As the icy chill temperature rises it is likely 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 and thence arrives the need to hop on something warm that can keep us toasty inside.
Winters not only bring us snow, cold, dry skin, cracked heels but also detract our digestive systems and this is the reason why we feel hungrier in winters than other seasons. Though the body has its own natural metabolism to keep itself warm and adjust to external temperature waverings, still we need to put in some amount of certain foods to keep the insides ignited. Cold season not only lessens our ability to work and makes us lethargic but also piles on those pounds of fat around the body and “whets one’s appetite….” (Said Shakespeare not us)
It is during winters that 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. Therefore, scientifically one should be losing weight in winters than gaining, no?
But we tend to do the reverse, we gain weight, become sluggish and surround ourselves with all torpid feelings instead to being more active and becoming less fleshy. 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!)
1. PEARL MILLET
India is the largest producer of pearl millet. Otherwise known as “Bajra”, it is majorly produced in north India, specifically in Rajasthan and Haryana. Bajra helps in combating the problems of micronutrient malnutrition and gives essential amino acids that make up protein molecules in our body.
It provides magnesium, calcium and potassium, prevents constipation due to its highly fibrous nature and fights cancer plus 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.
2. 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 prevent Alzheimer and other cardiovascular diseases. Consuming corn pone can help in maintaining good skin and vision and prevents anemia in females. Adding corn to your diet will not only help in boosting immune system but also improves bone strength plus provides control against diabetes and hypertension. Corn starch is used in the manufacturing of many cosmetic products and may also be applied topically to heal rashes and dryness, yet another reason to consume corn in winters. If the weather outside has made you extremely lethargic and you feel reluctant to dough the corn flour then try steaming corn kennels and add 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.
If next time someone asks you the reason for your cheerful mood and glowing skin amongst the cruelty of chill, tell them you have gone nuts.
Yes, apart from our winter special peanuts don’t leave almonds, pistachios, walnuts, apricots and raisins behind in the battlefield.
They are equally healthy and warm for your winter battle. Also, to be extra smart, date Dates. Yes, dates are rich in dietary fibers and minerals like potassium and magnesium. They are excellent antioxidants and help prevent diabetes, cancer, heart disease and other neurological problems. Nuts are highly healthy and shall keep your 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 yea, for radiant health and skin, GO NUTS in winters.
You must be wondering what can those tiny seeds do to this huge spooky winter chill, right? Wrong. These little seeds had once been equated to gold during middle ages. Amazed?
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. Due to high zinc content they produce collagen in body which makes the skin more elastic and damages the body tissues. Seasmol, an anti-inflammatory and antixodent compound present in these seeds can help the health of your heart, anemia, anxiety, 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 ke Ladoo” in hindi, they promise to keep your warm and gluttonous.
Sounds the perfect mithai for your winters, no?
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 putting end to our imagination, right? Well, the word sarso is incomplete without ‘saag’, at least for North Indians (generally).
This ‘sarson ka saag’ not only has aesthetic beauty but also health comeliness.
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 no? All the more reasons to make ‘sarso ka saag din-raat?’
Heat yourself from inside, now you have all the more reasons to be in kitchen around the stove (secretly warming your hands from the flame!) that shall make you bear the brutality of winters with abundant smile and sunshine.
With food, don’t forget cozy hugs from and to your loved ones for more warmth, inside and out.