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5 types of food to battle the haze

by Peng You Xin

fruits during haze, haze foods

Photo: SportSG

It’s that time of the year again, when the haze makes its dreaded return to our sunny shores. Besides wearing a mask and staying indoors, eating the right kind of food can also do you a lot of good during this period, especially if you find yourself falling ill.

Try incorporating these into your diet during while you endure the haze:

1. Water
The easiest option is to drink more water. Hazy conditions tend to lead to much drier air, so make sure you keep yourself hydrated. Additionally, water also helps to speed up the removal of toxins that you might have absorbed through your skin or lungs.

2. Oily fish for omega 3 fatty acids
If you love sashimi, you can use this as the perfect reason to load up. Oily fish like salmon are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation and enhance your immune system. Other alternatives include sardines, mackerels or fish oil.

3. Vegetables and fruits for Vitamin C   
Eliminate a runny nose or cough with that extra portion of Vitamin C. A boost to your immune system, vitamin C can be conveniently obtained from food like kale, bell peppers and cabbage. Otherwise, you can always fall back on that refreshing glass of orange juice or a cup of berries.

4. Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds such as sunflower seeds, quinoa and almonds are bursting with Vitamin E, another crucial factor if you’re looking to create a strong immune system. Throw them in your cereal or eat them on their own. They are a much healthier alternative to your regular sodium-loaded snack foods.

5. Cooling teas
The haze usually turns up the heat in our bodies. Drink cooling teas such as chrysanthemum or wolfberry to douse that fire. Drinking these teas hot can also help relive throat irritation. If you don’t have time to brew them at home, you can always pick up a bottle or two from your local traditional Chinese medicine shop.

Maintaining a good diet also involves eliminating food that could aggravate your body’s condition. During the haze period, avoid dairy products, excessive sugar and red meat. Additionally, cut down on the lattes and martinis, as coffee and alcohol promotes fluid loss and leaches nutrients from your body.