As the cold weather sets in, our bodies require more energy to stay warm. This is why many of us tend to rely on high-calorie foods during the fall and winter. However, these foods can do more harm than good, not only to our figures but also to our health. It’s important to understand the vitamins our bodies need during autumn and winter to stay warm and ward off illnesses.
Do you find yourself quickly getting tired, feeling weak, sleepy, and irritable as autumn arrives? Are you always cold and constantly craving food? Or do you wish you could hibernate like bears? These are all common consequences of cold weather. However, you can improve the situation by ensuring your body gets the necessary vitamins. There is a group of vitamins and microelements that can be referred to as “cold-fighting” vitamins.
First and foremost, let’s talk about B vitamins:
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine):
Thiamine doesn’t accumulate in the body, so it needs to be constantly replenished. A lack of thiamine can affect our mood and overall well-being. You may have noticed that during dark and cold days, you sometimes feel inexplicably sad, your mood worsens, and you lack motivation. This is likely due to a deficiency of vitamin B1.
It’s important to note that thiamine breaks down under the influence of various factors, such as salt, coffee, and regular consumption of canned foods. To ensure you get enough thiamine, include sources like oatmeal, buckwheat, peanuts, wheat, legumes, hazelnuts, pork, lamb, and poultry in your diet.
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin):
A lack of vitamin B2 can be immediately felt in the body. Symptoms include a feeling of cold throughout the body, cold hands and feet, and back and leg pain. Vitamin B2 deficiency can also lead to anemia, stunted hair growth, and hair loss. Additionally, if your body doesn’t receive enough riboflavin, it won’t be able to fully absorb vitamin B6.
To ensure an adequate intake of vitamin B2, include sources like pine nuts, liver, almonds, mushrooms, eggs, processed cheese, mackerel, and rose hips in your diet.
Vitamin B10 (Para-Aminobenzoic Acid, PABA):
Vitamin B10 is crucial during the cold season as it protects us from the negative effects of the external environment, such as ozone. It plays a role in the formation of the protective interferon protein, which strengthens the body’s ability to fight infections. B10 also protects hair from dryness and gives elasticity and smoothness to the skin, which is especially important in dry indoor environments during the cold season.
Include sources like yeast, molasses, mushrooms, rice bran, whole wheat flour, potatoes, carrots, spinach, parsley, nuts, lemon balm, and sunflower seeds in your diet to ensure an adequate intake of vitamin B10.
Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin):
Vitamin B12 is responsible for oxygen saturation in the blood and helps prevent anemia. This is particularly relevant in late autumn and winter when the air becomes more rarefied, leading to thicker blood even in healthy individuals. A deficiency of cyanocobalamin can affect memory, facial color, and overall weakness. It can also lead to a lack of vitamin B1, which is responsible for mood regulation.
Include sources like liver, mackerel, sardines, rabbit, octopus, beef, sea bass, pork, lamb, cod, carp, and Dutch cheese in your diet to ensure an adequate intake of vitamin B12.
Vitamin C is essential during colds and infectious diseases as it strengthens the immune system and helps the body fight off illnesses. It also regulates metabolic processes necessary for cell and tissue growth.
Include sources like cranberries, lingonberries, citrus fruits, sauerkraut, dried apricots, prunes, and raisins in your diet to ensure an adequate intake of vitamin C.
During autumn and winter, our bodies are at a higher risk of vitamin D deficiency since it is mainly synthesized through sunlight exposure. A lack of vitamin D can lead to poor calcium absorption, resulting in brittle bones, hair, and nails. It can also cause dental problems. To prevent this, consider taking multivitamins that include vitamin D. However, it’s important not to overdo it, as excess vitamin D can have negative effects. Consult with a specialist before making any changes to your vitamin D intake.
Include sources like sea bass, eggs, liver, butter, sour cream, and cream (in small quantities) in your diet to ensure an adequate intake of vitamin D.