Monday 15 January 2018 - forpatient
How to fill up with vitamins and minerals in winter. Winter is no doubt a season that brings happiness and there are many reasons to love the season, including the snow play, the regular cup of tea that seems not to stop, and the fun of enjoying the holidays with family and friends. However, along with all the fun that comes with winter also comes a few downsides. The less exposure to sunlight as the days become shorter, the cold temperature keeping us away from our outdoor activities, the weather-beaten dry skin, the fewer option of getting fresh produce in the market, the regular feeling of no energy, joint inflammation and pain, seasonal flu, and the winter blahs.
What to do? In addition to breathing fresh air as much as we can and staying physically active, we may also need to focus our attention on getting some specific vitamins and minerals that could help us scape through the winter as many of the common ailments that happen during winter are as a result of mineral and vitamin deficiencies. That is the major reason you may need to rearrange your shopping list as the winter draws close and get your store topped up with more vitamin and mineral rich foods and supplements.
Why do you need vitamins for winter?
Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients needed by the body for optimum working and to keep us healthy. Though these nutrients are needed in relatively small amounts, they are very important in ensuring we stay healthy and live a sickness-free life. While it’s important to get these nutrients all year round, it’s more important in the winter season because the body experiences more stress during this season which hence makes it more susceptible to colds, flu, and other health problems.
Though we can get these essential nutrients from our foods which is, of course, the best way of getting them, some individuals may need to take supplements to make sure they are getting enough, especially during the cold season.
Below are some of the vitamins and minerals you need to fill up for the winter:
Vitamins and Minerals
#1: Vitamin C
Vitamin C is one of the major vitamins you will need for the winter season. It helps gives enough protection by boosting the immune system, therefore, helps you appropriately fight against cold and flu. It also helps maintain the bones, detox the body, nourish the skin and enhances wound healing during the season. The major source of this vitamin is fresh vegetables and fruits. These foods are relatively scarce during winter and so you may need to take more vitamin C supplement to make up for it.
Major food sources of vitamin C
Major sources include potatoes, dark leafy vegetables, tomatoes, peppers, citrus fruits, kiwi fruit, cranberries, broccoli, strawberries, and many other fruits and vegetables.
#2: Vitamin D
We get our vitamin D from exposure to sunlight. During the winter days, it becomes more difficult to get enough of this vitamin as the day gets shorter and the night excessively longer. Vitamin D is essential as it helps strengthen the bones and also aid the absorption of many metabolic products including calcium. It also promotes a positive outlook and helps keep depression at bay.
You can help yourselves get this vitamin by stepping out when possible to get some sun for at least 15 minutes during mid-day sun. You can as well get the vitamin D2 – the synthetic version and include in your daily routine. It is often included in calcium supplements.
Major food sources of vitamin D
Some food source of vitamin D also include eggs, milk, butter, mushrooms, fatty fish, and cod liver oil.
#3: Vitamin A
Vitamin A is important for tissue repair and so it’s important for the body’s growth and development. It is also involved in strengthening the immune system and help maintain good eyesight. Unless you are pregnant, vitamin A is able to put a sparkle back in your eyes and makes your skin glow even in the winters.
Major food sources of vitamin A
Egg yolks, fatty fish, carrots, milk, tomatoes, fortified margarine, liver, fatty fish like tuna, sardines, and herrings, green leafy vegetables, apricots, and mango.
#4: Vitamin E
Vitamin E is an essential antioxidant that protects the cell membranes and helps maintain the skin’s suppleness and softness. The winter season tends to cause a dry and flaky skin. You can you’re your skin moisturized by mixing oils like almond and avocado into your lotion.
Major food sources of vitamin E
The major food sources of vitamin A are nuts and oil. Other sources include cereals and green leafy vegetables like broccoli and cabbage.
Aside from helping to keep the immune system strong in the cold and flu season, iron also keeps your energy high in the winter. It also helps carry oxygen throughout the body and hence, keeps your organs appropriately nourished.
Major food sources of Iron
Foods rich in iron are dark leafy vegetables, poultry, beans, red meat, flour, lentils, seafood, and dried fruit. Absorption of iron is also greatly enhanced by vitamin C consumption.
Zinc is very important in helping the body fight free radicals and its damage. It’s an antioxidant that also helps in the repair of tissues, maintains hormonal balance, supports the immune system and aids digestion. Zinc deficiency could make you sick and feel tired more often during the winter season.
Major food sources of Zinc
Some foods rich in Zinc include beans, pumpkin seeds, spinach, nuts, beef, and seafood.
#7: Folate and folic acid
This is a nutrient that is naturally found in foods, while folic acid is the synthetic version of the nutrient only that it is not as bioavailable. Whichever one you decide to take, they are both capable of keeping your mood on a high note, not only when you are pregnant but also during the cold season. This is a perfect nutrient to help you beat the winter blues.
Folate or folic acid is also capable of helping you prevent heart diseases, cancer, diabetes, and also supports healthy cell growth.
Major food sources of Zinc
Major foods rich in folate are avocado, dark leafy greens, broccoli, beans, lentils, peas, nuts, and seeds.
Winter comes with lots of snow shoveling and cookie eating! Well, for a strong bone and teeth, calcium is essential. It helps protect the bones from icy falls and also keeps the teeth from sweet cavities during the holiday treats.
Major food sources of Calcium
Milk, cheese, soya beans, tofu, green leafy vegetables such as okra, broccoli, and spinach.
Selenium is an essential mineral that makes up part of the enzymes involved in defending the body against damage. It is particularly important for strengthening the immune system and protects the prostate.
Major food sources of Calcium
Main food source: meat, Cereals, Brazil nuts, and fish.
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