Winter is not necessarily conducive to good health; the season conjures up images of calorie-loaded comfort foods, fireside naps, and runny noses.It’s that time of the year when you want to stay in and sip cups of latte under a blanket. What better way to spend winter, right? But it is also the season of colds and flus. Here are other foods that will not just keep you warm, but will keep you fit through winter too
Vitamin D is naturally produced by the body when it is exposed to sunlight. Deficit in winter it is considered to be one of the main causes of seasonal illnesses. Researchers have confirmed that in fish there high levels of vitamin D, which help alleviate the peculiar diseases by increasing the amount of serotonin (one of the neurotransmitters responsible for good mood).
Yogurt with cultures of lactic acid bacteria
Natural yogurt contains live lactic bacteria cultures that help boost the immune system. They are beneficial for maintaining bacterial balance in the gut and prevent excessive growth of fungi. Also, natural yogurt is recommended for general health benefits, including the skin (due to the high content of vitamin B complex).
Garlic is well known to prevent the onset of many diseases, especially colds and flu occurring in winter. This is due to allicin, a substance contained in garlic, which can stimulate the production of white blood cells, which are specialized in fighting the infections. Eat crushed garlic to fully benefit from its properties.
Part of the vegetables family are pod plants, much like beans, lentils, peas etc. They should be considered among the top ingredients in recipes prepared in wintertime, because they are rich in important nutrients. Their taste is pleasant, and after consumption, a persistent feeling of fullness quickly installs.
Cabbage is a food that can be included at any time in the daily menu, as it is low in calories but high in nutrients. This food is a source of vitamin A and contains natural phytochemicals such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which are necessary for maintaining healthy eyes. There are several varieties of cabbage among witch the top nutrient one is kale. All types of cabbage are rich in vitamin C, folate, iron, magnesium, beta-carotene and phytochemicals. Cabbage can be prepared in the form of salads, dishes, or can be added in the composition of hot soups.
Peanuts have a quite decent composition of antioxidants. These are foods that warm-up the body and are an excellent source of vitamin E and B3. Moreover, being a source of monounsaturated fats, they are recommended for heart’s health.
Among grains family, wheat, barley, oats and rice are included. They have been known as essential for the proper functioning of the digestive system and heart health, but also to maintain blood glucose levels within normal limits. Whole grains are rich in vitamin B12. This vitamin helps prevent depression, a condition that often occurs in short, dark winter days.
Pumpkin contains more fiber and fewer calories. This is a hearty food that can be consumed cold season without having to make too many worries gaining weight. It is a good alternative to detox or slimming diets that usually follow the winter holidays. Pumpkin juice is rich in beta-carotene and vitamin E, substances that lower the risk of asthma and other illnesses – from cancer to cardiovascular disease.
Pomegranate juice is rich in antioxidants. Just one cup of this juice daily helps fight free radicals and prevents bad cholesterol deposits on artery walls (causing various heart diseases). Also, pomegranate juice improves blood flow in people with cardiac disease.
Winter is the season of fresh citrus fruits. Oranges are loaded with vitamin C. Two oranges give the body more than 100% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C, and other nutrients as well. In addition, oranges contain folic acid and vitamin B, fiber and potassium which helps keep the heart healthy. Balanced consumption of citrus will keep you away from colds and influenza in winter. Don’t overeat citruses as you’ll probably have digestive system issues.
Sweet potatoes are very nutritious and are excellent foods that can be included in winter menu, as it gives the body the necessary heat. They are a good source of fiber and complex carbohydrates, vitamin A, C and even minerals like manganese and copper. Can be eaten boiled, baked or in soups.
Spinach is recommended to eat during the winter, if you find the opportunity in the markets, as it is rich in antioxidants and iron. Antioxidants will provide energy to keep off the popular winter depression. Include it in soups, salads, dishes and even juices!
Turkey is an excellent food prepared for winter dishes. It is a “weak meat?, containing many proteins and low calories. Added in soups or sandwiches, turkey meat will never disappoint in terms of nutritional properties.