In the cold winter months, seniors are less likely to go outside and get the sunlight they need to produce vitamin D. However, there are a few ways to get around this obstacle while still remaining healthy. Caledon senior care experts offer 4 tips to help seniors get more vitamin D in the winter.
1. Add Mushrooms to the Diet
Many different kinds of mushrooms produce and store vitamin D when they are exposed to ultraviolet light. When purchasing mushrooms, it is important to spend some time researching how they are grown and where they come from. Wild maitake and shiitake mushrooms generally contain the most vitamin D because they thrive in direct sunlight.
2. Eat a Full Serving of Fish at Least Twice a Week
Fresh fish provides seniors with a wide variety of health benefits, including quite a bit of vitamin D. As a general rule, canned and frozen products lose most of their vitamin D while they are being processed. Some of the healthiest seafood options for seniors include trout, swordfish, eel, mackerel, carp, and halibut. Fish that has not been farmed typically contains more vitamin D because the animals have access to plankton, seaweed, and other natural food sources that are rich in vitamin D.
3. Take Vitamin D3 Supplements
Choosing a good vitamin D supplement can be a complicated task. Many multivitamins only contain vitamin D2, which is almost exclusively found in plant life. However, when humans and animals are exposed to the sun, their skin produces vitamin D3. A senior’s vitamin D supplement should ideally contain an equal amount of these two nutrients. Those who are still not getting enough vitamin D3 should consider taking a daily dose of cod liver oil.
4. Consume Vitamin D-Fortified Dairy Products
Many people do not realize vitamin D is destroyed during the pasteurization process. The vast majority of dairy products only contain a trace amount of vitamin D unless they have been fortified with this nutrient. Seniors who rely on dairy products for their vitamins should look for milk, butter, and cheeses that have been reinforced with vitamin D.
Focusing on proper nutrition can boost your elderly loved one’s health in a variety of other ways as well, and a caregiver from Home Care Assistance can help with meal prep and grocery shopping to ensure your loved one is getting the nutrients he or she needs. In addition to respite and live-in care, we also offer comprehensive Parkinson’s, stroke, and Alzheimer’s care Caledon, ON, seniors can count on. For more information and to schedule a free consultation with one of our reliable Care Managers, call 905-951-8885 today.