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5 vitamins and minerals we need in winter to enhance physical and mental health

Cold winter days bring more viruses and seasonal illnesses, such as the common cold, which requires enhanced body care to stay healthy.

Fortunately, there are plenty of supplements that can help keep our immune system in check and maintain physical and mental health.

Here are some vitamins that you should add to your daily routine in winter:

Vitamin C

Vitamin C supplements have a wide range of functions, including helping to protect cells and keep them healthy, and maintaining healthy skin, blood vessels, bones, and cartilage. In addition to helping heal wounds.

While it is recommended not to take too much vitamin C, getting less than 1,000 mg is unlikely to be harmful.

In addition to nutritional supplements, the vitamin can be obtained from the diet, thus bananas and orange juice are good sources of vitamin C.

Vitamin D

It is known that Vitamin D is essential for immune support. The body cannot absorb calcium unless vitamin D is present, which makes it essential for maintaining bone health.

The vitamin also contains anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and neuroprotective properties, which support immune health, muscle function and brain cell activity, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Vitamin D plays an important role in the immune system, and may reduce the risk of autoimmune diseases, such as diabetes, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Although vitamin D is not a natural ingredient in many foods, it can be obtained from fortified milk, fortified cereals, fatty fish, as well as direct sunlight.

The recommended amount of the vitamin for adults, aged 19 years and over, is 600 international units (15 micrograms) per day for men and women, and the recommended amount increases to 800 international units (20 micrograms) for adults older than 70 years.

Vitamin B6

While all B vitamins are important, vitamin B6 in particular is essential for a healthy nervous and immune system, especially during cold and flu season, according to Medline Plus.

Vitamin B6 deficiency is actually common, and deficiency can lead to symptoms, such as: depression, confusion, and irritability.

The vitamin helps the body convert food into cellular energy, which can help reduce energy and increase fatigue during the winter, especially if you suffer from seasonal affective disorder.

Sources of vitamin B6 include bananas, tuna, salmon, legumes, beef, pork, nuts, poultry, chickpeas, whole grains and fortified cereals.

The recommended intake of the vitamin is 1.3 mg for adults aged 50 years or younger, and after the age of 50, 1.5 mg for women and 1.7 mg for men, according to the Mayo Clinic.


Zinc is a mineral that can help boost the body's natural defenses, especially against seasonal skin conditions, as well as help with sound sleep.

The nutrient is known to help improve the immune system and metabolic function. It plays a role in skin health, immune function and cell growth, and can protect against acne and infections, according to Healthline.

Various studies have linked zinc to several health benefits including boosting the immune system, accelerating wound healing and possibly reducing the risk of some age-related diseases.

Omega 3

Omega 3 is rich in fatty acids and is especially vital during the cold, dry months to help keep the skin hydrated.

The body cannot naturally produce the amount of omega-3 needed to survive, so it is important to get “healthy fats” through foods or supplements.

Research has shown that omega-3 is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, death from cardiovascular disease, sudden death due to irregular heartbeat, blood clots, and some forms of cancer, such as: breast cancer, Alzheimer's disease, dementia, and age-related macular degeneration.

Fish are the best source of omega-3, and the American Heart Association recommends that people without a history of heart disease eat at least two servings of fish each week (total of 170g to 226g).


According to the Medical News Today website, iron is a vital element for the function of hemoglobin, which is the protein needed to transport oxygen in the blood and perform various other operations.

Iron increases energy, promotes a healthy pregnancy and enhances athletic performance. Iron deficiency is more common in female athletes, and can increase the risk of diabetes and liver cancer.

While foods high in iron are the best way to get enough because of the other nutrients that can boost overall health, supplements can be especially good for people who have difficulty incorporating it into their daily diet.

Source: New York Post - Publication date: 27/12/2023


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