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19th Sep 2015

Her Check-Up: The Vitamins You Need To Take This Autumn

The vitamins and minerals you need to take this winter...


With the onslaught of Autumn colds and flu season just around the corner it can be hard to ward off infections and runny noses.

We all know the importance of taking extra supplements and keeping your health under wraps, but with so many bottles to choose from, knowing which vitamins help what can be a headache.

We pull out the essential winter vitamins to keep you fighting fit through to spring:


This is the real meaning of flower power! Echinacea purpurea is a powerful antioxidant that works to support the body’s defense system. Echinacea is widely used to fight infections and other upper respiratory infections. Take Echinacea at the first signs of a cold developing to ward off symptoms.

Echinacea is also used against many other infections including the flu, urinary tract infections, vaginal yeast infections, gum disease and tonsillitis.


Vitamin C

It can surprise some people to learn that Vitamin C doesn’t prevent colds and flu, but it can reduce the length and severity of symptoms. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant, protecting the body against disease including heart disease and cancer. Stock up on fresh citrus fruits like oranges, kiwi fruit, strawberries and cranberries for an added boost. Green vegetables and potatoes also contain high levels of this vitamin.

Snack: Lemons And Limes Calories: 20 per fruit Citrus fruits are loaded with vitamin C and are a great source of fibre. Add a splash of lemon or lime juice to recipes for a punchy flavour without any added fat, calories or cholesterol.

Vitamin D

We get most of our vitamins from our food and drink, but much of our supply of vitamin D comes from our exposure to sunlight. During winter, not only do we see less sunshine, but when we do venture outside, our skin is covered up thanks to low temperatures. For ths reason, look to include some added sources of vitamin D to your diet. Good sources include dairy products, oily fish such as salmon or sardines, margarine and eggs. Cod liver oil is another easy way of stocking up on vitamin D in your diet.

Dairy You do need calcium in your diet (an easy way to get it is from dairy products like milk and cheese), but for the lactose intolerant, dairy can cause diarrhoea, gas and abdominal bloating and cramps.


Iron is an essential mineral for the formation of red blood cells which carries oxygen around the body. A good intake of iron is necessary for energy and intellectual performance. A lack of iron leads to anaemia – where the body is unable to transport oxygen around the body causing lethargy and listlessness. Women should also be careful to replace the iron lost during their menstrual cycle, as this can lead to weakness and tiredness.

The best source of this mineral can be found in red meat, although if you are vegetarian lesser strengths can be found in cereal products, bread, flour, eggs, beans, lentils and dried fruit. It is recommended that iron is taken with Vitamin C to aid its absorption into the blood stream.

Myth: Red Meat Is Bad For You Too much of anything is bad for you. If you are eating the right amount of red meat it can be good for you. If you’re worried about your intake of saturated fat, go for lean cuts of meat like sirloin. Red meat is an excellent source of protein, which keeps you full for longer.

Vitamin A

As well as aiding the repairing and growth of tissues, Vitamin A helps in the strengthening of the immune system and maintaining good eyesight. Luckily, it is easy to include Vitmain A in your diet, with main food sources including: milk, fortified margarines, egg yolks, liver, fatty fish (herrings, tuna, and sardines), carrots, tomatoes, green leafy vegetables, mango and apricot.

Eggs They're packed with protein, for building collagen and elastin. They also contain lecithin which helps keep your skin smooth.