Our diet has a predominant role to play in our health. Ayurveda has laid guidelines to a healthy eating which take into account our body types, timings of food, geography, and seasonality. Preventive healthcare starts with the right food consumed at the right time. Eating the wrong food at the wrong time and season can be the root cause of many diseases like arthritis, acidity, heart ailments, diabetes, and hormonal imbalances. Eating according to the season also has the added benefit of giving your body what it needs to help it function in that season.
In this blog, we will focus on the foods to eat and avoid in winter. Winters tend to lower our immunity since we become less active due to the cold weather. Most of us drink less water, exercise less, wake up late, overeat, and also eat heavy fried foods, and drink more tea, coffee, and alcohol. All these lifestyle changes, along with the wrong food and beverages create dietary imbalance and lead to discomfort. Ayurveda recommends certain foods and also lays guidelines to avoid some.
Let’s first see what is recommended to be eaten in winter. Eating hearty, more robust, and warming foods will help you survive the cold wintery days. During the colder months, plants convert starch into sugar which works like antifreeze. This is why mustard greens, beets, and turnips taste sweeter in winter compared to the ones grown in summer.”
Sesame helps to generate heat in the body and is loaded with nutrients to increase immunity.
Jaggery and sesame are a winning combination. Many sweets are made with these ingredients
in winter due to their hot Taseer, which improves metabolism.
Sweet Potato also keeps the body warm, and has beta carotene and vitamin C, which builds immunity.
Beetroot is full of nutrients like Potassium, Iron, Magnesium, Vit B6. It should be eaten uncooked for maximum benefit.
Leafy Winter Vegetables like Methi, Palak, Bathua, and Sarson Ka Saag – All are storehouses of vitamins and pro biotic. They help in adding fibre and all essential minerals to your body.
Winter fruits like Apple, Guava, and Oranges are full of Vitamin C to keep you healthy in winter.
Millets like Ragi, Makki, Bajra, and Jowar are high in dietary fibre and minerals. Help in good bowel movement and help reduce weight.
Ghee is an excellent body warmer and helps lubricate joints and bones.
Salads made of Carrots, Turnips, and Radish–to keep good blood pressure and boost immunity with their goodness of nutrition.
Spring Onion and Broccoli.
Fresh Garlic and Ginger to build immunity.
Amla full of vitamin C and antioxidants.
Turmeric Milk and Fresh Turmeric – fight microbes and are anti-inflammatory and detox.
Foods to avoid in Winter:
DAIRY PRODUCTS – Avoid dairy products, yogurt, cheese, and especially buttermilk. Milk products are already condensed, and consumption of it in winter will probably result in serious bouts of cold and subsequent fever.
BAKED GOODS – It is known to all that a cup of hot chocolate and a fresh batch of cookies is an awesome combination. But what we don’t realize is that it contains saturated fats, and in winter, they get digested all the more slowly, resulting in the build-up of fats in your body.
VEGETABLE AND FRUITS – Some vegetables and fruits are not healthy to eat in winter like- Tomatoes, Avoid Pre-washed and Pre-cut vegetables.
NOODLES- Two-minute noodles are mostly high in carbs and saturated fat. Result of all that added sodium – can make you super, super thirsty.
FAST FOOD – When it’s cold outside, we feel like warm food and we don’t want to get out of the car in our boots. What better option than to go through the drive-through. But drive-through options are not only high in calories but also saturated fat and sugar.
HOT COFFEE – It is the season when we require a hot cup of coffee to keep ourselves warm. Coffee is rich in caffeine, which causes the body to dehydrate and urinate often. People usually drink less water as compared to the summer season, and thus you must substitute hot coffee with a cup of hot water.
WHITE FLOUR is known to be very low in fibre has gluten, and is responsible for obesity. It can lead to diabetes as well.
SUGARY FOODS – Foods like cake or sweetened cereals, or beverages like commercial fruit juice or soft drinks, and foods high in sugar can make any illness worse.
While they make your heart happy, they are one of your body’s worst enemies, causing inflammation and weakening your immunity. Eat and use more jaggery in winter. Foods like fried food make almost every list of foods to avoid. Fried food is high in fats, which is detrimental when trying to avoid falling ill. The high-fat content not only leads to inflammation but also increases mucus production. Both inflammation and excess mucus can cause problems.