The 7 best supplements to help put that spring back in your step.
6 min read
We all need a bit of a break! This winter seems to be going on forever. What with lockdowns, homeschooling, working from home and braving the Beast From The East II, it’s been pretty relentless.
If your stress levels are through the roof, your skin routine’s gone out the window along with your healthy eating and drinking habits, and you generally feel like you’ve had enough, you’re not alone!
But look, without wanting to get all Pollyannish on you, there really is light at the end of the tunnel. Fingers crossed we’ll see lockdown easing soon, and we might even get the kids back to school. The days are getting longer, the sun is getting warmer, and before we know it, we’ll be watching daffodils dancing in the breeze.
Springtime is just around the corner, bringing with it the mental and physical boost we all so desperately need. But if you’re finding it tough right now, and even the crocuses aren’t doing it for you, here’s a quick guide to finding the best supplements to start taking now to help you out of your lockdown slumber and get you ready to take on the world once spring has sprung.
I know, you know you need to take a Vitamin D supplement in the winter, especially a winter mainly spent indoors, but now the days are getting longer, and there’s more natural light, you might be wondering if you still need to take one.
It’s true; now you’re getting a little more sun, your body will start making vitamin D itself, but, there are a few reasons why taking a supplement is still a good idea.
First, we can’t rely on sunny weather, especially here in the UK. For your body to make its own vitamin D, you need to expose your skin to sunlight of just the right strength, for just the right length of time. Our unpredictable weather means neither of these can be depended on, even during spring and summer, so a supplemental source can help you maintain good health.
And even if the sun does shine, it’s not always a great idea to spend long periods in strong sunlight, especially if you’ve got fair skin. The sun’s intense ultraviolet radiation can quickly have a damaging effect on your skin, which could more than undo the benefits of Vitamin D synthesis.
So, be careful about how long you spend in the sun when it actually comes out and, to make sure you get the optimum amount of Vitamin D, think about taking a supplement even during brighter months.
The one vitamin most likely to help put that spring back in your step is Vitamin C. This superpowered treasure is a natural antioxidant that can strengthen your body’s natural defences and protect your cells from harmful free radicals. This, in turn, helps you avoid oxidative stress and enables you to fight inflammation.¹
Not only is Vitamin C an antioxidant, but it’s also a natural antihistamine,² which is particularly helpful in Spring when the misery of hayfever can temper our enthusiasm for spending time outside. Vitamin C can also boost respiratory function, and sinus health,³ which is also great for hayfever suffers, as well as the rest of us just needing to boost our defences against springtime snuffles.
But there’s more! Vitamin C also enhances your skin’s collagen production and helps protect it from sun damage.⁴ So, as we spend more time outside, it’s a great idea to have had a good boost of Vitamin C, either in supplement form or by eating plenty of foods like broccoli, brussel sprouts, peppers, potatoes, berries and citrus fruit including oranges and orange juice.
Vitamin E is another powerful antioxidant that may help reduce free radical damage and slow your cell’s ageing process. It can also help keep your skin and eyes healthy, as well as your muscles and your bones.⁵
Not only that, Vitamin E helps with your red blood cell formation and helps you keep your Vitamin A and Vitamin K levels in check. There’s even evidence to show that Vitamin E acts as a painkiller and can relieve inflamed joints.⁶
So if you’re looking for a bit of a springtime sparkle, a boost of Vitamin E might be just what you need. Make sure you find yourself a great quality supplement and eat plenty of spinach, sunflower seeds, almonds, pumpkin and avocados, and oily fish and lean meat.
Vitamin A could be another secret weapon to add to your arsenal to help you get out of your over-winter slump. Also known as retinol, Vitamin A helps strengthen your body's immune system and enables you to keep your skin healthy.⁷
There are some great supplements bursting with premium quality Vitamin A (retinol), but you can also boost your levels, by making sure you include plenty of these foods in your diet:
- oily fish
- milk and yoghurt
- liver and liver products such as liver pâté (eaten in moderation)
You can also get vitamin A by including good sources of beta-carotene in your diet, as the body can convert this into retinol. Foods with good beta-carotene levels include yellow, red vegetables such as spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes and red peppers, and green leafy vegetables. Fruits that are rich in beta-carotene include mangoes, papayas and apricots.
Although zinc is a trace element, which means your body only needs tiny amounts of it, zinc plays an essential role in keeping your body functioning correctly.
Zinc helps to keep your immune system healthy, and it supports healthy cell division and the formation of DNA and proteins. Zinc also has a role in keeping your metabolism in sync as it helps produce thyroid hormones.⁸
So, zinc is another excellent immune support booster, which we all need at the end of a tough winter, but importantly, it’s also an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent making it a great supplement for boosting your springtime health.⁹ We use 15mg of Zinc citrate in our Immune Support and Beauty Glow vitamins as it’s one of the best absorbed forms of Zinc.
Yes, stinging nettles! You might have heard that stinging nettles are great for your urinary tract, but did you know clinical studies have shown that stinging nettles can help support your respiratory function and sinus health,¹⁰ which is great for springtime hayfever sufferers.
There are lots of great teas, including our health tea, that contain premium quality stinging nettles to help support your respiratory function this spring.
If you’re looking for a bit of a springtime boost, and I imagine you are if you’ve read this far, you can’t go wrong with adding a beta glucan supplement to your springtime health regime.
Beta glucan is a form of soluble dietary fibre linked to improving cholesterol levels,¹¹ controlling blood sugar levels, and boosting heart health. Beta glucan can also help with constipation and helps you maintain healthy gut bacteria,¹² which is great after a sedentary winter spent indoors! Not only that, research shows that beta-glucan can help stimulate your immune and respiratory systems.
You can find Beta glucan in whole grains, oats, oat bran, wheat, and barley as well as baker’s yeast and some types of fungi, such as maitake and reishi mushrooms. Some great supplements contain premium quality beta-glucan too, like ours, which contain a special yeast called sacchraromyces cervisiae.
Here’s to a healthy, happy spring!
So there you have it, a quick guide to the best supplements to help you feel a bit healthier and happier, and put that spring back into your step after a pretty miserable winter. And, if you’re a hayfever sufferer, you’ll have some great natural ways to help manage the misery.
But before you go, if you’re thinking about trying our supplements this spring, we’d love you to get to know us a bit better and find out a bit more about the premium quality ethics we’re so proud of. Because what else would you trust to put in your body?