Winter is the time for "warming" foods that are nutrient dense and high in calories. It is also the time when you tend to put on extra pounds and catch the cold. Find out what foods you could include in your winter meals to build your body's immunity and avoid accumulation of unhealthy fats.
Winter vegetables such as broccoli, kale, radish, Brussels sprouts, turnips, may have a sharp flavor and make you turn up your nose, but they are rich in nutrients including glucosinolates that have anti-cancer effects, carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, folate, and many essential minerals. They also are a good source of fiber that can keep you feeling full for many hours.
This fat free, cholesterol free, low sodium vegetable is just right for the health conscious you. It is splendidly rich in dietary fiber, vitamins B6, A, C and K, iron, magnesium, and manganese. Whether you consume it in the form of
potato-leek soup, or finely slice and add them to omelets and salads, it will give you the warmth of good nutrition in winter.
Notice how you feel hungrier as the days grow shorter? Research has confirmed that caloric intake tends to increase as the weather turns colder. So why not start the day with a hot bowl of oatmeal in the morning? Studies have shown that people who eat oats for breakfast consume one third fewer calories at lunch. Moreover oats are rich in dietary fiber, thiamin, magnesium and phosphorus, and manganese, and very low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. Mix in some pomegranate seeds to the meal and you have a tastier, healthier breakfast dish.
Since you tend to overeat during winters, carrot can be a perfect addition to your winter grocery list because it is one of the so-called negative calorie foods that help you burn calories.
Fennel is very similar to anise (saunf) in its flavor and health benefits. The edible portion of this plant, the bulb, is used in salads, stew, and soups. Keeping in view the fact that heart disease risk is highest during winter months, fennel bulb can be the right choice as a winter food because of its heart-friendly potassium levels. For example, a cup (87g) of sliced raw fennel bulb provides 414mg or 9 percent of daily-recommended levels. Potassium helps reduce blood pressure and rate of heartbeats by countering effects of sodium. Moreover, this food is very low in cholesterol and a good source of vitamin C, niacin, folate and other minerals including iron and calcium. It is also rich in dietary fiber.
You will find this vegetable round the year in your local stores, but basically it is a versatile winter vegetable. Grill it, 'French fry' it, or turn it into a delicious dip or crispy chips, sweet potato can bring cheer to the dreariest winter day. Speaking of nutrition - it has high vitamin A, vitamin B6 and vitamin C content, and very low saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. It is a good source of dietary fiber.
Come winter and you may be looking out for this tropical fruit. This easily available and inexpensive fruit is a storehouse of health benefits. The potassium in guava regulates blood pressure, its high fiber content lowers your risk for diabetes, and the vitamin C in this fruit is even higher than in orange thus protecting you from free radical damage. Scientists from National Institute of Nutrition in Hyderabad found antioxidant concentrations of guava to be nearly 500mg in every 100g of the fruit. Guava is also rich in vitamins A and E.
A steaming cup of tea and some sun is what you dream about in cold dreary winter days. Make it green tea and you have the double whammy of calorie burning boost. Stimulants such as caffeine tend to increase the calories you burn and together with green tea polyphenols they give you added heat-producing and health benefits. According to a research from Lausanne University in Switzerland 3 cups a day of green tea (they used green tea extract and caffeine prototype) burnt more calories without any negative effects on heart rate or blood pressure.
Sore throat, cold and cough, chapped lips and dry skin, are common winter maladies. Honey, used in Ayurveda since ages for its medicinal properties, is good for sore throats, laryngitis and pharyngitis. Again honey contains an enzyme amylase that helps restore damaged skin to give a softer, younger look.
Chilly winter days call for hot, comforting meals.
Non-vegetarian foods generate lot of heat during digestion which helps keep the body warm. What better than chicken
dishes - baked, stewed, or curried! Use as much chili flakes and peppers in the dish as your taste buds permit and bring out the heat. Avoid coriander and mint leaves. These are 'cooling' herbs according to Ayurveda. Chicken soup is also a wonderful food for winter. As a bonus it helps ward off cold, cough and fever.
Shellfish is a wonderful winter comfort food. They are an excellent source of quality protein. They have many beneficial nutrients like n-3 polyunsaturated long chain fatty acids (PUFAs), vitamins D, A, E, and B(12), selenium and iodine along with high potassium content and low sodium concentrations. Shellfish, especially oysters, are a rich source of zinc. Zinc boosts immunity and therefore helps prevent colds and flu. It also promotes mental alertness and brain function.
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