‘ 10 Top Tips for Staying Healthy in Winter’

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1. Drink at least two litres of water a day! It may be a little cooler, but don’t forget that air conditioning and heaters can be extremely dehydrating.

2. Limit your ‘white foods’. It is tempting to reach out for comfort foods in the winter months, such as cakes, white pasta, bread and cheese. However, white foods promote weight gain and cause your blood-sugar and insulin levels to rise.

3. Eliminate as many types of sugar as you can. Not only cakes and cookies, but yogurt and fruit juices (unless freshly squeezed) too, as excess sugar compromises your immune system.

4. Eat Protein every time you sit down to eat. This not only helps maintain a healthy weight, but also stabilises blood-sugar levels. Good protein choices include eggs, fish, nuts, seeds, legumes, and soy products.
5th point5. Each plenty of fruit and vegetables, as they are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, including iron and calcium. Keep a tight rein on higher GI vegetables though, such as potato, sweet potato and pumpkin, as these can encourage weight gain.

6. Eat foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids, including flaxseeds, walnuts and salmon, which will improve your overall mood.

7. Use more garlic. This is a real ‘super-food’ when it comes to keeping illness at bay, as it fuels the immune system like few other foods can.

8. Blueberries, raspberries and strawberries all help to prevent the release of cortisol, a hormone produced by the adrenal gland, and therefore helps to combat stress.

9. Folic acid is vital for good health, particularly during the winter months, and leafy greens, oatmeal, oranges, soybeans and sunflower seeds are all terrific sources.
last Point10. We’ve saved the best until last … chocolate! It has to be dark chocolate though, which is high in polyphenol, a type of antioxidant that can also significantly lift your mood. So if you’re feeling a bit frazzled or low, grab some chocolate with the highest cocoa content you can find.

Eating healthily throughout the winter months can be challenging for numerous reasons. While enjoying the odd slice of cake or an ice-cream is quite normal, consuming too many unhealthy options can be damaging to your health – and your waistline. However, by following the ‘Top 10 Tips’ outlined above you give your body the best chance of keeping fit and healthy all winter long.
· By Bilal Al Halabi, Al Halabi Ref. & Kitchen Equipment www.al-halabi.com

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