The winter chill is in the air and with it comes winter illnesses like the flu, common cold, and more. We tend to get these viruses more in the winter instead of the summer as the heat makes viruses less contagious as it affects their outer membrane. With COVID-19 still posing a threat going into 2021, it’s even more important that we take the extra precautions to stay on top of our health. While regular exercise and sleep combined with a healthy diet is a good start to maintaining your immune system in the winter, supplementation can help give you that extra boost and make up for any areas in your health that you may be lacking in.
You’ve likely heard about how the majority of us are deficient in vitamin D which is why it is even more essential to stock up during winter. Vitamin D is called the sunshine vitamin because our body produces it when exposed to the sun. The same UVB rays that cause us to sunburn are also what allows us to create vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for our bone health but it plays a very important part in maintaining our immune function, as it assists in cell development that helps build our immune system as well as facilitating the absorption of essential minerals. Some research has also shown that it may act in our gut to help reduce inflammation in our body which also reduces the chances of illness. In the winter, the sun isn’t out as long as it is in other seasons and we’re apt to spend more time inside due to the cold which is what makes vitamin D supplementation a must during the colder months.
If your body is low in vitamin C it isn’t as efficient at fighting off viruses and other illnesses. While vitamin C won’t prevent you from becoming unwell, studies have shown that those who take vitamin C regularly see a reduction in the duration and severity of illnesses like the flu and cold. Vitamin C is a powerhouse antioxidant that fights off free-radicals as well as assisting in the creation of collagen which assists in healing.
Like vitamin C, zinc has also be linked to reducing the severity and length of common viruses and is also a potent antioxidant that assists in fighting free radicals and helps maintain your immune system. Zinc also helps to promote healthy sleep patterns, aids in digestion, repairing tissues and keeps your hormones in balance.
Vitamin B Complex
Vitamin B complex consists of eight different types of B vitamins which help us maintain our energy levels, metabolism, cell growth, as well as neurological function and red blood cell development. B vitamins are effective at countering stress responses and can help regulate mood and energy levels. Vitamin B12 has also been associated with helping those who suffer from depression or seasonal affective disorder (SAD). While vitamin B6 assists with DNA and RNA synthesis, meaning that if you’re not getting enough B6 you may be weakening your immune system.
Additional Tips to Stay Healthy in Winter
*Chinese medicine advocates to avoid cold and damp foods.
*Drink lots of water.
*Get plenty of sleep
*Eat plenty of in-season vegetables
*Wash your hands frequently
*Keep warm by wearing layers
*Keep your home at a warm temperature