The latest science suggests that it’s not just the chilly, dark days of winter that make us feel (and look) so miserable, it’s our diet. Eat right, and avoid the beauty and health hazards of the season. Here, the latest strategies for:
DRY, ROUGH SKIN
Indoor heating and long, hot showers will warm you, but they’ll also suck you dry. Keep moisture contained by eating whole-grain bread and rice. Also, enjoy extra helpings of Swiss chard cheese and egg yolks – both contain biotin, which promotes production of fatty acids — a must-have for smooth skin.
It’s dark. It’s cold. Of course your energy is zapped! Spot-treat with gum. Chewing enhances blood flow to the brain, perking it up, almost like caffeine but without the crash. Maximize the effect with minty flavors — or reach for a minty drink, like peppermint-infused water. You may even actually perform better if you inhale it: the scent of mint seems to change brain activity. Also, stabilize blood sugar — and energy — by pairing lean protein (eggs, yogurt, tofu, nuts) with high-fiber carbohydrates (whole-grain waffles, multigrain toast, fresh fruit, oats).
Germs spread with abandon in winter because we’re cooped up indoors. So eating at least 75 milligrams of vitamin C (from papaya, red bell peppers, oranges, Brussels sprouts, cantaloupe) will stimulate the growth and activity of infection-fighting white blood cells. To bolster your immune system further, heap on beta carotene (from leafy greens such as spinach, romaine lettuce, broccoli, and kale, and orange-colored produce such as sweet potatoes, carrots, and winter squash).