A few decades ago, we would’ve called them “grandma’s tips.” Today, with the revaluation of plants and foods as preventive agents, we call them resources. They are readily available foods that strengthen our body and prepare it for the cold weather and its risks.
In the 5 thcentury A.D., Hippocrates, the “father of medicine,” said: “Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.” This wise Greek philosopher made an essential discovery: the good functioning of the body is based on the type of foods we offer it and their quality.
Therefore, nutrition is the natural way to prevent diseases. Foods, and the specific nutrients they contain, deeply influence the overall well-being of organs, systems and tissues in the body.
The respiratory and immune systems are the most affected by temperature changes and the hazards of viruses and bacteria. The following list presents some foods that can help you strengthen such systems.
Onions and leeks.These both have sulfur compounds as part of their essential oils, which are responsible for their distinctive strong flavor and odor. Among these substances, we find thiosulfinates, which carry out an important antiasmatic and antiinflamatory function. This is why they help reduce the typical congestion related to the change of season.
Pumpkins.Foods have a determinant influence over the general well-being of organs and tissues. The combination of dry, cold air outside with the hot atmosphere inside the house or workplace can lead to mucosal dryness. Pumpkins have two substances that are essential for this time of the year: vitamin A and mucilagus—a kind of fiber that has an emolient, hydrating action that helps to prevent irritation of the throat and nose, and can even be useful against gastritis.
Honey and lime.The bactericidal properties of honey are well-known. Therefore, it is an indispensable food in your pantry during the cold months of the year. A teaspoon of honey with a few drops of lime and warm water can relieve a cough crisis. As grandma would say: “it's just what the doctor ordered.”
Cabbage.This vegetable is an excellent source of vitamin C, as well as citric acid, which enhances the beneficial activity of this vitamin. It therefore strengthens the immune system to resist colds.
Raw fruits.Most fruits are also great sources of vitamin C. To take advantage of all their nutrients, it is better to eat them whole and unpeeled, since plenty of their nutritive potential is concentrated in their skin. If you decide to eat them sliced or in chunks, don’t forget that cutting fruit causes the loss of many vitamins, since contact with atmospheric oxygen increases and so does oxidation. The best thing to do is cut the fruit right before eating it.
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