During winters, the resultant heat loss demands compensatory strategies resulting in increased food intake for its thermic effect. Cold weather leads to a drop in our body temperature, stimulating our appetites. This is because intake of food helps to generate internal heat, subsequently leading to a rise in body temperature.
Here is a list of some nutritious and easily available ingredients which are a must in winters:
Til seeds (Sesame): Til seeds are super foods that should be part of your diet during winter. They are full of good fats mainly Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA) that reduces blood cholesterol, high blood pressure and plays an important role in preventing cardiovascular diseases and cancers. Regular intake of Til seeds makes the body warm and it is a winter super food. It also contains active, and health promoting phytochemicals such as Sesamin, Sesamolin, Tocopherols, Phytosterols, Phytates and other Phenolics which lowers the risk of diseases by strengthening the immune system.
Til is also rich in Calcium and keeps the bones strong. The Zinc helps to strengthen the bones and increase bone density. It also contains Magnesium which helps to maintain normal blood pressure levels. Til can be consumed in the form of: Til ladoo, Til chikki, Til poli also in the form of chutney, and roasted til seeds can be sprinkled in salads.
Jaggery: During winters, some people are more susceptible to catching common diseases cold and flu, coughs, respiratory ailments, sinusitis etc. Having Jaggery in your diet is a very good option during winter - as a cleansing agent. It cleanses the lungs, stomach, intestines, respiratory tract, and esophagus. Jaggery is far complex than sugar, as it is made up of Sucrose. It is rich in minerals like Magnesium, Calcium, Phosphorus, Iron etc. Some studies found that Jaggery digests slower than sugar, and releases energy slowly - not spontaneously. This provides energy for a longer time which makes the body warm. the minerals and antioxidants in Jaggery can support the immune system and help people recover from illnesses like the common cold and the flu. Have Groundnut chikki, dryfruits ladoo, Gulpapadi, Groundnut ladoo, Halim ladoo, Gulpoli, Jaggery and dates chutney, etc.
Ginger tea: On a cold morning, most of us enjoy Ginger tea. However, Ginger does a lot than just adding a hint of flavour to your favourite beverage or dishes. In traditional Chinese medicine, Ginger is used for its warming effect. Ginger increases body temperature, which is ideal if you are suffering from a cold. It can be used for throat infections and to relieve congestion in Sinusitis. Consumption of Ginger reduces cold and conquers a dry, irritating cough by increasing human Bronchial Smooth Muscle Cell (BSMC) migration and proliferation and reversing phthalate ester-mediated airway remodelling. Gingerol, which is a major bioactive compound found in Ginger is capable of preventing Asthma. Some studies reveal that Ginger has many therapeutic properties, including antibiotic, antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Have Ginger tea, Ginger kadha, Ginger wadi, add Ginger in soups & veggies, and in chilli pickles, etc.