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5 supplements and habits to keep you healthy this winter

Feel your best over the holidays with a proactive approach to keeping colds and flus away
What can you do as part of your routine to fight off colds and flus this winter? A naturopath offers some tips about what to be sure to include, like sleep, movement, and vitamin supplements.

The onset of winter is a difficult time to maintain a consistent health and wellness routine. With new year's resolutions around the corner, many let their health slide in favour of indulgence or lethargy. With indoor parties, events and even dancing in the plan for this holiday season, a proactive approach to health and wellness could save you from spending the festive season on the couch alone, battling sickness. Proactively managing vitamin deficiencies, boosting supplements and maintaining a wellness routine will set you up for a healthy and fun-filled holiday season.

“There is plenty of evidence that select vitamins and herbs can have mild to moderate benefits for reducing symptoms of colds and flus as well as reducing frequency of infections,” says Dr. Bobby Parmar, Naturopathic Doctor, and Loba Wellness Advisor. “When our immune system is confronting a series of viral and bacterial intruders, even simple lifestyle changes can be good medicine.”

To stay well this winter, Parmar recommends integrating more of the following:

Sleep. We start our day armed with what the previous night’s rest provides us as ammunition. The better our sleep, the more resilient our bodies are.

Vitamin D. This is a proven common deficiency. We can’t get enough natural vitamin D in Vancouver.

Inositol. Sometimes referred to as Vitamin B8, inositol influences the body's insulin response and nervous system. This is a great supplement for managing stress.

Fibre. Our microbiome is the basis of our health. Fibre is gut bacteria fuel and the more diversity of fibre we have, the happier the flu-fighting bugs are. Increase those beans and veggies!

Movement. Nothing beats the benefits of physical activity and exercise for overall health and wellness. Try to move your body daily. 

When it comes to supplements, Parmar cautions we can’t rely on them alone. “Supplements are just that, tools that supplement our lifestyle,” he says. “They can only take us so far because they depend on quality, quantity, regularity, the effective ability to absorb them, potency, and efficacy. Lifestyle habits are the foundation of our wellness.”

To stay well this winter we’re advised to sleep, move, eat nutritiously and supplement the vitamins we can’t get naturally. Then do it all again, every day, while also washing your hands of course. If this sounds overwhelming, don’t worry. Holiday time generally means a break from the alarm clock, often there’s a veggie platter at parties, and rocking around the Christmas tree definitely counts as movement.