There are many reasons to love winter: cosy mornings in bed, a much needed break from the summer heat, winter sports, bonfires and mugs of tea. However, these cold winter months force our bodies to work twice as hard to stay healthy. To keep you feeling your best make sure you’re stocking up on these 5 essential vitamins and minerals to boost your winter health.
Contrary to popular belief, there is very little evidence proving that vitamin C prevents sickness. It does however, reduce the amount of time in which you are sick. Vitamin C protects our bodies against immune deficiencies, it works as an antioxidant to reduce inflammation and disease. This vitamin also helps absorb iron into the body which is a key mineral for energy and organ functioning.
Foods high in vitamin C: Dark leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, potatoes.
B-vitamins work collectively in every cell to perform life supporting jobs. B – vitamins provide cells the energy needed to replicate and actively work within the body. They play a major role in copying and reproducing DNA. These vitamins work to metabolise essential minerals into the body, and maintain healthy blood cells and nervous systems.
Foods high in B-vitamins: eggs, meat, poultry, seafood, green leafy vegetables, legumes, bananas and fortified grains and dairy products.
Vitamin D is created by the body when your skin comes in contact with the sun. During winter months, when our time in the sun is significantly decreased, some people fail to produce the right amount of vitamin D. This vitamin helps to absorb and metabolise essential minerals, promotes cell development and regulates your immune system, making it essential for good health during the winter.
Foods high in vitamin D: butter, milk, eggs, mushrooms, cod liver oil and fatty fish.
Iron is essential for the production of red blood cells. These cells deliver oxygen to every cell in the body. Due to this, maintaining correct iron levels are essential during colder months when your body is fighting extra hard to stay healthy. Low iron levels often result in immune deficiencies as your system does not have the energy to fight incoming disease.
Foods high in iron: red meat, liver, oysters dark leafy vegetables, seeds, nuts and lentils.
Zinc is a mineral that works to repair tissues, balance hormones and support immunity. Zinc is essential for cell proliferation, thus high proliferating cells like immune cells and killer T-cells are dependant on a reliable supply of this mineral. Zinc is an antioxidant that reduces oxidative stress and is required for neurotransmissions in the brain.
Foods high in zinc: Spinach, beef, beans, seafood, pumpkin seeds, nuts.
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