These vitamins are essential to keep you healthy this winter

These vitamins are essential to keep you healthy this winter

Winter is here, and with it, the colds and flu typically associated with this time of year. While we can catch a cold at any time, it is especially important to guard against seasonal illnesses when the weather is colder.

In order to steel our bodies for the many viruses it may encounter now, it is essential to supplement them with vitamins and minerals that boost the immune system.

Here are a few vitamins to stock up on this winter.

Vitamin C

Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is perhaps the supplement most associated with staying in tip-top health. This water-soluble vitamin isn’t produced by the body, which is why it is crucial to get it from fresh produce like citrus fruits and broccoli. Supplementing the body with vitamin C equips it for fighting illnesses, as this vitamin has strong antiviral and immune-boosting properties.


Vitamins B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), B9 (folate) and B12 (cobalamin) work together to aid cell metabolism, in turn bolstering the body’s defences against seasonal ailments. A vitamin B-complex supplement combines the power of B-vitamins, and is excellent to have on hand when illnesses are doing the rounds.


This essential mineral helps to prevent viruses from getting stuck to the cell walls in our nasal passages, which helps to alleviate the symptoms of colds and flu more quickly. For women, the recommended daily amount of zinc is 8mg, and it is recommended that men take 11mg of zinc every day.

Vitamin D

The sunshine vitamin is paramount for strong bones, as it aids the absorption of calcium in the body. Vitamin D is also associated with immune response, and a shortage could lead to being more susceptible to infections. For this reason, it is recommended that a supplement is taken during colder months, when the amount of vitamin D we receive when the sun’s UVB rays activate our skin tissue to produce it may be lower.   


The gut is often referred to as the body’s “second brain”, and it is very important that this part of our bodies is healthy in order to properly absorb the vitamins and minerals we get from our food. Taking probiotics is the best way to make sure that our gut is healthy, as they replenish good bacteria and gut flora, and strengthen the immune system.

To get your fill of vitamins and supplements, visit Dis-Chem Pharmacy at Hazeldean Square. Dis-Chem is South Africa’s biggest pharmacy chain, and stocks everything you need to stay healthy this winter.

If a bug does catch you off-guard, Intercare Silverlakes, located in shop 37 at Hazeldean Square, offers a wide range of healthcare services under one roof, including doctors, dentists, pathology, radiology, minor surgery, sport medicine and sonars.