During the winter we are exposed to many changes in temperature, going from the cold outside to the hot and dry environments of the heated interiors, which can cause our defenses and health to suffer, increasing the risk of infections. Also, shorter days with fewer hours of light can affect our mood.
As in many other aspects related to health, our diet affects our immune system and our performance, being always important to eat a healthy diet. Next, professionals from the Vithas Xanit Internacional Hospital offer us some simple nutrition tips that will help us strengthen our immune system, as well as keep us healthy and energetic during the winter.
Abundant fruit and vegetables, especially seasonal
Fruits and vegetables provide us with a large amount of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. All these nutrients help strengthen our immune system and increase our performance, so they are also key in a healthy diet in winter.
Seasonal fruits and vegetables are especially beneficial, of which we have a great variety at this time of year:
- Fruits that are harvested at the end of autumn, with a sweet flavor and very appetizing at this time, such as apples, pears, pomegranates and grapes. Cherimoyas, whose flavor is sweet and provide a lot of vitamin A, are also highly recommended.
- Seasonal vegetables include pumpkin, endive, red chicory, tubers, and all types of zucchini. Vegetables such as chard, endive, spinach, and most green leafy vegetables are also rich in vitamin A.
- Citrus fruits such as oranges, tangerines, lemons, pineapples and grapefruits, provide us with vitamin C, which is very beneficial for our immune system. Other fruits and vegetables also provide us with vitamin C: kiwis, red peppers, parsley or broccoli, among others.
- The vegetables that make us cry, such as onion or garlic, as well as leeks or chives, have antibacterial and disinfectant properties, so we should also use them regularly in our dishes
Foods rich in Vitamin D, allies to combat depression and discouragement
In winter, less exposure to sunlight causes our body to produce less vitamin D, whose deficiency can cause discouragement and depression, as well as being linked to problems such as osteoporosis or heart disease, which can also be aggravated due to deficiency of this vitamin.
To avoid vitamin D deficiency due to lack of exposure to the sun during winter, it is important to include foods rich in vitamin D in our diet: fish (salmon, tuna, hake …), eggs, avocado and mushrooms are some from them. Calcium intake can also help reduce stress and anxiety.
Foods that comfort and provide energy
To withstand the low temperatures of winter, we need foods that in addition to vitamins and minerals provide us with energy and internal heat. For this, cereals, such as oats, rice, millet, quinoa, etc… are a good source of energy and carbohydrates.
Legumes, such as lentils, beans, chickpeas and soybeans, among others, also provide us with a good amount of energy, in addition to vegetable proteins and a lot of fiber.
Nuts also provide us with a good amount of calories and their fatty acids are heart-healthy, and are also highly recommended. For example, chestnut is one of the most typical nuts of the winter season, very appetizing at this time, especially roasted.
Soups and broths
Soups, creams and stews are a great way to consume enough fruits and vegetables in winter, and at the same time to lighten meals, which tend to be more copious than at other times of the year. In addition, since they are recipes that are eaten hot, they help us to warm up and comfort us in the face of low winter temperatures.
Soups and broths also help us to stay properly hydrated, as they contain a good proportion of water. If possible, it is recommended that the broths and soups be homemade, whose ingredients are more natural than ready-made instant ones that usually contain many additives.
Hot food and drinks
In general, it is advisable to take hot food and beverages, with many spices, since they help to warm our organs and muscles inside, stimulate our blood circulation and metabolism, and help us to better cope with the cold.
Drinking tea and infusions is also a good way to warm up, while staying hydrated. In addition, some infusions, such as thyme, help digestion and soothe throat irritations.
Dietetic and nutritional advice at Vithas Xanit Internacional
If you are seeking help from a specialist in nutrition and dietetics, at Vithas Xanit Internacional our specialists will provide you with the best nutritional advice, personalized according to your case and needs. Contact us for more information or make an appointment.
Vithas hospitals are safe hospitals
Vithas’ 19 hospitals are safe hospitals for patients and professionals thanks to the implementation of strict safety protocols against covid-19. Among the measures implemented, the establishment of two different circuits stands out: one for people with symptoms compatible with covid-19, and the other for other patients.
Additionally, we supply masks and hydroalcoholic gel to all people who come to the hospital for any reason. In addition, the Group is carrying out massive virus detection tests on all personnel, who are equipped with all the necessary self-protection measures.
A security that has always been reinforced thanks to the fact that all Vithas hospitals implement the strict protocols of the Joint Commission International, world reference body that accredits patient safety and healthcare excellence.
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