The winter time is a serious drag on our health and wellbeing. Not only are we prone to illness, but our moods change, our bodies ache and we just generally feel bit meh…
It’s tough trying to keep our health up during this time. And it’s even harder when you’re on a packed commuter train with people breathing, coughing and sneezing around you. If you’re in the UK, you may have already started to realise just how damn cold it is- and it’s starting to put a real downer on my happy festive vibes because I’m finding it hard to walk out my front door.
Most ailments we get over this winter period are just down to poor health maintenance. We tend to drink ourselves warm with alcohol, and consume sugar by the kilo just to keep up our energy levels up. What we should be doing is making sure our essential vitamin levels are up so we have the best chance of staying healthy and flu-free! Here are 6 vitamins you will need this winter.
Vitamin C has major immunity-boosting properties. Contrary to what everyone thinks about needing vitamin C to cure a common cold, you need more than just this vitamin to get rid of that! But you do need plenty Vit C to keep your immune system and immune system functions healthy to give your body the best chance of protection from illness. It is vital to get this vitamin from nutrition or dietary supplements. Many fruits have vitamin C such as oranges, pineapple, apple, kiwi and mango along with vegetables such as spinach and broccoli.
Also crucial for your immune system and immune system functions is Vitamin D. It directly impacts immune cells and a lack of it can affect their overall efficiency. Vitamin D is also important for bone health which is crucial for feeling healthy in movement and as the cold starts to creep in and you start to tense up. As the days get shorter and the nights longer, its difficult to get this vitamin directly from the sun. Fatty fish, egg yolks, many cereals and yoghurt are rich in vitamin D.
Not only is iron important for immune health, it is so important for energy levels. Usually an iron deficiency is closely linked to an increased risk and frequency in infection and also prolonged periods of fatigue, dizziness and headaches. None of which are desirable particularly during this time of the year. Decreased activity due to low iron levels can also lead to an increased susceptibility to illness. Get your iron from supplements or iron-rich foods such as dark chocolate, beef, lentils and spinach.
Omega -3 Fatty Acids
The short days, prolonged darkness, the low temperatures and bouts of illness are enough to send anyone into feeling bit crappy or suffering from worse, seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Omega-3 fatty acids help to boost your mood and improve your mental function, as well as serve your immune system well to fight off that cold. Found in salmon, blueberries, walnuts, leafy greens and kidney beans.
Iron deficiencies can also lead to a depletion in vitamin A. Your body will stay healthy with this vitamin and on top of that will prevent that dull looking, dreary look that we have in the cold months. Vitamin A will put the life back into your skin, the sparkle in your eyes and will keep your bones strong. Carrots, kale, spinach, apricots and mangoes are great sources of vitamin A.
Zinc is so important for cell growth and proper immune function. On top of that, it is important for carbohydrate metabolism which is crucial for energy release helping to keep your energy levels up. Good sources of zinc are coconuts, sesame seeds, cashews and pine nuts.
Keep your vitamins up through a balanced diet and supplements if needed and stay healthy this winter! Keep active and warm and stay illness free with the help of these vital vitamins.