Ingredients For A Healthy Winter

This article is authored by Dr. Shweta U. Shah.      .

Winter’s here; the temperatures have dipped and there’s a sharp nip in the air! The season brings with it a lot of winter super-foods that most definitely ought to be a part of your winter menu. These foods promise to give you a mega nutritional punch and are waiting to be included into your recipes!

Here’s a round-up of 7 powerful winter foods!

  1. Pumpkin: The pumpkin is the quintessential winter super-food! It is jam-packed with fibre, beta carotene, magnesium, vitamin C and vitamin B6. Brimming over with hunger-squashing fibre, a ton of vitamins and minerals, and considerably low in calories – the pumpkin has potent fat burning properties. Pumpkins can help to bring down cholesterol levels and help reduce your blood pressure as well. Convert this winter staple into appetizing recipes that will impress the whole family! Add diced pumpkin to your sambhar and dal; cube, season, and cook in to a flavorful stir-fry; add pumpkin to your lasagna and pasta; or have a smooth, creamy, orangey pumpkin soup!
  2. Ginger: This gorgeous spice has been used for centuries to perk up digestion, allay nausea and tummy upset, as well as bolster your immune mechanism. The root is available year-round; however, the fresh, young roots are obtainable only during the winter, making it one of the most used winter spices. Gingerols in ginger are robust anti-inflammatory agents and forceful anti-oxidants proffering a mountain of benefits. Ginger is pretty strong when it comes to flavor, so add a little to your curries, gravies and stir-fries. Another way of consuming the root is to begin your day with a cup of freshly brewed herbal ginger tea.
  3. Oranges: Oranges are chockfull of vitamin C, making them just what the doctor ordered when the winter flu strikes! They are also bursting with compelling antioxidants and robust phytochemicals, which stave off chronic diseases, pep up the immune system functioning and may even reduce the risk of cancer. Oranges promise to wow your taste buds and nourish your body! Chomp on 2 to 3 oranges through the day; or kick-start your day with a glass of fresh orange juice.
  4. Sweet potatoes: Laden with beta-carotene, a fantastic antioxidant which battles free radical damage, sweet potatoes are available between October to December. They offer satiety-promoting protein, belly-slimming fibre and a humongous amount of vitamin A – all of which reinforce the immune system, improve vision, and augment cellular communication. Add sweet potatoes to undhiyo; toss them in to various curries and gravies; make sweet potato fries; and in case you are feeling courageous, try making a baked sweet potato pie!
  5. Pomegranate: The pomegranate is the complete package! The fruit is insanely tasty, adds a fabulous visual appeal to your dish, and is significantly healthy for you. The fruit is overloaded with powerful polyphenols - these boost heart health, strengthen your immune mechanism, and enhance your memory. These potent polyphenols put a stopper to inflammation in the brain cells. Eat the fruit as it is, add it to your fruit juice, and sprinkle it on your bhel, dabeli, and poha.
  6. Beet: If you need a nutritious addition to your winter diet, beetroot wins hands-down! Beetroot is crammed with fibre, potassium, folate, and beta carotene and super potent anti-oxidants. However, notwithstanding their countless amazing health benefits, not everyone eats beet. The beetroot is not an easy veggie to cook with and you need to get creative when using it. Here are some fun ideas –soup, raita, salad, pickle, juice, incorporating the root in to kebabs and tikkis and as a topping for sprouts, bhel and ragda pattice.
  7. Turmeric: Haldi has some very serious, scientifically-backed benefits which are attributed to curcumin – a very intimidating anti-oxidant. Turmeric keeps your cholesterol in check, deals effectually with arthritis and it can also help battle depression. It also shores up your immune system and fights infections successfully. This is especially useful in winter season to tackle the symptoms of the seasonal flu. Use fresh turmeric which is available in winter or Tata Sampann Turmeric Powder which is available throughout the year. This turmeric powder contains 3% curcumin in every packet.

It’s always prudent to consume produce that’s in-season. It’s fresher, given that the vegetables and fruits have been gathered at the highest point of their ripeness. Also, when you consume seasonal produce, it is environmentally-friendly, since it has been obtained from local sources and you eliminate wastage of fuel for the transport of the produce to the store. Most importantly, seasonal produce is way more healthful than their out-of-season equivalent. When a particular fruit or vegetable sits on the shelf for too long, its nutrient and antioxidant availability reduces. Thus, always select in-season foods.

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