Monday, October 24, 2011
What should an perfect winter diet consist of?
The winter has not officially arrived yet (21th december), but it sure feels like it. The flu, colds, bronchitis and other illnesses are at our doorstep. Therefore, how should one get necessary nutrition during winter? Stay away from desserts and pastries, don’t eat snack foods and consume many fruits and vegetables.
(This will mess up your diet)
Increase vitamin and mineral intake: Illnesses increase during winter. Symptoms include fatigue, Tiredness and headaches. The flu, colds and bronchitis occur more frequently. As it gets colder, our need for energy increases. However, we need to obtain energy from the correct foods. Having a strong immune system is very important during the winter. What protects us from infections and getting sick is our immune system. Since the body’s resistance to disease decreases during wintertime, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends increasing one’s intake of vitamins A, C, and E, which are antioxidants, and minerals, including selenium, zinc and magnesium, as well as omega 3 and omega 9, which are fatty acids.
Eat fresh fruits and vegetables: One must maintain a healthy diet that includes milk, meat, vegetables, fruits and carbohydrates. One of our top priorities must always be fresh fruits and vegetables. During wintertime, when one is more susceptible to disease, do not skip the following foods in your diet.
Maintain vitamin C-rich foods in meals: Vitamin C enables harmful substances to be taken out of our bodies and strengthens the immune system. Such foods as green peppers, salads, cauliflower, spinach, oranges, lemon and tangerines are rich in vitamin C. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables is a better alternative to frozen vegetables since vitamin C can be completely lost in foods that are frozen for more than two months. With every meal, eat salad with plenty of lemon juice. For snacks, eat fresh fruits, including tangerines, kiwis, oranges, apples and grapefruit. Among herbal teas, try to drink rosehip, linden, raspberry, blackberry (not your phone!) and fruit teas.
The wonders of vitamin E: Vitamin E is an antioxidant. The richest sources are fatty seeds. One can find this vitamin in nuts, chestnuts and almonds, oils, vegetables with green leaves, dried legumes and tahini (ground sesame seeds).
Omega 3, found in fish, fish oil, nuts and chestnuts, is a strong antioxidant and strengthens the immune system. Omega 9, found in olive oil and nut oil, also is good for one’s immune system.
For snacks, consume almonds and nuts without exceeding 15 nuts daily. Eat fish at least twice a week. Salmon, blue fish, horse mackerel, sea bass and anchovies are seasonal fish. Prepare your salads with one teaspoon of olive oil and lemon. Consume a meal of dried legumes accompanied by plenty of salad once a week.
Zinc: an important mineral that increases your body’s resistance to sickness in winter. Low levels of zinc, which cause a number of health problems, is common in developing countries. Consuming the recommended amount of zinc helps physical, neurological and psychological development and decreases the likelihood of dying from a life-threatening infection.
Red meat and shellfish as well as animal products such as liver are rich in zinc. Such dried foods as nuts, chestnuts and pistachios, and milk, cheese and dried legumes also contain zinc. Red meat should be consumed twice a week. Do not neglect red meat in your diet by consuming mostly chicken and fish. Have milk, cheese and eggs, one or two at least, during breakfast.
Vitamin A: Vitamin A is great for one’s immune system. It is found in eggs, milk, fish, spinach, oranges, carrots and green peppers as well as in orange and green-colored fruits and vegetables and is an antioxidant.
Eat a variety of vegetables with your meals such as spinach, chard, broccoli, leek and cauliflower.
Consume yoghurt and kefir: Prebiotics are non-digestible food ingredients that stimulate the growth and/or activity of bacteria in the digestive tract. Prebiotics are found in breast milk and fibrous foods, such as artichoke, celery, asparagus and banana. Yoghurt and kefir are also prebiotics.
Some experts believe kefir decreases the chance of a tumor forming or reduces the growth of a tumor. Kefir contains vitamin K, B1, pantothenic acid, niacin, folic acid, vitamin B-12 and biotin. Biotin also increases the absorption of other B-complex vitamins.
Daily, yoghurt, ayran or kefir should be consumed. You can have ayran or kefir as a snack. Eat soups made from yoghurt.
Don’t forget to eat honey: Generally, 82 percent of honey is composed of fructose and glucose sugar while 17.2 percent is composed of water. Honey should be used as a natural medicine against infections and diseases, including colds and ailments of the mouth, throat and bronchi. Honey is recommended for helping to heal wounds and infections.
Consume garlic: There is plenty of water, fructose-containing carbohydrates, sulfur components, protein, fiber and free amino acids in garlic. Garlic is also rich in saponins, phosphorus, potassium and sulfur, while it also contains selenium, vitamin A and vitamin C as well as a little calcium, magnesium, sodium, iron, manganese and B-complex vitamins.
Raw garlic is a potential antioxidant, but excessive consumption of garlic may cause toxic effects on one’s heart, liver and kidney. It is also said that garlic can be useful against cancer by preventing the pressure applied to the immune system.
Raw parsley: Raw parsley is a source of pro-vitamin A. It has an effect on sight, the capillary vessel system, the adrenal gland and the functions of the thyroid gland. Its leaves are rich in vitamins A, C and K, potassium, iron, sulfur, calcium and magnesium. One pinch of parsley meets most of your daily vitamin C needs.
Eat pomegranates over its juice: Pomegranates are considered by some to be a type of medicine for its antioxidant effect.
Carry dried apricots in your bag: Although apricots contribute only a little to one’s daily energy and protein needs, they are very rich in potassium and beta carotene. Beta carotene is required for epithelial tissue, which covers the whole surface of the body, and is important for the health of eyes and bones, tooth development and the functioning of the endocrine glands. Vitamin A affects reproduction and growth as well as increasing a body’s resistance to infections. As an antioxidant, vitamin A prevents the formation of reactive oxygen species, which can act as carcinogens, and neutralizes reactive oxygen species that have already been formed.
Kiwifruit is rich in vitamins: Among the 26 most commonly consumed fruits in the world, the richest one in terms of nutrients is kiwifruit. One hundred grams of kiwi contains 100 to 400 milligrams of vitamin C. It is also the richest fruit in terms of magnesium, while it has much potassium and minimal sodium. It is also rich in vitamin E, copper, sulfur, vitamin B-2 and vitamin A.