Vitamins to Take During the Spring Season
By Kathleen Nguyen, BAPS, PharmD – Kathleen is a licensed Pharmacist and Principal at BumpVitamins.com.
SPRING IS RIGHT AROUND the corner, which means warmer weather and the peak of pollen season. You should consume enough vitamins and minerals to keep you healthy and able to participate in outdoor activities. The change in seasons can also lead to compromised immune systems. It is vital to protect yourself against viruses, prevent allergies, and maintain your overall health. Here are five vitamins and supplements to consider during this upcoming allergy season to help you achieve all of that and help maintain healthy hair, eyes, bones, and skin:
1.) Vitamin C
Although colds and the flu tend to become less common as the weather gets warmer, catching the resilient viruses typically associated with the winter season is still possible. Vitamin C, commonly found in many fruits, is known to help prevent colds and related symptoms. Research has shown that taking vitamin C daily shortens the duration of colds, but Vitamin C has many other benefits (1). Vitamin C is also a building block for collagen, which helps the body repair damaged tissues and maintain elasticity in the skin. In addition, Vitamin C is also an antioxidant; it protects the skin from harmful ultraviolet light produced from the sun.
Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine and can be used safely to prevent symptoms common during the allergy season, such as runny nose, sneezing, and congestion (2). Vitamin C may also be taken with other antihistamine or anti-allergy medications to enhance the synergistic effects.
Food-based sources for Vitamin C include oranges, grapefruit, pineapples, mango, strawberries, peppers, broccoli, and brussels sprouts.
2.) Vitamin A
Like vitamin C, vitamin A is also an antioxidant that is very important during the spring season. The sun can be very damaging to the skin, making it crucial to consume antioxidants to help protect your skin. Studies also suggest that consumption of vitamin A is associated with a lower risk of skin cancer (3).
Food-based sources for Vitamin A include kale, carrots, broccoli, and spinach.
3.) Vitamin D
Springtime has its days where it may be too warm to spend much time outside. There are also usually plenty of rainy days as well. Lack of skin exposure to natural sunlight can significantly reduce our body’s natural production of Vitamin D. Low vitamin D levels can contribute to several health issues, including weak or easily fractured bones, fatigue, mood changes, hair loss, and a whole host of other disorders. For that reason, it is important to consume extra Vitamin D in our diet, either from our food or from vitamins and supplements.
Vitamin D plays a crucial role in our body and is needed to regulate both calcium and phosphate to build and maintain healthy bones (4). Without vitamin D, our body would not be able to absorb calcium. If you are consuming enough calcium in your body but not enough vitamin D, the calcium would be going to waste because it would not be adequately absorbed.
4.) Vitamin B
After all the winter months of hibernating, once we see the sun come around, most of us feel the overwhelming urge to spend as much time outside as possible. But due to the inactive winter months, we may not have the same energy level we once had—battle fatigue by adding vitamin B to your diet (5).
There are 12 different types of vitamin B, and each one plays an important role in the human body. B vitamins that may help boost your energy include vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, and vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin. Vitamin B6 directly affects the gene transcription, which plays a role in brain glucose regulation. In other words, vitamin B6 may boost your mood, cognitive function, and focus (5).
Like vitamin B6, vitamin B12 may also help regulate your mood and improve your cognitive function. However, vitamin B12 is essential to form red blood cells, DNA and also plays a key factor in the function of our brain cells. In addition, vitamin B12 supports our body by breaking down carbohydrates, fats, and protein and turning them into energy (5). When consuming both energy-boosting vitamins (vitamin B6 and B12), you may feel more focused to complete tasks and develop enough energy to take on the spring activities. Studies have also shown that consumption of vitamin B may also decrease colon cancer and heart disease (6).
Food-based sources for Vitamin B include meat, fish, dairy, eggs, and spinach.
It is crucial to stay healthy and on track by taking a multivitamin to get at least the base levels of all the vitamins and minerals you need. Multivitamins are one of the best ways to ensure that your body meets its basic nutritional needs to stay healthy and function properly. Most multivitamins contain the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of the vitamins and trace minerals deemed “Essential” for healthy body functions. Multivitamins are a safety net for those days where you may not get all of the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs. We all have those days where we can’t eat healthy at every meal, and we have a harder time concentrating or feel more tired throughout the day.
With multivitamins, it’s easy to get all those fundamental vitamins and minerals all in one pill. However, it is also essential to look at the nutrition facts when choosing your multivitamin. The label is a guide that will show you the daily percentage value you are receiving from the multivitamin in a single serving.
Spring back into action by making sure your body isn’t nutrient deficient! After all those months of your body being idle from the winter season, it is important to identify what you may be deficient in before allergy season. At BUMP, we make it easy to discover which vitamins and nutrients you may be lacking.
Pharmacists and health experts worked together to create a personalized quiz to recommend the best supplements based on your lifestyle, medical conditions, and any nutritional needs and desires. Unlike most store-bought vitamins, our supplements go through the same verification process as prescription drugs to ensure quality and safety. Every order is personally verified by a licensed pharmacist and shipped directly to you from a pharmacy… not a warehouse.
You should always consult your doctor before taking any vitamins or supplements. Talk with your doctor, pharmacist, and other healthcare providers about any dietary supplements and medicines you take. They can tell you if those dietary supplements might interact or interfere with your prescription or over-the-counter medicines or if the medicines might interfere with how your body absorbs, uses, or breaks down nutrients.
- Ran, L., et al. (2018). “Extra dose of vitamin c based on a daily supplementation shortens the common cold: A meta-analysis of 9 randomized controlled trials”.BioMed Research International, 1-12.
- Vollbracht, C., et al. (2018). “Intravenous vitamin c in the treatment of allergies: An interim subgroup analysis of a long-term observational study.”Journal of International Medical Research, 46(9), 3640-3655.
- Kim, J., et al. (2019). “Association of Vitamin A intake With Cutaneous squamous cell Carcinoma risk in the United States”.JAMA Dermatology, 155(11), 1260.
- Khazai, N., et al. (2008). “Calcium and vitamin d: Skeletal and extraskeletal health”.Current Rheumatology Reports, 10(2), 110-117.
- Kennedy, D. (2016). “B vitamins and the brain: Mechanisms, Dose and Efficacy—A Review.”Nutrients, 8(2), 68.
- Harvard School of Public Health (accessed December 10, 2020). “B Vitamins.”