Since roofs of our houses are covered with snow, and a thermometer is showing negative numbers, it is only natural that most of us spend more time inside (thanks to the lockdown now we have to). In winter, we often allow ourselves to forget about healthy eating and regular physical activity. As a result, we can face weight gain, experience the feelings of low energy and worst of all, increase strain on your immune system and risk of catching a cold.
Sustaining a well-balanced diet and daily exercise regimen can be challenging; however, supplementing can be a great method to give your body an extra boost and ensure you make it through this harsh winter. Here are the top eight supplements that are essential, especially in the winter season.
If your body is low in this vitamin, it won’t be able to fight germs as effectively as usual, so it is crucial to provide an adequate intake of vitamin C in winter!
Vitamin C is a crucial nutrient and potent antioxidant, which can protect your body against free radical damage, chemicals and pollutants that might harm cells of the body. It also offers anti-viral properties and is known to aid in decreasing viral infections and improving your natural defence system.
Vitamin C is easy to receive through the diet of nutrient-rich foods such as citrus fruits, berries, pineapple, kiwi and strawberries, bell peppers, broccoli and leafy greens. But you can also intake vitamin C in a variety of forms, from convenient capsules to delicious chewable tablets.
In wintertime, our body’s cannot produce enough vitamin D due to the lack of sunlight exposure. For this reason, it might be beneficial to take vitamin D during the winter months.
Vitamin D is important to us for a number of reasons. It not only helps to maintain strong and healthy bones, but also strengthens the immune system and, therefore, helps to protect us from infections.
You can get your daily vitamin D requirements from supplements or consuming foods such as eggs, mushrooms, dairy products and fish like salmon, tuna and sardines.
B vitamins are a group of 8 water-soluble vitamins that are known as B-complex vitamins and sometimes referred to as “anti-stress vitamins” as they are essential to combat the effects of stress. They can create the ‘feel-good’ neurotransmitters in the body that are responsible for calming the brain and promoting a positive mood and critical to the health of the nervous system. They can also speed up cellular renewal, strengthen your immune system and protect the body from disease.
You can find B-vitamins in different supplements and in foods like eggs, milk, cheese, liver, kidney, chicken, red meat, spinach, kale and fish like mackerel, tuna and salmon.
CBD oil is a popular supplement these days that is used for many mental and physical diseases. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-intoxicating and non-addictive compound obtained from the cannabis plants. While it is commonly used to relieve stress and pain or promote more restful sleep, CBD also has potential benefits for your immune system.
CBD is able to interact with various receptors of the endogenous endocannabinoid system to support all vital functions like sleep, pain, immune response, memory, stress, etc. As a result, you can experience a more calmed state, focused mind or increased energy levels as well as boost your immune system. CBD oil is also a great source of vitamins like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, B-complex vitamins, minerals like iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium as well as essential fatty acids, fibre and protein.
You can find CBD in various concentrations and formats such as CBD capsules, tinctures, edibles and many others. However, make sure to consult with a licensed physician before taking CBD products and purchase only the best CBD oil from reliable sources.
For people over 65 who are more prone to bone injuries and hip fractures, calcium is an essential supplement for good bone health, which is particularly vital in winter. But calcium is also needed to maintain a healthy heart, nerve function and normal blood clotting.
You can purchase calcium in a supplement form or consume foods such as bread, almonds, orange juice, dairy products and leafy green vegetables like spinach, curly kale and okra.
Echinacea is a commonly used herbal supplement that also deserves a place in your wellness regimen this winter. Echinacea is believed to increase the number of white blood cells, which contribute to a healthy immune system in the body. You can take echinacea in tea, tablets or capsules form.
Magnesium plays a pivotal role in the body, including regulating blood pressure, maintaining muscle and nerve function and supporting the immune system. One the other hand, a magnesium deficiency might lead to fatigue, weakness, nausea, vomiting and even a loss of appetite.
You can find magnesium supplements or include various food in your diet such as dark green vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains and legumes.
Our gut includes a rich soup of beneficial bacteria that play a role in the proper digestion of food. However, sometimes these bacterial colonies can become unbalanced, which usually result in dysbiosis.
Probiotics are live microorganisms that are useful for the body and help to improve its gut flora and relieve problems of diarrhoea. They aid in replenishing the gut with ‘good bacteria’ and boost immunity and digestive health. And since our immunity and digestive health are connected, probiotic supplements might be beneficial to take in the cold and flu season.
Probiotics are available in a supplement form or in foods such as kefir, yoghurt, kombucha, pickles, sauerkraut, sourdough bread and some cheeses.
Zinc is an essential mineral that supports proper organ function, skin and eye health and regulates appetite, taste and odour. It also helps the natural defence system to fight off viruses and bacteria, which makes it a real must-have supplement during the cold season.
It is known that zinc can reduce both the duration and severity of colds when taking zinc supplements starts within 24 hours of first symptoms arising. It is involved in the production of antibodies and can help to prevent viruses from sticking to the cell walls of the nasal passage.
The needed daily intake of zinc is easily achieved through various zinc supplements or maintaining the diet with red meat, poultry, nuts, seeds, whole grains, dairy products and seafood like crab and lobster.