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My Top Nutrition Tips for the Cold Nights Upon Us

Warm days and cold nights are characteristics of the autumn season and our bodies have to adapt to the weather constantly. During this time of the year the incidence of respiratory tract infections, colds and flus increase considerably as compared to other times when its warmer weather. We can associate that with the sudden changes in temperature, cold winds, decrease in humidity, lack of exposure to sun light, more bacteria and viruses in the air, poor eating habits and other lifestyle choices. It is seen that during autumn and winter time people stay indoors more, indulge a bit more on certain foods and become less active than in summer and spring. One of the ways to help the body to adapt to this season and become protected against this harsh weather temperature changes is to include foods that support the immune system, and to give the body the right nutrients to assist the extra energy expend during this time of the year.

A few days ago I just concluded my studies in one of my college subjects and I had to study and scientifically research many hours about foods that support the immune system. It was one of the best subjects I ever researched in my academic years. To simplify to you and make it easier to understand and remember, I selected the main ingredients that are highly recommend in the kitchen during cold days. They are healthy and delicious to add in many recipes. Examples of good immune booster foods are:

Ginger (Zingiber Officialis) - Used by many ancient civilisations to treat multiple diseases. Ginger is good to reduce gastrointestinal and rheumatic pain, increase heat, it is diaphoretic (helps to sweat), and assist in the circulatory system. Plus it is antioxidant, antimicrobial, helps prevent and ameliorate reflux and stomach ulcers and many other benefits.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officiallis) - probably one of the most effective food conservants of all. Rosemary has proven to prevent bacteria growth (antibacterial), yeast-mould, and other microorganism. There are great ingredients to add to soup, stock, marinates, casseroles and healthy roosts. If you nerver used this herbs before take it easy and get used to it's aromas and strong flavours, it's a must try in the kitchen.

Thyme (Thymus Vulgaris L) - have been not only a great antioxidant but antimicrobial due to its phenolic compounds such thymol (79.15%), carvacrol (4.63%) and p-cimene (3.27%) (Helander et al.1998). There is a direct relationship between antioxidant and phenolic compounds in plants extracts and thyme presents one of the highest values. Plus it has shown to be very effective decongestant, expectorant and antibacterial, which is fantastic for those who needs an extra support on the lungs.

Garlic (Allium Sativum) - one of the most popular ingredients in ancient medicine and has been consider also one of the most efficient and powerful herb. Garlic has shown to exert antilipidemic, antihypertensive, antineoplastic, antibacterial immunostimulant and hypoglycemic actions (G. Aviealo, L. Abenavoli, F. Borrelli, et all. 2009)

Onion (Allium Cepa) - the garlic's cousin, onion is one of the best respiratory healers of all. It is very effective for the lungs as it act as a natural decongestant and expectorant, helping dissolve excess mucus out. Many ancient recipes used to combine onions in soups, syrups and infusions to assist in cold, flus and other infections.

My warm and delicious broth recipe for those of you needing warming or fighting colds/flu:

2,5L of filtered water
50ml of lemon or lime
50ml of coconut oil
100g onions, chopped
75g garlic, crushed
25g ginger, grated
25g fresh rosemary, whole
25g fresh thyme, whole
10g of celtic salt

How to do it?

Add all the ingredients and water into a big pot pan with a lid on.
Turn the low heat and simmer for 90 minutes.

Turn off the heat and let it infuse for another 10 minutes.
Serve warm

Serving suggestion: 1/2 to 1 cup per person

Enjoy, big hugs,
— Ronaldo Fulieri

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