BY TRISHA SAKHUJA
As the long winter days are upon us, it is important to stay healthy to enjoy the holidays and snow.
Kathleen Karsten, director of nursing and health sciences at LaGaurdia Community College, said maintaining good hydration by drinking lots of water, eating an ample amount of good nutrition, regularly washing your hands and sleeping for eight hours a night are the keys to living healthy during the winter.
Since the largest defense mechanism we have is our skin, Dr. Robert Mittman of Family Allergy and Asthma Care of Bayside said dry skin flares up in the winter because we heat up our houses, cars and offices, which removes the moisture from the air.
In order to avoid dry, itchy skin and reduce nasal and chest congestion, Mittman recommends either buying a cool midst humidifier or filling aluminum pans with water and keeping it by the heater, so the water to disperse as moisture in the room.
When it comes to moisturizing dry skin, Mittman suggested using hypoallergenic lotions like Cetaphil and Aveeno, and Bag Balm for your lips.
Even though we are exposed to the sun less during the winter, Karsten said we must continue to use a skin moisturizer with a SPF level of at least 15.
Mittman said another way to prevent dry, itchy skin is to avoid using harsh soaps; instead buy Aveeno, Free and Clear or Cetaphil soaps.
He also stressed the importance of taking vitamin A, E, D with smaller intakes of calcium.
Vitamin A intake through oranges, cantaloupes or carrots will help repair skin and remove signs of aging. By adding vitamin E to your winter diets, through vegetable oil, nuts, seeds, olives, spinach, asparagus, olives, and leafy greens in small amounts, it will act as another antioxidant that will shield your skin from sun damage and work as an immunity enhancer.
Nutritionist Cori Stern-Torres of Flushing said Whole Foods’ vitamin C is the best choice, which helps to protect the skin from sun damage. Other sources of vitamin C can be found in red bell peppers, citrus fruits, papaya, kiwi, broccoli, greens and brussels sprouts.
Torres said in order to keep children healthy during the winter, “limit the amount of sugar during the winter” because it keeps the flu and cold away.
A food group she said all children must eat during the winter is adequate amounts of protein, which can be found in meats like chicken, fish, turkey, beef, lamb. For vegetarians, she suggested cooking quinoa, an ancient grain, because it contains about eight grams of protein per cup. It is also a good source of fiber, iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, vitamin B and more.
Reach Trisha Sakhuja at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 128, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @Tsakhuja13.