Cold and flu: These vitamins can keep the winter blues at bay

These vitamins are "incredibly important" to our health during the winter.
These vitamins could be the key to dodging illnesses this winter. (Picture: Adobe Stock)These vitamins could be the key to dodging illnesses this winter. (Picture: Adobe Stock)
These vitamins could be the key to dodging illnesses this winter. (Picture: Adobe Stock)

With winter creeping in, it can be easy to fall into seasonal blues.

The summer months are now behind us, and it’s not uncommon to feel a lack of energy and motivation. Some of it could be simply down to the winter blues, but it could also be a sign of a cold or flu coming in.

Wellness experts at Vegetology have revealed the supplements you should be taking to give you that boost of energy and keep you dancing all night long this party season, no matter what winter throws your way. Founder Chris Smith said: "It is common for people to feel like winter is getting the better of them and to feel lower in energy and mood. Although no vitamin is a cure for this, it has been shown that a lack in certain vitamins can cause this to worsen. So, it is incredibly important to make sure we are looking after our bodies, especially at this time of year."

Magnesium

With winter’s long, cold nights, it is easy to feel a lack of energy throughout the day. Many of us turn to quick fixes like coffee and energy drinks, but the boost of energy they provide is short-lived. It is important to provide our bodies with the nutrients we need to feel energised and refreshed – this can be particularly important during the Christmas period after late nights of celebrating and drinking.

Magnesium is essential to the human body for many different reasons, including production of ATP – this is the primary energy in our cells and is crucial for energy metabolism. As well as this, an insufficient amount of magnesium may worsen that feeling of fatigue that you have. Magnesium is also filled with antioxidant properties, which means it can help protect your cells from damage and keep up your body’s defences.

Vitamin B

Vitamin B12 is another vitamin that can help boost our energy levels and make us feel revitalised. It is directly linked to metabolism and is essential in the process that converts food into energy – which will be especially important when we’re eating our Christmas dinners!

It also supports our nervous and digestive systems while keeping our blood cells healthy. A deficiency in vitamin B12 can cause symptoms like fatigue, feeling faint, breathlessness, and headaches.

Over Christmas and New Year, many Brits will be regretting the decision to drink alcohol the night before, sprawled out on the sofa with a headache and nausea, vowing to never drink again. However, vitamin B’s ability to boost energy and make us feel refreshed has made it a popular hangover cure. Making sure our bodies regularly have sufficient vitamin B could help us through those days and keep us dancing all through the party season.

Vitamin C

It is important to do what we can to boost our immunity, especially during winter. Vitamin C is widely known for its ability to support our immune system, as well as having many other benefits; not only is it an antioxidant, but it can also help to prevent and alleviate inflammation.

It’s currently the dreaded time of year when everybody has fallen victim to the inevitable winter cold. People who take vitamin C can expect to be ill for a shorter time period, as well as experiencing milder symptoms. It plays a vital role in the production of antibodies that fight infection, therefore allowing your immune system to function as normal, even when it is compromised by things like the common cold.

During the Christmas season, many of us will be going on plenty of nights out, visiting Christmas markets and spending time with our friends and family. However, being exposed to the freezing temperature, as well as large groups of people will increase the risk of catching winter colds. It is important to take precautions beforehand by doing what we can to boost out immunity.

Omega-3

Many people start to feel seasonal blues during the winter months; it’s harder to get yourself out and do all the things you enjoyed doing during the summer. Luckily, some nutrients have been shown to have a positive effect on our mood, including omega 3 – it is essential to our overall health, but particularly to our brain. It helps with focus, cognitive function, and brain cell regeneration.

Travelling to and from work in the dark and seeing less sunlight during the day causes many people to feel low in mood. Providing our bodies with sufficient omega 3 can help tackle this, being known to improve emotional state and help fight the symptoms of depression and anxiety.

There is an abundance of omega 3 in seafood, as well as nuts and seeds. However, during the winter we tend to consume less of these foods as a result of seasonal changes and fish availability. Unfortunately, our bodies can’t produce omega 3 in the same way it can make some vitamins, so it is important for us to make sure we are consuming enough year-round to reap the benefits.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D, known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’, is crucial to our health and wellbeing. Inevitably, during the winter we see much less sun and are at risk of vitamin D deficiency. It is important to make sure our bodies are getting enough vitamin D, as many people have improved well-being and energy levels as a result; at this time of year, we may need a little more of this than usual.

Not only is it vital to our wellbeing, vitamin D is also essential in maintaining normal function of the immune system and blood calcium levels. This is important to keep our bones, teeth and muscles healthy.

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