As the winter season has officially settled in, so has cold and flu season. Along with the pretty snowflakes, icicles and brisk air often comes runny noses, sore throats, unpleasant coughs and dry skin. While winter is not something we can choose to bypass, it is possible to reduce the severity of the season's ickiest side effects or even prevent them altogether. With the help of these supplements and wellness essentials, you can make wintertime a little less dreadful.
1. Vitamin D
With the sun often in hiding during the winter, acquiring enough vitamin D can turn into a big problem. Supplementing with vitamin D can help replenish your levels, which play a major role in your intestines' ability to absorb calcium for optimum bone strength and health. In addition, vitamin D contributes to your body's phosphorous production, which is essential in maintaining strong, healthy teeth. Protecting you from developing the flu and other illnesses is also an added benefit of taking a vitamin D supplement. This vitamin can also provide support for balancing neurotransmitters in your brain that are tied to mood stabilization and depression prevention.
Seasonal Affective Disorder, or “SAD,” has become a common occurrence in the winter months. Feelings of depression, sadness, an increased appetite and intensified need to sleep are symptoms of this disorder that can strike anyone at anytime, though it typically occurs the same time each year. According to Catherine Ulbricht, Pharm.D., an imbalance of melatonin and a reduction in serotonin—both of which are dependent upon sunlight—may contribute to SAD. For preventing or improving mild SAD, the supplement 5-HTP can provide support in that it can help regulate the balance of serotonin, which plays a part in controlling irritability, anxiety and depression. Since 5-HTP can cause adverse reactions, it's imperative to talk to your doctor before using it. Severe forms of depression may not respond to supplements and may require a more intensive form of treatment.
3. Whole Foods Multivitamin
If you're hitting up fast food joints or reaching for frozen entrées more frequently because you can't muster the motivation to trudge out to the grocery store in the midst of a blizzard, you might be knocking your nutrient intake out of whack. In a case like this, taking a whole foods multivitamin can be beneficial in restoring many of the crucial vitamins, minerals and nutrients you might be missing out on.
4. Vitamin C
Your level of this essential vitamin is another thing that can be a determining factor in whether you get sick this winter. The natural antioxidant properties of vitamin C can provide defense against free radical damage and help bolster your immune system by fighting off infections. Reducing the intensity of colds and the length of time they affect you is another area where vitamin C supplementation can help.
5. Coconut Oil
Blasts of arctic-like air temperatures can be killer for your skin, and not in a good way. Windburn, eczema and dry, itchy skin are all common ailments that can occur in the winter, with a lack of moisture in the air being a catalyst for the problems. In order to protect your skin or soothe irritation, slathering on a hefty amount of coconut oil can provide some relief. The natural antimicrobial and moisturizing properties in coconut oil can contribute to reducing irritation of dry skin and even improving eczema.
6. Dandelion Tea
Having a healthy liver is an essential part of maintaining optimum overall health, and it can be especially crucial in the winter. During holiday parties, when you might have ingested a bit too much alcohol, detoxing your liver can be even more essential. As a liver tonic, dandelion tea can provide support for removing excess toxins and water from your body, contributing to blood purification, according to Kulreet Chaudhary, M.D. When your blood is purified, your liver has less work to do, which reduces the amount of stress it experiences trying to do its job faster than usual. The diuretic properties of dandelion tea can also help you to release water weight and cut back on bloating. Dandelion may not be suitable for everyone, as it can interact with certain medications and cause adverse reactions in those with allergies. Talk to your doctor before trying it.
While you might think that getting sick this winter is unavoidable, this notion is not necessarily true. Taking precautions to avoid common sources of germs in communal environments, practicing excellent hygiene and supplementing with vitamins can all help boost your immune system and make sickness less likely or not as severe this winter.
At eVitamins we have all of the supplements mentioned above and many more essentials to help you make it through this winter healthily and happily. Come back tomorrow for more healthy living news, and have a great day!