Care in diet must to avoid winter-related health threats
Rawalpindi : After the fall in mercury, certain winter-related health threats including upper and lower respiratory tract infections have started hitting population in this region of the country and according to health experts, it is time to take extra care in diet as several foods give the body the nutrients that actually help to promote wellness, and this is very important during the winter months.
Experts say that most of the people do not drink sufficient quantity of water during winter though it is necessary to take plenty of water all year around for good health. It is must to drink at least eight to 11 glasses of water daily and those who use heating systems should keep water intake up as it can be very dehydrating and this dehydration can cause kidney problems.
During winter, experts suggest that at least half of diet should be made up of fresh fruit and vegetables which are an excellent source of important vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, C, folate, iron and calcium. Maximum use should be made of orange and guava as these are rich sources of vitamin C.
It is important that several vegetables are known to actually prevent cancer, heart disease and other diseases as well. Experts recommend use of green tea in winter as cough; flu, sore throat and cold are common in the season and it gives relief against these ailments.
Head of Department of Infectious Diseases at Holy Family Hospital Dr. Muhammad Mujeeb Khan said low-fat protein diets such as nuts, seeds, legumes, eggs, fish, lean meat, chicken and low fat dairy products should be made part of diet in winter while physically active people and children should eat an egg daily however people limited to desk job should have it twice a week.
Dr. Mujeeb who is also a diabetologist said diabetics and heart patients should eat egg white only. People should avoid white carbohydrate foods such as cakes, cookies, white pasta, rice and breads as these refined foods promote weight gain and increase blood sugar and insulin levels instead it is better to switch to wholesome wholegrain varieties, he said.
He said dry fruits give energy to body and are beneficial in winter but these should be taken in moderate quantity. Low calories chicken corn or vegetable soup having immune-boosting ingredients such as garlic, ginger, and onion should be added to diet in colder months as these help protect from colds and flu, he said.
Deputy Director at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences Dr. Waseem Ahmed Khawaja said use of honey is also beneficial in winter particularly for children however it should be taken in moderate quantity, especially by diabetics.
He added that to avoid joint pains and return of previous injury pains in winter, one must take care of diet and should maintain habit of walk daily, at least for 30-minutes.