We have a tendency to run to the doctor whenever we fall ill. However, medicines should be our last resort. Whatever we take into our bodies in the form of food and drink has a significant impact on our health. With temperatures plunging in the UAE and barbecue weather around the corner, what are the precautions we should take in terms of diet for the winter here?
Winter is the season of colds and flu. Science says that foods which generate heat for the body (thermogenic foods) can increase blood circulation and speed up our metabolic process and digestion. Greater intake of these foods can help minimize loss of body heat or hypothermia.
Taking in foods like ginger, dates, garlic, oats and bell pepper as well as drinking a lot of green tea can help you keep warmer during winter months.
• Ginger: In addition to being a food that warms you up, ginger offers many other health benefits. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties and can help you fend off flu by inducing healthy sweating.
• Garlic: Garlic is another thermogenic food and when crushed, emits a pungent compound of sulfur called Allicin that has medicinal benefits.
• Oats: Oats is taken by many people who are trying to watch their weight as it is rich in fiber. Now you know that it also has the benefit of increasing our metabolic rate and thus warming our body.
• Dates: Dates is one of the mainstays of diet in this region and is easily in plenty. It is not only easily digested, but it also has high dietary fiber. It is rich in vitamin K (a blood coagulant) and vitamin A which is good for the eyes.
• Bell Pepper: Available in many colors like green, yellow, red and even rarer colors like lavender and bright purple, bell papers are a rich source of antioxidants like vitamin A and C.
• Green tea is known for its antioxidant properties and ability to boost our immune system. It accelerates the oxidation of fat and makes metabolism very smooth.
Eating these foods in larger quantities can help offset the damage caused due to the higher level of allergens and dust particles in the air. When our bodies get all the vitamins and minerals they need through our diet, it can help strengthen our immune system. Eating cruciferous vegetables or green vegetables like broccoli and cabbage can help maintain specialized immune cells in our intestines and skin that can help fight infection. They have a high level of chemicals called glucosinolates which our level of protection against stroke, heart disease and cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and bladder. So, now we have many more reasons to enjoy our greens.
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