With every changing season comes new health considerations. In the wintertime, it’s equally as important to be concerned with staying warm as it is to staying healthy.
In order to maintain a good bill of health, your body needs adequate nutrients to perform its functions to the best of its ability. Read on to discover the most important nutrients you can give your body during the coldest months of the year.
1. Vitamin D
Because the days are far shorter than they are the rest of the year, your body’s exposure to natural sunlight decreases along with the daylight hours. When your body does see the sun’s rays, it stimulates the production of vitamin D, which helps to strengthen your bones,maintain your teeth, and support your immune function. Organizations such as USANA Canada recommend the addition of a vitamin D supplement to make sure your body receives the daily required amounts of this essential nutrient.
2. Vitamin E
Largely involved in skin health, vitamin E is important to help to combat some of the effects of the dry, cold air that is common in wintertime. You can increase your vitamin E intake through capsules, sublingual drops or pills, but these supplements are not your only options. Many lotions, salves and creams contain vitamin E that can be absorbed through the skin where it needs it the most. These lotions help to deeply moisturize dry skin and help to visibly reduce the appearance of wrinkles, too.
3. Vitamin C
Winter is known as cold and flu season thanks to the increase in virus transmission. The increased number of hours spent indoors means that these pathogens can more easily be transmitted from household to household–especially in high-traffic, public areas. Vitamin C cannot directly prevent the development of colds or flu illnesses, but it helps to maintain the health and immune system you’ve built over the years to provide extra support.
4. Vitamin B
Rather than being a singular vitamin, this group of beneficial nutrients is involved in a variety of processes. Vitamin B supplements, especially those that contain many different types of B variations, can help to enhance your energy levels, regulate your nervous system and support brain function. These vitamins are essential year-round, but they can be particularly helpful during the winter when fatigue and stress levels are elevated.
An iron deficiency is more common in adults than many realize. In the wintertime, this can mean that your body will experience the already cold temperatures as unbearably chilly, as iron plays an important role in regulating your body temperature. As well, iron works to support stable energy levels, so this nutrient is beneficial if you feel regularly fatigued. If you notice that your hands and feet are especially cold, you regularly experience headaches, feel tired frequently or have brittle hair or nails, you may want to speak with your doctor to discuss adding an iron supplement to your daily regimen.
Long associated with its sun protection capabilities, zinc is an important supplement for immune function, which can come in handy for supporting wellness. Zinc also supports eye health, repairs bodily tissues and can help to prevent free radical damage. For best results, take zinc along with a vitamin C supplement to help support a healthy immune system.
7. Folic Acid
Folic acid is simply the man made form of folate, which naturally occurs in several different foods, and a deficiency may be one of the reasons why you feel so down when it gets cold outside. This supplement can help your body and mind to fight off the winter blues, which are common in many adults due to the lack of sunlight. As well, this nutrient supports cardiovascular health and can even ward off diabetes and some forms of cancer.