Last updated on November 14th, 2023 at 11:26 AM
As we get further into winter, days become shorter and seasonal illnesses begin to circulate, which can have a significant impact on our day-to-day life – including our moods and routines.
With this in mind, I had the privilege to speak to Abi Roberts, Sports Nutritionist from Bulk.com, who reveals the best foods and supplements to consume during the winter months to support immunity and boost our mood.
Essential vitamins and supplements for winter
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin C and Zinc
- Citrus Fruits
- Fermented Foods
Vitamin D – to combat reduced natural sunlight
Abi says: “Vitamin D is an absolute staple in the winter months, as our exposure to natural sunlight is limited from October through to March, which can result in low vitamin D levels.
“This nutrient is essential as it plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy immune system and bone strength. Supplementing with vitamin D can help mitigate the risk of deficiency and support overall well-being during the darker months.”
Vitamin C and zinc – to boost immunity
Vitamin C paired with zinc is also essential for flu season, as Abi explains: “Both vitamin C and zinc are vital for a robust immune system.
“Consuming these supplements during winter can help support your body’s defences against common winter ailments. Vitamin C is also important to maintain healthy skin, bones, and encourages wound healing.”
Echinacea – protects against winter illnesses
Abi says: “Echinacea is a popular herbal supplement known for its potential to boost immune system function. During winter, when colds and flu are more common, incorporating echinacea into your supplement regime can provide some added protection, helping to reduce the severity and duration of illness.”
As under half of the UK admits to having supplements regularly, it is equally important that we eat the right foods to boost our immunity this winter.
Citrus fruits – a good source of vitamin C
For those who find it easier to work vitamins into their diet rather than taking tablets, Abi says: “Fruits like lemons, limes, and oranges can provide a significant boost of vitamin C and make for a refreshing and uplifting taste during blue winter months.”
Turmeric – has anti-inflammatory properties
Abi explains “Turmeric contains curcumin, a compound with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Adding turmeric to your winter dishes, or taking it in capsule form, can help alleviate inflammation, soothe winter-related aches and pains, and support overall well-being during the winter months.”
Fermented foods – promotes a healthy gut
Abi says: “Incorporating fermented foods like yoghurt, kefir, and sauerkraut into your winter diet can be particularly beneficial. These foods are rich in probiotics, which promote a healthy gut microbiome.
“A well-balanced gut can help strengthen the immune system, improving your body’s ability to fend off winter illnesses and maintain overall well-being.”
Reduced sunlight exposure in winter can lead to deficits in essential nutrients. Ensuring you have the right vitamins during winter is crucial to support your immune system, helping you ward off common colds and flu and providing optimal support for your health.