Check out this video from our Nutrition Operations Manager Kelsey Moore for tips on staying healthy this holiday season!
The winter months are a time for celebration as holiday season is upon us! From a health perspective how can we ensure we’re supporting our immune system and maintaining a healthy balanced diet while also prioritizing our mental health?
Holidays are a time to enjoy with friends and family (with this year sharing that time with your immediate family and “safe six”). Even in small groups sharing food with your close circle is a great way to spend the holidays. This holiday season don’t stress about eating “the right foods” eat foods that bring you joy and foods that help to keep you full and satisfied.
What kinds of foods can we choose to keep ourselves healthy over the winter? Nutrient rich foods like like salmon, and high fiber fruits and veggies like kale, mango, carrots and avocado will help us to support our immune systems (Check out our poke bowl recipe below!). With emerging new studies, one particular nutrient of interest when it comes to supporting our immune system is vitamin D.
What is vitamin D?
Vitamin D is an important nutrient that helps to maintain healthy bones as well as involved in nerve function and immune support.
How does it work with our immune system?
New research is emerging with the link between vitamin D status and maintaining a healthy immune system. Those with low vitamin D status may be at greater risk for developing viral respiratory tract infections although more research is needed to determine wide spread population based interventions. So how can we ensure we are getting adequate vitamin D in our diets? Food sources high in vitamin D include fatty fish, cow’s milk, and some fortified plant milks. Did you know our bodies also synthesize vitamin D from the sun? Here in Vancouver in the winter months however, it is difficult for us to synthesize enough vitamin D therefore, we need to pay particular attention to food sources of vitamin D. Sometimes supplementation is warranted when we cannot meet our needs from food. Please speak with your medical doctor or registered dietitian prior to taking a vitamin D supplement.
Want to know more about supporting our immune systems? Check out how vitamin C, zinc and selenium play a role in supporting a healthy immune system.
Poke Bowl Recipe
100 g smoked salmon from West Coast Select
1 cup shredded organic red kale (or variety of choice)
½ cup brown rice
1/3 sliced avocado
½ cup shelled edamame
¼ cup shredded carrots from Fountainview Farm
¼ diced mango
¼ cup sliced cucumber
1 sliced of raw red onion (or pickled red onion)
1 tbsp. garlic aioli made with avocado oil
1 tbsp. black sesame seeds
Nutrition Facts (per 1 bowl)
Calories 663 kcal
Carbohydrates 62 g
Fiber 12 g
Fat 32 g
Protein 36 g
Vitamin C 67 mg
Vitamin D 46 IU
Calcium 247 mg
Selenium 39 mcg
Zinc 2.3 mg