04 Dec 2022

Winter Season Foods: The Nutrition You Need For the Cold Season

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Do our nutritional needs change from season to season? The broad answer to this not-so-simple question is – YES! They do. The primary reason behind this is that our body has to change itself and adapt to the surroundings and the environment we live in. Winter season brings with it changed weather conditions. Therefore, to stay healthy and active in such a climate, our body needs proper Winter Season Foods to stay nourished and healthy.

til Laddos made with jaggery, sesame seeds, milk solids, coconut - essential winter snack

Why do we need Special Winter Season Foods? What are they?

There are certain characteristics of the winter season that require us to take extra care to stay healthy. Let’s take a look at them.

Factors affecting our Winter Season Health

Sunlight

The Winter season primarily has lesser sunlight as compared to the summer season. Just like plants need sunlight to make their food, we humans need sunlight to make Vitamin D for our bodies. Vitamin D has many important functions in the body, which include – bone strength, muscle function, immunity, mood regulation and fighting depression, prevention of certain cancers, and the health of our teeth, among others. Therefore, we must eat winter season foods and adopt routines that fulfil our Vitamin D needs.

Temperature

Temperatures fall drastically during the winter season. They actually go way below our normal body temperature. That’s why our bodies have to work harder to stay warm. For this, we not only need to consume a slightly increased level of calories but also have to be mindful of what we’re eating. Therefore, a lot of popular winter season foods are high in protein, fat, and fibre, and are known to keep our bodies warm.

Increased Risk of Infections

Because colds, flu, infections etc are widespread during the season, and they spread quite rapidly, it’s important for us to keep our immunity strong. Vitamin C is, therefore, an important nutrient that we need from winter-season foods.

Winter Season Foods We Recommend You Eat

Peanuts

peanuts have been a traditional winter food - it's a healthy snack that keeps the body warm

Peanuts are one of the traditional winter season foods and are eaten in lots of different ways – as a snack, as a sweet (gur chikki), as a paste or in chutneys, etc. They are rich in protein, and healthy fats, have a low glycemic index and are rich in nutrients like biotin, L-arginine, and vitamins. It is great for bone and muscle health, heart health, and keeping your skin and hair healthy. 

Guavas

guavas are an essential winter fruit, rich in vitamin c

Guava or amrood should be on your list of essential Winter Season Foods this season. Guavas are rich in Vitamin C, fibre, and other minerals such as potassium, copper and iron, among others. They have almost 4 times the amount of Vitamin C as an orange. They are one of the only fruits that also have a good amount of protein – making them a wholesome snack. Eating a guava 4-5 times a week will help maintain your metabolism, gut health, and stool passing, and is great for your skin and immunity.

Oranges

oranges are especially available during winter season. rich in vitamin c and flavinoids

Oranges are rich in Vitamin C, making them good for your skin, heart health, and immunity. They also have a ton of Flavinoids and Carotenoids – which are known to help in tissue building and make the body stronger against infections and inflammations.

Leafy Greens

spinach and fenugreek are some of the most famous winter leafy greens in north india

The season of cold is much awaited, especially in the North of India, for the Leafy Greens it brings along with it. Some of these are spinach (palak), mustard leaves (sarson), methi (fenugreek), amaranth (sil), radish greens (mooli ke pattay). They are rich in Beta Carotene, various Vitamins and iron, and have minerals that help fight many illnesses such as diabetes, tissue rupture, blood pressure, etc. They are good for your heart, gut, skin, and bones.

Read this blog about easy and delicious ways to cook and eat spinach.

Nuts & Seeds

nuts are great for keeping the body warm during winter. they supply protein, fibre, and essential unstaurated fats

Nuts and seeds are rich in good fats, protein, and fibre. They help the body generate heat and keep it warm – guarding it against illnesses. They are also good for the brain, kidney, and heart. 

Our highly recommended nuts are Cashews, Almonds, Walnuts, and Pistachios. Some of the seeds that are good for you are sesame, pumpkin, sunflower, and flax seeds.

Spices

spices have anti inflammatory and anti microbial properties. they help in keeping the body warm during the winter season

Whole Spices such as cloves (laung), cinnamon (dalchini), cardamom (elaichi), saffron (kesar), star anise (chakkarphool), black peppercorns (sabut kali mirch), cumin (jeera), nutmeg (jaiphal), turmeric (haldi) etc are great for keeping your lungs and body warm from the inside. Our lungs probably have the hardest time during winter because they have to breathe in cold air. Spices are also known for their antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. India’s beloved kahwa, kaadha, or masala chai (spiced tea) should be had daily to stay healthy and warm.

Indian Gooseberry (Anwla)

amla fruit growing in a tree

Indian Gooseberry or Amla, or Anwla, is rich in Vitamin C. One small fruit has Vitamin C equivalent to over 5 oranges. It is great for the management of diabetes, and immunity, and promotes skin health, heart health, and muscle function. 

Radishes (Mooli)

white radish or mooli are an important winter season food

White long radish, or mooli, is a special season food of winter. It is very high in Vitamin C and B6, phosphorus, iron, and calcium. Radishes are great for gut and digestion, are low in calories and high in water content, and boost metabolism. It is one of those Winter Season Foods that keep diabetes and blood sugar levels in check and is very rich in fibre. 

What are your traditional and staple Winter Season Foods? Why do you eat them? Do you have interesting household stories related to them? Let us know in the comments below!

Also, shop all winter season foods and essentials on the Milkbasket Grocery Shopping app and get them at your doorstep, easily!

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