Tue. Nov 30th, 2021

Without reaching the level of the bear or reptiles, many believe that winter also causes us humans to “hibernate” to some extent and that our functions slow down in the cold. Nevertheless, cold is more than proven as therapy (we are talking about cold or snow baths): improves blood circulation, reduces inflammation, strengthens the nervous system, and improves sleep and testosterone!

Be that as it may, it is clear that the nutritional demands of our body, in winter, are different. Although in Spain the thermal difference is not so great (and we alleviate it with constant air conditioning) as to justify a metabolic change and therefore modify the amount of calories and energy we need, it is true that in winter we feel like it , For good reason !, heat (spoon dishes, stews, soups …); while in summer, due to the greater demand for water in our body, we naturally opt for salads or dishes with more vegetables and, therefore, a greater intake of liquid.

Like the need for fluids and calories varies in winter against summer, our need for protection against different external agents such as virus than those we face at one time and another. For example, in cold months the presence of viruses such as influenza or bacteria such as those that cause colds is greater. Thus, apart from the Covid, in winter we tend to suffer this type of ailments and diseases, more or less mild, that occur with cough, excessive mucus, headaches, muscle discomfort … Keep our defenses strong and alert is the best help we can give ourselves in front of all of them, so let’s see what our allies can be in this time, always respecting the natural food calendar.

In February we find mainly ‘acid’ fruits such as oranges, loaded with vitamin C, and vegetables from the cruciferous or cabbage family, loaded with vitamins C, E and K that strengthen the immune system and give us a good energy boost. and vitality for these cold months. Let’s look at some more examples:

All green

Chard, spinach, cabbage, endive … You will find them in your greengrocer in February and March in all their splendor. They contain vitamins: A, B, C, E, K, folic acid …, all of them with positive effects on the immune system (in addition to digestive and cardiovascular). You can consume them both alone, sautéed or pureed, as well as incorporate them into any meat or fish stew to complete the protein intake.

With vitamin C

Tangerines, strawberries, lemon itself and also kiwi, orange and grapefruit give us a good shot of ascorbic acid that, although it is more famous for keeping colds at bay, is above all essential for repairing tissues (and prevent those cramps we talked about above). It is always better to consume the whole fruit or snacks, but you can also add it to your smoothies or to your recipes, they are a colorful, and very healthy, contribution to your salads!

Ginger, all year

Although we cannot strictly say that it is in season, as it is kept dry, its harvest takes place in winter, so at this time it is when we can find it cooler. Used as seasoning and it is especially versatile, since it combines with both sweet dishes (cookies) and savory dishes (in stews of meat, prawns, vegetables, etc. it provides a very characteristic spicy touch). It has important properties to strengthen the immune system and helps us eliminate toxins and fight respiratory problems. In addition, it is a good ally, in infusion, to warm up in the coldest moments.

Garlic and onion, the classics

Both are seasonal most of the year, they are great allies of our defenses, thanks to their antiviral and antibacterial components, and that is why we did not want to forget them here. Raw, in infusion, in soup and as an essential part of almost any dish of Mediterranean cuisine.

Cocoa, well chosen

It is the food with the greatest capacity antioxidant that exists and also one of the best sources of magnesium, which regulates the function of the muscles and the nervous system. Maybe you did not know that it is also recommended to calm a persistent cough (a remedy has never been so delicious). Choose it pure, without added sugars or sweeteners, to enjoy all its benefits without the health disadvantages of ultra-processed products.

Tulsi, a discovery

This curious and perhaps little known herb is known as the Holy Basil of India. I wanted to include the tulsi in this small list to publicize its properties to fight colds and flu, relieve congestion and lower fever. Some studies classify it as an adaptogenic plant, which means that it helps the body deal with the external (change of time or stress, for example). It is taken as an infusion, hot or cold.

And let’s not forget that meat and fish also have seasons. Thus, now we will find at its best the besugo, the lubina, the mussel o la trout; just like him rabbit, the Turkey or the venado. Complete a balanced diet and, if you have doubts, ask your trusted fruit vendor, fishmonger or butcher, they will know how to advise you on what foods to buy at each season.

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