PROTEINS AND VITAMINS TO WARD OFF THE COLD.

Legumes, white meat, seasonal fruits and vegetables, citrus fruits. Here are some ingredients of the anti-cold diet suggested by nutritionists

To better defend against the bitter cold and the seasonal ailments, in addition to heavy clothing, good food is also an effective ally. Legumes, meat, seasonal fruits and vegetables, dried fruit are some anti-cold foods: in fact they provide the body with an adequate caloric intake and give an energy boost to the metabolism, invited through the diet to produce more heat. Here some tips for the colder weeks.

 

Why you feel cold

The biological thermometer is regulated by skin thermoreceptors, microscopic sensors capable of detecting heat and cold. They perceive the changes in the heat of the environment and trigger the response at an organic level, thanks to the thermosensitive neurons that are found in the hypothalamus.

In other words, they help keeping body degrees as constant as possible through a thermoregulation mechanism that disperses heat (if it is hot) or promotes its production (if it is cold).

If the effect is known, however, the mechanisms by which, at the same temperature, some people feel a comfortable feeling and others are cold remain to be clarified. The ‘cure’ for this seasonal discomfort is natural and consists mainly in choosing ‘hot’ foods, which does not mean boiling and just removed from the heat, but capable of producing more energy that translates into more heat and a rise in internal body temperature.

What are proteins for?

BASIC TIPS

There are at least three rules to remember when it is cold:

Eat more – Increasing your daily calorie intake, opting for large portions of protein foods which, with few calories, nourish the muscles and help burn the accumulated fat. Among these, the most suitable are white meats, fish, legumes, eggs, ricotta, low-fat cheeses and yogurt. But foods that promote the elimination of toxins and help to keep cholesterol levels are also indicated, in particular:

-garlic and onions, which carry out an antibacterial action;

-legumes, such as beans, chickpeas, peas and lentils that improve intestinal activity thanks to the presence of fiber and bring iron that helps fight anemia and tiredness;

-fresh seasonal fruit (especially citrus fruits and kiwis), for the supply of good quantities of vitamin C;

-seasonal vegetables (spinach, chicory, pumpkin, turnips, carrots, broccoli) that provide minerals and antioxidant vitamins that help fight physical stress related to the cold.

No to excessive diets. Very restrictive diets with very few calories and few fats, are not recommended in cold periods as they slow down the ability to regulate body temperature.

No to alcohol. Avoid wine and alcoholic beverages in general because after an initial vasodilatation which determines a sensation of heat, then they leave room for a vasoconstriction that induces very cold.

 

Anti-cold food for excellence

Considering that the diet must always remain varied and balanced, on the winter table there should never miss some foods consumed in alternate phases:

Legumes – They are among the richest iron foods; a mineral particularly useful in cold because it helps to create a sort of shield against this external atmospheric agent. In addition to legumes, the iron assimilable by the body is found above all in meat and fish.

Kiwis – They help the skin to defend itself from the cold. In fact, they contain 85 milligrams of vitamin C for every 100 grams of fruit (compared to the average 50 milligrams of citrus fruits), which favors the production of collagen, a support structure for connective tissues in general and the dermis in particular.

Broccoli and cruciferous – They are rich in vitamin C and carotenoids, precursors of vitamin A, which stimulate the immune defenses, which are more fragile in winter. Valuable substitutes for broccoli are also carrots, squash, potatoes, tomatoes, spinach, artichokes, red beets, cauliflowers and peppers, all vegetables in which carotenoids are found in abundance.

Meat – It is good to introduce protein foods in the diet, especially in winter, including meat (better white), albeit in moderation (better not to exceed 200 grams per week), since an excess of proteins could weigh down the liver and kidney work.

Dried fruit – In particular walnuts, which provide the body with a good supply of zinc which helps to combat cooling states. This mineral is also found in beef, egg yolk, oysters, crustaceans, cereals, legumes, vegetables, wheat germ, beer yeast and soy lecithin. We also recommend the consumption of almonds and hazelnuts that contain tocopherol (vitamin E). Among the seasonings, extra virgin olive oil is rich in vitamin E.

Orange (and citrus) juices – Speed ​​up the metabolism that produces more heat. In addition, thanks to vitamin C and anthocyanidins, they help to fight seasonal ailments, carrying out a protective action on cells and the immune system.

Yogurt – Constant consumption of probiotics reduces cases of infection and makes the flu forms less aggressive.

Cereals – They are an excellent source of fiber that helps the body warm up without weighing it down.

Water and tea – Hydration is also important. In winter the advice is to provide liquids to the body through water, tea, herbal teas and soups.

Sweets in moderation – Cakes, biscuits and candies, are not useful for body warming, they only weigh it down. In fact, sugars have a low thermogenic power and fats. Once in a while, among the delicacies you can indulge yourself  in dark chocolate, because the intake of magnesium helps fight fatigue, and caffeine to stimulate the nervous system.

Spices and more – A pinch of ginger in the dishes increases the flow of blood circulation and thus performs a warming action for the body. While chili pepper, which also contains a good dose of vitamin C, is a vasodilator and as such it can help to decongest.

 

Winter dishes

-Cereal and legume soups: pasta and beans, lentil pasta, pasta and chickpeas, rice and peas and so on;

-Vegetable soup with pasta or rice.

They are dishes that can be enriched with proteins of animal origin, with the addition of grated cheese for example, and with vitamin E and antioxidants thanks to the use of extra virgin olive oil.