There are many reasons to consume vitamin-rich foods and vitamin supplements daily, but during the winter season it is especially important to do so to stay healthy.
Vitamin A is one of the best immune boosters to take. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powers. Vitamin A supports healthy tissue and mucus membranes and helps keep them strong. Vitamin A can also contribute to vision health. Vitamin A can be found in eggs, fish oil, butter, dark yellow-orange fruits and vegetables and animal livers.
Vitamin C has antioxidant properties that aid in tissue building. Vitamin C supports infection-fighting cells and it also promotes healthy skin and wound healing. This vitamin is key in the production of collagen and helps aid the body to fight against disease. This vitamin is found in citrus fruits, tomatoes, peppers, green leafy vegetables, and berries. Stress and illnesses increase the need for Vitamin C.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that can help preserve muscles and red blood cells. This vitamin is known to boost the response to vaccines and protect against heart diseases. Vitamin E is also essential in repairing dry, damaged skin and hair. Vitamin E can be found in green leafy vegetables, vegetable oils, sunflower oil, nut butters, avocados and wheat germ.
Vitamin D assists in skin repair and helps fight off infection as well as decrease inflammation. Vitamin D is most commonly found in natural sunlight. Just 15 minutes in the sun per day can give enough Vitamin D to one person for the whole day- just don’t forget your sunscreen! Vitamin D is also found in fortified milk, liver, fish, eggs, and mushrooms. Vitamin D helps with the absorption of calcium into the bones, which is why it is commonly found fortified in milk.
Vitamin B (B5, B6, B12). Vitamin B5 aids with energy production and fighting off infection. Vitamin B6 helps fight off infections and is needed for the cells to function within the body. These B vitamins are all found in green leafy vegetables, organs, egg yolks, avocados, broccoli and unprocessed grains. Vitamin B12 is needed to produce red blood cells in the body and helps the body produce infection fighting cells. Sources of B12 are in beef liver, shellfish, and fortified grains.
Zinc is the most immune-essential mineral. A zinc deficiency can put one at risk for infections. Zinc is found in root vegetables, oysters, shellfish, seafood, and almonds. Zinc can help with fighting colds and early symptoms of illnesses as well as act as an anti-inflammatory agent. It lowers the inflammation that can often come with a winter cold or the flu.
Iron helps transport oxygen to all our body’s cells. This is found in green leafy vegetables, lentils, meats, molasses, and raisins. Iron is also essential for energy and memory function. Taking iron with vitamin C can boost its absorption. Too much iron though, can lead to severe organ damage, so make sure you consume the proper amount for your needs.
Magnesium keeps the immune system strong, helps strengthen muscles and bones, and supports many body functions from cardiac functions to brain functions. This is also a key hormone regulator for women. Low magnesium levels can contribute to PMS and menopausal symptoms. Magnesium is found in avocados, green leafy vegetables, almonds, brown rice, and soy or tofu.
Multivitamins can help aid in healthy aging, boost immune function, boost mood, and improve skin cells. There are different kinds of multivitamins, but look for one that has vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, iron, magnesium, and zinc.
So, this winter season, please don’t forget to take your vitamins. Whether it be taking in vitamins from good, daily eating habits or taking a multivitamin, be sure to boost your immune system and stay healthy in theses winter months. These essential vitamins will help you and your family to enjoy the winter season and holidays illness free.
The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.