Eating healthy this winter is more important than ever before, especially as we enter the cold and flu season.
With short days and long nights, we’re likely to be exercising less and eating worse than we do in the summer months - a time where the sunlight seemed to stretch out long past the end of the working day.
As we enter winter, it’s important to keep our immune system thriving.
By eating healthily and consuming the recommended number of vitamins and minerals in our diet, we can bolster our immune system and keep enjoying the things we love.
So, what is an immune system?
Our immune system is a ‘a complex network of cells, tissues [and] organs’, all of which work together to ‘fight infections and other diseases’ in the body.1
Think of the immune system as a key worker in the body. It’s in our best interests to keep the immune system in good health, as it provides us with an essential service we can't live without.
How can we build up our immunity in winter?
Though eating healthily is recommended at all times of the year, some vitamins and minerals are less likely to be consumed in winter due to seasonal produce selections and the lure of the Christmas chocolate aisle.
Therefore, it’s important to know which vitamins and minerals you may be lacking due to the weather (vitamin D, we’re looking at you!), and through the great British diet.
Vitamin B, C and D specifically contribute to the normal function of the immune system, so it’s recommended that you consume enough foods containing these vitamins.
Here’s our round up to the best food sources of vitamins B, C and D, all of which contribute to the smooth running of your immune system. 2
Meat: Pork; chicken; turkey and tuna are excellent sources of vitamin B.
Vegetables: Broccoli; brussels sprouts and peas.
Other: Marmite (or Vegemite in Australia), soya and fortified foods (many cereals are fortified with vitamin B).
Meat: Pork, chicken and turkey are excellent sources of vitamin B.
Fruit: Oranges, strawberries and blackcurrants.
Vegetables: Peppers of all colours; broccoli; brussels sprouts; kiwi fruit; kale and potatoes.
Meat: Red meat, liver and oily fish (salmon; sardines; herring; mackerel).
Other: Egg yolks; fortified foods (many yogurts and alternative milks add vitamin D to their recipes).
If you struggle to eat enough foods containing vitamin B, C and D, the VÖOST range of effervescent vitamin and minerals can provide support to your diet. Available at Boots, Superdrug and Ocado in the UK.
Supplements should not replace a balanced diet and active lifestyle.