Keep healthy this winter by including plenty of these 10 foods in your diet.
Winter is the time when people cherish food for several reasons, be it the seasonal availability of certain food items and their unique flavor, color, taste, etc. Also, during winters we need to add food that warm us and helps to build immunity to fight against common cold, cough and flu. This season brings with it hearty winter greens like palak, methi, sarson, muli and high energy and protein grains like Bajra and makki which are loaded with warmth giving quality. All this calls for higher intake of food leading to more calorie intake than usual. Here are some winter foods with high nutritional value coming in a low calorie package. Although there are fewer foods that are in season in winter than in summer, winter boasts some surprising health superstars.
Here are 10 of the healthiest winter foods you should be eating:
Methi Leaves: In winters, methi leaves are available in abundance and are fresh. It is an excellent source of folate, vitamin A, B6, C, and K. It is excellent in boosting immunity during the winter months. Methi instantly increases body heat which is perfect for cold days. Methi also helps in lowering the cholesterol and control diabetes. It can be consumed in many ways either make a parantha out of it or a subzi, its goodness remains there. Citrus fruits: Citrus fruits especially orange and grapefruit are at their juiciest in the wintertime. Loaded with vitamin C. Citrus fruits are also rich in flavonoids, which are known to boost ‘good’ HDL cholesterol and lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Carrot: It is the “powerfood” of winters, packed with vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, C, K, and B8, beta carotene, folate, potassium, iron, copper, and manganese. Good for vision as it is a good source of vitamin A. Pectin present in it lowers the cholesterol levels. Carrots are known to possess anti cancer properties. Try to have a glass of carrot juice daily. Hot soups: Nothing is better than a bowl of hot soup during chilly winters. Less in calories, higher in nutrients, satisfies the taste buds, provides heat to your body. What else can be a better appetizer than even a simple tomato soup or chicken soup. Ginger: Ginger acts as an antioxidant. It makes your immune system strong. It is an excellent remedy against cold and flu especially when taken with honey. It boosts the metabolism and keeps the body warm. A hot cup of ginger tea is the best way to protect from winter chills.
Jaggery (Gur): Gur helps in relieving constipation by stimulating bowel movements.It is an excellent source or iron. People having jaggery in their diet regularly can never suffer from iron deficiency anemia.It can treat flu like symptoms. Have it by mixing it in warm water or in tea in place of sugar.It also helps in detoxifying the liver by flushing out harmful toxins from the body.
Black millet (Bajra): Bajra is rich in insoluble fiber and so it helps in digestion. It has an anti-diabetic effect on people with diabetes and also increases insulin sensitivity. It helps prevent cancer especially breast cancer in premenopausal women. Bajra contains a vitamin called niacin, which helps in lowering the cholesterol levels, thereby preventing heart disease.
Another super food for Winters is Sweet Potato. Read why is it a superfood!
Mustard Greens (Sarson Ka Saag): Mustard greens contains three powerful antioxidants; vitamin K, A and C.They assist decrease the level of cholesterol and detoxify the body.Vitamin K and omega-3 fatty acids are important anti-inflammatory agents present in mustard greens.Very good source of dietary fiber. Manages the metabolism and helps with digestion.Excellent source of calcium and potassium, helps encourage good bone health.Good for eye health as vitamin A is present in greatest amount.
Sesame seeds (Til): Sesame seeds are the powerhouse of calcium so good for bone health.High copper content prevents and relieves arthritis and strengthen bones and joints.It helps protect your from alcohol’s impact on your liver and helps to maintain a healthy liver function.It helps to lessen the anxiety and gives a calming effect on moods.It contain anti-cancer compounds including phytic acid, magnesium, and phytosterols.It helps lower the cholesterol levels, thereby preventing heart disease.Sesame seeds are full of good quality protein.
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