The winter months are definitely here, you can feel the cold coming in, the mornings are darker and you may even be getting some snow spells. Many will be going through their closet to find their big coats and beanies and others will be wanting to stay indoors where it is nice and warm. Although bringing out your thick coat and hat is vital for this season, what goes into your body to defend yourself from common winter illnesses is just as important.
Nutrients are so important for the body in many different ways, they help the body run to its full potential and protect you from germs. Most people receive most of their nutrients through their food, but others may have to supplement due to dietary requirements. In this article, we will go through some of the most important vitamins for the winter.
Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins that should be taken in the winter. Our bodies produce vitamin D when our skin is exposed to natural sunlight. This can be an issue in the winter months due to there being less light than usual as well as people wanting to stay in due to it being too cold. This in turn will result in many people getting seasonal affective disorder (SAD). In the winter months, it is recommended to take a vitamin D supplement due to its range of health benefits such as promoting healthy bones, fighting against certain diseases and reducing the effects of SAD. The issue with vitamin D is that it is sparse in foods and only a few certain items contain vitamin D including mushrooms, dairy and fish. These items contain such small amounts that it can be difficult to meet the recommended daily intake and your body can’t store it due to being water-soluble. The recommended amount of vitamin D the body should be intaking is between 600 and 2,000 IU but you should speak to your doctor before starting a course.
Vitamin C is thought to be a magic vitamin that helps you through the seasons and keeps you happy throughout the winter months. Many will stick to this and will expect themselves to be healthy, but unfortunately, this simply is not true. Vitamin C, unfortunately, can’t prevent you from getting the common cold, but it can reduce the severity of your illness. This is due to vitamin C strengthens your immune system and luckily can be found in a vast array of foods. Vitamin C can be found in a variety of foods such as oranges and other citrus fruits, leafy greens, cranberries and peppers. So the saying goes, an apple a day will keep the doctor away, this just isn’t true, it’s an orange that might. Always speak to a health professional if you are going to start vitamin C tablets.
There are a ridiculous amount of people who are iron deficient, this can be extremely serious if not treated due to it creating the protein haemoglobin. Haemoglobin is a protein that carries oxygen to your tissue. Iron can also regulate your body temperature which is especially important when it comes to the winter months and you want to stay as warm as possible. If you are deficient, you will often feel fatigued, have cold hands and feet, have nails that break easily and will also have headaches. If you start to experience these symptoms you should go speak to your doctor as they will be able to do tests and give you a recommended amount of iron supplements to get you back to health. You can also get iron from foods such as beans, lentils, leafy greens, red meat or even a pint of Guinness.
Vitamin E doesn’t sound like it’s at the top of everyone’s list when it comes to inter vitamins, but you will be surprised with the benefits that you will receive if you take it. Even though a vitamin E deficiency is rare, it is essential for your health, especially your skin. We all know that when it’s cold outside, your skin feels dry, itchy and can even go flaky, but if you can get some moisturiser with fortified vitamin E can help your skin to hold water, keep it soft and resilient to the weather and temperature. Vitamin E can also reduce inflammation, redness and reduce the signs of wrinkling. Vitamin E is not a traditional supplement but this doesn’t mean it is less important. Your skin should be respected and you should look after it.