Broccoli and Vitamin D top Canadian choices for curing winter blues, finds survey

Canadians also intend to take more exercise, particularly in British Columbia

The Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) and Leger Marketing polled more than 1,500 Canadians to determine how they plan to stay happy and healthy this coming winter. When asked what healthy foods they will eat, broccoli (69%) and greens (68%) came out as the favourites, particularly among women and the elderly

The majority of Canadians (79%) are concerned about staying healthy and happy during the upcoming winter and to keep their spirits up and their immune systems strong this winter they will eat broccoli (69%), take Vitamin D (55%) and spend time outdoors (55%), a new survey has found.

While winter presents some well-known health challenges to Canadians, the survey conducted by Leger Marketing as part of Natural Health Products Week identified large gaps in Canadians' knowledge and behaviour when it comes to overcoming these challenges. The Canadian Cancer Society, for example, recommends that adults living in Canada should consider taking vitamin D supplementation of 1,000 IU a day during autumn and winter, but only 55% of survey respondents indicated that they plan to take this step.

‘Health Canada recently reported on seven crucial nutrients that Canadians consistently miss in their diets, including omega-3 fats, probiotics, magnesium, vitamin D, calcium, fibre and vitamin A,’ said Helen Long, President of the Canadian Health Food Association, which released the results of the survey.

‘These nutrients affect our health and are especially important in ensuring our bodies have what they need to perform to their fullest throughout this difficult season.’

Additional data from the survey of more than 1,500 Canadians revealed that women are significantly more concerned about the up-coming winter season than their male counterparts (81% versus 76%) and omega-3 fats and calcium supplements are preferred by one third of Canadians as a method of maintaining their health and happiness.

According to the survey results, the majority of Canadians intend to eat healthy foods this winter to maintain their health and happiness (79%). When they were asked what healthy foods they will eat during winter to help keep themselves healthy and happy, broccoli (69%) and greens (68%) came out as the favourites; particularly among women and the elderly.

Meanwhile, two-thirds of Canadians intend to exercise regularly and British Columbia residents are significantly more likely to exercise regularly than people living in Quebec and Ontario.

In an effort to help all Canadians adopt healthy habits, the CHFA is holding Natural Health Products (NHP) Week from 3-9 November. During NHP Week, natural health retailers across the country are inviting Canadians to stop in and chat with experts about how to stay healthy and happy by eating well and supplementing with nutrients to beat the winter blues naturally.