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Foods to beat the winter chills

Written by Sunisha Amol Naik |Updated : March 3, 2014 7:12 PM IST

Winter's here! And with it comes extra hunger. Add to it the additional burden from cold and cough on your immunity for which you need to eat really healthy. Here is a list of food items that could keep you in the pink of health this winter and also satiate your hunger.

Root vegetables

Winter friendly root vegetables like potatoes, carrots, beetroots, radishes serve as the perfect accompaniment in your daily diet. Besides being loaded with multi-nutrients they build your immunity to fight cough, cold and other such winter illnesses. Plus, when hunger beckons every now then, these serve as an excellent healthy snack item. Secondly, the warm and spicy ginger is a great detoxifying agent. A majority of Indian households add it in tea as it helps combat indigestion and acid reflux.

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Fruits

Fresh fruits like oranges and apples are a favourite in cold winters. Notable for their impressive list of nutrients and anti-oxidants, they are essential for normal growth, development and overall well-being. The Vitamin C found in oranges helps build immunity against common cold and cough. Another great fruit is Pomegranate which is high in polyphenols (plant chemicals that fight inflammation). Add them to a bowl of corn flakes or oats and you have a crunchy yummy breakfast in no time.

Nuts & Seeds

Time to open those dry fruit boxes you got during Diwali from friends and family. Eat them with your cornflakes, add them to sweets or pulao or just carry them around in your bag for a quick snack between meals. They carry the same amount of nutrients found in fresh fruits including vitamin A, potassium and folate and help build resistance. If you do not have dry fruits, the humble peanuts could also work.

Whole grains

Besides rice, wheat and lentils (dal) found in almost every Indian household, you can also try and stock up whole grains such as bajra, maize, corn, soyabeans and oats. These have a more warming effect than others because of 'diet induced thermognesis' which release energy during digestion and assimilation.

Green Peas

The otherwise expensive peas year around are available in plenty during the winter months and at a very affordable price. You'll find that two out of every five lunch boxes will definitely carry peas in some form of the other, be it as mutter paneer or pulav or aloo mutter. Loaded with phytonutrients that provide anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant benefits, they are also known to prevent stomach cancer as per a recent study.

Water and other liquids

In winters, we do not feel as thirsty and tend to skip grabbing that glass of water. On the contrary, your body needs to be hydrated in this season to ward off issues like flaky skin, dry cough, mild headaches and dry lips. If possible, refrain from reaching out to those vending machines for colas and packaged juices. If you must, then go for unsweetened fruit or vegetable juices.

Keeping a tab on the worst foods consumed during winter will help keep all the illnesses at bay. Say no to frozen food, cold beverages and drinks, fried side dishes, canned food, cheesecake treats among others. This will ensure you thoroughly enjoy the winter minus all the ills and chills!

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