What do you love about winter? Playing in the snow? Warm tea with a good book and fireplace? Winter sports? Holidays with family and friends?
Winter fun brings along a few downsides. Shorter days mean less exposure to sunlight, cold temperature means less time spent outdoors, there are fewer options for fresh produce at farmer’s market, and more weather-beaten dry skin. What to do? In addition to staying active and breathing fresh air as much as you can it can help to focus on some specific vitamins and minerals that are known to balance the effects of winter on the body.
Start with maintaining a diet of whole foods. Add supplements to balance the adequate amounts of nutrients.
Vitamin C offers protection against immune system deficiencies - especially helpful in preventing cold and flu - while also helping our bodies detox, nourishing the skin, maintaining bones and teeth, and healing wounds. And that’s just to name a few of its benefits!
Vitamin C Whole Foods: citrus, peppers, dark leafy vegetables, strawberries, tomatoes to name a few.
Supplements: Springreen Vitamin C
Most of us become deficient in Vitamin D during winter because Vitamin D is absorbed from the sun. Much more challenging during the cold weather months. But without it, our health suffers. Vitamin D helps us absorb and metabolize essential minerals, promotes proper cell development, and regulates the immune system, all crucial for disease prevention and basic life functions.
Vitamin D Whole Foods: butter, milk, eggs, mushrooms, cod liver oil, and fatty fish.
Supplements: Springreen Cod Liver Oil
And, whenever possible step outside during mid-day sun for at least 15 minutes
Not only does iron help keep your immune system strong throughout cold and flu season, but it also helps with keeping your energy high despite the shorter days and decreased physical activity. Iron also helps to carry oxygen throughout the rest of your body, nourishing all of your organs so they’ll continue to functioning optimally.
Iron Rich Whole Foods: liver (think pate), beans, dark leafy vegetables, red meat, poultry, seafood.
Zinc acts as an antioxidant in the body, fighting free radical damage, helping repair tissue, balancing hormones, and supporting healthy immunity and digestion. Without it you’re likely to feel sick and tired, a pattern already all too common in winter!
Zinc Rich Foods: spinach, beef, beans, seafood, pumpkin seeds, and nuts.
Supplements: Yes Mineral
Folate or Folic Acid
Folate is the nutrient naturally found in foods, while folic acid is a synthetic version that is similar but slightly less bioavailable. Either way, it’s not just for when you’re pregnant! Both versions are a mood regulator, which means having enough could help you beat the winter blues. It can also help prevent heart disease, diabetes, and certain forms of cancer, and it supports healthy cells growth.
Folic Acid Foods: dark leafy greens, beans, peas, lentils, avocado, nuts and seeds, and broccoli.
Omega 3 and Omega 6
Omega's help keep your skin, eyes, hair and nails strong and healthy - all our most naturally beautiful features most exposed to the elements.
Omega Rich Foods: Flaxseed, salmon, oysters, anchovies and caviar.