Fighting the change of season
Are you feeling blue these days? Are you feeling tired, even exhausted? Are you having sudden mood swings?
Do not worry: these are the symptoms of a change of season! Transition from the hot sunny summer to the gray moist fall can have unsuspected consequences.
The change of season affects both your mental and physical balance, and you should adapt your diet to stay healthy.
As for your mental balance, the primary suspect for the mood swings is serotonin deficiency. Sunrays extensively provide serotonin during the summer, but with the advance of fall the serotonin level can go down, hence the mood swings.
As for your physical balance, as the weather gets colder you begin to feel the need for caloric foods, sometimes even a greed for carbohydrate, chocolate and sweets, and you easily put on weight.
You should take some little precautions to overcome this delicate phase. Try to keep the healthy lifestyles you had in summer: take long walks on sunny days, wrap up adequately on cold days, and beware of chills as the temperature drops rapidly at sunset. Above all: follow a balanced diet! My suggestions for this fall:

Cereals – Fall has plenty of them! Oat, for example, is rich in protein, mineral and fat; it is a typical winter cereal because it provides heat during digestion. It is often used to make sweets and pastry creams, but you can use it to make soups, too. Buckwheat and millet are rich in protein and fats. Besides, millet is the only cereal containing seven out of eight essential amino acid, and it does not contain gluten, thus being edible for celiacs.

Legumes – typical legumes (such as beans, lentils and chickpeas) help opposing the temperature drop. Cereals and legumes, mixed in hot soups, provide energy in the form of protein, carbohydrate and amylum, also cheering up our evenings.

Fruits and vegetables – always eat fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables. When grown outdoor and harvested in the proper season, fruits and vegetables offer unparalleled quality and taste.
Some examples:

  • Pumpkin is rich with alpha-carotene, an antioxidant. It has antitumoural properties and it helps protecting the cardiovascular system. It contains vitamin A, B, C and minerals like calcium, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, copper, magnesium, iron, selenium, manganese and zinc. Let me give you a little advice: include pumpkin in a various meal, containing oil and butter; you will make the best of the alpha-carotene properties.

  • I recommend chicory to those who have arthritis and rheumatisms. It has depurative and diuretic properties. It is rich in fiber, mineral and vitamin A, B2 and C.

  • Spinach is a good source of lutein, which, amongst other properties, protects against colon cancer. It is rich in folic acid, potassium and vitamin C and E.
    Cooking tip: always season your spinach and cook it briefly, to prevent dissipation of vitamins!

  • Broccoli and cabbages come in many varieties, all rich in folic acid, vitamin C and phytochemicals with antitumoural properties.

  • Not everybody likes persimmon. Nevertheless, this fruit is precious: it has detoxifying and diuretic properties; it is rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene and potassium. It protects cells from free radicals, and it is quite useful to sportswomen as an energizer. However, remember: you must handle persimmon with care if you are overweight or diabetic.

  • Apple is a low-sugar and low-fat fruit, but it contains high quantities of pectin, that keeps the glycemic index under control. It contains minerals, vitamin B1 (opposing lack of appetite, weariness and guess what? Irritability!), B2C.

  • Pear has high fiber content, thus being a valid ally to your bowels. It contains minerals and unrefined carbohydrates: pear is not a problem for your silhouette!

  • Grapes are rich in iron, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin A, C, P and B6. They have strong antioxidant and antitumoural properties. Do not eat grapes if you are overweight: grapes are a highly caloric food.

  • Finally yet importantly, orange and mandarin help opposing seasonal diseases since they are rich in vitamin C. Their antioxidant properties will keep your skin young and supple; they will lower your cholesterol level and will protect your bowels from free radicals.

  • Special reference also needs to be made to oil fruits such as almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts and peanuts. These little fruits are rich in lipid, protein and mineral. They provide heat and you can rely on them during fall and winter.

    Chestnut is the queen of your diet! It is rich in carbohydrate, protein, fat, fiber, mineral, vitamin and amino acid. Chestnuts do not contain gluten, and they are edible for celiacs.

    During the fall season, you need meat, eggs and cheese. These foods provide protein and, as a consequence, heat. However, be frugal with them: excessive quantities can be harmful to your health.

    Now a brief mention on vitamin C and probiotics.
    Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, and antibiotic. It strengthens the immune system during the winter season. Citruses, kiwis, pomegranates, apples and cabbages are rich in vitamin C.
    Probiotics are bacteria that strengthen intestinal flora and oppose infections. Fermented food such as yoghurt, sauerkraut and sour dough bread are rich in probiotics.

    A last tip: to face the fall season try to stay outdoor as long as you can (but do wrap up!), stock up on sunlight, and take care of your nutrition: your mood will benefit and you will keep colds away.
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