Winters are here!!! Peoples most beloved Climate. Winter is the season when nature is ready to nurture us. During this season, as the temperature outside drops , your metabolism slows down where you sweat less. Hence, it is important that we keep are body warm and keep metabolism at a steady pace. Here are some winter foods which will help you keep warm and healthy.
Carrots: The beta-carotene in carrots is an excellent source of vitamin A and a powerful anti-oxidant.
White radish, onion and garlic (dry and spring varieties): Rich in isothiocyanates and phytochemicals that help prevent cancer. Their strong flavour helps to pep up the taste of food.
Potatoes and yams: Help to provide much-needed energy.
Leafy greens: Methi, Palak, Sarson… (‘methi-theplas’, ‘sarson-ka-saag’, ‘palak paneer’): A good source of beta-carotene and Vitamin C – both powerful anti-oxidants that help fight disease and build immunity. Others in this category are coriander, amaranth, celery, radish greens, etc.
Other vegetables: Green beans (broad beans, valol, papdi) and peas: these are all high energy and high-protein vegetables.
Whole Grain Cereals And Pulses: High energy and protein foods provide the required fuel to combat the cold. That’s why many Indian households make ‘sheera’ (rava, whole-wheat flour, moong-dal, vermicelli, daliaa, badam); ‘halwa’ (gajar, doodhi, pumpkin); ‘paak’ and ‘ladoos’. Fresh green fresh whole grains, available in Gujarat, called ‘ponkh’ are considered a winter delicacy. Makai and bajra rotis have the warmth-giving quality.
Fresh And Dried Fruits: Papaya and pineapple are believed to provide warmth. Amla is loaded with Vitamin C, and is very good to step up your immunity. That’s the reason why ‘amla juice’ and ‘amla muraba’ are available in plenty during winter. Dates are warm in nature and are highly recommended in the winter months. Not only are they a good source of fibre, iron, magnesium, calcium and vitamins (C and B3), they are also a good source of energy.
Custard Apple: A lot of people don’t like custard apples because they have too many seeds. But once you hear the benefits, you won’t ever make that mistake again! Custard apples keep bowels working smoothly, help achieve healthy weight gain (making them a great snack for children), and are rich in vitamin B6.
Starfuit: If you are trying to get your cholesterol levels under control, star fruit is your star! This fruit prevents the formation of fat cells in the body. Yes! It is also a fruit that goes great with salads, because of its characteristic sweet-and-sour taste. What’s more, its interesting shape makes it an instant hit with children!
Guavas: They are another reason why people love winters. Guavas too have multiple health-benefits: some are well-known, like their power to cure constipation and their immunity-boosting ability. However,guavas are a great source of folic acid too – thus recommended to pregnant women. They also calm down nerves and help muscles relax, working as a stress-buster.
Ber: Both the fruit and the seeds are rich in flavonoids- saponins and polysaccharides. Saponin has been touted as a natural sleep promoter by several experts in the past. Its sedative quality helps induce sleep by lending soothing effect on the entire nervous system. They are a powerhouse of essential vitamins and antioxidants.
Jaggery: Fight symptoms of a cold and cough with the help of gur. All you need to do is mix it with warm water and drink up, or even add it in your tea instead of sugar to reap the benefits. Jaggery produces heat in the body, which is why generally people consume it in winters.
Mustard, asafoetida (hing), black pepper, fenugreek, ajwain and suva (dill) seeds,ganthoda ,garden cress seed are all warm spices to be used freely:
- Mustard, ajwain ,ganthoda and suva seeds are a valuable remedy for winter coughs and flu, stimulating appetite and digestion and increasing blood circulation.
- Methi (dry or sprouted) is very beneficial in bone and joint problems that surface more in winter.
- Gargen cress seeds is a potent laxative that helps in relieving the symptoms of constipation and indigestion.
- Turmeric, especially the fresh light and golden yellow variety (resembles ginger), is a potent anti-microbial immunity builder.
Herbs And Seeds:
Basil (tulsi) is a herb that protects against colds and fever and helps strengthen immunity. Ginger, (fresh and dry varieties) is very warming. Sliced ginger with lime and salt is a common accompaniment with meals, while ginger can be added to tea, dals and vegetables. Dry ginger powder made into tiny ladoos with jaggery and ghee is excellent for combating winter chills.
Til ladoos and til chikki need no introduction to an Indian. The warmth-giving quality of til or sesame is also tapped when you sprinkle them on salads, breads, pastas and pizzas.
Winter is the time to boost your immunity to stay safe from diseases. Following the tips mentioned above can help you avoid contagious diseases in winter which is quite common.