It’s that time of year again; the temps have started dropping, the heaters are being pulled out of the garage, and everyone seems to have a runny nose or couch!
This time last year, we were all so terrified that the slightest sniffle was COVID; luckily, this year, it’s probably just a run-of-the-mill cold.
So while we start adjusting to the impending winter season, have you looked at adding any winter-specific supplements to the shopping list? If you haven’t, don’t stress because we’re going to be talking about our…
TOP 3 MUST-HAVE WINTER SUPPLEMENTS!
Number 1: Vitamins (Specifically D, K and C)
We’re kicking things off with an obvious one, but you would be surprised how many of us could benefit from taking vitamins regularly. So we’re going to discuss the three vitamins we think you should be taking this winter.
• Vitamin D – The sunshine vitamin! Our bodies can produce Vitamin D when our skin is exposed to sunlight, but as winter creeps in, the days get shorter and our chance for soaking in some rays becomes less and less. Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is a fat-soluble vitamin that supports bone health by regulating calcium absorption. It has also shown to promote immune health and aid in weight loss. BUT the secret benefit of this vitamin is its ability to fight the winter blues. New studied suggest that Vitamin D can lift your mood, clear brain fog, and even reduce symptoms associated with depression.
• Vitamin K – More precisely, Vitamin K2; this not-so-well-known vitamin works wonders for the body, especially when combined with our friend Vitamin D. Vitamin K2 (menaquinone) a fat-soluble vitamin that is essential for blood coagulation and calcium metabolism. It also promotes heart health by preventing the calcification of blood vessels and supporting healthy kidney function. Like our cave-men ancestors, we tend to become less active during winter, which can wreak havoc on our bones and joints, especially for over 50s. Vitamin D3 and K2 are essential core vitamins required by our bodies to support bone health; Vitamin K2 helps ensure that the calcium Vitamin D3 is transporting through the body can be absorbed effectively.
• Vitamin C – This one is a no-brainer, although most people don’t know how beneficial this vitamin is. Yes, it is excellent at supporting our immune systems, but it is also necessary for normal blood vessels and connective tissue structure and function. In addition, it is an antioxidant to protects against free radicals and supports your metabolism. Vitamin C also helps regulate energy levels and even fights tiredness and fatigue. Finally, studies have shown that Vitamin C is essential to maintaining and regulating our internal body temperature, which is a massive bonus for those inevitable colder winter days.
Number 2: Turmeric
Our all-time favourite WONDER spice. We’ve covered the benefits of Turmeric a million times over but for the purpose of this article; we want to specifically talk about the benefits related to your immune and gut health.
Turmeric & The Gut – Did you know that 60-80% of your entire immune system is in your digestive tract! Without a healthy balance of good bacteria, your immune system can be compromised. More so than an imbalance of bacteria, inflammation within the gut has shown to significantly increase your susceptibility to seasonal colds, flu and infections. Enter Turmeric with its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial properties; these all make it the perfect supplement to support your gut health, which supports your immune health. A recent study discusses Turmeric's ability to bolster the immune system by increasing the immunomodulating capacity of the body. With Turmeric becoming a staple in most Australian households, we highly suggest upping your daily dose during these colder months because Turmeric not only helps our bodies fight nasties, it supports it with so many other functions (see our blog page here for more information).
Number 3: Collagen
This one might surprise you because generally, people think of collagen as something women inject into their faces to plump their lips or smooth out their wrinkles. Well, let us tell you that it is SO much more than that! Collagen is the ‘glue’ that keeps your entire body connected and systems working correctly. Over 30% of your body’s protein – your skin, bones, muscles, tendons and joints are made up of collagen. In addition, collagen is naturally fibrous, which is why the lipids or fat molecules help hydrate the skin and joints.
Marine Collagen – As the name suggests, this collagen is derived from marine life, but don’t let this scare you; there is nothing fishy about the health benefits this supplement offers. Many of us experience dry and cracked skin during this season due to the cooler temperatures and decreased humidity levels, plus dry indoor air thanks to heaters and fires. Marine collagen has shown to support dermal fluid retention and repair the protein fibres and elasticity of the skin. Not only is collagen great for your skin, but it also promotes hair and nail growth, restful sleep and muscle recovery.
Plant-Based Collagen – A rise of awareness and change in our eating habits has seen the popularity of plant-based products skyrocket. Thanks to research and science, we can re-create the amino acid structure of collagen by breaking down various plant proteins (like mushroom, hemp, soy, and pea protein). Similarly to the marine-derived form, plant-based collagen also supports skin, hair and nail health. In addition, it is also great at promoting gut health because of its amino acid profile (which we know is essential for our immune health!).
Although we’ve covered our top three supplements to support your body this winter, there is one more thing we want to touch on that can make a world of difference to your health this season… Food.
That’s right, quite simply, the food you eat during these colder months can be the difference between staying healthy and feeling lethargic, run down and unwell.
Ensuring your diet is loaded with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables will ensure you’re getting the recommended dose of essential vitamin and minerals. We also suggest adding warming soups, curries and hearty stews to your menu rotation to promote gut health and keep you toastie warm.