A few more weeks and winter will be knocking on your door with its full power. Winter season and such weather make us want to stay indoors, warm and cozy all the time. What could possibly be better than a cup of hot chai or coffee? All warm delicious meals and beverages become our best friends. However, along with these warm treats come cold air, dry weather, followed by flu and infections that are a little less enjoyable. Luckily, there are a few secret ingredients in our Indian kitchen which could help effectively turn this season into a ‘Happy Winter’.
Our health in winters
As weather in winter is far back from our favorite hot summers, our health conditions also begin to change. The immunity drops down and it is much easier to catch regular flu and cold. No one likes sneezing and having a blocked nose at night and these can be very unpleasant experiences throughout the season. We also are not as exposed to the sunlight as we usually are during summer season, which is very important for our body to function well.
There are however, a few tips that you can follow and foods that you can eat, often described as “saviors” during winter. Let’s discuss these further and prepare for the season together.
Foods to eat to stay healthy and cozy during winter season
Let’s get ready for winter with these goods which are tasty and nutritious, and should not be missed this season.
1. Jaggery or Gur
Jaggery or Gur is the most common and widely available product and plays a vital role in boosting our immunity, as well as constructing a necessary amount of antioxidants and minerals in our body. The sweet flavor of Gur is not the only advantage, as it is also rich in zinc, iron and selenium. Your doctor would usually advise you to eat Gur in small amounts after your meal, as it can act as a catalyst in a digestion process if consumed that way.
Many people like adding Gur as an ingredient to sweet desserts and puddings.
2. Sesame seeds or Til
Sesame seeds and Til are known to be very helpful in maintaining a good temperature of your body. Til is not only full of anti-aging properties, it also helps in boosting energy, digestion and bone health. It can certainly help you in keeping up with dry winters, when we are usually less active.
In India til is consumed in many ways and widely used as sprinkles and toppings on sweets. We all must have eaten them more than once in a form of delicious laddus when we were kids.
When talking about foods for winter, we cannot miss all the benefits that nuts carry. A handful of nuts can get your body going throughout a cold day in winter season. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and fiber.
To all working individuals who love to snack during working hours, nuts are a perfect and healthy option, which will also keep you warm, energetic and vigorous.
4. Amla or Indian Gooseberry
Amla, also known as Indian gooseberry, is a citrus fruit high in Vitamin-C and dietary fiber. These can be extremely beneficial for your immunity and digestive system.
People consume them in a form of pickles, murabba, and juice, especially during winters. Indian Gooseberries can also work miracles for the skin and hair health.
Turmeric is one of the Indian spices that can be your partner in this cold weather, with its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. Adding a bit of turmeric to your diet in winter season will also help in boosting your immunity and cold-resistance capabilities.
The famous ‘Haldi doodh’ can be your evening beverage if you want to stay warm, cozy and most important, healthy during winter time.
6. Desi Ghee
A teaspoon of desi ghee consumed every day all-year long can act as a fat-burning agent, if followed by an active and healthy lifestyle. During winters it can construct the required fat in your body to smooth the system. It is known as one of the easiest fats to digest.
In winters it is used in various dishes such as Gajar ka halwa, nutty laddus and much more.
7. Ginger and Honey
Ginger and honey are two healthy ingredients that go hand in hand, due to the presence of several antioxidants. Who would say NO to a hot cup of tea when it is chilly outside? Swap your regular chai and brew a cup of tea with honey, ginger and lemon to boost immunity and strength along with this hot beverage.
Food/activities to warm up your winters
- Add carrots and beetroots in the form of salad in your diet. Both of them are rich in nutrients and are considered winter foods. Carrots have plenty of Vitamin A which is responsible for a healthy immune system, while beetroot is an excellent example of a vegetable that can increase your hemoglobin level.
- Winters can be a lazy season for most of us, which can result in poor performance and slow operation of our system overall. Saying that, make sure you stay active as much as you can and exercise daily, or go for a brisk walk. Doing so you will be more vigorous and your system will work faster, preventing from complaints about the cold breeze
As discussed, winter can be a season where everything slows down. You may find yourself becoming lazy and less motivated to work hard, but as a matter of fact, it just is a way of thinking that can go away with a few tips you can follow. Be on top of your health, eat beneficial foods, keep yourself warm and drink hot beverages. These all will help you enjoy the cozy season, not only when you are tucked in your blanket.