Vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids in winter

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Fit and in a good mood through the winter with vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids

The wet and cold and cloudy winter weather not only strains the human immune system and leads to cough, runny nose and sore throat, but also affects many people's temper. Vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids can help against the so-called winter blues.

Dark days put pressure on the mind The wet, cold, cloudy winter days can put a lot of strain on the human immune system. The changing temperatures between indoors and outdoors and the dry air make the airways susceptible to pathogens. As a result, there is often cough, runny nose and sore throat and body aches. In addition, the dark days put many on the mind. For example, the so-called “Seasonal Depression (SAD)”, also called winter depression, is triggered by a lack of light. In naturopathy one sees an important development factor for the seasonal depression also in a disturbed metabolism. But the negative inner attitude towards winter can also play a role.

Omega-3 fatty acids not only in fish In order to counteract this winter blues and an increased susceptibility to bacterial and viral infections, an increased intake of vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids can help. Vitamins D and B12, folic acid and polyunsaturated fatty acids (e.g. fish oil) in particular could have a positive effect on mood. Fish has long been considered an essential part of a healthy diet, particularly due to its high proportion of high-quality protein and the various minerals and vitamins it contains. For some time now, however, the health-promoting effect of the high proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids such as omega-3 fatty acids has become a focus of interest. Omega-3 fatty acids are also said to reduce the risk of certain diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Omega-3 fatty acids are not only found in fish, they are also found in flaxseed, linseed oil, rapeseed oil, walnuts or walnut oil, for example.

Lack of “sun vitamin” in winter D The wintery, cloudy days usually bring with them a cloudy mood, often combined with a feeling of debilitation. During the winter months, the body throttles the production of the "happiness hormone" serotonin due to less UV light and releases more of the sleep-promoting hormone "melatonin". Low-light times also lower the blood level of "sun vitamin" D, which the body can produce itself under UV radiation. This vitamin is not only essential for strong bones but can also lighten the mood, especially in winter. If the need for vitamin D cannot be remedied by natural sunlight or a visit to the solarium, vitamin D can also be administered in the form of tablets, capsules or oily drops.

Positive effects on psychological well-being For a stable psyche, vitamin B12 and folic acid have also been shown to offer further support. Together with vitamin B6, they lower the level of the amino acid homocysteine. This can damage body cells and is also linked by science to the development of depression. Current research suggests that regular use of multivitamin supplements could have a positive impact on mental wellbeing.

Certain vitamins keep the psyche and immune system in good shape The polyunsaturated fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and decosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which are abundant in fatty sea fish and their oil or are derived from algae, have also proven to be protective for psychological well-being. Two birds with one stone also kill vitamin D, certain B vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids, because they keep both the psyche and the immune system fit. Vitamin D, EPA and DHA could regulate inflammatory processes and vitamin B12 keeps the white blood cells of the immune system, leukocytes and lymphocytes, functional, for which folic acid is also essential.

Vitamins can counteract inflammation. The antioxidant vitamins E and C and the pro-vitamin beta-carotene are also added as immune-aid. Because by neutralizing aggressive oxygen particles (free radicals), these vitamins can counter inflammation. Finally, vitamin A must not be missing in the team, because it is important for the function of the so-called T helper cells in the immune system and for keeping the mucous membranes healthy as a barrier for pathogens. (ad)

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