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Winter Foods That Need To Make Way into Your Diet!

When winters strike, our body takes some time to adjust to the cold weather. Moreover, our immune system needs an additional boost to fight against the many infections that we become susceptible to. Thankfully for us, there are multiple foods in the Traditional Indian Cuisine that act as the perfect winter supplements that not only warm up the body from within but also help increase our overall immunity! Let’s take a quick look at some of them.

1. Bajra

Bajra is considered to be a superfood as it has a fairly low glycaemic index, owing to the complex carbohydrates that it carries. This property ensures that Bajra steadily releases energy and keeps you full for longer hours. Besides, it has multiple benefits such as -

  • It is rich in minerals like magnesium and potassium, which are both great for heart health.

  • It contains catechins like quercetin, which help improve kidney and liver functions.

  • It is rich in Vitamin B, iron, manganese, copper, zinc, and selenium thereby ensuring that Bajra in itself is a wholesome meal in itself!

  • It is a gluten-free food and acts as a great source of omega 3.

Preparation Ideas –

  • Bajra Kanji

  • Bajra Roti

  • Bajra Khichdi

  • Thalipeeth

  • Bajra Dalia

Pro Tip – Enjoy bajra-based meals with ghee and jaggery (gud) for enhanced absorption of nutrients.

2. White Butter (Makkhan)

It can be said without a doubt that white butter is one the best foods when it comes to winter delights, which helps balance the Vata Dosha and Pitta Dosha within the body. . Also, it has multiple benefits such as -

  • It enables weight loss owing to the presence of a substance called lecithin, which helps cut bad fats from the body.

  • Thanks to elements like calcium, phosphorus, vitamin A and vitamin D, white butter helps enhance the body’s immunity.

  • White butter improves skin elasticity and offers a natural glow to the skin.

  • The arachidonic acid in white butter helps augment brain functioning.

  • White butter helps keep the joints lubricated.

  • White butter helps decrease symptoms related to insomnia and erectile dysfunction.

  • It boasts of cancer-fighting properties.

Pro Tip – Enjoy white butter as a topping for Rotis, parathas and khichdi.

3. Gond (Dink)

Ayurveda suggests Gond is fundamentally known for its stamina and immunity-boosting properties, which makes it a winter essential. Also, it has multiple benefits such as -

  • It is an excellent source of calcium.

  • It has anti-inflammatory properties, which help fight infectious diseases.

  • It helps lubricate joints and strengthens bones.

  • It augments the digestive process.

Preparation Ideas –

  • Gond Ladoos

  • Gond Kanji

  • Gond Kheer

  • Gond Raab

4. Kulith (Kulthi Dal)

Although not very popular and fairly under-valued, Kulith is known for its anti-bacterial, antioxidant and anti-microbial properties. Moreover, it has numerous other benefits including -

  • It is rich in nutrients like proteins, iron, calcium, phosphorus and fibre

  • It works as a natural diuretic.

  • It stimulates digestion and aids weight loss.

  • It helps lessen skin rashes and boils, thereby enhancing overall skin health

  • It promotes hair health.

  • It helps reduce hormonal imbalance.

  • It assists the treatment of fever, throat infection, asthma, bronchitis and leucoderma.

Preparation Ideas –

  • Daal

  • Lentil Soup

  • Pittla (Made from kulith flour)

  • Sprouted Seeds in Salads

5. Amla (Gooseberry)

Amla is known to be a super winter food, thanks to its immense immunity-boosting properties, as well as the abundance of Vitamin C. In addition it has numerous other advantages such as -

  • It is a rich source of vitamin E, calcium, iron and some essential phytonutrients.

  • It comprises Chlorogenic Acid, which helps the body become more responsive to insulin, making it a superfood for diabetics.

  • It is exceptionally high in fibre, thereby helps in curing constipation.

  • It helps cure hyperacidity as well as stomach ulcers.

  • It has an anti-aging effect, thereby making it a great food for skin and hair health.

  • It strengthens the digestive prowess of the body, making it a natural detoxifier.

Preparation Ideas –

  • Amla Candy

  • Amla Juice

  • Amla Supari

  • Amla Achaar

  • Amla Murabba

6. Roots, Tubers and Green Leafy Vegetables

  • Roots and tubers include beets, carrots, radish and sweet potatoes, while green leafy vegetables include spinach, fenugreek, radish leaves and sarso. Some of the most remarkable benefits of these vegetables include –

  • They are rich in fibre, Vitamin A, Vitamin E and Vitamin C

  • They also have an abundance of chlorogenic acid and anthocyanins.

  • Carrots comprise of carotenoids and beta-carotene, while green leafy vegetables are a brilliant source of iron, folate, calcium, magnesium as well as vitamin K.

  • These vegetables act as probiotic, enhance the secretion of digestive enzymes and therefore support gut health.

  • Acts as a strong detoxifier, and therefore help boost immune function

Preparation Ideas –

  • Gajar or Beetroot Halwa

  • Spinach Soup or Vegetable clear soup

  • Ondhiyu (Gujarati Delicacy)

7. Black Till (Black Sesame Seeds)

Black Till is a brilliant source of multiple nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, manganese, iron, zinc, copper and vitamin E, making it a super-winter food. Also it has numerous other advantages such as -

  • It has elements like lignans and phytosterols, making it a heart-healthy food.

  • It supports thyroid function and also helps enhance hormonal balance during menopause.

  • It helps support a good source of thiamine, niacin and B6 – supporting cellular function and metabolism.

  • Sesame seeds consist of an element called sesamin which helps protect the cartilage and decrease inflammation in joints. It, therefore, assists in the treatment of osteoarthritis.

Preparation Ideas –

  • As a topping for Parathas, Chillas, or Breads

  • As a topping in Salads

  • Gud Till Chikki

  • Laddoos

We hope that you now have a fair idea of some of the most dependable foods that can help boost your immunity and overall health, even during the harshest of winters! If you need any further assistance on understanding and acting upon your body composition, feel free to make an appointment with our star nutritionist, Ankita Vaidya and Stay tuned to Nth Sense for more tasty and healthy tips from Ankita Vaidya.

Ankita Vaidya

Nutritionist, Post-Graduation in FOOD SCIENCE and DIETETICS

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