high Alert
Covid-19: Latest information & service updates
- More info »

Vitamin supplements to maintain a healthy wellbeing

There are some vitamins and minerals that contribute to your body’s immune system and defences more than others. While not proven to directly prevent certain viruses, ensuring you have a sufficient level of these vitamins in your body will help to maintain a healthy wellbeing.

You can absorb an adequate amount of these vitamins and minerals by eating a healthy and balanced diet. But there are some that your body doesn’t naturally produce or can’t absorb as easily. This is why many people take vitamin supplements to maintain the optimum level required for a healthy wellbeing.

You can take these health supplements such as vitamin B12 or vitamin D individually, however, multivitamins provide all the daily dietary supplements you may need in one easy-to-swallow tablets.

In this article, we’ll run through five different kinds of essential vitamins and minerals that contribute to your body’s natural defences and explain how they can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient that contributes to healthy nerves and helps to produce red blood cells and DNA. It also prevents anaemia, which can make you tired and weak. The problem is, your body cannot produce vitamin B12 on its own. The only way to get it into your body is through your diet or taking vitamin B12 supplements.

High volumes of it can be found in a lot of animal products such as beef, chicken, liver, fish, eggs and milk.

If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, good sources of vitamin B12 include fortified cereals, nutritional yeast and fortified non-dairy milks. However, these foods do not contain as much vitamin B12 as that of animal products, so it’s recommended to take a vitamin B12 supplement.

  

Woman leaning on her table 4064171
Photo of woman meditating 3759657  1

Vitamin D

There are different types of vitamin D, including vitamin D3, D2 and D1. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient and regulates the absorption of calcium, which supports the normal development of bones and teeth. Vitamin D also contributes to normal immune system function, which helps to improve our resistance to certain diseases, such as flu.

When directly exposed to sunlight, your body naturally produces vitamin D. However, many people have low vitamin D levels because they either live in a country that has little sunlight throughout the year or they spend a lot of time indoors. While some foods contain vitamin D, the best way to absorb it other than sunlight is by taking vitamin D supplements.

Zinc

Zinc is an essential nutrient that your body can’t produce or store, meaning you need a daily supply through your diet or zinc supplements. Zinc helps your healthy immune system fight off viruses, contributes to cognitive function, wound healing, fertility and growth.

Zinc-rich foods include red meat, shellfish, legumes such as chickpeas and lentils, seeds, nuts, dairy and eggs. In general, most fruits and vegetables aren’t good sources of zinc, so it’s recommended that vegetarians and vegans get their dose through zinc supplements. 

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps to strengthen your body’s natural defence – the immune system and cell function – against infection. It combats the effects of ‘free radicals’ that damage cells in your body and helps you maintain healthy skin and eyes.

It can be found in a variety of foods such as soya, corn, nuts, seeds, cereals as well as vegetables including broccoli and spinach. If you don’t consume many of these foods, it’s recommended to take a vitamin E supplement.

Bowl of spinach 2325843
Assorted sliced fruits in white ceramic bowl 1092730  1

Fibre

Fibre is a type of carbohydrate that helps keep our digestion healthy and also lowers the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. It can be found in many fruits, vegetables, grain and beans, including wholegrain bread, oats, apples, pears, oranges, carrots, sweetcorn, nuts and seeds.

Adults and children in the UK eat less fibre than they should. To get more fibre into your child or teenager’s diet, you can either encourage them to eat more fruit and vegetables or give them a fibre supplement for kids.

You may also like

Beat stress

Feeling frazzled? Take control and improve your life with our guide to beating stress. 

Find out more

Better together

Build bonds with your family by cooking together.

Find out more