The winter months are often dark, dreary, and cold in the northern hemisphere. Lower temperatures also hamper access to seasonal fruits and veggies, leading to imbalanced diets and problems with physical health. If you’re feeling a little blah, it might just be the “winter blues” setting in – but it could also be one of these three winter-specific vitamin deficiencies.
Ward Off Winter Woes by Supplementing with Vitamins C, A, and D.
Citrus fruits, berries, and many other fresh favorites are a little harder to find in the wintertime, especially for those who live in cold-weather climates. Unfortunately, a lower intake of fresh fruit and veggies often leads to vitamin C deficiencies.
The benefits of vitamin C cannot be overstated. This critical substance plays an important role in bone density, skin health, and immune system modulation. It won’t prevent or cure a cold or flu, but it can help the body better fight them off.
Vitamin A deficiencies aren’t necessarily all that common, but they occur far more often in the winter months. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), being deficient in vitamin A inhibits the body’s ability to fight off infection; it may also generally decrease overall immune function.
Want to take in more vitamin A? Look to foods containing more beta-carotene, like dairy, sweet potatoes, leafy greens, tuna, and eggs.
Vitamin D deficiencies are incredibly common in climates with a true winter season, mostly because cold-weather climates tend to be dark, dreary, and cold. This inspires people to remain indoors, meaning that they may not get enough natural sunlight, a critical component in the natural production of vitamin D within the body. Add in the fact that most of us spend less time at the gym and more time at our desks and it becomes a recipe for physical health disasters.
To boost vitamin D, aim to include food like salmon, eggs, and other “fatty fish” cuts. They’re all high in this essential immune-boosting nutrient.
Can’t get enough of the right vitamins in your food? Consider talking to a dietitian about your needs. A few simple diet tweaks or an extra supplement may be all it takes to give your immune system the right boost in cooler winter months.
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