Winter is a challenging time for everyone. It is cold, wet and generally motivation our levels are low when it comes to health and fitness. It is very easy to rug up under a blanket and watch movies and snack our way through the winter months, but if you are proactive, you can take control of your health, increase your energy levels and avoid the sniffles. Increasing your vitamins this winter will greatly benefit you in the long run.

Here is a list of some essential vitamins to increase during the winter months.

Vitamin C

Everyone knows about Vitamin C and it is always the first thing you think of when you have a cold coming on. However it is always wise to take Vitamin C before you start feeling sick. This allows you to keep the immune system at a high level. During winter months when the fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamins can be scarce, it can always help if you take a Vitamin C supplement. High vitamin c foods include:

  • Kiwifruit
  • Broccoli
  • Berries
  • Citrus fruits
  • Dark leafy greens

Always try to include some of these foods in your daily nutritional intake

Iron

Iron is an essential element for blood production. About 70% of your body’s iron is found in the red blood cells of your blood (haemoglobin) and in muscle cells called myoglobin. Haemoglobin is essential for transferring oxygen in your blood from the lungs to the tissues. Making sure that you have high iron levels means that you encourage healthy, fresh blood oxygen delivery to the lungs and major body parts. This allows for vitamins and minerals to be transported around the body at an efficient rate as well. Foods that have a good source or iron include:

  • Oysters and mussels
  • Fish such as sardines, salmon, tuna and perch
  • Red meats (beef, pork, veal)
  • Beans
  • Nuts

Vitamin D

As the days get short and the nights get longer, it is easy to feel like we hardly ever get to see the sun. This can be bad news for the vitamin d stores as they are best replenished through exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D is essential for strong bones as it regulates calcium absorption to the bones and teeth, and is suggested to supply a protective effect against multiple diseases such as cancer, type 1 diabetes and MS. We are fortunate in Australia to have a relatively sunny winter, so my number one suggestion is to get out and have your lunch in the sun if when is out!

Winter is a challenging time for everyone. It is cold, wet and generally motivation our levels are low when it comes to health and fitness. It is very easy to rug up under a blanket and watch movies and snack our way through the winter months, but if you are proactive, you can take control of your health, increase your energy levels and avoid the sniffles.

B Vitamins

B Vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9 and B12), are responsible for converting carbohydrates into energy, the help metabolise fats and proteins for fuel. They keep our bodies running like well-oiled machines. They are important as they have a direct impact on everything from your heart, mood, weight and even digestion. They are that important!!! Luckily they are found in plant-based and animal foods in abundance, such as:

  • Meats (beef, salmon, tuna, turkey)
  • Fruits (banana, apricot, apple, berries)
  • Eggs
  • Vegetables (spinach, squash, asparagus, broccoli)

Ensuring that you have a balanced nutritional intake is always very important no matter what the season, but in wintertime it is more so. Incorporate these vitamins and minerals in your nutritional intake you will go a long way to keeping the immune system at a high level, which in turn will reduce the likelihood of getting sick.

Try this recipe loaded with essential vitamins!

Immune Boosting Smoothie

This smoothie is not only very tasty, but also high it immune boosting vitamins and minerals!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup coconut water
  • Handful of strawberries
  • Handful of kale/spinach leaves
  • 1-2 sprigs fresh mint
  • 1 tbsp. lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 2-3 ice cubes

Method

  • Make sure all produce is washed well
  • Add all ingredients to blender and blend on high until smooth (add extra coconut water as required to get correct density)

Have you consciously increased your vitamins this winter??

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