Winter brings much-needed respite from the sultry weather and adds festive cheer to the atmosphere. However, the seasonal change also calls for a nutritious diet and balanced lifestyle to protect oneself from the dry weather, dipping temperatures, and keep the body warm and healthy.
Thus, you must include some winter foods that are known for their innumerable health benefits to keep seasonal issues at bay. To help you, celebrity nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar has shared 10 “time-tested” superfoods “for good immunity, joint and bone health, good skin and hair, and much more.”
“Make sure you include them in your diet this winter,” Diwekar said, listing the foods, the best way to consume them and the various health benefits associated with them.
Take a look
A popular winter staple, the nutritionist suggests consuming it as bhakri, laddoo, khichdi, bhajani and thalipeeth among others. “It is rich in vitamin B, promotes muscle growth and hair regeneration,” she said.
Commonly eaten as a laddoo, you can also consume it in goond water or roast it in ghee with some sugar. “It is food for bones, sex drive and aids digestion,” Diwekar explained.
Green veggies (spinach, fenugreek, mustard, mint)
You can make sabzis, saag or raitas or add it in dal or chutneys. According to the nutritionist, “green veggies are rich in antioxidants, fibres and vitamins, and are anti-inflammatory in nature.”
Kand and root veggies
She suggested having it “in tikkis, sabzis or eating with the seasoning of salt and chilli powder”. They are prebiotic in nature, aids weight loss, improve digestion and help in the assimilation of nutrients.
Consume seasonal fruits like guava, custard apple, apricots and apples. “Enjoy them ripe, eat fresh and whole after washing. They are rich in micronutrients, fibre and help in hydration of skin,” she said.
Sesame seeds can be consumed in chikki, laddoo, chutney or as seasoning. “It has essential fatty acids and Vitamin E. It is also good for bones, skin and hair.”
Peanuts can be boiled, roasted or turned into a chutney. Additionally, you can also use them for seasoning salads and in sabzis. Calling peanuts one amongst “world’s healthiest foods”, the nutritionist said, “They are rich in vitamin B, amino acids, polyphenols and are good for the heart.”
Diwekar suggests cooking in ghee and adding it to dals, rice, bhakri, bhatis and chapatis. It has essential fatty acids and makes it easy to assimilate vitamin D, A and E. “It is also a taste enhancer,” she added.
White butter (makkhan)
Diwekar asked to add dollops of white butter to bhakri, thalipeeth, saags and dals in winter. According to her, white butter helps in “joint lubrication, skin hydration and ensuring bone health.” It is critical during work from home scenario which induces load on the neck and spine. It is also helpful in reducing gas.
Kulith (and other forgotten pulses like alsane, navrangi dal, etc.)
You can have them as a parantha, soup or dal. These pulses help prevent kidney stones and beat bloating. They are a good source of protein, fibre and micronutrients.