What do you think of when someone mentions winter? Heaviness, itchy skin, and woolen clothes? Chapped lips and cracked heels?? Sure winter is all of this but did you also know that winter is the best season to improve health!
During winters, people feel hungrier. Amazingly, the body engine works better in the winter and foods are better digested. This aids in providing more nourishment to the body.
In winters our body craves for foods which provide warmth along with nourishment. Including ‘winter special foods’ fulfill such cravings and also help balance serotonin, a brain calming chemical that prevents low blood sugar induced hunger pangs. After all, you cannot fight the icy fang of chill with just blazes and blankets! The cold weather can interrupt your workout routine and can even send you on a mood roller coaster that can lead to overeating due to stress and boredom.
So here’s the list of winter foods that will bring warmth and make your winter soothing.
- Include energy sources such as whole grains, cereals, pulses and millets, beans and peas in every meal.
- Eggs, chicken soup, fish should also be included in the diet for first-class proteins. High energy and protein foods provide the required fuel to combat the cold.
- Mix cereal dal laddoos, makai ki roti, bajra ki roti provide you the required energy, proteins, calcium during this season.
- Potatoes, Sweet potatoes, Starchy fruits, and vegetables provide much-needed energy.
- Enjoy most famous and favorite delicacy – seen in all Hindi movies – ‘ma ke haath ka gajar ka halwa’! The beta carotene present in carrots is an excellent source of Vit A and powerful antioxidant.
- Leafy greens like methi, palak, sarso good source of Vit A and C, both help to fight diseases and build immunity during winters.
- Dry fruits and nuts like dates, figs, prunes, almonds, pumpkin seeds are not only good source of iron but also calcium, magnesium, zinc, and B vitamins. They can be consumed whole before workouts or sometimes can also be added to porridges, halwa, laddoos, milkshakes, and smoothies.
- The Kashmiri traditional drink Kahawa gives you a lot of warmth this season.
- White radish, onion, and garlic are rich in isothiocyanates, indoles, and other phytochemicals. Their strong flavor helps pep up the taste of foods.
- Spices are a valuable remedy for winter colds and coughs. They stimulate appetite, digestion and improve blood circulation. Mustard, Ajwain, hing, pepper, ovum, Methi is very beneficial in bone and joint problems occurring in winter. Turmeric especially the golden yellow variety is a potent anti- bacterial immunity builder.
- Some herbs like basil, lemon grass, tulsi help protect against cold, fever, cough by increasing immunity.