A special cure for winter

Add a teaspoon of chestnut honey to a cup of lukewarm water steeped with fresh ginger, a stick of cinnamon, a cardamom pod and a slice of lemon every morning. During the day have a bowl of homemade yoghurt mixed with a teaspoon each of turmeric, ginger, nettle seeds and grape pips.

When you catch a cold, your metabolism slows because it is fighting a weakened immune system and retains water to protect itself. To prevent this, have an extra half liter of the water and herbal teas you usually drink. Drinking some of this water tepid with a slice of lemon aids the metabolism. If you like, you can add a tablespoon or two of fruit juice or fruit-flavored soda to make it even tastier.

The vitamins A, C and E and the minerals selenium and zinc are the body’s extermination team when it comes to fighting infection.

Citrus fruits, pomegranates, kiwi, red pepper and broccoli area a good source of vitamin C, which destroys enemies that attack the body, replenishes flagging energy, and ensures insulin balance and a sense of fullness.

Carrots, pumpkin, broccoli, tomatoes, spinach, eggs, romaine lettuce are an abundant source of vitamin A, which enhances the immune system. Hazelnuts, almonds, peanuts, walnuts, olive oil, and coconut oil meanwhile are rich in vitamin E, which stabilizes the cell membranes. All belong in your diet. Zinc, which bolsters the body’s defenses against disease, is found in abundance in red meat, chicken, fish, eggs, milk, yoghurt, peas and walnuts.

Sources of selenium, meanwhile, which protects against cell damage, are meat, offal, fish, dairy products, grains and eggs. The omega-3 fatty acids, which the body does not synthesize and must therefore get from outside, are also effective in strengthening the immune system. Skinned fish that has been either grilled, steamed or baked in the oven should be consumed three times a week.

Focus on healthy oils

High-fat diets are known to weaken the immune system, low-fat diets to boost it. You should therefore consume the right kind of oils and in the right quantity. Avoid trans fats, and don’t neglect the omega-3’s.

Cooking oil: Mix olive oil, hazelnut oil and soybean oil in equal amounts and use for cooking.

Use flaxseed oil or olive oil on salads. Use coconut oil in place of cream because it contains a substance that strengthens the immune system.

They say the doctor never comes to a house that let the sunshine in

And indeed vitamin D, obtained from exposure to sunlight, is a key defense against infection. Walk for 15 minutes daily in winter during the daylight hours, and get a blood count frequently. If you have a deficiency, take a supplement.

Since winter vegetables can cause flatulence, drink ginger, coriander, and cardamom teas, or use fresh ginger in your cooking.

Take a brisk, pulse-raising walk every day. Regular exercise can lower your chances of infection by 25% compared with couch potatoes who don’t walk.

Kurdu
elif@istanbulday.com

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