5 Foods to Keep You Warm This Winter

As the temperature drops,  it is important that we keep on layering ourselves with gloves, scarves, sweaters and cozy innerwears. To fight this fang of penetrating coldness, blazers and blankets alone can’t shield us. Lets use our daily food habits to keep us warm this winter by making the correct food choices.

Winters not only brings with itself itchy dry skin, cracked heels but also detracts our digestive system and hence we feel more hungry than usual. Though the body has its own natural metabolism to keep itself warm and adjust to external temperature waverings, we still need to add some types of foods in our winter diet to keep the insides ignited. Winters not only reduces our ability to work but also makes us feel lethargic. Post winter, we tend to pile on those stubborn pounds of fat around the body which “whets one’s appetite….” (Said Shakespeare not us 😛 )

During winters, the body re-builds and repairs its cells and its exposure to freezing temperature increases the metabolism so as to conserve energy and heat.  This energy is used to keep the body warm and in a way helps in burning calories as well.  Therefore, scientifically one should be losing weight in winters than gaining, Isn’t it ? But we tend to do the reverse, we gain weight, become sluggish and surround ourselves with torpid feelings instead of being more active.

So here’s a list of 5 foods that can keep you warm these winters plus boost your immunity and metabolism (that too without adding those extra ounces:)

PEARL MILLET 

Otherwise known as “Bajra”.  Bajra helps in combating the problems of micronutrient malnutrition and gives essential amino acids which formulates into protein molecules in our body. It provides magnesium, calcium and potassium, prevents constipation due to its highly fibrous nature and fights cancer. It also controls cholesterol in the body. Bajra is not only a long acting food that will keep you full for long time but also keep your insides warm in winters.

One can consume it in the form of Chapatis by doughing the millet flour easily available in market these days or else by making ‘khichdi’ of grained millet.

CORN PONE

Corn is a rich source of vitamin A,B,E and fibers that prevent digestive ailments and colorectal cancer. The antioxidants present in corn also act as anti-carcinogenic agents and prevents Alzheimer and other cardiovascular diseases. Consuming corn pone helps in maintaining good skin and vision and prevents anemia in females. Adding corn to your diet will not only help in boosting the immune system but also improves bone strength which helps in controlling against diabetes and hypertension.Corn starch is used in the manufacturing many cosmetic products and can also be applied to heal rashes and dryness, yet another reason to consume corn in winters.

If the weather makes you feel extremely lethargic and you feel reluctant to dough the corn flour, then try steaming corn kennels and adding some butter, salt and few drops of lemon and ta-da-da, its ready to consume. Or else stick to soups and salads; corn kennels can be added to soups and salads for additional health.

NUTS

If next time someone asks you the reason for your cheerful mood and glowing skin, tell them you have gone nuts.

Yes, apart from our winter special peanuts, try having almonds, pistachios, walnuts, apricots and raisins as well. They are equally healthy and warm to curb your winter weakness. Also, dates improve the memory. Remember when your mom told you have to have dates before you sit for your finals? Well, try implementing it this time. Yes, dates are rich in dietary fibers and minerals like potassium and magnesium.  They are excellent antioxidants and help prevent diabetes, cancer, heart diseases and other neurological problems.

Nuts are highly healthy and keep the anxiety, depression and winter gloominess at bay. With nuts, don’t forget shielding yourself with Saffron. Saffron, though a little pricy, shall hail your beauty, internally and externally both. So, for a radiant, healthy skin, GO NUTS this winter season.

SEASME SEEDS

You must be wondering what can those tiny seeds do to help with this spooky winter chill, right? Wrong.

These little seeds have once been equated to gold during middle ages. Amazed? Even we are. Actually, sesame seeds in form of tahini, oil or flavoring substance or even for aesthetics are full of high quality protein that helps prevent diabetes and reduces blood pressure. With their high zinc content, they produce collagen in the body which makes the skin more elastic and prevents any damage to the body tissues. Seasmol, an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compound present in these seeds can help in:

  • Improving your heart condition,
  • Treat Anaemia,
  • Help in curbing anxiety levels, lever, arthritis, bones, eyes, dental plaque, asthma, hair and even DNA.

Traditionally, sesame seeds along with jaggery and ghee are used to make ‘ladoos’. Yes, you read it right, sesame seeds and jaggery is mixed, with ghee as binding substance, and shaped into little round balls. Getting named as “Til k Ladoo” in hindi, they promise to keep your warm and gluttonous. Sounds the perfect mithai for your winters, no?

MUSTARD 

The mere word ‘Sarson’ or Mustard takes us to those flowery yellow fields of Haryana and Punjab with songs of DDLJ playing in background and scarecrows adding  end to our imagination, right?

Well, the word “sarson” is incomplete without ‘saag’, at least for north Indians (generally).  As seeds, mustard is used for taste and flavor enhancing and as oil, it has infinite uses. From cooking oil to hair oil, mustard has left no battle unfought. Mustard prevents:

  • Gastrointestinal cancer , piles and fissures.
  • It also curbs skin infections and dandruff, the major problem of women in winters.

These wonder seeds do more wonders by helping you lose weight also.

Glad? All the more reasons to make ‘sarso ka saag din-raat ?’

Sun yourself from inside, now you have all the reasons to be in kitchen around the stove (secretly warming your hands from the flame: P) that shall help bear the brutality of winters with abundant smiles and sunshine ☺

With food, don’t forget to get cozy hugs from and to your loved ones for more warmth, inside and out.

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