What to eat in winter: foods that fight the cold

Soups, vegetables and dried fruit are the winter foods par excellence that should never be missing on the table when temperatures drop.During the winter, to fight the cold, it is important to increase the caloric requirement and strengthen the body’s natural defenses through the right foods.

A good winter nutrition , in addition to feeding properly, should support the production of body heat through the metabolism, without accumulating too much fat, toxins and cholesterol .

The three basic foods in winter

The best choice to bring to the table during the cold season falls on three groups of essential foods to warm and complete from a nutritional point of view:

  • The hot dishes, such as soups, stews and casseroles are the foods of winter protagonists because they are nutritious, easy to prepare and counteract the cold as a few other dishes. The combination, then, cereals and hot legumes are the ideal of healthy and antioxidant food ;
  • seasonal vegetables , such as broccoli, spinach, pumpkin, radicchio, savoy cabbage, carrots, sweet potatoes are the preferred source of vitamins and minerals, which support the immune system and are useful for fighting the cold. It is recommended to combine them with fish and meat main courses, fundamental in a balanced diet;
  • the dried fruits , such as almonds , walnuts and hazelnuts are rich in zinc and vitamin E, very helpful in strengthening the immune system and protect the skin from the cold proven due to high intake of polyunsaturated fats and vegetable proteins. Just be careful not to overdo the quantities because they are very caloric.

By alternating these foods in our daily diet, together with proper hydration (perhaps in the form of hot infusions and herbal teas ), we will help the body to maintain correct thermoregulation and prevent seasonal ailments.

The other winter foods to alternate on the table

The variety of anti-cold foods does not end there. The best allies to protect the body and give the right energy charge to face the most tiring months of the year are:

  • legumes : stocking up on lentils , beans, chickpeas, peas is particularly important in winter because iron deficiency makes the cold feel more;
  • cereals : they are fundamental for muscle metabolism, provide energy and increase resistance to cold. Even more nutritious when combined with legumes;
  • fresh fruit: when the cold is bitter, all seasonal fruit, and in particular kiwis and citrus fruits, are a privileged source of vitamin C , useful for strengthening the immune system;
  • meat, fish, eggs : they are all protein foods capable of activating thermogenesis, i.e. the production of heat and counteracting the cold of winter. White meats and blue fish should be preferred as they are less rich in fat;
  • parmesan, dairy products and yogurt : they have the ability to strengthen antibodies and the immune system;
  • honey : it is a beneficial food for the body with antibiotic and balsamic properties;
  • spices and condiments : cinnamon, turmeric , ginger and chili pepper help to increase body temperature, stimulating the metabolism;
  • dark chocolate : the supply of magnesium makes it a privileged food in winter nutrition.

Fighting the cold in winter: what helps?

Yes to sport : the exercise practiced in winter helps to keep the metabolism active and improve circulation, fundamental aspects to maintain correct thermoregulation and suffer less from the cold.

No to drastic diets : in winter, diets too low in calories and fats are not recommended as they would slow down the ability to regulate body temperature, also favoring the weakening of the immune system.

No to alcohol : as far as it is said, the sensation of heat felt after the consumption of alcohol and spirits is only an initial consequence of the vasodilating action of alcohol, which will soon leave room for a vasoconstriction that will favor, instead, the body cooling.

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