Polar Vortex has not only dropped the environmental temperatures but also our body temperatures. Body warmers are not enough to keep you warm during this season.
Ever wondered why our appetites are up in winter? The body temperature drops in proportion to outside temperature and eating helps generate heat. The body also spends more energy keeping the system warm, hence we tend to eat more. No wonder where all food goes from the super market shelves as soon as snow storm warnings are out 😜. That explains all the weight gained by end of the season. The key is to chomp on nutrient dense, warming foods rather than calorie dense duds.
Winter also brings the danger of frequent bouts of cold and flu. Its important to ward off the winter germs and maintain healthy immune system throughout the season. Make sure your diet is rich in vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. Following are some do’s to keep you warm and safe.
LOAD UP ON FRUITS AND VEGGIES
Seasonal superstars that are packed with all the good things are fruits such as oranges, pomegranates, berries, Indian gooseberries (amla), etc. and vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, beans, onions, celery, etc. They are ideal to keep body warm and immune system ticking.
Make soups, or hearty broths for meals. Juice up the citrus fruits or veggies to start the day.
PICK HERBS & SPICES
The range of Indian as well Chinese herbs enhance overall health. Peppers, turmeric, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and garlic are to name a few. Add them generously in stews, soups and roasts.
A warm bowl of bean/chicken and veggie soup spiced up with ginger, garlic and turmeric is enough to warm you up and yeah perfect to clear blocked sinuses.
Sip on teas made with fresh ginger and cardamom. And how can you forget the ever trending Golden Milk. Have a cup of turmeric milk before bed for better ZZzzzs.
THE WHOLE GRAINS
Whole grains have abundance of nutrients. They offer long lasting energy that keeps you warm and going. Whether its brown rice, quinoa, millets, oats or wheat, they are rich in phytochemicals and are a great source of fiber.
There are many ways to include them in winter recipes such as hearty bowl of oats porridge for breakfast can light up your day. Try some Indian makki (Corn Roti) ki roti with sarson (Mustard greens curry) ka saag.
MUNCH ON THE NUTS & SEEDS
Winter is the perfect time to snack on these fatty treats. They are naturally warming foods. They are loaded with essential fats and minerals too.
Snack on handful mix of nuts and seeds to balance the Omega 3’s & 6’s. Add powdered nuts to milk and porridge. Go classic with Indian Saffron or Badam Milk.
FOCUS ON CARDIO
Run around or jump up & down. Whatever form of exercise suits you. Get moving for at least 30 mins daily. This will increase the blood flow towards the limbs and make you warmer.
AND FINALLY THE DONT’s
There are many anti-nutrients that burden our body. To name a few- alcohol, coffee, teas which are dehydrating and yes refined food too. Excess sugar has a dampening effect on digestion and immunity. Go easy on sugary stuff.
This season is best time to load up on nutrient dense foods. This will help your body to get back on the track and cleanse your system. And you will wake up in great shape and mind set in SPRING 🙂