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Winter Blues: Uncovering the Common Causes of Vitamin Deficiency

Vitamin deficiencies are not necessarily more common in winter, but certain factors during this season can contribute to a higher risk of developing them. Here are some reasons why vitamin deficiencies may be more prevalent in winter:

1. Limited Sun Exposure: In winter, people tend to spend less time outdoors, resulting in reduced sunlight exposure. Sunlight is necessary for the body to produce vitamin D naturally. Consequently, vitamin D deficiency is more common during this season.

There are some foods I recommend to increase vitamin D naturally. Liver, I know so many of you hate it, but liver is so rich in vitamins and minerals. If you can't stomach it get liver capsules. Bring on the fish, salmon, sardines, swordfish and tuna are great options. A couple non animal sources of vitamin D are wild mushrooms and orange juice. If you are still struggling to get enough you can supplement. I prefer vitamin D drops delivered in oil (for supplement recommendations contact me). Another great tool is red light therapy, there are many options on the market, that all come with their own instructions.

 2. Decreased Dietary Variety: Winter is associated with a decrease in fresh fruits and vegetables consumption. Many individuals rely on canned or processed foods, which may have lower vitamin content. This can lead to deficiencies in vitamins such as vitamin C and vitamin A.

Although we don't have as much fresh fruit and veggies available in the winter there are still lot of options. Incorporate frozen fruit or vegetables into your meals. Our bodies also tend to crave carb dense foods naturally in the winter, turn to things like root vegetables. If you don't want to eat them plain add them to soups, stews and casseroles.

3. Lower Immune Function: During winter, the immune system is often under stress due to the cold weather, lack of sunlight, changes in eating and increased exposure to viruses. Adequate intake of vitamins, especially vitamin C and vitamin D, is crucial for maintaining a strong immune system. Deficiencies in these vitamins can weaken the immune response.

Try to maintain a balanced diet even in the winter months. I also include a lot of immune supporting herbs. I love hot tea, which is a great way to get immune support, vitamins and minerals.

4. Increased Risk of Respiratory Infections: Cold and flu season typically peaks in winter. Respiratory infections can deplete the body's nutrient stores, particularly vitamin C and vitamin A, which are essential for immune function and respiratory health.

Maintaining a healthy diet, hydration, and immune support are important all winter but especially if you get sick. I like to include warm broths, teas, magnesium salt baths and aromatherapy when I'm feeling under the weather.

5. Limited Outdoor Physical Activity: In winter, people may engage in less physical activity due to colder temperatures. Reduced physical activity can lead to weight gain and a decrease in overall health, potentially resulting in deficiencies in various vitamins and minerals.

If you really hate going outside in the cold, try incorporating some indoor activity. There is a vast amount of free workouts online. Pick something you love, even if its just marching in place and some air squats while watching Netflix!

While vitamin deficiencies may be more common in winter due to these factors, it is important to note that they can occur at any time of the year. Maintaining a well-balanced diet, taking appropriate supplements if necessary, and checking in with your provider, can help prevent and address any deficiencies.

*Please check with your medical provider before implementing any changes. This article is for educational purposes only not medical advice.

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