Your Guide to Vitamins in the Fall: What Should You Really Take?

Here are eight vitamins and supplements that can help keep you going as the temperature dips.  

Vitamin D3
Vitamin D is critical to keeping your immune system in shape through flu and cold season. Your body also needs it to regulate energy levels, keep your heart healthy and develop stronger bones.

Unlike other vitamins, Vitamin D is produced in the body when it’s exposed to adequate, direct sunlight, so deficiency is very common during the cold weather months. Though you can get Vitamin D from certain foods, like butter, egg yolk, milk and sprouted seeds, this will only provide about 10% of your necessary intake. Research suggests the best form to take is Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) because it is the closest the natural form of vitamin D that your body makes from sunlight. Most D3 supplements are made from the fat of lambs’ wool.

Garlic is a great immunity booster. The best way to get it into your system—and knock out a cold or virus fast—is to eat it raw, but your breath will pay the price. Try taking a garlic pill or capsule instead; they’re available in the vitamin aisle.

If you get cold hands and feet when the temperature dips even slightly, taking an omega-3 supplement could help. Because your hands and feet are further away from your heart, they’re the last place that blood gets pumped. According to some studies, omega-3 fatty acid supplements provide an instant boost to circulation and help to warm up your fingers and toes.

As the holiday season approaches, life can get more stressful. To prevent panic and feelings of anxiety, take a chamomile supplement regularly. Some compounds in chamomile bind to the same brain receptors and act like Valium. Chamomile supplements typically contain 1.2% apigenin, which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and dried chamomile flowers.

If you’ve got old knee or elbow injuries that flare up when the temperature drops, the amino acid glucosamine can improve the health of the cartilage in your joints. It also reduces some back pain.

Fish oil
Fish oil provides a boost to your cardiovascular system and supports healthy joint mobility and bone density. It also helps improve energy levels, which can really drag as daylight becomes scarce. Fish oil also helps you maintain healthy blood sugar levels and supports your sexual and hormonal health.

This autumn, trust your gut. Probiotics are essential for digestive health. Having a healthy digestive system means having plenty of healthy bacteria to synthesize vitamins, eliminate toxins and help digest food absorb nutrients. And that is critical for the health of your immune system. With regular probiotic intake, you can indulge in all the pumpkin-flavored treats you desire.

Riboflavin and Vitamin C
Tired of dry itchy cold weather skin? These two vitamins have been proven to reduce skin and lip dryness, improved skin elasticity and even promote thicker, stronger skin.

Daria Meoli is a writer living in New Jersey. She loves running, spinning and yoga, but her favorite workout is chasing her kids.