Winter, the season of Festivals and Happiness is here. Christmas is merely a week away!!
However, this season also brings home various diseases; the commonest one being flu which most of us encounter. If you include some Superfoods in your diet this winter, you will remember winters for only the joy that they bring!
Here’s a list of 10 Superfoods which helps boost your Immunity in Winter:
Millets: Millets are low-glycemic, high in fiber & protein rich cereal, packed with a range of vitamins and minerals. Essentially, all millets available during winters should be included in your diet. Bajra in Millets variation is the ultimate winter food, helps you keep warm. Loaded with antioxidants, help in improving digestion. It is also known to be of great benefit in insomnia, anxiety, and depression. Also, a group of positive millets such as Barnyard, Foxtail, Kodo, Little & Browntop are extremely beneficial for overall health, try adding these rotationally in your daily diet. Ragi & jowar has cooling effect, very much summer centric millets. However, these 2 millets can be added in your plate occasionally during winters.
Leafy vegetables: Green leafy veggies are full of vital nutrients like Vitamin A and E which help boost your immunity. Broccoli, spinach & other leafy vegetables are also high in fiber, magnesium, zinc, iron, and antioxidants. It can thus be one of the healthiest foods that you can include in your winter diets.
Citrus fruits: Citrus Fruits, rich in vitamin C, are known to increase the number of white blood cells in our bodies which in turn help cut down the flu virus. Fruits rich in Vitamin-C are Orange, lemons, lime, tangerine, grapefruits, berries etc. Being a water-soluble vitamin, our body cannot store vitamin C therefore, you have to incorporate in your daily diet. Add at least 1-2 servings of seasonal citrus fruits to get daily dose of vitamin C and thereby to maintain the healthy immune system.
Nuts: During winters, a regular intake of nuts which are warm in nature, ensures an active nervous system and helps to keep the heart and mind healthy. Almonds and walnuts lower bad cholesterol, control blood sugar levels, and reduce inflammation. Almonds are rich in vitamin E, antioxidants, and magnesium, while walnuts are a great source of Omega-3. Eating other nuts such as pine nuts, peanuts etc. also can boost your intake of zinc. Do pick up a few nuts to munch on in between meals if you are craving for a light snack.
Seeds: Seeds are rich in Selenium, Zinc, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Vitamin B6 & E. They constitute a power house for building immunity. Add mixture of seeds such as pumpkin seed, flax seed, watermelon seed, sunflower seed & chia seed as soaked or grounded form in smoothie, shakes, porridges, soups & salad every day to meet your daily micronutrient goal. Sesame seeds are a must-have in cold weather as they keep your body warm for long periods of time. They are also rich in Vitamin E and antioxidants, which keeps hair and skin healthy and moisturized during winters.
Turmeric: Turmeric is a known powerful anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting compound. Its content of Curcumin is very commonly used to heal wounds, release mucus, ease inflammation, and many other purposes. It also helps protect against infections, flu, virus and improve the overall health of your body’s cells.
Ginger: Its anti-inflammatory & anti-bacterial properties make ginger one of the best cures for cold. The gingerols in the ginger roots help kill the rhinoviruses that cause the cold in the first place. So, increasing ginger in your winter diets is a good idea.
Ghee: Pure and organic ghee is one of the most easily digestible and healthy fats that is capable of generating instant heat and energy to keep your body warm. A moderated consumption of ghee can also help keep skin from getting dry and flaky. Switch over to A2 Bilona ghee as a cooking medium, or add it to your plate during the winter season as per availability.
Honey: Organic honey is known as an anti-inflammatory agent. Honey possesses flavonoids and polyphenols, along with several other powerful and important phytonutrients that can help fight diseases. It helps to boost the number of B and T lymphocytes, neutrophils, eosinophils which are responsible for our immune response. Also, organic honey consumption aids in digestion as well. It has certain prebiotic properties, by which it helps boost the good bacteria living in the gut that aid in our digestion.
Green tea: Green tea is packed with antioxidants such as flavonoids (EGCG, Catechin) that boost immunity and have an anti-inflammatory properties. It is not only recommended for weight loss but also to fight off cold and flu. Catechin has powerful antibacterial and antiviral properties and can fight off influenza virus. Green tea also contains amino acid L-theanine which may help in the production of T-cells. Regularly drinking 1-2 cups of green tea can help you boost your immune function and stay protected against bacteria, flu, and virus.