From helping the body turn food into fuel to fortifying bones, vitamins and minerals are crucial in keeping our bodies healthy and productive. Here are the supplements you need to make sure you’re getting your daily dose.
Iron and vitamin B12 are essential minerals in fighting exhaustion and anaemia. “A good multivitamin will provide you with extensive vitamin, mineral and trace element supplementation to ensure that your body uses its resources effectively. They assist in supplying what you need daily, as well as neutralising harmful free radicals in the system that affect performance and health,” advises Clicks Pharmacist Waheed Abdurrahman.
For fighting flu and cold infections
Every year virus strains become increasingly virulent and difficult to fight. The airborne virus spreads every time an infected person coughs or sneezes. While there is no cure for colds and flu, some supplements may boost your immune system to help fight off cold and flu symptoms.
“The best immune supplements have real evidence for preventing or shortening colds. They contain trusted immune-supporting ingredients such as echinacea, elderberry and vitamin C that are used to ward off colds and flu, or at least reduce the severity of symptoms,” says Abdurahman. Vitamin C, for instance, acts as an antihistamine and anti-inflammatory to help dry up a runny nose.
For stronger hair, nails and skin
A daily dose of the B vitamin biotin in the summer is great to help prevent hair breakage due to prolonged exposure to salt and chlorine, say the experts. Research shows that regular intake of this vitamin also increases nail thickness by 25 percent, making nails less prone to splits and tears.
Consider supplementing with gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), a fat that helps promote healthy skin, hair and nails and is very hard to come by in the diet. A good source is evening primrose oil; you’ll see results after six to eight weeks.
For improved memory
The best way to keep your mind sharp and memory intact is through reading, doing crossword puzzles, playing musical instruments, exercising regularly and eating a balanced diet. There are, however, vitamins and herbs that can help. “Ginkgo biloba assists in promoting blood circulation in the brain, improving alertness and memory functions,” says Abdurahman.
Whether we like it or not, we all age. But there are supplements that can help us do so gracefully. Our bodies, for instance, need coenzyme 10 (CoQ10) to maintain healthy cell functioning. Because CoQ10 decreases with age, it makes sense to supplement it. In South Africa, 1 in 3 women are at risk of developing osteoporosis, so added calcium is needed to help prevent it. Adding vitamin D and magnesium will help with calcium absorption.
“Comprehensive supplementation for mature individuals, where certain minerals such as calcium for bones and magnesium for muscles are important as they are more poorly consumed or absorbed in mature adults, is advised,” says Abdurahman.
Speak to your Clicks Pharmacist about any questions â¨you have regarding supplementation and contraindications.
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