6 min read
Maintaining healthy habits in winter is important. However, with shorter days and dipping temperatures, it might be challenging. The challenge mostly comes from the fact that winter makes people lethargic. They find it difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle and tend to be less inclined toward exercise and diet. Craving for certain food during this season may lead to overindulgence.
To avoid all this, adjusting to your dietary habits in the colder months is essential. The focus should be on nourishing your body and improving immunity. Yes, winter is a perfect time to boost immunity. During this time, the body works amazingly and digests food better to provide enhanced nourishment. Winter is when the body craves food for warmth and sustenance. Let us look at some of the must-eat and good food for health during winter.
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Winter is a time of ample amounts of seasonal fruits. Consuming seasonal fruits in winter, which are available in ample quantities, is important. There are citrus fruits like oranges available in abundance in winter, which you can include in your diet. Oranges are superfruits that boost immunity and support weight loss. Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C that supports the stimulation of white blood cells to fight infections and diseases. Oranges, grapefruits, and tangerines are other good options to incorporate into your winter diet.
Apples and Pears are not only delicious but are powerhouses of nutrition. Including them in your winter diet is a delight as they contain massive amounts of fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins. Pears and apples are fortifying fruits that are good for your immune system and ensure your good health throughout the season.
There are many creative ways to include apples and pears in your winter meals. You can use pears and apples in salads, eat them fresh, bake them, give them a fresh twist, and more.
For baked apples and pears, you can follow the below recipe:
Beetroot, Sweet Potatoes, Turnip, Fiddlehead Ferns, White and Purple Yams, Lamb’s quarters (Bathua in Hindi), Green Peas, Cauliflower, Carrots, and Spring onions are some of the popular root vegetables available in the winter season. These vegetables are healthy, full of fiber and antioxidants, and have all the good reasons to consume them. These nutrient-dense vegetables must be included in your winter season food list.
You can include root vegetables in your diet in several ways, such as slicing and toasting them or mashing them to consume with your lunch. You can also cut them into chips or fries or use them in sandwiches. You may blend them into a smoothie or add them to your salad. Preparing soup from such vegetables is another option for using your root vegetables in winter.
Cruciferous vegetables are a special group of vegetables. Some common cruciferous vegetables are cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, bok choy, collards, arugula, brussels sprouts, kale, and radishes. These vegetables should be added to your daily winter diet for added nutrients.
Several delicious recipes featuring cruciferous vegetables are commonly included in the Indian diet. Recipes like sauteed cauliflower and potatoes, pasta with garlic and cruciferous veggies, Gobhi Achari, the Indian style cauliflower recipe, broccoli, and potato stir fry recipe, are some examples.
Cold winter days are hard for some people who suffer from iron deficiency. So, it makes sense for such people to consume iron-rich foods to warm their bodies up and keep them active. For this, you may include vegetables and lean meats in your diet so that your body can absorb iron better as compared to plants and vegetables. You can also include eggs for proteins, which are important for muscle health and to fight common infections during winter. Try to incorporate egg whites into your breakfast regularly. Include lean meat in your winter dishes for the best benefits.
Legumes and beans are also excellent protein sources, and they are high in fiber, iron, and potassium. Most beans provide over 30% of your daily value of proteins per cup of cooked beans. They are also the sources of complex carbohydrates and vitamins.
There are several vegetarian and vegan winter protein recipes that you can include in your diet, such as mixed sprout curry, fenugreek, chana masala, green lentils with garlic, spinach dal, and more.
To gain healthy fats in winter, you can include avocados in your winter snacks and meals for the rich source of monounsaturated fats. You can sprinkle some salt and pepper on the avocado and enjoy it as a salad. Also, you can cook them with scrambled eggs or as toast and also as stuffed avocados.
Nuts and seeds are also good sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for heart health. Include nuts and seeds in salads, oatmeal, and yogurt to prepare oats, puddings, salads, cakes, and more.
Herbal Teas can boost your immunity as they are loaded with antioxidants and are excellent for detoxing your body. Besides, you can also consume ginger tea, cinnamon tea, and turmeric tea for different health benefits in winter, like nasal irritation, cough, cold symptoms, etc.
Similarly, homemade soups are excellent as warm beverages and the best foods to eat in winter. They are nutrient-rich and are good for warmth and nourishment.
Here’s a recipe for hearty and healthy winter soup:
To prepare a winter vegetable soup, take equal portions of different winter vegetables like French beans, carrots, potatoes, cauliflower, cabbage, and tomato cubes. Now, in a pan, add some sliced onions and bay leaves and saute for a minute.
Now add the vegetables, except cabbage and tomatoes, and saute for 2-3 minutes. Next, add some vegetable stock and cook on a medium flame for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. At this stage, add the cabbage and tomatoes. Add salt as per taste. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve hot.
When it comes to winter food, how can you miss out on winter desserts? A winter dessert that you may include in your winter diet is dark chocolate. Dark chocolates are rich sources of antioxidants as well as have many other benefits. However, the key is to include them in moderation and in a creative way so that you can enjoy them without guilt.
Another great option for winter dessert is baked fruits. You can prepare healthier dessert alternatives using baked fruits to satisfy your sweet cravings while not compromising on the nutritional aspect and health.
Most winter-season food in India keeps you warm and healthy. So, include the special winter fruits and vegetables as well as other winter delights in your diet this winter. They come with rich nutritional benefits and help to embrace a balanced and nourishing winter diet. So, don’t miss out on the opportunity to consume them and avail the maximum benefits them.
Eat seasonal fruits and vegetables, as well as include root and cruciferous vegetables in your diet during the winter season.
Root vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, seasonal fruits, warm beverages like tea and soups,
Jaggery, sesame, dates, leafy greens (saag), saffron, ginger and ghee.
Citrus fruits, seasonal vegetables, dry fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and leafy greens.
Healthy food protects you against many chronic non-communicable diseases.
For weight loss in winter, you can include dry fruits, nuts, and seeds in your diet as snacks. Add a dash of jaggery to these nuts and seeds. They will help you stay full for a long time and prevent hunger pangs.
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