After a long day at work, you get home tired and cold. What do you yearn for? A hot meal, Right? Winter is the best time to enjoy food. For one, the supply of vegetables and fruit is so much better than in any other season. Secondly, the low temperature makes it easy and enjoyable to cook as well as eat hot meals. What you probably don’t realize is that most winter foods are packed with nutrients and disease fighting substance.
Here’s a list of the Top 10 Winter Foods that you absolutely must enjoy this season:
1. G&G: Ginger and garlic have long been used in our kitchens to add flavor to the food we eat. But in winters, these two items take on a medicinal avatar as well. Garlic is known to lower bad cholesterol, so it is always a good idea to consume some, no matter what the season is. But in winters, people are more susceptible to colds and fevers. G&G are known to have antibiotic and antiviral properties that protect you from those sore throats and colds. Ginger honey syrup is great for coughs and sore throats.
2. Citrus Fruit: Oranges, Kenows, Maltas and grapefruit, all are packed with Vitamin C and bioflavonoids. Both these substances are known to boost the immune system. Research shows that Vitamin C can even help in alleviating the symptoms of cold or fever if intake is increased as soon as the symptoms set in. What’s more, these fruit taste simply awesome. You can consume in form of juice with your breakfast. But the best way is to eat the whole fruit so that you can benefit from the fiber content as well.
3. Soups: Chicken soup for non vegetarians and vegetable soups for the vegetarians, the winters supply everything. There is nothing like a hot broth to warm you up when you get home in the evening. Hot soups also help in nasal congestion since they contain steam. Nutritious, tasty and beneficial, that’s what soups are!
4. Mushrooms: This exotic fungus is great for fighting diseases. Not only do mushrooms boost the immune system, they are also great in taste. The best thing about mushroom is that they can be added to any dish or soup to make it exotic and tastier. What’s more, they are very low on calories!
5. Greens: What’s a winter without some green leaves? Whether it is your favorite “sarson da saag” or “palak paneer”, greens are very yummy and nutritious. From spinach to kale to fenugreek, winters supply all the greens in good quality and at a low price. So stock up on iron and vitamins with these greens.
6. Nuts: “Badam, pista, kaju, akhrot, kishmish”. Nuts are not only great in taste, but also packed with energy. Nuts contain oils that help in increasing the good cholesterol and lowering the bad one! They can be added to other food items for flavor or eaten with breakfast every day.
7. Sweet Potatoes: Now, don’t you get scared with a mention of “sweet”. Sweet potatoes are not really very high in calories, and contain almost no fat. What they are loaded with is immune-boosting compounds like beta-carotene (which converts to vitamin A in the body) and Vitamin C. Sweet potatoes are packed with age-fighting anti-oxidants and cholesterol-fighting fiber.
8. Barley: This grain is a great source of plant protein, B vitamins and fiber. It helps in reducing cholesterol as well as in regulating bowel movement. Barley also has antiviral and anticancer properties and contains disease-fighting antioxidants.
9. Curds: Some people avoid curds in the winters. But in winters curds help us in fighting the germs and bacteria that we are exposed to. Probiotic curds help in increasing the culture of friendly bacteria in our stomach. Fiber rich food taken along with probiotic curds helps in fighting germs during the winters.
10. Oats: Oats are known to have low Glycemic Index. This means that the release of glucose from oats is rather slow. This keeps you fuller for a longer time and also does in result in a spike in blood sugar levels. A healthy breakfast of oats every morning can help you in avoiding weight gain during winters. Most people are prone to weight gain in the lean months because of low activity levels.