As the days are getting colder here I've noticed a lot of coughing and sneezing going on around me. Have you ever wondered why some people catch every bug out there, yet other people are always bursting with energy? Read on to find out what I believe are the 5 Essential Supplements for a Healthy and Happy Winter
Although it’s easy to put it down to luck, it really comes down to how well your immune system is functioning. And when it comes to keeping your immune system working well through the winter months, it’s essential that you’re getting your daily vitamins. As the days grow shorter and colder, it's easy to start to eat what many people call 'comfort' foods, things like chocolate, chips, cakes and other nutrient deficient foods.
How do we keep our bodies healthy and happy?
To keep us healthy and fight off infections our body has built in bug fighters. Known as T-cells, these amazing super heroes go after any virus-infected cells, killing and neutralising them before you even start to sniffle. T-cells quickly identify and eliminate bacteria and viruses, but to do their job effectively, those T-cells need to be kept happy.
The food we eat plays an important role in keeping our immune system healthy, along with stress management techniques, self care and exercise. When clients come to see me, I always recommend that they eat whole, natural foods, but I also believe that quality supplements are just as important.
Supplements are essential health-boosters that can help fill in nutritional gaps and protect your body against the occasional diet slip-up. Just remember though, that supplements won't make up for an unhealthy or unbalanced diet.
So, in addition to making healthy choices, I recommend the following supplements during the winter cold and flu season.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and protector of the body. In addition to boosting the immune system, it is particularly useful for when the body is under stress. Vitamin C can shorten the length of a cold but must be consumed regularly for this benefit.
The functioning of your immune system is enhanced by Vitamin A. It has been shown to reduce the severity and occurrence of colds. Vitamin A acts as an antioxidant to help protect against illness and disease.
The Sunshine Vitamin (Vitamin D) regulates immune function and helps reduce inflammation. Studies show people who have high levels of vitamin D had much lower overall incident of flu.
Sunlight is the best source of Vitamin D, but with the decrease of sunlight in the winter months, it is best to supplement through winter to help boost your immunity.
Zinc is vital for the development and normal functioning of your cells. Taking zinc during the first few days of a cold may shorten its duration. Studies have shown that it prevented colds in people who used it on a regular basis.
Essential Fatty Acids
Some fatty acids are essential, meaning that your body can't make them and must obtain them through your diet. Your immune system requires balanced amounts of essential fatty acids to function optimally. Omega-3s increase the activity of phagocytes—cells that fight flu by eating up bacteria.
Keep those T Cell Superheroes happy
No matter what month is showing on the calendar, it’s important to get enough vitamins to keep your immune system and those superhero T-cells fighting hard to keep you well.
Eating well becomes even more of a priority in the colder months, with all of those colds and viruses out there. Try to minimize the comfort eating, and nourish yourself with hearty stews and soups full of vegetables and spices such as garlic, ginger and turmeric. Try to keep your diet varied and balanced, avoid excess alcohol and caffeine consumption, and you'll find that once the winter clears and you've avoided getting sick, you'll thank your immune system for all its hard work.
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