Take a look at the winter must haves. With these, we can build our immunity and gift our bodies with a whole lot of vitamins, minerals and fiber.
Oranges are one of the best fruits to consume in winter. They supply more than 100% of the daily vitamin C requirement. They are a good source of minerals, vitamins and fiber too.
Amla (Indian gooseberry)
Amla or the Indian gooseberry is a storehouse of vitamin C; just 100 grams of amla gives 600 mg of this protective vitamin. And our daily requirement is actually 40 mg per day. A small quantum of amla juice consumption can easily fulfill the requirements. Due to the presence of natural protectors, vitamin C in amla is not easily destroyed by heat and air. Vitamin C helps prevent heart disease and builds immunity. It is an antioxidant and helps the body stay fit and healthy.
The best qualities of guavas are available in the winter season. Like the apple, a guava can also keep the doctor away. Unlike the apple, it is cheap on the pocket. After amla, it is the second highest source of vitamin C. It contains two-to-five times more vitamin C than oranges. It is also a good source of calcium, phosphorous and fiber. In a recent study, guava has been found to have high antioxidant levels amongst the commonly consumed Indian fruits.
Ber is a great winter fruit. Its full potential has not yet been used by the common man; the reason being lack of knowledge about its nutritive content. The fruit is rich in vitamins and minerals. It is also laden with vitamin C, calcium, phosphorous, iron and carotenoids.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Winter is the perfect time to make most of the green vegetables. They are abundant in vitamin A (carotenoids) which helps ward off infections, keep skin and hair glowing; and are a blessing for the stomach due to their high fiber content. Mustard leaves, bathua, fenugreek, radish leaves, coriander leaves and dil leaves are extremely rich in calcium and iron. Their consumption in the form of soups, vegetables or green juice help in blood synthesis and make one energetic and beautiful. It is also a healthy idea to have undhiyu made with lots of winter vegetables.
The deep-red winter carrots should be made most of in the form of carrot-tomato juice, plain carrot juice, carrot-orange juice, mixed vegetable juice, carrot soup, veggie sticks and salads. They have a very high percentage of beta carotene, which is an antioxidant. It has been seen that a cup of carrots a day reduces heart attacks and cancer by a great deal. The onset of cataract can also be delayed by frequent consumption of carrots.
It is truly a delight to sit in the sun and enjoy the immature sweet parrot-green peas. Peas make an amazing crunchy vegetable to enjoy in the winter season. Peas belong to the legume family and are one of the rich sources of proteins amongst the vegetable group. Green peas contain twice the protein of most vegetables. The pea and the pod both are rich in fiber as well. Not just the peas, its skin can also be used to make vegetable, soup and other Indian dishes.
The super-expensive apples are available in plenty during winter at affordable prices. Apples are rich in antioxidants such as flavonoids and polyphenols. They also contain lots of fiber. So make an apple your preferred mid-day snack for the winter season to avail all its benefits.
The yummy, sweet grapes are a great winter fruit. Grapes are a good source of numerous nutrients – quercetin, gallic acid, pectins, calcium, magnesium, B vitamins, vitamin A, and vitamin C. They are rich in antioxidants. They are also rich in fiber and are heart friendly.
Bajra / Jowar
Whole grain food items like dalia khichdi, bajra khichdi and chappatis made of jowar, bajra, maize or ragi flour are a good option over plain wheat chappatis in winters. These flours are a little heavy to digest and hence are mostly preferred to be eaten in the winter season. They are extremely rich in fiber, calcium and iron.
Til Seeds / Sesame Seeds
The til or sesame seed is the king of the winter season. People all over India prepare various delicacies with sesame seeds. Rich in fiber, calcium and healthy fats, sesame seeds in whichever form possible, should be consumed. Til chikkis, gajak, til papadi, and til laddoo are sweet delicacies which should be opted for. Til seeds, dates and dry fruits give warmth to the body and are relished in the winter season.
Reference:1. Renu Mahtani. The Ultimate Indian Diet Book.
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