With temperatures dropping and winter around the corner, warm boots, fluffy sweaters and big woolly scarfs are slowly re-emerging from the back recesses of our closets. But we need more than warm clothes to protect us from the harsh claws of winter. By making sure that our bodies are getting the right vitamins and minerals, we can improve our chances of making it through the cold winter months unscathed. Let’s have a look at the foods and supplements that can super-boost our diet this year and help us win the war against winter.
Vitamin A: the skin-loving super vitamin with 20/20 vision
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that can be found in several animal and plant foods including liver, oily fish, eggs, sweet potato, carrots and dark leafy greens. Vitamin A is essential for good eyesight and healthy skin. Winter can really wreak havoc on our skin and turn it into a dry, tight, flaky mess. Making sure that we get sufficient vitamin A can prevent that. Be careful with fish liver oil and vitamin A supplements though, because too much vitamin A in your system can be toxic.
Vitamin C: the fruity all-rounder
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin mainly found in citrus fruits. This powerful antioxidant protects the skin from environmental damage, boosts the formation of collagen and keeps your complexion glowing, while also fighting off infection and promoting wound healing.
Vitamin D: the elusive bone booster
Vitamin D is fat-soluble vitamin found in several foods including dairy, eggs and oily fish. Vitamin D is important for good bone health and supports the immune system. Unfortunately, food alone is unlikely to provide enough vitamin D. Sunlight is the most powerful source of vitamin D, but sadly sun exposure also causes irreversible skin damage. So play it safe and invest in some vitamin D supplements. They will provide the body with all the vitamin D it needs without having any harmful side effects.
Zinc: anything but a z-lister
Zinc is an essential trace mineral found in foods like red meat, shell fish, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and cashew nuts. Zinc boosts the immune system and is considered to be one of the most powerful cold-fighters. And as an added bonus, zinc also promotes healthy clear skin.
Echinacea: the herbal hero
Echinacea is a herbal supplement commonly used to fight off colds and infections by activating chemicals in the body that stop inflammation. Echinacea is available in many forms from teas and juices to tablets and capsules and is a quick and easy way to super-boost your immune system and end your winter woes.
Omega 3: the fishy mood-booster
Omega 3 is found mainly in fatty fish such as salmon, anchovies, tuna and sardines, but certain oils and nuts also contain high doses of this fatty miracle worker. Omega 3 is most famous for lowering the risk of heart disease, but it is also a powerful mood booster proven to help fight depression and prevent the winter blues.
Boosting your diet with these six super substances will significantly improve the chances of your skin and immune system making it through winter unharmed. Good luck!
Melissa Van Roosbroeck is a style and fashion writer.