The Right Food Choices to Face the Cold

Beta-carotene and vitamin E are among the main allies of our body to counteract the effects of low external temperatures on our body and strengthen the immune system. Of course, we defend ourselves from the cold by covering our body with warm and heavy clothing, with particular attention to the head, neck, hands and feet. At the same time, an adequate food intake helps to meet the increased metabolic demands of the organism for increased internal heat production. For this purpose, it is preferred to take hot meals and drinks.

But what are the foods and drinks to prefer when it's cold? The main advice of the Ministry of Health:

  • Drink 1.5/2 liters of liquids a day, unless otherwise medical advice, preferring hot drinks, to promote the purification of the body and maintain adequate thermoregulation.
  • Take fresh seasonal fruits, citrus juices (vitamin C), vegetables that contain vitamins and mineral salts. The precious content in vitamins, minerals, fibers and substances able to counteract free radicals (harmful molecules that attack our cells every day), responsible for degenerative diseases and cellular aging processes, helps to strengthen the defenses and reduces the risk of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. In addition, the high intake of fiber regulates intestinal transit and gives a sense of satiety, limiting food consumption.
  • Among the foods are recommended pasta with legumes or vegetables, which provide energy, and hot broth (meat or vegetable) that provides liquids and digestible proteins.
  • Meat and fish guarantee the right amount of proteins, essential for the body, and provide heat and energy.
  • In general, all foods containing beta carotene (a precursor of vitamin A) and vitamin E, able to stimulate the immune system, are recommended. Please note that foods containing carotenoids are: carrots, pumpkin, potatoes, tomatoes, spinach, artichokes, red beets, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, while those containing vitamin E are almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, extra virgin olive oil etc.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol and spirits because they can cause excessive dispersion of the heat produced by the body and favor the onset of hypothermia.