Key Nutrients to Keep You Healthy and Happy Through the Winter Season
By Michael Sharp | December 6th, 2017
The winter season, a magical and exciting time of year filled with the joy of Christmas and the entrance into a brand-new year! Although these positives shine bright throughout the season, this time of year can also be synonymous with cold’s, flu’s, and feeling those heavy winter blues.
In today’s blog post, I provide you with my list of “Winter Essentials” to help blast you into the new year feeling happy, energized, and healthy! Keep in mind that this is a short list and that depending on your own unique health scenario, there may be more or less that needs to be incorporated in order to support your health.
My Winter Essentials
- Vitamin D
In my opinion, I would say vitamin D is the absolute most important on this list. When the sun hits our skin and interacts with cholesterol in our bodies, vitamin D is produced (this is also one reason why cholesterol is so essential for our health, but that’s for another blog post!). Because we do not get as much sun exposure in the winter months as we do in the spring and summer months, we therefor do not produce as much vitamin D during the winter. Vitamin D plays a crucial role in the health of our immune system’s (AKA our defence against foreign invaders) as it helps to switch on parts of our immunity that are anti-microbial meaning they fight against bacteria, funguses, and viruses. There are several reasons why vitamin D is so essential throughout the winter months including its ability to support our mood, our sleep cycle, and our bones, but to relay the absolute need for vitamin D in the body I’ll tell you this; nearly every tissue in our human body has a receptor for vitamin D or, in other words, every tissue in the body has a role for vitamin D to play to support its functioning.
- Vitamin A
The importance of vitamin A in the winter season is due to its ability to repair. Vitamin A is a nutrient that can regenerate mucosal barriers in the body such as our digestive lining or gut. Our digestive lining is our first line of defence between our digestive system and the rest of the body, so it is pertinent to keep this barrier strong at all times. During the cold and flu season, when we are sick or have an infection, our mucosal barriers become damaged. If we are deficient in vitamin A during the winter season, these barriers will be weaker, leaving us more susceptible to the wrath of infections and our cold and flu symptoms may be even stronger.
- Fish Oils
Fish oils are especially important during the winter season because of their omega 3 fat content. Omega 3’s are a type of essential fat meaning our bodies do not produce them, leaving us to obtain them from our diets. Omega 3 fats are great at reducing inflammation in the body, including the inflammation you experience during a sinus or throat cold. Omega 3’s can also be helpful for our mood during the winter season as it may help move serotonin, your happy hormone, into your cells at a better rate.
- Vitamin C
Vitamin C is my all time favourite nutrient because it is beneficial for so many different reasons, many of these benefits are also pertinent for the health of our systems during the winter season. Vitamin C boosts your immune system’s functioning, it protects the body from damage as an anti-oxidant, it is a great anti-inflammatory nutrient to reduce aches and pains as well as inflammation present in an infection, and acts as a wonderful natural anti-histamine for cold and flu’s, especially allergy related cold and flu symptoms during the winter season.
So, there you have it! A short, simple, easy to incorporate list of essentials to get you through the winter season with a mountain of energy and health, while avoiding those nasty colds and flu’s. I wish you and your loved ones an amazing and safe holiday season filled with joy, health, and happiness!
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Keep on living holistic,
Michael Sharp, CNP, NNCP.
DISCLAIMER: The information listed above is for educational purposes and discussion of general health information only. The information, opinions, ideas, and suggestions listed above are in no way intended to diagnose disease/health issues or act as a treatment for disease/health issues and is not to act as a substitute for medical advice from your doctor. Before taking part in any natural or alternative approach to health, these approaches should be reviewed by your doctor for approval especially if there are existing health conditions and if prescribed and or pharmaceutical medication is being taken due to the potential for interactions between medications and any natural approaches to health.