The temperatures have dropped and the days are darker which only means one thing, winter is here. With the winter comes stress and pressure on the immune system. This is no surprise that people are more likely to come ill throughout the winter due to the cold weather with the common cold and flu illnesses. Whilst you are more likely to get ill in the winter months, there are some helpful vitamins that can help you fend off your common winter illnesses which we will go through now.
B-vitamins is a group of water-soluble vitamins that are called vitamin B-complex. B-complex includes B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), B9 (folate), and B12 (cobalamin). All these vitamins have different functions, one thing they all have in common is they all promote cell metabolism. B-vitamins will really help you through the winter season and give your immune system the boost it needs and can give your body and overall wellbeing a boost. This happens due to B-vitamins improving the nervous system health, improving your mood, encouraging cell renewal, protecting your body from sickness and also helping to reduce the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Vitamin C is also a water-soluble vitamin which means that they come out of our system. This means we need to have our recommended daily amount each day. Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid and it is an antioxidant that protects your body from free radicals. It also has been long known as the super vitamin as it helps fend illnesses due to it protecting your immune system. Due to our body not producing this vitamin, it is essential to get it from our diets with food including citrus fruits, strawberries, broccoli and much more.
Zinc is an essential mineral for our body that helps fend off viruses and bacteria. Studies have shown that zinc can help you to prevent and reduce the symptoms of the common cold. It also helps to fend off viruses that are trying to attach themselves to cell walls in the nose and also promotes antibody production which is an extremely important process for the immune system. Many people opt for zinc supplements when they are starting to feel ill, zinc lozenges work particularly well for supplementation.
Vitamin D is a very important vitamin, it is a fat-soluble vitamin meaning it can be stored in the body. It has been seen to strengthen bones and also helps to absorb calcium. Vitamin D in recent years has also been linked to your immune response meaning that if one gets deficient, they will be more likely to get sick. A vitamin D deficiency is common in the winter months as it is produced when our skin meets sunlight which is in short supply in the winter which is why some may feel blue and tired in the winter months. This is due to vitamin D playing a crucial role in controlling our moods.