As the temperature dips resist the urge to reach for any food in the fridge, instead include a few healthy winter-friendly foods to increase your immunity and keep ailments at bay! Not to forget, what you eat is how you look on the outside. If you want to make it through winter cold and flu free, it may be time to check your intake of winter superfoods. As for the winter superfoods, the fact that these foods may have vitamin C, antioxidant and unsaturated fat contents which help boost immunity and fight infection places them in the superfood category.
Take a pick from some superfoods or immune boost foods to fight the January winter blues:
1. Fenugreek has plenty of health benefits, great not only for lactating mothers, it helps in increasing iron deficiency and eases menopausal symptoms. Fenugreek also makes for an excellent ingredient for beauty face and hair masks to treat blackheads and blemishes and to cure hair fall and dandruff. Abundantly found in winters, packed with nutrients, vitamins, potassium and iron, eat fenugreek leaves in curries or the seeds in herbal tea to keep immunity in tip top condition.
2. Eggs: The yolks may have a bad reputation for their high levels of cholesterol but if eaten within limits, they can prove to be one of the healthiest winter foods. Providing protein, body’s building blocks, they contain the nutrient choline which can help prevent breast cancer and keeps your Vitamin D in check. Packed with nutrients (protein, Vitamin D, Vitamin A, and Zinc), enjoy eggs poached boiled or sunny side up. Eggs also make a healthy part of your breakfast.
3. Salmon Fish: Come winter and Vitamin D deficiency is a cause of worry for many! Vitamin D plays an important role in increasing the body’s immunity besides strengthens the bones. The months you are not getting sun include salmon in your diet as it is one of the richest sources of the vitamin. Packed with nutrients, Omega 3 fatty acids, Vitamin D try to eat grilled salmon as it is supposed to be the healthiest.
4. Butternut squash, is among the healthiest of vegetables. Loaded with folic acid which is great not just for expecting mothers the nutrients in eggs are also a storehouse of beta carotene; Vitamin A, an essential nutrient for healthy vision. Including this to also prevent breast cancer. A bowl of thick warm squash soup is probably the perfect winter starter.
5. Fennel seeds are storehouse of vital vitamins, minerals and full of antioxidants. It is great for treating common winter issues like cold, cough and a sore throat. Fennel seeds are also good for keeping neurological disorders at bay and fighting the signs of aging. The seeds also help relieve menstrual pain in women. Packed with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B-complex, dietary fibre, iron, calcium, fennel seeds are best to eat boiled fennel seeds with a teaspoon of honey in water as herbal tea.
6. Kiwi is your beauty bible, superfruit. If you are looking for a solution for wrinkles and fine lines, Vitamin C with Vitamin E fights against free radicals and boosts collagen giving you a younger skin. Potassium rich kiwi stabilizes the blood sugar level, the fibre in kiwi acts as a detox for the body, while Vitamin C is an immunity booster against many diseases.
7. Green tea: Antioxidants and Vitamin C & E rich drinks is the go-to health infusion for many. Green tea protects against of skin, breast and lung cancer. Green tea relieves chronic stress and keeps blood pressure in check. Green tea boosts immunity against diseases like influenza and flu.
8. Garlic: Packed with allicin, it has great medicinal properties which helps combat sickness, cold and cough. Add it to your curries, grills and pickles this season!
Nutritionist Indira Thounaojam says, “Jaggery is the cheapest and widely accessible food you can include during winters for stronger immunity.
“Antioxidants, minerals- as iron, zinc and selenium rich, it can help prevent free-radical damage and also boosts resistance against infections. Keeps the body warm, helps treat cold and cough and controls the temperature of the body.
“Sesame seeds are winter-perfect food, keeps body warm and also increase the immunity.
“Turmeric, is the ultimate immunity boosting spice could be the companion you are seeking for in the cold weather making it one of the most treasured spices in the season.
“Turmeric has anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal agents. Don’t forget to indulge in golden milk or turmeric latte this season.
“Ghee or clarified butter is your magic elixir for immunity this season. It is one of the most easily digestible fat, generating instant heat and energy and a great immunity booster.
“If nothing, make yourself a steaming pot of vegetable soup (broccoli, carrots, lean meat, brussel sprouts, dark greens, red capsicum) with a little chilli, lime and garlic to really boost your immunity and stave off congestion or runny nose.”