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Must Have Nutrients for Healthy Holidays

The holidays can be fun, but they can be taxing too. Stressing over the perfect gift, touching germy public places, eating rich foods and partying with greater frequency, it’s no wonder a lot of us get sick this time of year.  The good news is that there are key nutrients to support your mind and body so you can stay healthy throughout the season.

Vitamin C – This classic immune-booster is even more critical during times of stress when our bodies go into “fight or flight” mode, triggering increased blood pressure, heart rate and other bodily processes. As a powerful antioxidant, this vitamin clears up harmful free radicals that can make you sick, so make sure you’re getting enough. Since Vitamin C is water soluble, replace it every day. If you’re a coffee drinker, you may need even more Vitamin C since coffee leaches it out of your system.

Vitamin D – Most of our Vitamin D comes from the sun – something a lot of us rarely see in the winter. This vitamin helps your body absorb calcium and fight off invaders that come with being holed up in close quarters with family and friends.

Magnesium – The Rodney Dangerfield of the minerals, Magnesium gets no respect. Yet it’s needed for more than 300 bodily processes and vital for energy and surprisingly, for relaxation and sleep, too. It helps organize other minerals in your body ensuring they get to the right areas.  Add spinach, pumpkin seeds, or avocado to your day to replenish your supply.

B Complex – Boost your mood, energy, and metabolism with B vitamins. Both B12 and B3 help lift mood while B1, B6, and B7 are crucial for metabolism of protein, fat and carbs.  B-rich foods include: spinach, eggs, meat, salmon, whole grains and fruit. It’s much easier to take an array of B vitamins in a complex than ingest individually.

Probiotics – Whether it’s too much of Aunt Nancy’s “special” eggnog or the extra slices of pumpkin pie, your stomach may be talking back to you. That’s where probiotics, or friendly bacteria, can help. Not only do probiotics aid digestion, since most of your immune system resides in your intestines, probiotics help you stay strong too. Some of the foods highest in probiotics include unpasteurized sauerkraut and yogurts containing live active cultures.

Vitamin E – With cold temperatures and furnaces blowing hot air, it’s no wonder we have dull skin, dry hair and cracked nails in winter. Vitamin E adds moisture. Look radiant by supplementing with this vitamin or adding almonds, avocados and leafy greens daily.

Optimal health starts with eating right and getting plenty of exercise. Not always easy to do in modern times and especially difficult during the holidays. Supplements can help insure you’re getting the vital nutrients you need to sustain you into the New Year and beyond.