AS WINTER fast approaches and the cooler weather sets in many people are staying indoors to ward off the chill, promoting the spread of colds and viruses with others in close proximity.
While there are supplements and vitamins which can help overcome winter blues, as BTransformed Bundaberg dietician Kym Connolly warns, these cannot be used as a magic bullet.
"They are only a top-up to a healthy diet and don't provide us with everything we get from foods," she said.
"The thing that most health experts agree on is a diet high in vegetables and fruit is good for you."
Ms Connolly said vitamins and supplements were ideal for the elderly, people on a restricted diet and for those suffering an illness.
"Supplements can really help those particular groups," she said.
Ms Connolly said for those suffering pains and joint aches, which the cold weather can exacerbate, fish oil supplements containing Omega 3 were highly recommended.
"If you are not consuming three serves of fish a week then you're not likely to be getting adequate Omega 3," she said.
Ms Connolly said heavy smokers and drinkers can benefit from supplements.
"Smokers have about double the vitamin C requirements than of the normal population," she said.
"And heavy drinkers are likely to deplete their zinc and folate levels and may need extra supplementation."
Ms Connolly said pregnant women could benefit from extra iron and folate supplements.
Bundaberg Health Foods naturopath Meredyth Pembroke said during the colder seasons, herbs such as olive leaf and echinacea could help beat the common cold.
"They help maintain and strengthen your immune system," she said.
"Chia seeds are one of the emerging super foods that are becoming more popular and are high in Omega 3 as well."
Before taking any vitamins or supplements speak with your doctor.
What they do:
- Vitamin A - good for eyesight
- Vitamin B12 - good for making red blood cells
- Vitamin C - immune defence system
- Vitamin D - good for bones and teeth
- Vitamin E - good for fighting toxins
- Iron -good for red and white blood cells and muscles
- Calcium - good for strong bones and teeth and blood clotting
- Zinc - good for the breakdown of protein and fat