5 of the Best Vitamins to Take in Summer for an Instant Health Boost | Vital Pharmacy Supplies

Boost your health over the sunny season with our pick of the best vitamins to take in summer.

Keeping your body topped with the right vitamins and nutrients is important all-year-round. But there are some supplements that your body craves more of during summer to cope with everything from rising energy levels and allergy symptoms, to dehydrated skin and the sweltering summer heat.

So, to keep your body and your skin in great shape this summer, we asked our pharmacists which vitamins are non-negotiable during the sunny season.

Vitamin A

This restorative vitamin is essential for healthy skin, hair, teeth, nails, vision and a healthy immune system. It also helps skin grow and repair, so we really need it when we expose our skin to the sun. Without it, you’re much more prone to illness and sun damage.

But it’s not just a great immune booster, vitamin A also contains lots of potent antioxidant properties that your body needs to fight off damaging free radicals — molecules produced when your body metabolises (breaks down) food or is exposed to harmful toxins in the environment such as cigarette smoke and UV light (from the sun).

Your body can cope with some free radicals, but when it produces too many it can damage cells, causing illness and premature ageing. This can happen at any time of year, but during the summer, we tend to spend a lot more time in the sun, so the potential for sun damage is much higher. In short, without enough vitamin A you’ll most likely be lumped with a few unwanted wrinkles and risk of developing skin cancer.

You’ll find vitamin A in a lot of plant and animal-based foods like broccoli, carrots, watermelon, peas, eggs, butter, potatoes, kale, kiwifruit, strawberries and yellow peppers, cheese, yogurt, and fish oil, so make sure your diet is rich in these foods during the summer.

You can take additional supplements, too. Here are our pharmacist picks:

Vitamin C

You probably already know that this multi-purpose vitamin is a well-known winter immune booster. But did you also know that vitamin C can help your body to regulate heat and ward off related issues like heat exhaustion and heat rashes? It acts as a natural antihistamine, so it can help to reduce inflammation, swelling, and allergy-related symptoms like hayfever and skin rashes — an actual godsend during summer when, as you know, irritating allergy symptoms are at an all-time high.

It’s also a natural antioxidant, so it not only protects your skin from sun damage in summer, it also stimulates collagen production in the skin, which means less lines and wrinkles and a plumper, more youthful complexion.

Because your body doesn’t store vitamin C naturally, you can either take a daily supplement or eat a diet of vitamin-c-rich foods including citrus fruits, broccoli, berries, leafy greens, peppers, broccoli and tomatoes.

Vitamin D

It might seem odd to take a supplement named “the sunshine vitamin” during the height of summer, but if you’re not getting enough sunlight exposure during the day, your body can quickly become deficient — in fact, it’s one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in the world, even during summer. This is because it’s not easy to get vitamin D from foods — it’s produced in the body mainly through sunlight exposure, so if you’re not getting enough sun, you’re at risk of becoming deficient.

During the winter vitamin D can fall to critical levels, so it’s essential to keep it topped up during the summer to avoid any dramatic drops during the colder, darker months. People who suffer with vitamin D deficiency can experience a number of ailments including weak, brittle bones, depression, weight gain, muscle pain, digestive issues, and a weak immune system.

Try to get at least 10 minutes of sunlight per day, but you can also eat fatty fish like salmon or tuna, as well as beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks to up your daily vitamin D dosage. You can also take a daily supplement to increase your levels too. You should always take calcium alongside vitamin D — the body needs vitamin D in order to absorb calcium.

Vitamin E

Another antioxidant powerhouse that protects your skin from the sun’s damaging rays. Vitamin E comes to the rescue in summer to strengthen the body's natural defence against illness and infection (the immune system), and to rid your skin and body of damaging free radicals and toxins that can lead to illness and premature ageing.

As well as protecting your skin from sun damage — exactly what your skin needs during the hot, dry summer months — vitamin E encourages collagen production to keep your skin looking young, and helps to decrease inflammation caused by sunburn. So your skin will heal much quicker if you accidentally do get a little too much sun.

It’s also been linked to play a role in fighting germs and bacteria, so you can rest assured that your immune system will have all it needs to fight off any inconvenient illnesses that might get in the way this summer.

Vitamin E is found in plant-based oils, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables such as sunflower oil and seeds, almonds, peanuts, pumpkin, red peppers and dark green vegetables like spinach and avocado.

Multivitamins

A great way to ensure that you’re getting ALL of the nutrients you need is by taking a multivitamin. Our pharmacists recommend taking at least one multivitamin per day, alongside a healthy, balanced diet.

If your diet isn’t quite as healthy as you’d like, taking a multivitamin a day will help to fill in any nutritional gaps where your body is lacking. Studies have shown that multivitamins can increase energy levels, improve your mood, keep your skin healthy, reduce stress and anxiety, help digestion, improve short-term memory, support healthy muscle function and boost your immune system to help ward off illness.

Look for a multivitamin that contains a wide spectrum of vitamins and minerals — multivitamins generally contain a mix of vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, vitamin B-12 — so you’ll basically have a combination of some or all of the above to help with every summer health concern.

Here are our top pharmacist picks:

Thompson's Vitamin A 10000IU 150 Capsules
Thompson's Vitamin A 10000IU 150 Capsules

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Ener-C 1000mg Vitamin C Lemon Lime 12 Sachets
Ener-C 1000mg Vitamin C Lemon Lime 12 Sachets

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Swisse Ultiboost Calcium + Vitamin D 90 Tablets
Swisse Ultiboost Calcium + Vitamin D 90 Tablets

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BioCeuticals Vitamin E Capsules 60 Capsules
BioCeuticals Vitamin E Capsules 60 Capsules

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Centrum Advance For Adults 100 Tablets
Centrum Advance For Adults 100 Tablets

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Ethical Nutrients Super Multi Plus Tablets 30 Tablets
Ethical Nutrients Super Multi Plus Tablets 30 Tablets

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Loved our advice on best vitamins for summer? We've got plenty more helpful tips and expert health advice to check out on our Health & Wellness Edit. Can supplements really boost your immune system? Are you suffering from depression or could you have vitamin D deficiency?

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