Whether you’re a fan of the snowy winter weather or prefer the summer heat, the winter cold is inevitable. The colder months can pose several challenges for older adults. Dangerous weather and snowy roads can mean fewer trips out of the house and fewer visits from friends and family. This also means fewer trips to the grocery store for fresh foods. It’s easier to get our required daily dose of healthy foods like fruits and veggies with fresh produce growing in our backyards, but it’s just as important to keep your diet healthy in the winter months. These winter nutrition tips will help you stay happy and healthy this winter by ensuring you’re fueling your body with all the good stuff.
Here are 5 nutrition tips for winter
Make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D
Vitamin D, the sunny vitamin! During the warmer months, it’s nice to be able to step outside, enjoy the sun, and get your vitamin D. But, during the winter months, you’re probably not going to be sitting outside much! That’s why finding alternative ways to get vitamin D in the winter is essential. It can be hard to find foods that are naturally high in vitamin D, but there are a lot of great options that are fortified with vitamin D. To get a good dose of vitamin D, try incorporating more:
- Fortified cereals and grains
- Fortified milk and milk products
- Fish, like salmon and tuna
Take advantage of in-season veggies
Winter is the peak season for delicious root vegetables, some of the most nutrient-rich veggies you can get! Root vegetables contain nutrients like fibre, vitamins A and C, B vitamins, and iron. Plus, they’re readily available during these cooler months and easy to cook! Try incorporating more parsnips, yams, beets, sweet potatoes, and carrots into your winter diet to get all the nutrients they offer.
Incorporate plenty of healthy whole grains
Whole grains are a great all-year-round choice for older adults because they’re packed with nutrients. Whole grains are a great source of vitamins and minerals like fibre, magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium, and vitamin B6. Plus, they’re a great complex carbohydrate, which means they can help keep you feeling full, which makes it an excellent choice for individuals with diabetes to help manage blood sugar spikes or for individuals who have difficulties eating.
Make sure you’re eating full meals every day
When you’re living on your own, it’s easy to skip meals. Maybe you don’t have the appetite, lose track of time, and forget to eat, or you can’t get out to get supplies. Whatever reason, it’s important to try your best not to skip meals during the winter months. Meal prepping or buying ready-to-eat meals and setting alarms or reminders for meal times are great ways to stay on top of your meals.
Drinking plenty of fluids is essential any time of year, but especially during winter months. Proper hydration benefits every part of your body, helping in digestion, circulation, muscle and joint function, and even helps boost your concentration and cognitive functions. Staying hydrated is also proven to help you prevent and recover from illnesses like colds and the flu. Drinking water is the best way to get that water intake; aiming for six-eight 250ml glasses of water/fluid per day is recommended. But you can also get some fluids by eating fruits, vegetables, and soups.
Maintaining a healthy diet and keeping up with an exercise routine can be especially difficult during winter when you can’t get outside. Winter weather can add extra challenges to what already might be stressful and a lot to handle. With the help of these tips and help from your friends and family, we hope you’re able to have a happy and healthy winter.
Our communities are the perfect opportunity to receive that extra assistance you might need and get your meals prepared by a five-star chef, customized to your unique needs and restrictions. Let us take some of the stress off your shoulders, so you don’t have to worry about grocery shopping, food preparation, or how you’ll stay healthy this winter. Get in touch if you’re interested in living with us or booking a short-term or respite stay!