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  • Writer's pictureSomnath banerjee

Foods to keep you warm in Winter: Cold in India

Updated: Jun 24, 2023


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When someone says winter, what comes to mind? hefty, scratchy wool clothing? cracked heels and chapped lips? Winter is undoubtedly all of these things, but did you also know that it is also the ideal season for boosting immunity? At this time, people are more ravenous. Amazingly, the body's system functions better and food is more easily absorbed in the cold. This helps the body get more nutrition.


So how can one strengthen their immune system during winter? As is common knowledge, meals that strengthen the immune system are those that are healthy, clean, fresh, organic, and simple to digest. These include dairy products, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fresh produce, dried fruits, and ghee. In addition to this, several spices also offer anti-microbial qualities that shield us against illnesses and colds. Additionally, they stimulate the activity of digestive enzymes and cellular metabolic processes, ensuring full nutritional absorption.



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Warming Winter Foods


Our bodies want for warm, nourishing foods that are high in calories throughout the winter. For this urge to be sated, we require warming meals. Any vegetable that requires time to develop and whose edible portion grows below the ground's surface is often warming and suitable for winter use. A few nuts, oilseeds, and dry fruits (like dates), as well as certain nuts, are also warming. Additionally, you may want to consume more spices at this time of year than throughout the summer.


Lean dairy, meat, fish, and chicken are all examples of animal products that come under the warming category. Proteins, whole-grain cereals, and good fats also provide you the energy you need to stay warm. Root vegetables like carrots, potatoes, onions, garlic, radish, yams, sweet potatoes, beets, turnips, etc., and robust winter greens like palak, methi, sarson, muli, pudina, etc., are the most warming veggies that are healthy for your body.


Carrots (also known as gajar, gajar ras, and gajar shalgam ke achaar): Carrots contain a significant amount of beta-carotene, a potent antioxidant and great source of vitamin A.


White radish, onion, and garlic (dry and spring varieties): High in phytochemicals known to help prevent cancer, isothiocyanates and indoles. Their powerful flavour enhances the flavour of meals.


Yams and potatoes: These foods aid in supplying much-needed energy.


Greens with leaves: Methi, Palak, Sarson (also known as "methi-theplas," "sarson-ka-sag," and "palak paneer"): an excellent source of vitamin C and beta-carotene, two potent antioxidants that support the immune system and the battle against illness. Other examples of this kind of food are celery, coriander, amaranth, radish greens, etc.


Green beans (wide beans, valol, papdi), peas, and other vegetables are all abundant in protein and calories.


Whole Grain Cereals and Pulses: Foods high in protein and energy provide the body the energy it needs to fight off a cold. Because of this, many Indian homes prepare "sheera" (made of rava, whole-wheat flour, moong dal, vermicelli, daliaa, and badam), "halwa" (made of gajar, doodhi, and pumpkin), "paak," and "ladoos." Poonkh, or fresh green whole grains, are a winter delicacy that may be found in Gujarat. Rotis made with makai and bajra have this warmth-inducing characteristic.



Fruits, Fresh And Dried

Pineapple and papaya are thought to be warming foods. Amla is rich in vitamin C and excellent for boosting immunity. This explains why "amla juice" and "amla muraba" are often accessible in the winter.


In the winter, dates are highly advised since they have a warm character. They are a wonderful source of energy in addition to being a rich source of fibre, iron, magnesium, calcium, and vitamins C and B3. You may eat them straight up, as a barfi, pulp, or as an ingredient in milkshakes and smoothies.



Spices

Warm spices that may be used freely include mustard, asafoetida (hing), black pepper, fenugreek, ajwain, and suva (dill) seeds. Winter coughs and flu may be effectively treated with mustard, ajwain, and suva seeds, which also stimulate the appetite and digestive system and improve blood circulation. Bone and joint disorders, which are more prevalent in the winter, may be greatly helped by methi (dry or sprouting). A powerful anti-microbial immune booster, turmeric, particularly the fresh, golden-yellow kind (which resembles ginger), is used in cooking.



Seeds And Herbs

Herbs like basil (tulsi) can boost immunity and provide protection against colds, fever, and other illnesses. Ginger is incredibly warming, both in its fresh and dried forms. Ginger may be used in tea, dals, and vegetables, as well as sliced ginger with lime and salt as a traditional side dish. The winter chills may be effectively treated by preparing dry ginger powder into miniature ladoos with jaggery and ghee.


To an Indian, til ladoos and til chikki are well known. When you sprinkle til or sesame over salads, breads, pastas, and pizzas, you also tap into their warming property.



Being Healthy During the Winter


The chilly weather might cause you to miss your workouts and even put you on a mood swing that can cause you to overeat out of stress and boredom. Incorporate both proteins and carbs into your diet. This will prevent hunger sensations brought on by low blood sugar and balance the soothing brain chemical serotonin. The ideal ratio is two thirds vegetables and salads and one third protein.


Pay attention to your way of living as well. The immune system may be compromised rather than strengthened by staying up late, working at night, eating irregularly, exposing oneself to stress and weariness, and sleeping during the day. Spend the winter months this year remaining warm and healthy.



 

Frequently Asked Questions


What should we eat to stay warm in India during the winter?

Root vegetables like carrots, potatoes, onions, garlic, radish, yams, sweet potatoes, beets, turnips, etc., and robust winter greens like palak, methi, sarson, muli, pudina, etc., are the most warming veggies that are healthy for your body.

What meals keep you warm throughout the winter?

In the cold, how do Indians remain warm?

Which foods are the hottest for the body?

How can I naturally raise the temperature of my home during the winter?


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