Winter Nutrition Tips

Tips on how seniors can boost their immune system and body strong throughout the winter months.

Winter brings cold and flu season, and less access to local fresh produce. This is why it is important for seniors to maintain a nutritious diet that will keep the immune system strong enough to fight oncoming illness. Below are tips on how to maintain a nutritious diet throughout the upcoming winter:

1) Fill Up on Produce

Dark colored fruits and veggies carry important vitamins, enzymes and antioxidants. Frozen produce is also an option, as long as it has not been stored for longer than 1 year from purchase. For those who have a hard time consuming hard foods, steaming vegetables or making smoothies is always an option.

2) Favor Whole Grains

When cruising down the bread, cereal or pasta aisles at the store - choose the whole wheat options. Brown rice and quinoa are great fiber boosters. Those with intestinal issues should always consult with their doctor before increasing their daily fiber intake.

3) Small Meals, Big Benefits

It is crucial for seniors to maintain their weight and blood sugar levels throughout every season. Eating 5-6 small meals a day can boost your calorie intake, improve digestion and keep insulin levels normal. This method of eating can also be helpful for seniors who do not have the appetite for large meals or get bored eating a lot of the same things.

4) Hydration is Key

Proper water intake during cold weather season can help aid digestion and blood circulation, while also improving joint and muscle performance. Aiding your joints and muscles during the winter is important, since many seniors do not exercise as much outdoors when it is cold. Hydration can also aid in recovering from colds and flu. If water seems too boring for you - eat more soups, drink real fruit juices, drink milk or decaffeinated coffees and teas.

Nutritional information obtained from the MedLine Plus website, an agency of the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services.

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