You take care of your health throughout the year. Balanced and healthy eating, coupled with regular exercise is your routine the year-round. But come winters and your year-long efforts are set back by a step.
As you indulge more on calories to keep yourself tepid, missing out on your exercise routine too may become a winter norm. It’s the winter season after all and you deserve a break from the boring ‘healthy’ food all time.
With the winter chill already knocking, bringing with it changes in your energy and metabolism levels – we thought of putting in a list of good foods that will keep you healthy during winters.
Opt from the following good food items to keep yourself healthy this season:
Oatmeal is now a common breakfast menu item. Not only is it healthy for you when it comes to weight management, it also provides your body with essential nutrients during the winters. Oatmeal supplies your body with soluble fibers which are important in heart health. It also contains zinc which supports proper immune function in your body.
As the pace of work slows down this winter, a warm oatmeal breakfast is all that you need. The slow carbs keep you fuller for a longer time. There are so many ways in which you could prepare your oatmeal – porridge, caramelized or soaked overnight. Add a dash of your favourite fruits and seeds to top the dish and your dull winter morning brightens up.
Basil & Ginger
The basil-ginger combination is a home-remedy practised across all households for the winter season invariably.
A hot cup of tea with basil and ginger beats the winter chill like nothing else. With its multiple benefits as also enlisted in the Ayurveda, Tulsi or Basil, has anti-bacterial, anti-viral and antibiotic properties. And not just tea, basil can be added to dips, salads, soups and other preparations as well.
Ginger is effective in curing digestive problems and also possesses anti-inflammatory properties. The antihistamine properties of ginger are effective in treating cold, flu and even bronchitis. It stimulates mucus secretion, thus helping those suffering with pneumonia. Add to your winter dishes or to your hot beverages including teas and soups.
Soup is your perfect companion in the winter season. However just be careful with the amount of salt and cream that you add. Opt for soups that utilise a lot of vegetables, and stick to the homemade ones. Ready to cook soups are not recommended as they contain added flavours, which do more bad than good to your body. Pick up whole grain breads and crackers to accompany your hot favourite.
Hot beverages help avoid cold and flu during the winter season. Soup seasonings not only lend a flavour to your hot cup but carry health benefits as well. For instance, onion and pepper seasoning, travels into your body in the vapour form, while also clearing your nasal passage.
Dried Fruits / Nuts
Dried fruits, such as apples, apricots, figs are easily available across all departmental stores. And you should opt for the organic ones always. While having high fiber and carb content, these dried-up fruits are low on fat. These are your best bet for all the binge eating you get into during the winter season. You would also have stocked up on nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachios) for the winter season. If not, do it now. They are a rich source of energy for your winter body and also prevent your skin in this dry season. You could try roasted nuts as well– simple roasted with salt or those roasted in honey, to add more flavour to your palate.
Top your breakfast cereals with these dried fruits and nuts as they help you keep warm through the winters. These are healthy alternatives to your snacky-cravings which increase during the winter season.
Roots & Leafy Greens
Root vegetables include carrots, radish, beetroots, green beans etc. Opt of these veggies either roasted or boiled. You could also add them to your fresh vegetable soup. These provide your body with minerals and vitamins – such as, the beta-carotene of the carrots and vitamins C & A from turnips. Beetroots contain antioxidants effective in fighting cancer and degenerative diseases. A natural source of sugar, you could also replace them with other sweet stuff.
Leafy Greens such as Broccoli, Kale, Spinach, Collards are rich in vitamins A, C & K. These greens are also a rich source of folate for your body. They aid in digestion, lowering cholesterol, while also being low in calories. Cabbage comes loaded with Vitamin C, K, folate, fibers, antioxidants, and anti-carcinogenic compounds. Opt for leafy green super veggies this winter season to nourish your body.
Citrus fruits such as lemons, kiwis, oranges, grapefruits are the juiciest fruits in winters. These fruits are loaded with vitamin C and are a rich source of flavonoids for your body. Citrus fruits are also effective in maintaining good cholesterol levels while lowering bad cholesterol and triglycerides.
Opt for Meyer Lemons as they help increase metabolism levels of your body, thus helping in weight loss. Guava, a fruit rich in vitamin A & C, also is a source of potassium, magnesium while helping prevent coronary artery disease in your body. Add these tangerines on your salads, or make marmalades. You could also squeeze out fresh juices as you soak in the winter sun.
Indian meals are known to contain a mix of spices. However there are some that help you stay fit and healthy through the winters especially. You could include spices such as mustard, asafoetida (hing), black pepper, fenugreek, dil seeds etc. in your food during the winter season. Cardamom is effective in opening the respiratory passages, while cinnamon warms up those who are cold always. Dry fenugreek seeds in your meal acts not only as an appetizer but also generates warmth in the body. Add spices to your food and hot beverages and maintain a healthy winter body.
SO now that you are gearing up for winters, don’t forget to stock up on healthy foods as well. Battle these cold months with foods that keep you warm, as well as supply nutrition to your body.
Have a healthy diet. Happy Winters!!!!