As seasons change, so do the necessities of your body. Talking about winter; the climate is colder, days are shorter, and your body stays at work longer than required to keep your system healthy. There is less sunshine, more cases of flu, and increased exhaustion from demanding schedules as a new year starts. However, there are numerous reasons to love winter, including playing in the snow, drinking unlimited cups of tea, and enjoying the holidays with loved ones, it also accompanies a couple of downsides.
Less exposure to sunlight, cold temperature, less time spent outside, weather beaten dry skin are some of the reasons to not like the winters. So as to stay healthy in mind, body, and spirit during the winter months, and particularly if you are occupied and working hard, you will need to optimize your diet and even supplement your nutrition with some essential vitamins and minerals. We have aggregated a list of nutrients that can be beneficial to your health in winters. Let’s have a look:
Vitamin D: Your body produces Vitamin D when your skin is exposed to daylight, which can be somewhat problematic during the winter when the days are shorter and it’s too cold to spend a lot of time outside. Taking a vitamin D supplement has lots of health benefits like healthy bones and improved resistance against certain diseases. It can also help you with battling the winter blues. Nonetheless, there aren’t numerous foods that contain vitamin D.
Fish, dairy and mushrooms do, however, in such small quantities that it tends to be difficult to meet your daily requirement from just eating these foods. The recommended amount needed has changed over the years and getting somewhere in the range of 600 and 2,000 IU is adequate.
Good Sources of Vitamin D:
- Fatty Fish (Tuna, Mackerel, Salmon)
- Orange Juice
- Soy milk
Vitamin C: Colds, flus, sinus; the list of illness continues endlessly during winter months. Also, it appears that when one individual becomes ill, it spreads like wildfire to everybody around them. Vitamin C is broadly known to boost the immune system. The important thing to think about Vitamin C is that it can’t be synthesized by the body so it must be consumed through diet or supplementation.
Vitamin C is crucial for protein digestion, which is involved in making antibodies to protect against sickness. It stimulates the creation of collagen to construct connective tissues and also works as an antioxidant. Not only that, it also regenerates different antioxidants in the body. As Vitamin C is important in many bodily processes, turning out to be insufficient affects those fundamental elements of the body.
During winter when your body needs additional help, you need to ensure you are consuming a lot of Vitamin C. Fortunately, Vitamin C is found in many foods!
Good Sources of Vitamin C:
- Sprouting Broccoli
- Red/Green/Yellow Pepper
Iron: This nutrient is essential for DNA synthesis and oxygen transport all through the body. It’s required for many cellular functions and is a tricky mineral since it’s recycled. Iron once absorbed, is transported, stored, and utilized as needed. It is important not to consume a lot of iron since iron toxicity is injurious to the body. Iron is also significant during winters since it transports oxygen through your cells and keeps your energy up.
This is particularly significant since individuals for the most part don’t work out as regularly in the winter months compared to the rest of the year. When physical activity is diminished, less oxygen is transferred to your cells. Iron is helpful on the grounds that diminished iron leads to fatigue and low energy. Since iron is stored in the body, there is a balance between iron uptake and iron loss to keep levels stable. Iron requirements differ incredibly based on the person.
Nonetheless, eating foods on a daily basis that contain iron will enable your body to maintain balanced levels. More iron as food or supplementation is required if you suffer from anemia or if you are a female who is menstruating.
Good Sources of Iron:
- Dried Apricot
Protein: When the cold sets in and the night becomes darker, we immediately take shelter in our homes and tuck into seasonal snacks. Stews and stodgier suppers are certainly top of the mind during this season and this, unfortunately, can influence our waistline as we binge on sugary drinks and carb-heavy foods. That is the reason it can help to include more lean sources of protein in our diets.
In addition to the fact that protein helps your muscles and joints, it also helps to maintain a healthy immune and nervous system. That is not all however, it can make you feel fuller for more time, controlling those cravings and keeping your blood sugar levels balanced. Obviously, by protein we don’t mean eat more turkey or down a protein shake. You can find protein in a range of different foods, from green leafy vegetables like spinach to pulses like lentils or even soy-based items like tofu or soy milk.
Good sources of Protein:
Omega 3: This nutrient has truly developed in the public consciousness in recent years, with now being aware of how it can profit cognitive function and memory, but did you also realize that omega 3 helps to support your skin, eyes and sleep patterns as well? Unfortunately, you are certainly not the only one, our consumption of omega 3 is much less. Some portion of this is essentially because of seasonal changes – oily fish, a significant source of omega-3, aren’t as easily accessible during winter.
This consumption of omega-3 can have various repercussions – your skin, which is vulnerable during winter, needs omega-3 to remain solid and hydrated. It’s also believed that omega-3 could be linked to SAD, with studies showing that omega-3 could be helpful when it comes to easing low mood and depression symptoms. If you are looking to increase your intake of omega-3 during winter, you can generally go to plant-based sources, for example, chia seeds or flax seeds.
Good Sources of Omega 3:
- Fatty Fish (Salmon, Tuna, Anchovies)
- Vegetable Oil
- Flax seeds
- Leafy Vegetables
- Summing Up
Vitamins and minerals are essential supplements to overall health and well–being, throughout the winter as well as all year. With regards to maintaining a healthy immune system, remaining warm and battling the winter blues, supplements can help. It’s also important to remember there are no magic pills, and that goes for Vitamins too. Eating a healthy diet should give you the Vitamins you need, and supplements should do only that.
Talk to your doctor about any inadequacies you might be encountering and find out what dosage is right for you.