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With the days becoming shorter and nights getting longer,
When you decide to get the warm clothes out of the closet,
When you feel like having that warm cuppa
And snuggling up in that warm blanket,
You know that the winter season is slowly creeping in!
What food do we generally associate with winter? A plate of hot pakodas and a cup of masala chai, yummmm…
Winter is the season to have warm foods. It is also the season where we all go through a bout of flu due to the cold weather and an active population of microbes in the atmosphere.
Here are a few tips to boost our immunity and keep us healthy throughout the season.
Nature gives us an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables especially during the winter months. A good intake of the seasonal fruits and vegetables gives us enough vitamins and minerals to boost our immunity. Some of this seasonal produce that we need to include on a daily basis -
Seasonal fruits, rich in vitamin C, vitamin A and minerals like potassium, zinc, magnesium and iron. Not only these nutrients help to build up the immunity but they are also helpful in ensuring that the metabolic processes happen smoothly in the body.
A sure shot way to beat the virus that tries to invade your body. Its antimicrobial properties make it a potent immune booster. Have it in the form of pickle/just plain with some spices and your body will surely thank you for this wonderful goodie.
Carrots and peas are abundantly available and so are roots like sweet potato, tapioca, yam etc. They are energy dense vegetables ideally to be had during winter to give the body enough energy to fight against the cold and windy weather.
Since cold weather does not stimulate thirst, many of us end up feeling dehydrated and fatigue at the end of the day. Including warm drinks like soups and herbal teas not only adds nutrition but also keeps us hydrated. Herbal teas made with tulasi, big thyme/ajwain leaves/ cinnamon/ cloves/ ginger etc give warmth to the body and prevent infections. Soups made with sweetcorn/mushroom/chicken/mixed vegetables not only give comfort but can be filling and provide loads of nutrition. Don't forget to take small sips of warm water throughout the day.
Bajra/pearl millet is the one to go in for. Not only is Bajra high in protein, iron and fibre but it also has a warming effect on the body. So adding bajra flour to your rotis/cheelas/theplas/dosa/bhakri will magnify the health benefits of that food.
A drink that will take you to your childhood days when your mother/grandmother used to prepare this to help you manage cold/cough. Antimicrobial action of turmeric, black pepper that soothes the throat and the warm comforting milk is all you require to get a good night’s sleep.
Gond ka ladoo is very famous in North India and is consumed specially during winters to give the body protection against the winter chill. It is also given to lactating mothers to boost the milk supply and provide warmth to the body. It is made using edible gum, dried fruits like almond, pista and seeds like poppy seeds, watermelon seeds etc and ghee.
Including these foods during this chill weather can help you deal with the extreme season. Apart from the food, keeping yourself warm, getting sufficient sleep and doing moderate exercises will help you to stay fit and ward off any infections that you may get.
Eat right and enjoy the chill!