Winter is just not about having the perfect wardrobe or enjoying the chilly thrills that the season offers. It’s also about taking care of our body and doing away with unhealthy eating habits. It took me a few unwanted experiences to realise that just as we cannot live on ice cream during the scorching summers, similarly, we cannot perpetually consume the delightful hot chocolate and baked cookies during winters.
Until a couple of years ago, as the temperature fell, I would feel extremely lethargic and drowsy, and I am sure many can relate to it. This happens because our metabolism rate slows down to conserve energy and keep the body warm during winters. Therefore, winterising our diet is necessary to fight cold-borne diseases. Including these following healthy winter food items in my winter-diet not only put an end to the lethargy but also made my meals super delicious.
Since ancient times, honey has been used throughout the year as a medicine. I use it whenever I get a sore throat or want to get rid of a stubborn cough. It also helped me in getting relief from nocturnal cough, allowing me to sleep better. Even if you are not suffering from similar health conditions, you can still add one to two tablespoons of honey to a glass of warm water along with lemon juice and drink it regularly on winter mornings. It strengthens our immune system, keeping flu and common cold away.
As root vegetables like onions, sweet potatoes, ginger, beets, garlic, carrots, radishes, etc. grow underground, they absorb a lot of nutrients from the soil. Therefore, adding root vegetables to my winter diet substantially boosted my immune system. Also, there are so many delicious ways to prepare root vegetables, and I keep trying out new recipes from the internet, adding a refreshing touch to my meals.
Fruits and vegetables like sweet potatoes, tomatoes, red peppers and citrus fruits contain vitamin C, which boosts our immune system and energy levels. Lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit are readily available in winters. Sweet Potatoes have a very high nutritional value. Constipation has been a nagging problem that I suffered from. However, I found significant relief after consuming sweet potatoes.
Both ripe and dried dates possess fibre, vitamin C and essential minerals, which keep the body warm and can be used in preparing a variety of delightful munchies. I make a point to prepare some dishes with dates around this time of the year. Consuming dates early in the morning also helped in treating my constipation problem. Having dates syrup early in the morning also soothes asthma, which gets typically triggered in winters.
During my childhood, my mother would feed me almonds, stating that it will protect me from respiratory diseases and cough. Over the years, I did some research and found that regular consumption of almonds also controls diabetes and prevents gallstones. Almonds contain biotin, which keeps our skin and hair nourished in winters. Similarly, adding walnuts in your diet will help you by lowering cholesterol levels, promoting sleep and keeping your body warm.
I know that not getting swayed but tempting platters and making a healthy choice aren’t always that easy, but if you strictly monitor what you eat, then you can prevent yourself from becoming vulnerable to an array of diseases. Hence, such a seasonal diet-modification is mandatory to ensure that we get to enjoy all the flavours of this chilly season.7