Massive winter storms that force us to stay at home can sometimes be quite relaxing, but it’s fair to assume that some Americans often get into this rhythm of abrupt laziness once the temperature outside hits below forty degrees. Unfortunately, this trend has become commonplace for individuals of all ages because people have the tendency to indulge when the weather is not necessarily particularly inviting outside.
Although these fat-based comfort foods make you feel satisfied, the overall lack of nutrition causes your body to be more sluggish, often times more ways than one. While most of us can be tempted to be bundled up enjoying some hot chocolate, questioning whether or not your body needs the empty calories from a certain product is the best way to go in terms of eating well throughout the winter.
With this in mind, it’s vital to maintain a steady, nutrition based calorie intake throughout the winter as a means of boosting your immune system, feeling more energized and to actually engage in physical activity regardless of the temperature outside. Especially for the elderly, as you age well into your sixties or seventies your body naturally absorbs less nutrients from food, so pay special attention to how these loved ones are keeping up with their health.
The below is a general nutrition guide to follow during the winter months:
-Staying in the house during the wintertime not only increases physical fatigue for many people, but also creates an overall lack of vitamin D to lack of exposure to the sun. If you are unable to intake vitamin D from the sun naturally, consuming products such as insoluble fibers (grains), egg yolks and seafood which is very low in fat.
-Try your best to consume at least two to three servings of dark, leafy green vegetables which are super rich in antioxidants. Even if these types of vegetables are not necessarily your most favorite types of produce, you can try incorporating them in soups or stews or pairing them with sweeter vegetables such as yams.
-Carrots and yams have the naturally high sugar content that allow them to mask the not so sweet or sometimes bitter flavor of leafy green vegetables which are packed with vitamins. One resourceful way to convince your children or even other adults that are not too fond of green vegetables to consume is by combining them in smoothies which would cover any non-sweet taste.
-With oranges, grapefruit and other citrus fruit in season during the cold, winter months, make a special effort to ingest these heavily packed vitamin C goods that are rich in flavonoids to increase good cholesterol. Doctors and various other medical professionals agree that it is much better for your health to actually consume the fruit in its entirety instead of processed drinks with a high level of artificial sugar.
Indulging in an occasional scoop of ice cream or two won’t necessarily be immediately detrimental, but please bear in mind that not forgetting those leafy green vegetables or a bowl of oatmeal can go a long way in terms of preventing sickness. For more information to stay well this winter take a look at Fairfax’s article which touches upon a variety of ways to help this process.