Winter Wellbeing

October 18, 2023

At this time of the year, it can be only too easy to pick up a cold or virus which can then linger on for weeks. Not the best thing, especially with all the build up to Christmas.

So here are three supplements which are generally considered to be useful during winter:

1. Vitamin D

Benefits:

  • Immune Support: Vitamin D is crucial for the immune system, helping to reduce the risk of infections such as colds and flu.
  • Bone Health: It aids in calcium absorption, promoting bone health and reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Mood Regulation: It has been linked to mood regulation and can help combat seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression that occurs during the winter months.

Sources:

  • Food: Fatty fish (like salmon and mackerel), fortified dairy products, and egg yolks.
  • Supplements: Available in various forms, including D2 and D3, with D3 being more effective in raising blood levels of the vitamin.

Research: Studies have shown that maintaining adequate vitamin D levels can help reduce the incidence of respiratory infections and improve overall immune function .

2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Benefits:

  • Anti-Inflammatory: Omega-3s have strong anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
  • Heart Health: They support cardiovascular health by reducing triglycerides and blood pressure.
  • Brain Function: Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for brain health and can help mitigate the effects of winter-related mood disorders.

Sources:

  • Food: Fatty fish (like salmon, sardines, and trout), flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts.
  • Supplements: Fish oil, krill oil, and algal oil (suitable for vegetarians and vegans).

Research: Omega-3 supplements have been found to reduce inflammation and improve mental health, making them particularly useful during the winter months when people are more prone to inflammation and mood disorders .

3. Vitamin C

Benefits:

  • Immune Boost: Vitamin C is well-known for its role in supporting the immune system, helping to prevent and shorten the duration of colds.
  • Antioxidant: It acts as a powerful antioxidant, protecting cells from damage by free radicals.
  • Skin Health: Promotes healthy skin by supporting collagen production.

Sources:

  • Food: Citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, grapefruits), strawberries, bell peppers, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.
  • Supplements: Available in various forms including ascorbic acid, and as part of multivitamins.

Research: Vitamin C has been extensively studied for its role in enhancing immune function and its potential to reduce the duration of colds and respiratory infections .

Incorporating these nutraceuticals into your diet through food sources or supplements can help you stay healthy and resilient during the winter months. Always consult with a qualified medical practitioner or your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen. This is particularly important if you have any medical condition or taking any prescribed medication.

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