Winters are notorious for adding those extra kilos to your weight. According to a research conducted by Johns Hopkins University, people tend to gain five to seven pounds on average during the winter months. Though many blame it on the much craved over eating during these cold months, the actual truth is not eating right that causes weight gain. Many of us are a neophyte when it comes to eating right, more so when the freezing weather abstains us from staying away from hot chocolates, piping hot desserts, and the likes. Well! It is time we endorse the various foods that not only whet our appetite but also keep us healthy and immune.
While you feel cozy snacking up on samosas and jalebis and sipping a cup of steaming tea cuddled in a quilt, you need to explore the other goodies that the freezing season brings along. With winter spreading its arms, it is that time of the year again when, in order to keep warm, we should know what to gorge on. Check out these healthy options.
Think nuts and you think Peanuts, the poor man’s almonds. Peanuts are a source of vitamin E and antioxidants. A handful of other nuts such as cashew, almonds, walnut and pistachio help to keep us energetic during this season. Cardiac patients are recommended to have at least one walnut and 2-3 almonds a day.
From the aromatic ‘pudina ki chutney’ to our very notorious ‘popeye ka palak’, leafy vegetables are a must- have in winters as they are rich antioxidants. Spinach is ubiquitously known to provide calcium, potassium, phosphorous, fibres and iron. Leafy stuff like fenugreek, coriander, mint are rich in fiber too. Other vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, tomatoes help in fighting against cold and flu.
Commonly known as Til, sesame seeds play a great role in keeping us warm during winters. It is a good source of minerals like magnesium, iron, manganese and copper. These seeds also help the skin in dietary fiber, Vitamin C, manganese, copper and potassium, making it a very nutritious food.
Carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, radish, ginger, garlic, onions and beetroot, say yes to roots this winter. Roots provide warmth, are extremely nutritious and high in dietary fiber, Vitamin C, manganese, copper and potassium. Even if beets are considered high in sugar, they are very low in calories. Potatoes are said to be rich in vitamin A. Apart from making salads, soups and curries, these roots can either be baked or can be consumed boiled, grilled or roasted.
Soups are good cocktail snacks. A steaming bowl of soup,(dal-palak ,coriander-ginger-lemon, spinach, tomato or mix vegetable soup ) provides the right amount of nutrients you need. Add a spoon full of butter in the soup that will help you keep warm and happy.
Though compared to summers your have a limited choice of fruits in winters, you can still enjoy a bountiful of these winter fruits to get the required nutrients and a glowing skin. While oranges, grapes and pineapples are a good source of high fibres, potassium, Vitamin C, Pomegranates are rich in both Vitamin A and Vitamin C along with iron too. The Indian gooseberry, Amla is rich in iron and Vitamin C, fibre, protein, fat, carbohydrate, calcium, and is said to cure many infections.
A piece of jaggery a day, keeps many infections at bay. Be it cough, indigestion or even migrane, jaggery is said to be a sure cure. Jaggery also helps in regulating blood pressure and providing maximum nourishment as it contains minerals, phosphourous, iron, potassium, magnesium, and various vitamins.
Substitute that tempting cup of steaming hot coffee, with a cup of Herbal tea, as Herbal tea will not only boost your immunity but will also keep you hydrated during winters. Freshly extracted juices taken without ice cubes are also good. Alongside, hot milk with a pinch of turmeric is a preferred beverage.
Millets like Bajra, Jawar and Makki ( corn) are good for winters. These not only provide heat to the body, but are also rich in carbohydrates, iron, fibres, proteins and vitamins. Get your taste buds drooling over the very scrumptious makki ki roti and sarson ka saag or relish bajre ki roti with ghee and gur (jaggery).
Last but irrefutably not the least, water is the best medicine in winters as it is in summers. It helps us to remove toxic waste from our body and transports minerals in and out of the cells. You might have heard it more often than you practiced, but make it a point to consume a great quantity of water, say at least 8 to 10 glasses in a day, as nothing can beat this liquid that makes up almost 60 percent of our human body.
Additionally, avoid junk and stale food as much possible and most importantly keep depression at bay and make yourself happy, active and energetic. Happy Winters!
First published: 16 December 2017, 14:28 IST