get adequate sleep etc but that’s not the purpose of this blog
Boost your immune system – Supplement for optimal immune Function
At the recent Vibrant Midlife launch, one of the questions that came up was “What supplements do I take at Midlife”. We know research supports us taking a number of things for hormone balance; evening primrose oil being one of the more popular vitamins recommended.
However, in this article I want to give an overview of the supplements which can help us build our immune system, so we have the defences to protect us against infection as we flow back into our post lockdown lives.
Literature abounds with a number of things to take, but I like to always keep things simple, so we don’t get carried away and go overboard with things. To be honest, most of what we need we should get from our diet, however I am well aware we all lead busy lives and so may not get adequate vitamins and minerals from our meals
Let’s start with an overview of the vitamins you need and why they are important. Multivitamin/Mineral complex: Honestly, this forms the basis for any health support regimen and is good way to cover the basic vitamins and minerals your body needs for day-to-day functions. I highly recommend this should be your starting point – get yourself on a multivitamin supplement and stay on one. Look for a good-quality, broad-spectrum multivitamin and mineral. Here’s a good plant-based option to check out
Vitamin D3: Adequate vitamin D is critical for optimal immune function and this usually cannot be achieved without supplementation especially during the winter months. People with vitamin D deficiency are far more likely to get a cold or flu, while supplementing with vitamin D can reduce colds and flu. It is best to get your levels of vitamin D checked for accurate dosing. Blood levels should be above 30 ng/ml; however, optimal levels are probably closer to 50ng/ml for most. Start with a daily dose of 2,000 IU. Liaise with your doctor or pharmacist to find out where and how to get tested. Vitamin D is also essential for our bone health and calcium absorption which is impacted in midlife due to loss of oestrogen. So another important reason why a Vitamin D supplement is crucial.
Buffered Vitamin C: The role of vitamin C in supporting the immune system is not new information. Take 500-1,000mg throughout the day with meals and snacks. You can get Vitamin C from fruits, many citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, limes & berries. But if you aren’t eating a lot of fruit, then a good dose of Vitamin C will help keep your immune system robust
Zinc citrate: Is a powerful immune supporting nutrient and has become more popular especially over this pandemic period. I tried getting some from a popular chemist here in the UK and was told they are consistently sold out. Luckily though, Holland and Barrett came to the rescue and I got some online; they usually have a sale on, so I suggest you grab yours at a bargain from there now. You can take Zinc as a supplement or eat more foods high in this nutrient, seafood—especially oysters, red meat, and pumpkin seeds are good food sources. I don’t eat a lot of red meat, neither do I eat oysters, however I do love pumpkin seeds and add it to my breakfast; chia pudding with Kefir or sprinkle them on my salads. Its recommended to take 30 mg per day of Zinc
Fish Oil (Arctic Cod Liver Oil): This old-time remedy for good health and robust immunity still stands true! In addition to the good fats, this cod liver oil contains additional vitamins A and D for added immune protection. This has also been shown to support cognition, memory etc
Calcium: It may be difficult to get enough calcium from your diet especially if you’re lactose intolerant, vegan, or just not a fan of dairy products. I for one have definitely reduced my dairy intake as I cant tolerate it so much any longer. I also know calcium is important at this stage of life for healthy bones. Older women are at risk of developing osteoporosis or frail and porous bones that easily fracture so its important we get sufficient calcium. Recommendation is about 1000mg per day, but beware too much calcium can give you constipation, gas and bloating. Calcium containing foods are milk, cheese, yoghurt, kale, spinach, broccoli, calcium fortified breads, cereals etc
There are other fancy products recommended and especially in this period a lot of claims are made about various products. I’d advise, don’t buy into the hype. If we keep things simple and get the basics right, we should be fine. Just starting with a quality multi-vitamin, vitamin D3, vitamin C, zinc, calcium and fish oil is a great start. I take all of these myself. The key is consistency!
So as we get into the ’ember, take some time to review your supplement stash, see if you need to add in any items. I always recommend buying good quality products; as typically you get what you pay for. If you’re busy and can’t get to the shops. Try an online store like http://holland and barrett & shop from the comfort of your own home.
Before you go, please tell us in the comments, if this was useful for you. Also, please share the post with your friends or on your social media handles to help me in the mission to get the healthy lifestyle message out to as many women in midlife as possible
Finally, whatever you do, stay safe & well. Remember “The time for your healthy lifestyle is NOW!”
Love Bukky x