Tuesday, January 25th 2022, 5:00 am - Incorporating these nutritional supplements into your diet can help you reach your health and wellness goals.
Health continues to be an important focus for many Canadians as we embrace the new year and the resolutions that come with it.
To start the new year out right, maybe you’ve committed to eating healthier foods or getting outside to stretch the legs more often.
While both resolutions are great, have you ever considered using vitamins and supplements to help you reach your health and wellness goals?
For this week's edition of Health and Weather Extended, our friends at Rexall are introducing key vitamins that can help Canadians lead healthier lives, including what vitamins are essential during the cold winter months.
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“With the new year, we have many new plans and want to make a move on a healthy lifestyle,” said Sylvie Druteika, Rexall Pharmacy Practice lead. “Vitamins are an important part of our diets and sometimes we just don't quite get enough from the foods we eat or the routines that we have. So they can help supplement and just keep us on that good, healthy path.”
Vitamins are essential for boosting your body's immune system — keeping energy levels up and improving your overall health and wellness in general. So what vitamins should you be on the lookout for, for that extra boost?
Druteika says a lot can depend on where you live and the temperatures you encounter.
(Stock photo/Getty Images)
“In general, we want to think about how our diet is and some of the elements we may not be getting enough of, typically, in Canada, vitamin D is very important because we get those colder temperatures and it is a bit harder to get outside and get it from the natural sunshine.”
Druteika also recommends Canadians take vitamin B supplements, naturally found in fresh leafy vegetables and colorful fruits.
“Depending where we live, we may not be able to get vegetables and fruits in the freshest state or we have busy routines where we're not able to prepare those as much as we would like to. Vitamin D and vitamin B would be some of the two most common that people tend to come looking for or would require supplementation on,” explained Druteika.
According to Health Canada, the major sources of vitamin D are fortified foods. In Canada, cow's milk and margarine must be fortified with vitamin D but the only natural sources of vitamin D in the Canadian food supply are fatty fish and egg yolks.
Here are 5 vitamins to help kickstart your health according to Health Canada:
- Vitamin D is a nutrient that helps the body use calcium and phosphorous to build and maintain strong bones and teeth
- Vitamin B complex keeps energy levels up, promotes cell health and can help keep the skin feeling nice and hydrated
- Vitamin C can reduce severity of colds, a great help during the cold and flu season here in Canada
- Iron supplements produce proteins to make hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from your lungs to all parts of the body
- While vitamin E from dietary sources is needed to maintain good health, people often take vitamin E supplements in the belief that they may prevent disease
While vitamins are a great source of energy, starting your day feeling refreshed all depends on a good night's sleep.
"Keep in mind that we want to make sure to do the best we can to have those relaxation techniques and that wind down [period] before bed so we can ease into it. The B vitamin can also help with that,” said Druteika.
Along with rest, don’t forget to keep the body hydrated. Drinking plenty of water allows vitamins and supplements to be properly absorbed into the body and flushing it out when necessary, advised Druteika.
If you’re ready to incorporate vitamins into your new health routine, it's never a bad idea to check with a pharmacist first.
“Of course, we have lots of different brands on the shelf at Rexall…so we make sure we're looking at the fine print to know exactly what amounts were getting in the supplement, and again, referring to your pharmacist to make sure we can advise you in the right direction,” added Druteika.
Over the counter vitamins cannot be used as a total replacement for what vitamins your body needs, but supplements can certainly support you on your health and wellness journey, especially during the cold Canadian winters.