Any Canadian will tell you that winter can be a real drag sometimes. There’s not much sunlight to enjoy, it’s cold, and fresh fruits and vegetables are few and far between. It’s easy to put healthy eating aside when you’re feeling down about the weather — heating a frozen pizza or ordering a takeout requires significantly less effort than cooking elaborate meals every night of the week. However, there’s no better time than the winter to stock up on nutrients and vitamins. 

Since most people don’t get as much vitamin D from the sun or go outside for regular physical activity, immune systems can weaken during winter. It’s called “flu season” for a reason — it’s much easier to catch viruses when people are inside more and not as vital as in other seasons. Viruses live longer indoors than they do outside. You have to build up your immune system to remain strong and healthy with hearty foods and essential nutrients. We’ve compiled a list of such ingredients to add to your pantry this winter.

Foods Rich with Vitamin C

Vitamin C is sort of like the superhero of the entire vitamin family. It’s necessary for the growth, development, and repair of all the tissues in the body. It aids with collagen formation in the body, absorbs iron, and is involved with the immune system’s proper functioning. Furthermore, it’s an antioxidant, which means it protects skin cells and helps to even out skin tone. 

Find Vitamin C in fruits and vegetables, including:

  • Red Peppers
  • Leafy Greens
  • Brussels Sprouts 

Add these items to a simple stir-fry with your favourite sauces. ginger, and some rice. 

Fish and Eggs

Fish and eggs are both full of Omega-3 and Vitamin B12. Omega-3 is vital to heart and brain health, and Vitamin B12 aids with the proper functioning of the immune system and contributes to a reduction in fatigue. Both foods contribute to overall excellent health. Fish and eggs, however, can be quite expensive. Depending on where you live, the price of premium fish can add up. And organic eggs (which are higher in vitamins and Omega-3) don’t come cheap. Spending money on quality products isn’t’ always easy for families trying to save money for the future.

If you want to remain healthy this winter and save money, look for flyers to help you save cash on groceries, including fresh fish and top-quality eggs. The right shopping website will direct you to the best deals and highlight the latest supermarket coupons from your favourite stores. 

Food Sources of Iron

Lentils, leafy greens, beans, limited portions of red meat — if you’re not stocking up on these products for winter, consider adding them to your daily diet. Foods rich in iron protect the immune system and help you feel strong and energized. 

Staying healthy in the winter is all about common sense. While curling up on the couch with a bag of chips is relaxing, you won’t gain anything from it. By committing to a few nutritious meals a week, you’ll feel so much healthier — ready to conquer that pile of snow in the driveway with your snow shovel.