After studying it for more than 30 decades, researchers at the National Institutes of Health agree: the winter blues are real. The contributing factors are varied, ranging from shorter daylight hours to colder weather. If you’re feeling a bit down this winter, and flying to a sunny tropical destination is out of the question, try these popular vitamin supplements which science shows may help to boost your mood, give you more energy and increase your sense of well-being.
Vitamin D is often prescribed by doctors to help make us feel happier, especially in those of us with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), reports the University of Maryland Medical Center. Also known as the “sunshine vitamin,” it can help you to create a sunnier outlook on life even in the dead of winter. You can get vitamin D in your diet through cod liver oil, fortified milk and cereals, eggs, and various forms of fatty fish like sardines, herring and salmon. If you’re using a vitamin D pill, the recommended dietary allowance is 600 IU.
Also known as pantothenic acid, vitamin B-5 helps your body produce energy. Additionally, this energy-boosting supplement helps with stress hormones and is important for healthy red blood cells. You can find vitamin B-5 in many healthy foods, including whole grains, fresh meat and vegetables. Top choices include corn, cauliflower and kale. If you opt for it in supplement form instead, most adults need approximately 5 mg a day.
Vitamin C gets an A+ when it comes to energy and mood. It’s essential for various growth and development processes in your body, and is used to help you produce energy. It may also help to make you feel more alert, thanks to its role in the create of norepinephrine. Top dietary sources of vitamin C include oranges and other citrus fruits, as well as peppers. Vitamin C is especially sensitive to exposure to heat, and cooking vitamin C-rich foods can cause the food to loose a lot of this important vitamin. Raw foods are ideal. Should you choose to use a supplement form of this nutrient, 75 to 85 mg a day is recommended depending on your age and gender.
According to the Harvard Medical School, vitamin B12 may enhance memory and mood. It plays a lot of important roles in your system, such as increasing nerve health. You can find this energy-increasing vitamin in eggs and meat, making it difficult to hit your nutritional targets if you’re a vegan. When taken as a vitamin supplement, most adults should take 2.4 micrograms every day, reports the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements.