Eating well this winter  

The weather turns cold at the start of winter in China, which means business is booming at the country’s hotpot restaurants. However, experts say the way to keep healthy is to eat a balanced array of foods – cold and hot.

Because people wear thick clothes and stay in warm places during the winter, and because they are less active, the accumulated heat can cause people who eat foods high in calories to suffer excessive internal heat in their lungs and stomachs, or even upper respiratory diseases or gastrointestinal disorders.

There is an old Chinese saying that advises people “to have radish in winter and ginger in summer”. There is no reason to refuse cold food in winter. To remove excess internal heat, Chinese people who have healthy intestines and stomachs like to have some cold food and drink cold water. The cold water that they drink in winter is said to prevent colds and sore throats. In the morning, a cup of cold water can enhance the detoxification of the liver and kidney, promote metabolism and immune functions to lower blood pressure, and prevent myocardial infarction. Chinese people also believe some cold foods help them lose weight. Because they engage in fewer outdoor activities, some people eat cold food to avoid gaining weight.

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