Stay fit throughout winter Part 2: Eating right

A balanced lifestyle is fundamental to good health – all you need is sleeping well, moving around outside with fresh air (don’t forget your warm outfits!) as well as a healthy and diversified diet.

Regular portions of food rich in vitamins can boost the immune system – which is important in Autumn and Winter. Although citrus fruits are known as vitamin C-booster, they also have a “cooling” effect on your body. Therefore if you love a walk in chilly morning or night time, it is better to eat less orange, lemon, kiwifruit and papaya during the cold seasons. In contrast, broccoli, brussel sprouts, kale or cabbages, as well as black berry, rosehips and seaberry are good source of vitamins. Common root vegetables of the season, like carrots, celery, beetroots, parsnip, black salsify, radish and garden radish, can also provide adequate nutrients to your body. Either a soup, a stew or a gratin with these vegetables can be good to strengthen your body.

Vitamin C and Zinc are important

Vitamin C and zinc form a strong support team of your body’s defense system. Vitamin C strengthens the scavenger cell, known as the first defense line against virus and bacteria. Zinc cares the special cells in the immune system against germs.

Also you should cut your alcohol consumption as much as possible. “Alcohol kills germs” works only in external application ;-). In fact – you might have heard about all these – alcohol deterioates yoour liver and weakens the scavenger cells or the “fighters” in your immune system, which means an opened door to germs. Also alcohol will increase the body consumption of vitamin B1, folic acid, zinc and magnesium, and slow down the absorption of important nutrients like vitamin C, potassium and phosphate, resulting in a weaker immune system.

Another type of food you should be aware of is milk and wheat products. According to traditional Chinese medicine, they – as well cold drinks and dishes – can induce mucous build-up in your body, and weaken your stomach and spleen and eventually the immune system in general. So it is recommended to take a warm breakfast with oatmeal, cereals, nuts, fruits, seeds in rice milk or soy milk. Chinese people say stomach works the best between 7am and 9am, and to spleen it is 9am to 11am. That is also the ideal time for taking a high-energy, warm meal to boost the metabolism and your body.

Try it out!

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