Winter is certainly a time when everyone should be looking to increase their vitamins. Why? Well on the off chance that you may not have noticed, illness is everywhere!
Now look, winter certainly is a challenging time for everyone and 2022 has probably been one of the more challenging winters to date. It is cold, wet, COVID is everywhere and if you do not get it, there is one of the worst flu’s on record and a whole host of other things floating around. It is no surprise that all of this can lead to a generally low level of motivation when it comes to maintaining strong health and fitness.
It is very tempting to simply rug up under a blanket, watch movies and snack our way through the winter months. If you are proactive however it is not too hard to take control of your health, increase your energy levels and avoid the sniffles.
The one thing that we can have complete control over is how healthy we eat on a daily basis. The better the quality of the food that we are consuming, the better our body will respond. A big part of this is also about eating the right foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals. They are essential for our body and increasing your intake of them will greatly benefit you in the long run.
Here is a list of some essential vitamins to increase during the winter months and where you can get them from.
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. Vitamin C is something that can be encouraged to have on a daily basis, all year round. That is how great it is!
High Vitamin C foods include:
- Citrus fruits
- Dark leafy greens
Always try to include some of these foods in your daily nutritional intake.
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)
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 or when is out!
B Vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9 and B12), are responsible for converting carbohydrates into energy. They 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)
- Vegetables (spinach, squash, asparagus, broccoli)
BONUS – Immune Boosting Smoothie Recipe
This smoothie is not only very tasty, but also high it immune boosting vitamins and minerals!
- 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
- 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)
Yes winter is cold. Yes winter is wet. And Yes it can be hard to maintain motivation levels all the time. But if you increase the above vitamins in to your nutritional intake this winter, there is a good chance that you will have:
- More energy
- A lower likelihood of sickness
- A higher chance of a fast recovery from sickness
- A body that works more efficiently and will thank you for it
So get shopping, buy some healthy foods and be proactive. It is certainly worth it in the long run.
Want To Learn More?
Since COVID-19 entered our lives, we have aimed to deliver some great weekly information as to how you can remain healthy, productive and in good spirits. This blog post is the latest addition to a growing library of information. Click to read more on our dedicated COVID support blogs.
Over the last 6 years Authentic Personal Training has established itself as a leading health and fitness studio on the Lower North Shore. We are incredibly proud to announce that we have been voted The Best Fitness Business on The North Shore for 2019.
Join us on our Facebook page:
To take advantage of our current offer with Sydney’s most experienced Personal Trainers, simply fill out the form below