Winter can be a challenging time of year for our immunity. The combination of colder temperatures, not to mention the bouts of showers, and dry heat leads to a surplus of illnesses. Increased stress during these tough COVID times can take a toll on your immune system and your emotional health.
It is important therefore to eat foods that boost immunity and prevent us from contracting cold and flu and seasonal changes and infections, etc. in order to keep us safe during the pandemic.
Sheryl Salis, Registered Dietician, and Certified Diabetes Educator shares five easy steps towards eating healthy along with consuming proper nutrition, so you can enjoy the winter season while keeping up with your fitness goals:
Make Healthier choices
Sip on warm Moringa Green Teas and Green Coffees
Nothing beats the feeling of drinking our favourite hot beverages during the winters. You can switch to healthier alternatives like superfood Moringa Green Tea which is a nutrition powerhouse, filled with minerals and vitamins like vitamin C. Superfoods like Moringa are infused with antioxidant properties that boost immunity as well as help regulate the metabolism. With numerous flavours available like honey, lemon, lemon grass and mint, it can bring relief from cold and phlegm which is a common occurrence during monsoons.
While moringa green tea satiates the tea enthusiasts, coffee lovers can try out the healthier Green coffee which is a health booster and high in antioxidants. The unroasted cousin of coffee, the healthier version is loaded with immunity boosting properties and therefore has three times the antioxidant potential which is otherwise lost during the roasting process. It not only makes for a really healthy alternative but also tastes great.
Don’t forget your dose of proteins
For the best of immunity during this season, it is vital to consume a good quantity and quality of protein in our diet. A quarter of your meal should always include the right protein. Nowadays, instant-ready High Protein soups infused with superfoods like quinoa, amaranth and turmeric are available which are really nutritious and have up to 4x protein content v/s regular soups. It is a convenient and nourishing option to keep you warm and active while cleansing your body of bacteria and waste products. One of the best things about soups is that when you are hungry in the evenings, this plays out as a very good evening snack. For people out in cold for longer period, it helps achieve instant relief since its warm base clears up phlegm in the nasal cavities and general throat area.
Besides soups you can also include seasonal delicacies like corn which can be turned into spicy and tangy grilled corn for light snacking along with steamed muthiyas, boiled groundnuts, and warm salads that are super healthy and provide instant respite to our evening snack cravings.
Consume select fruit, veggies and cooked foods
As our metabolism goes low to conserve heat and energy in winters, digestion is not smooth, and hence, one should eat in moderation and eat only when hungry. Practice thorough washing of fruit and vegetables, particularly leafy vegetables and cauliflower with salt or baking soda. One can also opt for non-leafy vegetables such as snake gourd (parwal), bottle gourd (dudhi), apple gourd (tinda), bitter gourd (karela), cluster beans, French beans, etc. in their diet. However, avoid uncooked food, raw salads and sprouts. Steam those veggies and sprouts well before consuming them to avoid contracting any kind of illnesses. Seasonal fruit like bananas, apples, grapefruit, lime, mandarins, and pears should be eaten as the non-seasonal ones may be infested.
Maintain water levels
Weight gain in winter months may happen due to not drinking water. Unpleasant cold water and diminished thirst prevent us from drinking it. Low water consumption not only causes weight gain but also results in fatigue. Maintain your hydration and proper flushing out of the toxins by drinking adequate amounts of boiled and filtered water within 24 hours.
Revisit those ‘Dadi ke nuskhe’ winter home remedies
Every household has their own version of home remedies to cure common cold, indigestion, etc. that are passed down from generation to generation. Home remedies like ‘kadhas‘ and other traditional tonics can be consumed regularly to always stay on your A-game. Concoctions prepared out of ingredients like virgin coconut oil (10 ml), garlic (2-3 freshly chopped cloves), fennel (2-3 teaspoons), ginger (1-2 inch), cloves (3 -4), cumin seeds (2-3 teaspoons), and turmeric (4 pinches) can be consumed frequently since they are anti-viral in nature that helps in boosting our body’s immune system functioning.