The winter has its own unique set of health concerns, just like every other season. Wintertime health difficulties like fever, chills, postnasal cough, colds, and viral infections are just as prevalent as inflammation, dry skin, and related skin problems. Although the winters are not as severe in most of India as they are in other countries around the world, the lack of sunlight and Vitamin D is also known to cause depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and other mental health problems. Boosting your immune system to deal with these issues is precisely why winters necessitate some dietary modifications.
The ten superfoods listed below are advised by Indian health experts to boost immunity and prevent winter health problems:
1. Nuts & Seeds
Try to incorporate a variety of nuts and seeds into your diet during the winter. Energy, protein, vitamin E, vitamin C, omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and antioxidants found in nuts and seeds help you stay warm and support a healthy immune system. Also, these foods help shield your body from obesity and several types of cancer. Start your day with a handful of almonds and walnuts, and anytime you become hungry, eat homemade energy bars, laddus with peanuts, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, flaxseeds, and roasted makhanas.
2. Root Vegetables
Root vegetables that are seasonal in the winter and are high in energy include sweet potato, yam, turnip, carrot, and beetroot. The high concentration of antioxidants, vitamins A and C, and minerals like iron and potassium in these vegetables can help prevent chronic diseases, slow the ageing process, and detoxify the body while also keeping you warm. You can eat these root vegetables as part of your typical winter diet in salads, soups, and cooked or stir-fried veggies.
3. Green Pea
Green peas are commonly accessible throughout most parts of India during the winter. They are a delightful and nutrient-rich meal choice during this time of year. Green peas are a fantastic source of fibre, protein, vitamin A, and vitamin K. They are also a terrific source of minerals including manganese, folate, and iron. Peas are beneficial for the skin, nails, immune system, and even weight control because of all these nutrients.
We frequently undervalue the health advantages of fenugreek seeds, although fenugreek leaves are a popular wintertime green leafy vegetable. You should incorporate both of them into your normal diet in various ways. The high levels of fibre and antioxidants in fenugreek help you maintain healthy blood sugar and serum cholesterol levels while also promoting weight loss. Galactomannan and phytonutrients in fenugreek seeds are known for their ability to enhance immunity and regulate hunger. Fenugreek leaves can be eaten like any other leafy green vegetable, and the seeds can be used to make tea, sprouts, or season vegetables and curry.
Indian cuisine frequently uses spices as seasonings, and numerous studies have demonstrated the high antioxidant content of black pepper, clove, cinnamon, dry ginger, and cumin seeds. These spices can improve digestion, treat sore throats, and help lessen the likelihood and signs of developing specific infections. For daily consumption, add these spices to kadha, black tea, soup, curry, and lentils.
Due to the presence of curcumin, which is renowned for its antioxidant and phytonutrient qualities, turmeric is widely used. Make an effort to consume at least half a teaspoon of turmeric daily. This superfood can be added to milk, pickles, curries, and lentil dishes.
We use jaggery, a superfood, in a variety of ways during the winter. It activates the digestive enzymes, which enhance digestion and lessen bloating, gas, and acidity. Jaggery helps treat constipation by having a slight laxative effect. Eating jaggery also aids in the treatment of other wintertime illnesses like the flu, colds, and coughs. Take a one-inch piece of this superfood as dessert after your meal, or add it to your tea or laddu.
In both its raw and dried forms, ginger is great for keeping you warm during the winter. It aids in boosting digestion and wards off stomach problems thanks to its anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and anti-gastric characteristics. Use ginger as a condiment for salads, chutney, kadha, tea, and curries.
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), found in ghee and recognized for its warming properties, aids in fat-burning and weight loss. During the winter, every day stir 1-2 teaspoons of homemade, pure ghee into your dal or vegetables.
Add garlic to your salads and condiment this winter. Allicin, an ingredient in garlic, contains organosulfur compounds that strengthen your immune system. Daily consumption of garlic can aid in the fight against diseases like the flu, colds, and cough that are frequent during the winter.
Since the days are shorter and the nights are longer in the winter, more illnesses can spread and infect us, especially if our immune systems are compromised. If you don’t pay attention to your health, the chilly days might be particularly difficult. Numerous remedies are available to help keep you healthy during this season of the year. There are several things you can do to keep fit, from getting enough sleep to working out and eating well.