Between all the gatherings, gift swaps, and go-go-going, your usual well-being routines can all-to-easily fly out the window—which is cool if you’re enjoying the pace of the season, but if you’re feeling the effects of being out of your usual rhythm, there are a few simple, expert-approved ways to support yourself through the celebrations.
“I tell my clients that being prepared is half the battle,” registered dietitian Amy Shapiro, RD says. “So each week I would recommend you to look at your calendar, see what is coming up, and do what you can to easily incorporate or maintain your healthy habits.”
Some of her top recommendations are stocking your freezer with meal-prepped food, prioritizing drinking water, remembering to breathe (funny how we can often forget that one, right?), and taking supplements to give your body some extra support.
“I love to treat supplements as a safety net that can catch you when life might be too busy,” Shapiro says. “Supplements can fill our nutrition gaps and can also support our immune system to prevent us from falling ill during the holiday season from exposure to germs and from exhaustion and stress.”
We asked Shapiro for her top six recommended supplements for this time of year that you can score from iHerb®, the online destination for a top-notch curation of health and wellness products. So while you're online shopping for those gift swaps, don't forget to add a few of these supplements to cart for yourself, too.
Keep scrolling for 6 RD-recommended supplements to keep stocked during the holidays.
Holiday plays. Office parties. White elephants. The list of holiday events on your calendar can seem endless, and it probably tweaks your meal schedule a little. That’s why Shapiro recommends a multivitamin for extra support.
“When your diet has gaps and holes in it, when you are eating more ‘party food’ and fewer balanced regular meals, a multivitamin can help to fill the nutrition gaps you may be experiencing by providing vitamins and minerals you might not be getting,” Shapiro says. “It is your ‘catch-all’ and ensures you do not become deficient when food intake is not as curated as usual.”
If you live in a colder climate where you’re not getting as much sunlight (or if you’ll just be indoors more during the holidays), you might want to add a vitamin D3 supplement to your lineup. Shapiro personally takes these soft gels daily for bone health and immune system support, and they can help you get your fill of the nutrient you mostly get from the sun, Shapiro says.
Holiday cookies are delicious, but not necessarily packed with omega-3 fatty acids. That’s why Shapiro turns to this supplement to ensure she’s getting her daily dose. “[Omegas] also help to decrease inflammation in the body, preventing illness and disease, but [they] also keep my skin healthy during drier months too,” Shapiro says.
The holidays are notorious for, ahem, less-than-stellar digestion. If you’re feeling like yours could use a little extra support, Shapiro recommends a supplement that contains both prebiotics and probiotics. Added bonus? They can also help support your immune system.
“Taking probiotics regularly helps to populate the gut microbiome with healthy and ‘good for you’ bacteria, which can help to boost immunity and fight illness by fighting and crowding out the bad bacteria or germs,” Shapiro says.
Does just thinking about all the presents you have to buy (and then wrap!) make your stress levels rise? There’s a supplement for that, too. Shapiro recommends starting to take ashwagandha—an adaptogen that is linked to reducing stress and promoting sleep when taken regularly—about a month before the holidays so it can begin to build up in your body. (And don’t forget her tip about remembering to breathe!)
Zinc is to your immune system what Cher is to Dionne. Besties forever. “This mineral promotes the growth of immune cells, plays a role in inflammatory response, and regulates our t-cells, which destroy viruses,” Shapiro says. Add this one to your supplement cabinet to give your immune system some extra support this winter, and you’ll score 91 percent of your daily value of zinc in a single dose.
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