We are enjoying warm balmy days, long slow nights, good food, good friends and good conversation. But for my friends who are experiencing the cold start of winter ….here are a few tips to keep you healthy.
Warm up with hot cocoa to help your brain as well as your frostbitten fingers. Chang Young Lee, professor of food chemistry at Cornell University, found that the antioxidant content of two tablespoons of pure cocoa powder is "almost two times stronger than red wine, two to three times stronger than green tea and four to five times stronger than that of black tea." The antioxidants in hot cocoa protect brain cells from oxidative stress that can lead to Alzheimer’s and other disorders.
Nuts, notably almonds and walnuts
Adding to their party-mix appeal, nuts are rich in antioxidants and have been found to lower blood cholesterol levels due to their monounsaturated fat content. A Harvard study showed that women who ate more than 150 grams of nuts per week had a significantly lower risk of heart disease than those who ate 30 grams or less. And, they don’t contribute to weight gain as much as other kinds of fatty foods. Walnuts are rich in omega-3s.
This pungent herb fends off aging via its antioxidant properties. It also contains strong antibacterial and antiviral compounds that help shake off stress-induced colds and infections. Raw, crushed garlic is best; cooked garlic is less powerful but still benefits the cardiovascular system.