As temperatures have started dropping it is time to really focus on healthy winter foods that promote thermoregulation. That’s right! Regulating body temperature can be a real challenge for aging adults. It is important that winter season foods be both nourishing and warm to help you keep comfortable, cozy, and healthy. Body temperature and nutrition have direct correlations that promote healthy organ functions, including:
- Heart and circulatory system
- Gastrointestinal tract
- Lungs/ respiratory system
- Electrolyte balance, hypoglycemia, respiratory alkalosis, metabolic acidosis
Maintaining Health and Wellness All Winter Long
Maintaining health and wellness all winter long requires focusing on essential nutrients and vitamins. Nutrient deficiencies can lead to scurvy, vitamin B12 deficiencies, folate and impacts the way your body can balance and regulate your internal temperature. It is a good idea to talk with your doctor about what your specific body needs in order to focus on an individualized wellness plan. Here are some nutrients to focus on and food sources that provide them.
Iron promotes healthy lung function and allows oxygen to be delivered to vital organs, such as lungs, and decreases the risk of pneumonia, flu, inflammation of the lungs from injury. Common sources of iron include:
- Dark chocolate
- Lean meat, such as poultry
- Liver and other organ meats
- Pumpkin seeds
Vitamin C can help decrease the risk of infection. When there is poor regulation of body temperature, gastrointestinal infections are more likely to occur. Seasonal plant sources for vitamin C include:
- Citrus fruit, including lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruit, and pineapple
- Potatoes, sweet potatoes and yams
B vitamins promote metabolism and energy levels and the creation of new red blood cells. Older people are particularly deficient in B vitamins because, as bodies age, it becomes difficult to absorb. Vitamin B12 is present in meats, beef, poultry, fish, shellfish, but not as present in dairy and egg products.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3’s are known as “healthy fats” and are a nutrient that promotes feeling full. Primary sources of Omega-3 fatty acids are:
- Fatty fish like anchovy, tuna, herring, rainbow trout, and halibut
- Pumpkin seeds
- Olive and other plant oils
- Supplemental vitamins are necessary in some cases
Healthy Winter Checklist
Staying healthy this winter simply requires your focus! Here is a checklist to help you out:
- Focus on lean proteins and iron-rich foods
- Balance your diet with healthy fats
- Root vegetables, such as beets, butternut squash, carrots, parsnips, and yams are your friends!
- Eat more salad with leafy greens, like chard and kale, full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants
- Stick with citrus
- Vitamin D in foods like eggs, milk, seafood, whole grains, but also sunlight and supplements
Larkspur can help you stay healthy during winter!
At Larkspur, we believe that you should Live Well! Located in the community of Pearland, TX, our neighborhood has much to offer for staying healthy, active and connected. Visit our website at https://www.larkspuratshadowcreek.com/ or call us today at 713-436-7000 so that we can help you get achieve your goals for health and wellness!