Instead, one should take seasonal vegetables and fruits during the winter season, she says. “Winter can make you feel sluggish and you tend to eat more.
Our digestive system will get disturbed by overeating. So, you should be extra careful while preparing food during this season. Plan a weekly menu well in advance so that you can have nutritious and homecooked meals. Eat what’s in the season to beat illness — it will help your digestive system. Consume oranges which are rich in vitamin C, make use of vegetables like carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower.
Avoid white sugar during winter — replace it with honey, which has a soothing effect on the throat. You can also use jaggery — it will improve digestion and give warmth to the body. Jaggery can also combat infections. Add a lot of pepper to the dishes that you make,” says Kavitha Sankar.
One of the easiest ways to stay warm and healthy this season is by consuming soups and rasam.
“When you prepare the winter diet, don’t forget to add soups. You can make soups as a one-pot meal by adding many ingredients. Instead of munching on fried foods, prepare and store sesame ladoos using jaggery. Not just healthy, consuming sesame seeds helps in generating enough heat in the body and helps prevent respiratory disorders. A bowl of warm dal tadka is also a good lunch or dinner option,” she tells us.
The blogger points out that one should avoid chilled, processed and tinned foods this season. “Avoid consuming raw greens and veggies. Greens might contain fungus, so if you don’t cook and eat, it will cause digestive problems. Make sure the vegetables are either blanched or stir-fried. Avoid aerated drinks and sweets made of white sugar.”
According to food enthusiast and chef Rajni R, winter foods matter a lot. “The cold weather brings about a decrease in the body temperature, and during the transition from summer to winter, we become prone to infections of the respiratory tract. Colds and lung-related issues become common. Therefore to tide over this, it is important to follow a healthy diet. A well-balanced winter diet includes whole grains, nuts, seeds, herbs, lean meats and fresh vegetables and fruits. These help in strengthening the immune system and fighting infections naturally,” Rajni says.
She suggests a few commonly preferred foods during winters. “Herbal drinks like kashaya (concoction made of betel leaves, ginger, pepper), etc. These naturally give heat to the body, thereby helping in regulating the body temperature. You can have rasam that’s made of tomatoes, tamarind, cumin and pepper — this as a package is said to improve immunity. Rasam preparations like betel leave rasam, pineapple rasam and ginger rasam help in keeping the lungs functioning smoothly.”
Sweet potato is another winter delight with great health benefits. Apart from being a superfood, it gives instant energy as we tend to burn more calories in winter.
“Jaggery and jaggery-based sweets like peanut chikki, porikadalai urundai (fried gram balls) and ellu urundai give heat to the body. Jaggery also keeps digestion in check and the blood iron-rich. A warm carrot halwa is a welcome dessert in winters. Not only is it nutritious, but this ghee-laden halwa gives the much-required good fat for the body, that is easily digestible. On the other hand, a beetroot poriyal is a comforting vegetable in the winters. When tempered with chillies, it is the perfect remedy for winter chills. Citrus fruits like amla are in plenty during winters and must be consumed to improve immunity. The amla murabba makes for a post-dinner digestive, and the juice a mid-morning beverage. Don’t forget to pickle this berry to reap its benefits in summers,” concludes Rajni.