Keeping on top of your wellness during the colder months can feel so much harder when you haven’t got a good dose of summer sunshine to boost your motivation. Here are a few of Metropol’s tips for fighting off the winter wellness woes so you’re ready to face the chilly season feeling your best.
It’s important that you’re getting a regular dose of essential vitamins and supplements in your system to combat the cold and lack of sunshine in the upcoming months. Vitamin C and Zinc can super boost your immune system as well as strengthen your skin, hair, and nails. Vitamin B can lift your mood and energy levels, and vitamin D helps make up for the lack of sun which is always beneficial during the cold and dry seasons.
Winter can cause havoc to your skin like nothing else but boosting your hydration levels can help combat dry or affected skin. As well as making sure you’re getting your daily water intake, you can also give your skincare routine a hydration boost by treating yourself to a more nourishing moisturiser or an overnight facemask to help distressed skin.
Saying goodbye to summer is a little less bitter and a little bit sweeter when you think about all the autumn and winter fruits and vegetables that you can welcome into your kitchen and pantry. Slow-roasted vegetables, hearty soups and preserved fruits are the perfect way to keep on top of the winter wellness game and can be something to look forward to on dark and chilly nights. Add spices like turmeric and ginger to boost nourishment and flavour!
With common symptoms like fatigue, headaches and muscle pain – it can be easy to live unaware of vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Unichem Cashel Head Pharmacist Annabel Turley tells Metropol how treating these issues can be simple – but greatly improve quality of life.
What is a vitamin and mineral deficiency, and how do they happen?
“It is when you’re not getting enough nutrients like vitamins and minerals from your diet, or you’re taking medications that deplete the vitamins and minerals in your body. There’s a number of common medications which many people in New Zealand take which can prevent vitamins and minerals being absorbed into the body. Our soil also doesn’t have a lot of minerals in it, so we don’t always get enough from our food. A lot of people don’t understand a vitamin and mineral deficiency can affect your overall health – and it can be so simple to fix.”
Can you tell if you are deficient?
“The symptoms are similar to a number of common complaints, like migraines, headaches, muscle pain and cramps, and low energy levels – so it can be hard for the untrained eye to determine what may be behind these common issues. You can get a blood test to see your iron levels or B12, but a lot of vitamin and mineral deficiencies can be treated via the symptoms. Our staff are all trained specifically to spot these symptoms, and to provide appropriate and informed advice.”
How can these issues be treated?
“It can be as simple as taking a multi-vitamin for some people who may be having general signs of vitamin or mineral deficiency – but not all vitamin supplements are created equally. It is best to seek advice from someone who has been trained and upskilled to not only spot symptoms, but to advise on the specific type of supplement.
“For example, not all supplements can easily be absorbed by the body so there are different forms which are better for different conditions and to be used with different medications.”
Find Unichem Pharmacy at 111 Cashel Street from Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm, and Saturday and Sunday 10am to 5pm.
To really harness the most of summer, we need the energy to play, socialise, and relish those long, hot, heady summer days. Apart from our glorious, energy-giving natural sunshine, we look at five of the best ways to supplement our natural vigour.
Vitamin D Yes, we used to think this came in buckets in summertime, but as we are all lathering on the suntan lotion and seeking the cool shade, we don’t get as much as we think in Aotearoa. Proximity to the equator is also a factor. Functioning as a hormone, every cell in the body has a receptor for it. Even a mild vitamin D deficiency, which is very common, can cause fatigue and tiredness.
Support your muscles Supplements to support muscles while enjoying summer sports and activities can help stave off fatigue and injury – summer is no fun with sore hamstrings. Vitality NZ’s product ‘Muscle Performance’ harnesses active ingredients such as anthocyanins in blackcurrants to aid muscle recovery. Also, protein powders to help build and repair muscles have come along way, with organic and plant-based powders an option.
Vitamin C Vitamin C is essential all year round, but in summer it can help the body manage heat so there is more energy to keep going on long, hot days. It can also help ward off heatstroke and rashes, especially the prickly heat type. Energy-zapping summer colds are easy to catch too, so keep up the vitamin C, which our body needs regularly and consistently.
Vitamin B A good B-complex supplement taken daily can certainly amp up the energy levels. Also, a handy summer tip: Thiamine, vitamin B1 – which is usually in a decent dosage (50 to 100mg) in B-vitamin supplements – can be a deterrent for those pesky, biting insects if taken at least 10 days before and during exposure.
Hormonal help Menopausal symptoms, PMS and fluctuating hormones sure can cramp your style during summer holiday season. A good supplement, recommended by a health practitioner, to keep hormones in check can work in synergy with a healthy lifestyle. Vitality NZ harnesses blackcurrant oil in their Women’s Health formula, one which helps fluctuating hormones, as well as boosts summer skin, hair and nails.