Keep the doctor at bay!


Your mother might have told you that you need an apple a day to keep the doctor away. We heartily agree, but there are a few other things you can do to look after your health in the winter.

Now that the cold weather is here, it's a good idea to make sure your intake of vitamins is enough to keep colds at bay. The good news is that the diet that naturally evolves in various parts of the world generally provides the nutrients we need at a given time of year. Among the most popular kinds of foods in Croatia in winter are sarma (made with soured cabbage) and grah (bean stew). Soured cabbage is an excellent source of Vitamin C, and beans are full of protein and are a great source of B vitamins.

Green vegetables are always useful in keeping up your levels of all kinds of vital nutrients, but it's a good idea to eat an array of fruit and vegetables of various colours to get a full spectrum of vitamins. You can get your daily dose by cooking up rich soups and lightly steaming vegetables. Try grating spicy celeriac or horseradish and adding it to salads, soups or mashed potatoes.

However tempting the prospect of staying at home in front of the television is when the weather is grim, you'll find your energy levels stay up and you'll succumb to colds less if you get regular exercise, so this is a good time to join that sports club or fitness class. A combination of aerobic and weight-bearing exercise helps keep up your bone density and prevents the onset of health problems related to excess weight.

As a treat after all that effort, why not relax in a sauna? Studies suggest that taking a sauna, followed by immersion or showering in cold water can ward off colds, reduce stress, ease joint pain and help the body rid itself of toxins. If you have any pre-existing health problems, it's always best to check with your doctor first.

In Croatia there is quite a strong emphasis on preventive medicine. Many people opt for regular health checks such as blood tests for cholesterol, iron and blood sugar levels, blood pressure tests and gynaecological examinations.

Because of the relatively low price and rather high quality of Croatian healthcare, health tourism is quite popular here, especially for dentistry and cosmetic surgery. As with any medical treatment, it is always recommended to check the doctors' qualifications and experience first.

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