Healthy winter diet: The best foods to eat to stay well this winter

Although there are fewer foods that are in season in winter than in summer, winter boasts some surprising health superstars.

As the temperature begins to dip, our thoughts will no doubt turn to hot soups, shakarkand chaats, beet thoran, nihari, undhiyo, gajar ka halwa, noren gur sandesh, moong dal laddoo and other winter warming comfort food.

There’s nothing wrong with indulging a little over the winter months, but how do you make sure you get all the nutrition your body needs to fight off colds and flu?

Here are some top tips for what to eat to stay well this winter…

Start your day with porridge:-

Start your day with a healthy slow-release breakfast, which will keep you full of energy until lunch. Porridge or sattu made from oats, barley, gram flour, nachni/ragi etc are a great way to start your morning. Add nuts or seeds and some seasonal winter fruit like apples, pears, jardalu or dates.

Choose fruit and veggies rich in vitamin C:-

Add foods like sweet potatoes, tomatoes, Shimla Mirch and citrus fruits to your meals as they contain vitamin C, which plays an important role in the immune system and energy levels, especially important if you regularly exercise.

Look for sources of zinc:-

During the winter months, we can come into contact with viruses that can cause colds or flu. So, it’s important that our immune system functions normally and zinc contributes to this. Foods such as seafood, spinach, and legumes are good sources of zinc.

Eat more iron-rich foods:-

Red meats, lentils, and green leafy vegetables are good sources of iron, which supports a healthy immune system. If you’re not getting all your iron requirements from food sources alone to consider taking a natural iron food supplement.

Up your intake of vitamin B12:-

Fish such as salmon and mackerel, as well as milk, eggs, and cheese, are a great source of vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 contributes to the normal functioning of the immune system and also contributes to a reduction in tiredness and fatigue.


 5 of the healthiest winter foods you should be eating.
 
1. Tulsi, Pepper, and Ginger
 Nothing can warm you better than a cup of piping hot ginger and tulsi tea on a cold wintery day. Add some soonth (dried ginger powder) and you will keep colds, infections and a sore throat at bay

2. Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
Dark leafy greens, such as spinach, methi, amaranth (chaulai) and mustard greens (sarson) thrive in the chill of winter. These greens are particularly rich in vitamins A, C, and K and are also excellent sources of folate, important for women of childbearing age.

3. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits, including lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruit, are at their juiciest in the wintertime and can add sunshine to the dreary winter. Citrus fruits are loaded with vitamin C—one medium orange delivers more than 100 percent of your daily dose. Citrus fruits are also rich sources of flavonoids. The predominant flavonoid in these fruits—hesperidin—is credited with boosting “good” HDL cholesterol and lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.

4. Potatoes
Potatoes sometimes get a bad rap for being a white starch, thrown into the same category as white rice or white bread. But unlike those other starches, which have indeed been stripped of healthful nutrients, potatoes are whole foods that contain several beneficial nutrients. They are an excellent source of two immunity boosters—vitamins C and B6. They are also a good source of folate, which is especially important for women of childbearing age.

5. Dried fruit, Nuts and Seeds
Raisins, almonds, walnuts, dates, figs, pine nuts, chironji, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, melon seeds, sesame seeds etc are all excellent choices in the winter. 

Stay warm, stay happy, stay blessed with good health…always!!!

Warm regards,

Charmaine D’Souza.

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