Stay healthy all season long.
While vitamins are necessary and essential all year-round, our bodies can get an added benefit from boosting our intake of certain ones at different times of the year. The 3 vitamins you need more of this winter are C, D, and E. Here’s why, plus some of my favorite ways to get them in.
Vitamin C plays a big role in keeping us healthy by helping our bodies resist infections. During the winter months when the temperatures drop and everyone on the subway, at the office, and in your own home are coughing and sneezing, you definitely need extra defenses. Vitamin C will help boost your immune system’s ability to fight off any infection or cold before it starts. Added bonus of more C, is that it helps to prevent dry, flakey skin that are caused by the harsh winds and freezing temperatures.
- Get in some extra doses by adding blueberries, strawberries, or kiwi to your morning yogurt or oatmeal, doubling up on brussels sprouts, broccoli, tomatoes, and red bell peppers in your salads and stir-fry, and half a grapefruit or clementine with some nuts for snack.
Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, building stronger bones and teeth. But it has also been linked to helping prevent chronic illnesses like diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Our bodies naturally make vitamin D when we are exposed to the sunlight, like human photosynthesis. But during the winter we are so covered up with our hats, scarves, gloves and heavy coats that we get very little skin to sun exposure to make that D, so we need to get more from our diet.
- Great food sources of vitamin D are fish (especially salmon), egg yolks, mushrooms, and fortified dairy. Have a mushroom omelette or scramble for breakfast, a fortified plain Greek yogurt for snack, and fish with your lunch or dinner. It is also a great idea to supplement with vitamin D by taking at least 400 IU daily.
Vitamin E is an important vitamin and antioxidant for many reasons, but in the wintertime it plays an particularly crucial role in strengthening immunity. Vitamin E is what helps your immune system make antibodies. Antibodies are your body’s defense against colds, illnesses, and infections.
- Add more E into your daily routine with eggs, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, seeds, and nuts. Again, start your day with that omelette or switch it up and have your breakfast for dinner with an egg scramble of mushrooms, red bell peppers, and spinach (my go-to dinner after a long day at the office). Add in some quinoa or brown rice as a side to your chicken or fish, and include a handful of almonds with your afternoon snack.
Want more where that came from? Book a consultation for your own personalized wintertime wellness plan, tips, and recipes.