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January 16th, 2018 WELLNESS

Athletes’ Secrets for Getting Over Cold Winter!? Immune-Boosting Recipes to Stay Fit

Athletes’ Secrets for Getting Over Cold Winter!? Immune-Boosting Recipes to Stay Fit

It’s getting chillier and chillier in the morning and at night, and you may easily come down with something. Are you taking good care of yourself? Today, we share some healthy recipes that help you stay fit and enjoy running even in cold winter. Emi Kawano, Shiseido Running Club registered dietitian, introduces healthy immune-boosting recipes that the Shiseido Running Club runners love.

Emi Kawano: Shiseido Running Club registered dietitian. Did track and field until high school and competed at the Inter-Prefectural Women’s Ekiden.

Recommended by Shiseido Running Club Dietitian! Foods to Boost Your Body Temperature and Immunity

Recommended by Shiseido Running Club Dietitian! Foods to Boost Your Body Temperature and Immunity

Ms. Kawano says that you may think that athletes are physically strong and never catch a cold. But in fact, it is often said that they are more at risk of infection such as a cold since their immunity gets easily weakened due to consecutive hard training. Athletes are more likely to get sick as they often suffer from fatigue and face stresses, both physically and mentally, in the course of hard training.

So, what kinds of foods do they eat in cold winter when our bodies are more susceptible to viruses? We ask Ms. Kawano about the foods that the Shiseido Running Club athletes eat to enhance their immune function.

<Foods to Enhance Immunity>

・Eat winter vegetables to prevent a cold and the flu
⇒Seasonal winter vegetables such as spinach, garland chrysanthemum, sweet potato, turnip and (green leaves of) daikon, etc.
“These vegetables are rich in β-carotene, which strengthens the nasal and throat mucosa, protecting you from viruses (converted to vitamin A within the body, as needed), and vitamin C, which boosts the immune function.” (Ms. Kawano)

・Take enough protein to strengthen immune cells!
⇒High-protein side dishes of meat, fish, soy beans and eggs, etc.
“Immune cells are made up of proteins, so take enough protein to increase the number of immune cells and enhance your immune function. At the same time, high-protein recipes help you increase core body temperature, which also improves the immune system.” (Ms. Kawano)

・Strengthen immunity with fermented foods that work on intestines
⇒Fermented foods such as yogurt, cheese, kimchi, natto and miso, etc.
“These foods improve the enteric environment, which helps the immune function improve, too.” (Ms. Kawano)

<Foods That Elevate Body Temperature>

・Use herbs, spices and condiments such as green onions, ginger, garlic, and chili pepper to warm up the body!
⇒Your immunity will be enhanced when you warm up your body. “I would recommend taking lots of foods that warm up the body from the inside.”

Perfect Post-Run Meal! Warm up the Body From Inside and Boost Immunity Samgyetang with Chicken Wings

Perfect Post-Run Meal! Warm up the Body From Inside and Boost Immunity Samgyetang with Chicken Wings

Ms. Kawano says that the immune function weakens after running a longer distance or a race, no matter if you are an athlete or an amateur runner. You’ll get the opposite of your desired result if you catch a cold while you run for your health. She advises that if you go for a longer run than usual, you need to have a healthy well-balanced meal to protect your body from cold and flu viruses!

This time, Ms. Kawano introduces a recipe that is often served for Running Club runners in the winter season. She often makes stew and hot pot dishes, helping the athletes stay fit and get over the cold winter months. Samgyetang is surely one of those immune-boosting recipes. Samgyetang is widely known as a Korean medical cuisine dish and is usually made with a whole chicken. But this time, make it easier with drumettes instead.

【Samgyetang with Chicken Wings】

●Ingredients (two servings)

Ingredients (2 servings)

4 chicken drumettes
100g (4cm) daikon
50g (1/3) burdock root
1/2 green onion
1 thick ginger slice
2 garlic cloves

(A)
2 tbsp. sweet rice (or ordinary rice)
2 jujubes
1/2 tbsp. pine nuts
1/2 tbsp. goji berries

(B)
600 ml water
1 tsp. chicken stock powder
1 tbsp. cooking wine
1/2 tsp. salt
Sesame oil, salt and pepper to taste

(Ingredients in A are optional)

●Directions

Directions

①Wash the drumettes with water and make cuts along the bones. Quarter the daikon lengthwise, then slice approx. 2cm thick. Peel the burdock root lightly using the back of a kitchen knife and cut into 5-6cm long chunks, then halve them. Cut the green onion into 4-5cm long pieces and finely chop some of them to use for serving. Finely slice the ginger, and halve the garlic cloves and remove shoots. Rinse the jujubes. Wash the sweet rice and soak it in water for 30 minutes or so, then drain well.

②Place the drumettes, daikon, burdock root, green onion, ginger, garlic, sweet rice, jujubes, pine nuts, goji berries, water and chicken stock powder, cooking wine and salt into a pot. Heat the pot and once boiling, skim off the foam.

②Place the drumettes, daikon, burdock root, green onion, ginger, garlic, sweet rice, jujubes, pine nuts, goji berries, water and chicken stock powder, cooking wine and salt into a pot. Heat the pot and once boiling, skim off the foam.

③Cover the pot with lid and stew for 30-40 minutes at low heat. Last, add the green onion.

Cover the pot with lid and stew for 30-40 minutes at low heat. Last, add the green onion.

④Serve with a dash of sesame oil, salt and pepper to taste!

Serve with a dash of sesame oil, salt and pepper to taste!

【Spinach and Carrot Namul】
Another recommendation is spinach and carrot namul. It is rich in vitamins A and C, both of which boost immunity.

●Ingredients (2 servings)

1/2 pack spinach
1/4 carrot

(A)
1 tsp. sesame oil
1/2 tsp. soy sauce
1/2 tbsp. white sesame seeds
A pinch of salt and pepper

●Directions
①Wash the spinach thoroughly in water and peel and shred the carrot.
②Boil a plenty of water in a pan, quickly boil the carrots with a pinch of salt and drain them.
③Boil the spinach in the same pan and rinse with water to remove the heat. Lightly squeeze and cut into 5-6cm long pieces.
④Put ② and ③ into a bowl and toss them together with A.

Samgyetang with Chicken Wings is stewed with a lot of ginger, green onion and garlic and makes you actually feel hot while eating, boosting the immune system. Chicken drumettes are packed with protein, which is a nutrient you need after a run, and the soup provides various other nutrients. Chicken drumettes are rich in collagen which, while stewed, turns to liquid gelatin in the soup, so I recommend that you eat the soup, too. Collagen gives you beautiful skin and makes up the bones, resulting in the smooth movement of joints. I must say that today’s menu is also effective in preventing and healing an injury, so it’s a perfect food for runners!” (Ms. Kawano)

These immune-boosting recipes help you warm up the body and take a lot of vegetables and meat. They are a perfect menu for a cold winter. What is more, Samgyetang with Chicken Wings is surprisingly easy to make! You can also add rice into the soup and make delicious risotto, too, so why should you shy away from it?

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