During winters we tend to eat more but we should be careful while choosing the foods as winters also bring the danger of frequent colds and flu. Make sure your diet is rich in vitamins, minerals and anti oxidants to help support the immune system and ward off the germs.
1. Fill your plate with vegetables and fruits: Vegetables are called protective foods as they are rich in vitamins and minerals. Vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, spring onions, carrots, beans, beetroot, mushrooms, spinach, methi, amaranth and broccoli are ideal to keep the immune system ticking. Green leafy vegetables (which are abundant in this season) are good source of beta -carotene, B vitamins particularly riboflavin and folic acid. Ginger and garlic leave you warmer naturally. Include garlic in vegetables, daal, soup, rasam for its antibacterial properties. Ginger can be used in tea, vegetables, pickles, buttermilk to reduce inflammation and pain in joints. Ginger also has gingerol which acts as natural cough suppressant. Fruits like oranges, pomegranates, guava, kinnu , kiwi are the season's superfoods and are loaded with Vit C to boost the immunity.
2. Pick up herbs and spices: Cayenne, black pepper, turmeric, cumin, fenugreek, cloves and cinnamon are said to be great for immune system due to their anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant properties. Basil (tulsi) is a herb that protects against colds and fever and helps strengthen immunity. There%u2019s nothing like a hearty bowl of soup to warm you up. Combine your favorite veggies, ginger, garlic and black pepper for a perfect bowl of soup. Season it with herbs and spices of your choice to clear blocked sinuses.
3. Don't miss the grains: Bajra, brown rice, whole wheat, oats, jowar and makka are rich in nutrients, fibre, complex carbohydrates that give you long lasting energy that keeps you warm throughout the day.
4. Include beans and legumes: Beans are a good source of protein and energy. They help the body rebuild and repair. They also compliment whole grains to provide a whole array of essential amino acids which are the building blocks of protein.
5. Munch on nuts and seeds: Snack on a handful of mixed nuts ( almonds,walnuts, pista) and seeds( like sesame seeds, sunflower and flaxseeds). They are a good source of protein, dietary fibre, micronutrients like copper and magnesium. They reduce LDL( bad) cholesterol without affecting the levels of HDL( good cholesterol). Most nuts particularly almonds are good source of Vit E.
6. Water Intake: Drinking eight glasses of water a day helps our body maintain its fluid balance and even helps us keep our skin rejuvenated. t is important to drink lots of water and at least try to drink 2 liters a day.
This is the best time to load up on nutritious food. However go easy on alcohol, tea, coffee, which are dehydrating. Excess sugar and processed foods too can effect digestion and immunity..