Our hospital’s Nutrition and Diet Specialist Sinem KAYA SAVCI answered those who were curious about the foods that strengthen our immunity in these days when the winter makes us feel better.
Why does our body’s immunity drop in winter?
With the cooling of the weather, both our immune system and our metabolism slow down. As long as this happens, our physical activities begin to decrease and our water consumption decreases, this time with malnutrition. All three factors slow down our metabolism and immune system. We can strengthen our immune system by making changes in our diet. At the same time, as our body starts to get cold during this period, we tend to prefer carbohydrate foods or high-calorie foods that provide high energy. Because we act in this way, this time we increase weight and our immune system slows down.
What foods do we need to consume to strengthen our immunity?
In order to strengthen our immune system, we must first eat protein-based foods. Proteins are very important in this process. There are two types of protein; one of animal origin, the other of vegetable origin. Proteins of animal origin are foods such as meat, milk, chicken and fish. On the other hand, we need to add legumes such as walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, dried beans, chickpeas and kidney beans to our meals during winter. Another factor is vitamin C, which is very important in this process. There is vitamin C in green leafy vegetables, especially citrus fruits such as orange, tangerine and grapefruit. In addition, capia pepper is also very high in vitamin C. Vitamin D is mostly taken from the sun, but we cannot benefit from vitamin D much in the winter months. Vitamin D, which is one of the most important factors for strengthening our immunity, is also found in salmon and milk. In addition, omega 3 also helps to increase our immunity. Fish should be consumed 2-3 times a week, especially in the winter months when the fish season opens. Likewise, walnuts can also be consumed as they contain omega 3.
Metabolism slows down during the winter months. What should be consumed to speed up metabolism?
We need to improve our diet. We have a sample plate model for a healthy diet. The sample plate means that half of the plate consists of vegetables and the other half of protein and carbohydrates. We need to change our eating habits and eat less often and less. Think of our metabolism like a machine. The more you run, the more efficiency you will get. For this reason, nutrition is a must at this point. The second is water consumption. In the winter months, unfortunately, with the cooling of the weather, our water consumption decreases and we start to consume more hot drinks. But these do not replace water. For this reason, we should consume at least 2-2.5 liters of water a day, even up to 3 liters if we can go up. Unfortunately, our physical activity decreases as we cannot go out with the cooling of the weather during the winter months. But at this point, it is very important to act by making small movements at home. If a person has problems such as weakness, insomnia, indigestion and constipation, we can say that he has a poor metabolism. On the other hand, green tea should be consumed to speed up metabolism. However, herbal teas require a limited consumption, the amount we recommend is two cups a day. Second, because coffee contains caffeine, it significantly speeds up our metabolism and gives us a feeling of satiety for a long time, especially by helping us in weight control. Turkish coffee and filter coffee can be consumed in a way that does not exceed two cups a day. We do not prefer creams and coffees as they turn into fat in the body. Apart from that, proteins are very important. We need to include meat, fish, milk and eggs in our diet. Pulp is very important for us, we also need to consume foods with high fiber content such as vegetables, fruits, grains and oats. Hot peppers are also at the top of the foods that speed up the metabolism.
What are the benefits of consuming vegetables and fruits in different colors?
Turkey is an amazing country we can find everything in terms of nutrition. Each color in nutrition has different effects on our body.
White foods protect us against viral bacteria and infections. It has a protective feature against cancer. Vegetables such as onions, garlic and cauliflower are included in the white foods group. We can easily consume them during the winter months. In fact, these foods are also referred to as natural antibiotics.
If we look at purple vegetables and fruits, it is possible to call them as youth vaccines. Vegetables and fruits such as plum, eggplant and blackberry fall into the purple category. It has a serious cardioprotective effect, on the other hand, it has a positive effect on our circulatory system. If people with heirs consume these foods, the heir is also therapeutic because it has an accelerating effect on blood flow.