There are enough reasons to love winter… The coziness with candles, walks in nature, drinking warm drinks, the holidays with your family, watching your favorite films and series, seeing your friends, enjoying a glass of Gløgg and eating all the delicious food.
But along with the winter joy comes a few downsides. Shorter days and less daylight affect our moods and the cold temperatures are challenging our body and immune system and might dry our skin.
To avoid the seasonal cold, to keep the glow on your skin and to stay happy and healthy this season, it can help to focus on some specific vitamins.
Read on to learn which vitamins we are talking about and how to integrate them into your daily winter-routine…
During winter, there is a spike in people getting sick and suffering from a cold. While research suggests that high intake of Vitamin C might not directly help you to prevent a cold, however, it may reduce the duration of common cold symptoms by approximately 10% (1).
Vitamin C is known as an antioxidant but is also crucial for the production of collagen, which is an essential component of connective tissue and plays a vital role in wound healing. It can also regenerate other antioxidants in the body, such as Vitamin E, and improves the absorption of iron.
– Vegetables (eg. red and green peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, potatoes, tomatoes, cabbage, cauliflower)
– berries (strawberries, acerola cherry,buckthorn, aronia, blackcurrant)
– fruits (lemon, orange, clementine, grapefruit, kiwifruit).
Clementines and other citrus fruits are great sources of vitamin C
Ideas for integrating Vitamin C into your everyday winter-life:
• Drink a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice.
• Prepare a raw vegetable snack for work with your favorite vegetables rich in vitamin C.
• Add broccoli and/or cauliflower to your favourite curry dish, on top of a salad, or how about some broccoli pasta?
• Eat kiwifruit, orange or clementine as a dessert or between meals.
• Press fresh lemon juice over your meal.
Since the days are shorter and the nights are longer during winter, vitamin D is one of the main nutrients we can become deficient in. You probably know already that Vitamin D is synthesized in your body when exposed to sunlight. Therefore, people living in Nordic countries are particularly at risk during the winter months. In Denmark, more than half of the population has insufficient vitamin D levels, and 14 % are considered to be deficient, according to a Danish study (2).
The main function of Vitamin D is to stimulate the absorption of calcium from the intestine. Since calcium has a major role in bone health, Vitamin D is essential for optimal mineralization of the skeleton. This is one of the reasons why many people are experiencing severe joint pains during the winter season. In case of serious Vitamin D deficiency, the bones can even become thin, brittle or misshapen.
However, vitamin D is not only important for your bones. Since Vitamin D receptors are present in a number of tissues in our bodies, it seems that this vitamin is involved in other important body functions. In fact, research has shown that Vitamin D plays a role in infections, muscle strength, cancer and autoimmune diseases (3).
Additionally, studies suggest that vitamin D supplementation can be favorable in the case of depression (4).
– Fatty fish (herring, salmon, sardines, mackerel, tuna)
– animal liver, egg yolk, cod liver oil
Ideas to integrate more vitamin D into your everyday winter-life:
• Eat fatty fish
• Since it is almost impossible to reach the required amount (7,5 μg daily) through the diet, you may consider taking Vitamin D supplements. This is especially recommended for elderly, vegetarians and vegans.
Are you curious and want more information about vitamin D? You can find the article on vitamin D here.
At NJORD we added Vitamin D3 (the activated form) to all our supplements during the winter season to guarantee you sufficient levels of this vitamin. NJORD personalizes your supplements according to your intake and needs. We believe that nutritional supplements should be personalized to you.
Begin your online test here, to find your personal supplement.
(1) Douglas RM, Chalker EB, Treacy B. Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 1998, Issue 2.
(2) Thuesen B, Husemoen L, Fenger M, Jakobsen J, Schwarz P, Toft U, et al. Determinants of vitamin D status in a general population of Danish adults. Bone. 2012 Mar;50(3):605–10.
(3) Heaney RP. Vitamin D in Health and Disease. Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology : CJASN. 2008;3(5):1535-1541.
(4) Spedding S. Vitamin D and Depression: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Comparing Studies with and without Biological Flaws. Nutrients. 2014;6(4):1501-1518.
Written by: Saskia Wurm