Written by Lexie Gray
We’re in the thick of winter, and if you’re like me, you’re probably over it. You’re ready for t-shirts and strawberry season. But since we have a few months left of the cold, let’s talk about 3 nutrients that will improve your energy, mood, and immune system this winter.
- Vitamin D3 & K2
You can usually get your Vitamin D needs from about 20-30 minutes of full body sun exposure daily. But during the winter (unless you’re a Floridian like I once was), that’s not realistic. Your body needs Vitamin D for SO many vital functions, such as strengthening bones, supporting your immune system, and regulating cell growth, to name a few. It’s also very powerful in maintaining mood, and a deficiency may be linked to anxiety and depression. And while you can consume Vitamin D in the form of fatty fish, eggs, and cod liver oil, it’s likely that most people will still not be able to maintain optimal levels from food alone during the winter. Get your levels tested by your doctor before supplementing, but it’s a very common deficiency, especially this time of year!
One thing to be wary of, don’t just get any supplement; they are not all created equal. Look for one with Vitamin D3 and K2. Vitamin K2 is necessary for the body to be able to utilize the D3. There are also different forms of these vitamins, so look for one with cholecalciferol, which is the most bioavailable form of Vitamin D. Here’s a great brand that I recommend to my clients.
- Vitamin C
We’re all familiar with taking Vitamin C when you start to feel a cold coming on. But eating Vitamin C rich foods as a regular part of your diet strengthens your immune system so that colds can be PREVENTED as well. Aside from immune function, this vitamin also contributes to collagen formation, skin health, healing wounds, and more.
Eat some extra fruits and veggies like bell peppers, leafy greens, broccoli, citrus fruits, kiwi, and strawberries to give your body a little boost of Vitamin C. But here’s a supplement I trust if you’re wanting to up your dose even more.
I feel like zinc is one of the most underrated nutrients out there. We don’t talk about it much, but it is essential for so many functions in the body such as DNA & protein synthesis, immune support, reproductive health, and so on.
Research has shown that supplementing with Zinc early on in a cold shortens the duration of the illness. So why not get a head start on that and eat some zinc rich foods like beef, lamb, oysters, scallops, pumpkin seeds, and brazil nuts. And as an FYI, the zinc found in animal products are most easily absorbed by the body. If you need a good supplement recommendation, try this one!
Eating and/or supplementing with these 3 nutrients during the winter can boost your immune system, mood, and overall health. If you have any questions or want to know more about taking your nutrition to the next step, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or find me at wellfromwithin.co!
I also have a great winter meal prep recipe that helps with getting some of these vitamins that we are missing out on. It happens to be a fan favorite as well. Check the recipe out here and the recipe video here.
Stay warm and healthy this winter!