Vitamins For This Season.
November 11th, 2021 / Functional Medicine
Fall is a great time to re-establish some good nutrition habits, now that the bounty of sun and summer produce is coming to an end. We will all be getting less sunlight, less outdoor time, and may tend to default to comfort foods with less nutritional value. If you want to keep your immune system strong moving into winter, it’s time to pay attention to nutrition.
What you eat is the most important thing to consider. Really good fresh food will soon be less available, but it is abundant right now at farmer’s markets. Get all the fresh vegetables and fruits you can right now, especially seasonal produce like winter squashes, pumpkins, dark leafy greens like kale and chard, and fresh seasonal fruit: apples, pears, and grapes.
But, I know how difficult it can be to always pick highly nutritious meals, especially as schedules get busier in the fall and everyone seems to pick up the pace after a more relaxed summer season. That’s why I recommend a fall refresh of your supplement routine. Fall is an important time to support the immune system, in preparation for cold and flu season. If you aren’t taking these vitamins already, I suggest adding these to your daily routine this month:
- Vitamin D3 with vitamin K2 : Less sun exposure means less natural generation of vitamin D, so as the days get shorter, it’s smart take a supplement. Vitamin D is instrumental for healthy immune function and the metabolism of calcium. Taking vitamin K2 along with vitamin D helps the body send calcium to the bones rather than the arteries, to reduce the risk of heart attack, which is more likely in winter.
- Vitamin C: It’s an oldie but a goodie. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that shields you from cellular damage due to viruses and other infections as well as pollution. It may shorten the duration of colds, strengthen blood vessels, and reduce blood pressure and the risk of heart disease. Since heart attacks and high blood pressure are more common in the winter, taking vitamin C now may help protect you.
- Omega-3 fatty acids: Dry winter air can contribute to dry, flaky, and chapped skin that can look prematurely aged. Omega-3 fatty acids like fish, krill, or algae oil can help protect and maintain the moisture barrier in skin while also decreasing inflammation and increasing the health and effectiveness of immune cells.
- Probiotics: These friendly bacteria can shore up and support the microbiome and help to regulate both the innate and adaptive immune systems in ways that could help you avoid getting sick this winter.
Here’s wishing you a happy, healthy fall season!
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