Holiday season is almost upon us … already! There is a lot to love about this time of year, and most of us are making preparations of some kind. Yet there is one thing that we don’t always prepare so well for—holiday season sickness.
Let’s face it; sickness is the last thing we want when we are taking time out from a busy year to celebrate and have some fun with loved ones. Once illness takes hold, it can be more of a challenge to shake it off than it is to prevent in the first place. The good news is that, with a bit of awareness as to which vitamins and minerals your body needs at this time of year, it is easy to prevent sickness of all kinds, from the seasonal to the serious.
As seasons change and temperatures shift, bodies can struggle to adjust. This is especially the case as winter creeps in and there may be fewer sunshine hours; there’s even ice, wind, and snow to contend with in some states.
Optimal health starts with a consistent combination of a healthy diet and exercise. In modern times it is not always easy to get the balance just right, so we can remedy this issue with quality supplements. In this way, we get all of the vital nutrients we need to keep us well. When the holiday season arrives, it can be even more of a challenge, so we have come up with a few ideas on how you can stay healthy this holiday season and beyond:
Everybody has heard of Vitamin C and its benefits; we all know we need it and that it helps us to heal, but how many of us are making sure we give our bodies enough of it?
Found in citrus fruits, berries, red peppers, and many more fruits and vegetables, vitamin C is widely available, yet we are not necessarily consuming enough of it. We may only think about this vitamin when we notice a cold taking hold, and in the winter it can be harder to find as many immune-boosting vitamins in our fruits and vegetables. The answers lie in supplementing with high-quality vitamin C regularly.
This will support your body in so many ways, from aiding tissue growth to promoting healthy blood vessels, strengthening teeth and bones, and forming antibodies to support the immune system. Vitamin C acts as a powerful antioxidant, clearing up those damaging free radicals floating around. Free radicals proliferate in our bodies thanks to the abundance of environmental toxins and pollutants, so, if you are smoking a lot (or around people who smoke) this holiday season, or you’re consuming alcoholic beverages, antioxidants will help to repair your body.
Once you are sick, your body starts to seek out vitamin C in large amounts, and, as we don’t naturally produce it ourselves, we need to be putting enough into our bodies through healthy food and supplements.
A Vitamin C supplement by Vital Nutrients is a great way to get this much-needed vitamin.
Cased in vegetarian capsules, this quality supplement provides you with 1000mg of vitamin C per capsule, which is what your body needs to keep any post-holiday blues at bay. There is more to vitamin C than meets the eye – some of the facts about it
are quite surprising!
If your body is low in iron, you will feel it. This is especially so in the winter months when you can start to feel lethargic and unmotivated. Women will struggle more during their menstrual cycle, so this can be a good time for them to think about supplementing with iron.
A quality iron supplement can be just what you need to boost your energy levels for those seasonal celebrations. This is because it delivers fresh oxygenated blood to your lungs and spleen, as well as your muscles, bone marrow, and cells. Your circulation will be improved, and you can wave goodbye to feelings of fatigue.
The kind of iron your body requires is found in whole foods. This natural source of iron is bioavailable, meaning your body can use it better and you will feel the benefits. It is easier on your digestive system and does not bind essential nutrients to it (making it difficult for your body to absorb them). Maintaining healthy iron levels aid your body in producing healthy red blood cells.
Vitamin A and iron go hand in hand; this means that if you happen to be iron deficient, you are also likely to be deficient in Vitamin A. Vitamin A found in food is known as beta-carotene. This beta-carotene is converted into Vitamin A inside the body, and it takes only as much as it needs before discarding the rest.
Vitamin A helps your vision and bone growth, as well as cell division and growth; it also supports your reproductive and immune systems. It is the vitamin responsible for your eyes, shiny hair, and glowing skin. In the holiday season, we can lose these things through lack of sleep, cold temperatures, and poor attention to nutrition.
It is possible that you’ve come across information about vitamin D before now; it almost became a buzz-word, and now people are more aware of the benefits of this vitamin than ever. The same is true of the dangers of deficiency. If we are vitamin D deficient, our bodies can’t properly absorb calcium. Our bodies also struggle to stimulate the necessary immune responses to eradicate colds and other unpleasant infections.
Vitamin D is present in some foods, such as lichen, yeast, egg yolks, and Portobello mushrooms, and some fish like mackerel and salmon. It is certainly not easy to get the right amounts of bioavailable Vitamin D3 through food sources, and many people rely on the sun's rays to keep their levels optimized.
In the winter months, you may be experiencing a lot less sunshine. The body absorbs vitamin D when it is exposed to natural sunlight, which is why we tend to look and feel better in the summer months. Those not fortunate enough to spend their days in the sunshine may struggle to keep their vitamin D levels high enough for good health and vitality, which is when supplementing becomes necessary.
During the winter, levels can decrease to a dangerously low level, dropping below 20ng/ml (nanogram per milliliter). This is what leads to colds and other bodily imbalances.
It is possible to have your vitamin D levels tested
by a doctor to prevent you from supplementing unnecessarily.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acid supplements are great mood-boosters when you need that post-celebration pick-me-up. Mental clarity is another benefit you’ll receive, along with immunity against colds and other unwelcome invaders. Omega-3 is a very important part of any healthy diet. You can get it through animal foods like fish, but also through some plants.
There are various types of omega-3 fats: EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) is one, and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is another. Both contribute to the health of your heart in a big way. ALA (alpha-linoleic acid) is found in seeds; good sources are flax seeds, chia seeds, and hemp seeds. ALA is converted into EPA and DHA in the body, provided there are enough enzymes present. ALA is not as rich in health benefits as EPA and DHA Omega-3s, and many people supplement.
can boost immunity while preventing strokes, blood clots, and heart attacks. Omega-3 fats are also famed for their anti-inflammatory properties. Omega-3 is not to be confused with Omega-6
, which is omnipresent in a typical Western diet and is detrimental to health. Omega-6 oils like corn, sunflower, and soybean oil give your liver a big workload and increase the risk of heart disease.
Vitamin E really helps your body out during the holiday season. All these activities and changes in climate can wreak havoc on your skin, hair, and nails. This is the last thing people usually want when they’ve got more parties to attend! You can find it in food sources like sunflower seeds, almonds, avocados, and chard, but, generally, we’re not consuming enough of it to get the wonderful health benefits it is capable of giving.
Dry skin, hair, and nails can be a sign of vitamin E deficiency, and it is common. Vitamin E is an antioxidant, like Vitamin C, but it is also very moisturizing, which is the antidote to flaky skin or brittle nails and hair.
Supplementing with vitamin E is the quickest route to radiance and vitality; if you’re looking to supplement with vitamin E this holiday season, look for powerful complexes that provide all the essential protection you could want from your vitamin E.
Good old garlic. The health benefits of garlic have been documented for centuries, and this powerful medicinal food has not yet waned in popularity. Garlic is antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory; some might say it’s a bit of a “cure-all.” It is also noted for its assistance with cardiovascular health and maintenance of healthy cholesterol levels.
Raw garlic is better known for its medicinal purposes than cooked garlic, as, once the garlic is cooked, the enzymes and nutrients can diminish or be destroyed. Raw garlic isn’t so easy to chew and swallow, though, so if you want to get the best from your garlic, consider supplementing with capsules. You can even get garlic supplements that are odor-free, which is great for the holiday season, for obvious reasons!
B Complex is a group of vitamins that convert carbs into energy as well as aid the metabolism of proteins and fats.
B vitamins (or lack of them) can really impact your mood. For example, a B12-deficient person may suffer from depression, fatigue, and anxiety. Vitamin B3 (Niacin/Niacinamide/nicotinamide) is a mood-boosting B vitamin and has been shown to help depression.
B vitamins support your metabolism as well as help you to feel energized and manage stress. It is much easier to take them in a complex rather than to try to source each B vitamin individually.
Magnesium is said to be one of the most important minerals within the body. This is because it organizes other minerals so they are distributed to the right areas. Without it, calcium, phosphorous, sodium, and potassium, and vitamins B, C, and E would not be used efficiently.
Magnesium plays a crucial role in more than three hundred chemical processes within the body. It has been dubbed the “anti-aging mineral.” A youthful appearance is something many of us covet during the holiday season and are sometimes fighting to hold on to afterward!
There’s more! Magnesium supports a healthy skeletal system, as well as healthy arteries and cardiovascular functions. It can be obtained through some food sources, such as nuts, whole grains, beans, leafy green vegetables, and cacao. However, many people are deficient in this mineral, which can lead to serious health problems.
Kick-start your holiday season in the right way with Magnesium Taurate capsules by Ecological Formulas
. Your body will thank you for it!
We all need a healthy gut, but to maintain this, we need to have the right amount of “friendly” bacteria present. This “gut flora” is a major contributor to the strength of your immune system and, when it is diminished (e.g., through poor diet or antibiotics), we really feel it.
You can find probiotic bacteria in health foods and drinks such as kombucha tea, kefir, sauerkraut, and Korean kimchi. For convenient and inexpensive supplementation of healthy gut bacteria, it is often necessary to take a good probiotic supplement.
It won’t be so hard to stay healthy this holiday season if you follow these simple nutritional guidelines. You don’t need to stop there, though! Most who experience peak health and vitality start to enjoy taking care of themselves, and they love the results.