Mother Nature has a perfect plan for all of our body needs, but we might be falling short of some vitamins and nutrients during the winter months. We start feeling more stressed and tired once November hits. In Europe, after a beautiful, hot summer and a relatively mild autumn start, the body often starts giving you signs when the rather colder winter begins.
One thing we can be certain of, is there will be a lack of sunshine in the regions that are gearing up for winter. Unfortunately, most us don't have the opportunity to pack our bags and spend the next months in a warmer part of the world. Therefore, we need to take care of our body and mind during this rather gray and cold period and give ourselves a supplement boost of important nutrients.
What do consumers expect from their supplements during the winter?
Especially during winter, it can become unavoidable for us to take supplements. Our body and mind need help with boosting our immune system, dealing with tiredness and fatigue, and overall well-being. Two of these important supplements are omega-3s and vitamin D.
Omega-3 benefits during the winter:
- Omega-3s support brain health and improve our mood
- Omega-3s reduce and prevent inflammation in the body, boosting our immune system
- Omega-3s help to keep the moisture in the skin and can improve dry skin conditions
- As we eat more foods high in omega-6 in the winter, a balance of omega-3s is even more important to support heart health.
Since our body is unable to produce essential omega-3s, we need to obtain them through our diets or through supplementation. Some of the most well-known omega-3 supplements among consumers are fish oil and krill oil.
Vitamin D benefits during the winter:
- Vitamin D helps to boost your immune system
- Vitamin D is important for the maintenance of normal bones and muscle function
- Vitamin D helps to reduce depression, which peaks during the winter months
The sun is the major source of vitamin D, which is also known as the sunshine vitamin. However, even during summer months, many of us are not getting the required daily dose of vitamin D. A four-year EU funded study has revealed that 13% of the EU population are vitamin D deficient. Even a small amount of just 0,75mcg vitamin D has proven to show great health benefits.
Find out if you are getting enough
In order to make a change and improve your omega-3 and vitamin D levels in your body, you should first find out if you are already getting enough. Doctors can test your vitamin D levels, during a general blood test, however today consumers can simply test their own levels in the comfort of their home. Self-test kits are available for both omega-3s and vitamin D!
Levels of omega-3s can be tested by using a test called the Omega-3 Index. The Omega-3 Index is a nutritional tool that provides feedback on an individual’s omega-3 status. A level of above 8% is considered ideal; however, a recent study has shown that levels around the world are low.
Read more: Do you get enough omega-3s from your diet?
Such simple home tests help consumers to be aware of their own condition, which can lead them in the right direction when choosing a supplement. These tests can also help consumers to determine the effectiveness of their supplements. Some product brands have started to sell the tests along with their products. However, due to regulations, this may not yet be available in all countries.
Consumers are looking for combination supplements with proven health benefits
Many consumers today are looking for a one-stop solution and combination products can provide the answer to this calling. The trend of pairing omega-3s with other ingredients, which provide additional or similar health benefits, is on the rise. Therefore, a combination product of omega-3s and vitamin D would be the perfect offering for the winter months and could even come in special Christmas gift packaging.
Omega-3s and vitamin D are two of the most studied supplements and therefore clearly deliver proven health benefits. Product brands are able to communicate these benefits to consumers in a clear, easy and understandable way. Both ingredients have supported health claim opportunities in most parts of the world.
To get the full potential from an omega-3 source, krill oil features a natural combination of essential fatty acids, EPA & DHA, with choline and astaxanthin. Filled in small capsules, a combination of krill oil and vitamin D will provide consumers with a comfortable, complete solution. Krill oil also provides the additional benefits of its omega-3s being bound to phospholipids, which are responsible for carrying EPA & DHA into the cells more efficiently and are gentler on the stomach, causing no fishy aftertaste or burps.