Before a winter woe sidelines you from yet another workout, try these consumable prescriptions for staying healthy – and running strong – all season long.COLD HANDS AND FEET
Ever return from a run and notice your fingers and toes have turned ghostly blue-white? You may have Raynaud's disease, a circulatory disorder that limits blood supply to your extremities and can be exacerbated by cold temperatures. Even if you're not among the three per cent of the population with Raynaud's, no runner is totally immune to frosty digits.
FOOD FIX - The amino acid arginine helps expand blood vessels and encourages blood flow, says Grotto. Arginine is found in protein-rich foods, including lean meat, poultry, and fish, as well as cashews, almonds, and peanuts, plus cereal grains, such as oats and barley. Tea, wine, cocoa, and chocolate can also help: They're rich in catechins, tannins, and other bioflavonoid compounds that help improve circulation.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD) is a type of depression that typically emerges in winter, when a decrease in sunlight causes a dip in our levels of serotonin, the brain's natural "feel-good" chemical.
FOOD FIX - Judith Wurtman, Ph.D., coauthor of The Serotonin Power Diet, explains that eating small doses of carbs (about 25 to 30 grams, or 500 kilojoules’ worth) will help your brain produce serotonin. Consume the carbs without other foods (make sure your snack has no more than two or three grams of protein, which prevents serotonin production) and on a nearly empty stomach. Doing so will banish that SAD feeling within 20 minutes. Try an English muffin or half a bagel with jam, low-fat popcorn, pretzels, or even a sweetened breakfast cereal.THE COMMON COLD
Most adults will catch two to three colds per year. The highly contagious virus strikes more frequently in the fall and winter seasons, when we spend more time with people indoors.
FOOD FIX - Grandma's chicken-noodle soup: Research from the University of Nebraska Medical Centre found that chicken soup has anti-inflammatory effects that ease symptoms of upper-respiratory-tract infections. The warm broth soothes throats, carrots provide beta-carotene (which is linked with immunity), and onions and garlic have antibacterial properties. Boost your stay-healthy odds with a daily cup of yogurt or kefir. A study published in 2008 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine revealed that long-distance runners who consumed the probiotic lactobacillus (found in yoghurt and kefir) had shorter and less-severe bouts of respiratory illness than those who took a placebo.Runner's World website for all the latest news and to subscribe online.