Tips for staying healthy this winter

As sad as it is to say goodbye to long summer evenings, there can be a sense of excitement with the great joys of Christmas and Halloween around the corner. However, with the worry of flu season and catching winter viruses the winter can become challenging.

Cold spells and slippery pavements can mean less trips to the shops for fresh fruit and vegetables, the opportunities to eat socially decrease and many feel less physically fit and able.

At Crouched Friars we understand that food is one of the factors in life that we can control and by making small adjustments to our residents’ diets during the colder months we can enjoy a worry-free winter.

Now, let’s look at some easy foods you can introduce into your diet to help keep happy and healthy through winter.

Eat more iron-rich foods

Foods such as red meats, lentils and green leafy vegetables are good sources of iron, which supports a healthy immune system.

Up your intake of oily fish, eggs and cheese

One of the most vulnerable parts of the body in winter is our lungs, which are susceptible to colds and respiratory infections. Oily fish is rich in Omega 3 and should be consumed three times a week as it helps to increase airflow and protect the lungs. Cheese and eggs are packed with vitamin B12, which boosts the normal functioning of the immune system and helps to reduce fatigue and tiredness.

Choose fruit and vegetables rich in vitamin C

Did you know that peppers actually contain over three times the amount of vitamin C of an orange? Be sure you add them to your recipes during the colder months, along with citrus fruits, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and red peppers as they effectively boost vitamin C and fight colds.

Swap sugary foods for stews and soup

The winter months can often make us reach for ‘comfort foods’ that can lower our immune systems and energy levels. However, there are lots of winter foods that are nutritious and comforting. Age UK have a variety of winter warmers on their website. Why not try their winter one-pot sausage casserole, packed with vegetables, vitamins and minerals, giving you a balanced meal in a dish.

Winter can be a particularly difficult time for somebody living with dementia, therefore, ensuring a nutritional diet is particularly important throughout the cold, virus, pneumonia and severe flu season. It is especially important to ensure your loved ones are eating enough and monitor that they are eating a healthy and well-balanced diet.

Also check that they are taking their medications, drinking plenty of fluids, and maintaining a regimen of appropriate vitamins and supplements that can only help to strengthen them against winter viruses.

If you’re supporting somebody living with dementia, the Alzheimer’s Society has some great tips on how to ensure your loved ones are kept safe and comfortable during the colder, winter months. You can view more here.

Let us help

If you or a loved one is worried about the upcoming winter weather and requires a little helping hand, then our friendly team is here to support.

Crouched Friars provides an entirely bespoke package of care for all residents and prides itself on its rich culture and warm environment. To keep up to date with everything going on at the home, you can follow our Facebook page @CrouchedFriars or call our friendly team for more information on 01206 572647.

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