It's winter, the temperature is around zero degrees... Naturally, everyone wants to enjoy a good raclette, or other comfort food... Many of us believe that eating fattier food in winter helps to protect against the cold. But that's simply not the case! So even when it's icy cold, or on your ski trip, there's no need to go for fatty foods to warm up. You can't use the temperature as an excuse to be greedy...


Is it necessary to eat more and fattier foods when it's cold?

The fight against the cold really doesn't need more calories! Thanks to our metabolism, our body is able to maintain our internal temperature, whatever the outdoor weather conditions: it's called thermoregulation. If the weather is cold, the metabolism activates itself to produce more energy and heat. To do this, it initially draws on the sugar reserves. And once those glucose reserves have been exhausted, the body then goes onto the fat reserves. However, this mechanism doesn't kick in unless the body is exposed to the cold for long periods, at least 6 to 7 hours in a row.


Therefore, if the exposure to cold is only temporary, even intense cold for up to two hours a day, the body doesn't need to draw on the fat reserves. Banish this myth: more calories doesn't mean more energy. Even though, there's no denying that a nice hot dish on a cold day is hugely comforting, you can forget about raclette or mulled wine!


Foods against the cold


The best health benefits come from nature itself. Honey is proof! It's a key ally to combat winter tiredness. It has countless benefits and we really should be eating it every day. It has nutritional and energising antimicrobial properties. Although honey is sweet, it still has fewer calories than sugar. It gives your body a boost, strengthens bones and helps growth. It is full of benefits for the body: potassium, magnesium and iron, but also proteins and vitamins A, B, C and E.


Dried fruit

For athletes, eating dried fruit and nuts is very effective Their high carbohydrate content is perfect for training. They are small but packed with energy. Dried apricots, bananas and dried figs, prunes, raisins and other nuts, almonds and hazelnuts are foods you should eat during winter. They are high in essential fatty acids but also minerals such as magnesium, iron, copper, selenium, manganese, or zinc.


Vegetable soup

After going out in the cold, soup is a great comfort food. You'll often find it on winter menus, helping you to fill up on vitamin and mineral fibre. Vegetables contain antioxidants and many other nutrients to ensure cell protection. Switch things up with cabbage, leek, beetroot and mushrooms. Here are some tips to make the most of these essential nutrients:

  • Peel the vegetables at the last moment

  • Clean them without soaking in water

  • Limit the cooking time for soups.


Green tea

It's really excellent on all levels: it's a powerful antiviral that you can drink if you've caught a chill. Draining, stimulating, slimming, anti-cancer, anti-aging: the anti-oxidant effects of this well-being elixir have many virtues. Green tea burns fat, helps to reduce cholesterol, treats digestive disorders, helps blood circulation and accelerates toxin elimination. To get the maximum benefits, you need to brew the green or black tea leaves for at least 2minutes at 90°C. The longer green tea is brewed, the more antioxidant effect it has.


Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate has many virtues including combating anxiety, stress or blood pressure. These days, it also has a cough soothing effect as well. British studies have shown the effectiveness of a molecule contained in dark chocolate against chronic coughs. Another reason to treat yourself to a bit of pure enjoyment from time to time! Dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids preferably) is a great way to get rid of the blues and is packed with magnesium which is great for boosting your energy when the weather turns cold.

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