What Vitamins Do You Need During Winter?
Morgane Leten - Nutrition & Fertility Expert Coach
At Guud Woman, we love all the seasons, and winter is no exception. Whether it’s settling in with a hot cup of tea or playing in the snow, winter has its moments.
But the colder months also come with some downsides too. Shorter days mean less time spent outside and less exposure to sunlight. The cold weather can also cause hair and skin to be dryer and itchier. And as certain foods go out of season, there are changes in our diet. There are more germs floating around, too, which means our immune systems need to work extra hard to protect us from getting sick. Learn more about How to boost energy and immunity
The best defense? Filling your body with some super-powered vitamins and minerals that are scientifically proven to help balance the effects of winter on the body. Ideally, you can get most of your vitamins and minerals through food, but the reality is that no one has a perfect diet. Adding a high-quality supplement to your routine can make a world of difference. And if you take it a step further by aligning your vitamins and minerals with your cycle, you’ll be unstoppable this season! Here’s how to do it…
Understand the Four Seasons of Your Cycle
The first step is understanding your cycle. There are four phases - or seasons - in every cycle: Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. During each season, your body needs different things: different food, different activity levels and a different approach to sleep and socialization. That’s because the hormones estrogen and progesterone fluctuate throughout the month.
To learn more about the Four Seasons of your Cycle, check out our full blog post here.
Once you know what season you’re in, you can start adjusting your vitamins and mineral intake according to your cycle.
Which Vitamins and Minerals Can You Add to Every Season of Your Cycle?
Menstrual Phase (Winter)
Let’s start with winter. This is the phase of your cycle when you’re bleeding. It’s best for rest, downtime and recovery. When you’re losing blood, it’s always a good idea to stock up on extra iron, magnesium and zinc. You can start by munching on some iron-rich food like dark leafy vegetables, beans or seafood. But it’s sometimes hard to get all the nutrients you need from food alone. You can find all of these nutrients in a supplement.
Follicular phase (Spring)
This is the phase just after your period ends. During this time, you might feel more tired and less focused than usual. During the first few days of your follicular phase, your estrogen levels are still quite low. But don’t despair! When estrogen levels start to rise again, you will feel much more energised. During this phase, your ovaries are getting ready to release an egg during ovulation so the best mineral to get more of is zinc!
If you’re trying for a baby, it can be a good time to add a multivitamin that contains active folic acid and zinc.. Folic acide helps prepare your body for a healthy pregnancy, and we recommend you take these 1 - 3 months before you are pregnant.
Ovulation Phase (Summer)
You’ll feel confident, social and generally more joyful in this phase, so make the most of it. All this happy energy results from higher estrogen levels which peak around ovulation.
Maintaining a healthy dose of zinc can be a good idea in this phase as it can help prevent breakouts that sometimes occur after ovulation.
Premenstrual phase (Autumn)
During this phase, your cortisol levels spike, and your body needs more time to recover, especially if you do a lot of high-intensity exercise like HIIT training or running. Make sure to support your stress hormone with a high-quality magnesium supplement. Magnesium helps support healthy cortisol levels.
The sudden decrease in estrogen and progesterone the days before your period triggers an inflammatory response. It is this inflammatory response that is thought to be part of the cause of PMS symptoms. Focus on healthy fats (omega-3). Studies have shown that omega-3 can reduce inflammation.
After spring and summer, you’ll definitely benefit from some solo time in this phase. Nourish yourself with healthy food, do yoga and if you’re feeling more negative emotions, it’s a good time to practice some self-care. You can also try to add a supplement which contains sustainable omega-3 made from algae (no fish oil) to support mood and mind.
We recommend that you take supplements daily for 3-6 months to see the best results. If you experience a decrease in your menstrual issues, you can take your supplement according to your cycle.
When you’re in tune with your body, you’ll start to see an impact on every part of your life, from work to your social life to your athletic performance and your sex drive. If you want to know more about cycle syncing, check out our blog post called Cycle Syncing: Why is it So Guud?
Have questions? Talk to us. We have experts available to answer your questions and help you with any menstrual health problem you might be having. Just head to the Support page on our website.