10 food habits that can decrease health issues in winter

ByZarafshan Shiraz, Delhi
Jan 22, 2023 07:38 PM IST

In winter, many people face different problems like swelling on the body in extremities of hands and feet, stomach bloating, cough and cold while heart attack is also common in winters. Here are 10 food habits that can decrease health issues in winter

In the winter season, our bodies seek rich foods that provide both warmth and nourishment and warming meals are required to satisfy this need where warming foods include dried fruits (dates), nuts and oilseeds (sesame seeds). Any vegetable that takes time to grow and in which the edible part grows beneath the surface of the ground, is usually warming and a good vegetable to eat in winter.

10 food habits that can decrease health issues in winter (Photo by Askar Abayev on Pexels)
10 food habits that can decrease health issues in winter (Photo by Askar Abayev on Pexels)

In the winter season many people face different problems, like swelling on the body in extremities of hands and feet and some people have the problem of stomach bloating in winter while others have cough and cold. Heart attack is also common in winters.

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dietician Neelam Ali, explained, “The blood vessel which carry blood to the remote organs are very thin and during this time, due to excessive cold, they start to shrink and the flow of blood does not reach the remote organs. In such a situation, the fingers of the hands and feet, which are located very distal to our heart, have less blood supply. They are affected by the obstruction of blood circulation and due to shrinking of these blood vessels, swelling starts in them, they can become red or there is itching.”

She suggested, “First of all, by increasing physical activity, you can improve your blood circulation. Do not work in very cold water and if you ever have to do it, do not put your hand in hot water immediately. Changes in temperature can disrupt blood flow. Before going to a cold place, wear cotton socks and warm cloth gloves. Water consumption often decreases in winter thereby reducing blood volume and the blood does not reach the small capillaries after being viscous.”

She recommended five food habits that can help in winters:

1. Avoid too much intake of tea coffee and soft drinks - Do not consume too much tea, coffee, or soft drinks, they have diuretic effect and reduce blood volume by increasing urine formation.

2. Add fruits and salads in diet - By adding some raw food like fruits and salads, you can reduce the frequent episodes of infection and these can also help you keep hydrated and improve digestion.

3. Add nuts and seeds - Nuts and seeds like walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, melon seeds, and sesame seeds have a very good Thermic effect. So help you keep warm in winters and keep blood pressure normal.

4. Add desi ghee in diet - Desi ghee can improve your digestion, counter constipation, improve vitamin d and strengthen your bones by increasing calcium absorption. Also by adding some good fat your body can have extra calories for fighting cold weather without using your protein.

5. Add eggs and fish - Some high protein diet is also recommended in winter to improve your immune response and good health. Other than this, seasonal vegetables and fruits are always recommended by every expert if you don’t have any health related issue.

According to DT Sushma PS, Chief Dietician at Jindal Natuecure Institute in Bangalore, following are the 5 food items that are good for this winter season:

1. Ginger and Mulethi tea - Ginger is considered to be beneficial to digestive health and can boost thermogenesis, It is also a diaphoretic, which means that it might assist your body warm up from the inside out. Mulethi is vital in the winter because to the presence of glycyrrhizin, a molecule that gives this herb its sweet flavour as well as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial qualities.

2. Fruits - Papaya and pineapple are believed to provide warmth. Amla is loaded with Vitamin C, and is very good to step up your immunity. That's the reason why 'amla juice' and 'amla muraba' are available in plenty during winter.

3. Sweet Potatoes - Sweet potatoes or shakarkandi should also be included in your winter diet. It is widely available throughout the country, particularly during the winter. Sweet potatoes are a good source of fibre, vitamin A, potassium and other nutrients as well as healthful carbohydrates. Regular consumption can boost immunity, reduce inflammation, and alleviate constipation. It aids the body's absorption of vitamin C and aids in the development of a strong immune system.

4. Whole grains like Millets, Ragi and Bajra - Millets are high in fibre and include a range of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. They also have a low glycaemic index. Essentially, you should consume all of the millets accessible during the winter. Ragi, the best winter meal, for example, gives enough warmth to keep you warm during the cold months. Its amino acid content aids in appetite control. You can also incorporate it into your diet to aid with weight loss. Ragi improves digestion because it is high in nutritious fibre. It is also known to help with restlessness, anxiety, and depression. Bajra, which is strong in fibre and vitamin B, also helps to keep you warm during the winter.

5. Nuts - In the winter, regular consumption of nuts, particularly those with a warm and heated nature, maintains the nervous system active and the mind and spirit healthy. Almonds and walnuts help to lower bad cholesterol, blood sugar levels, and inflammation. Almonds include vitamin E, antioxidants and magnesium, whereas walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acids. Dates are high in vitamins, minerals, iron, and fibre and are well-known for their therapeutic benefits. It can also be used as a natural sweetener. Including nuts in your morning and evening, snacks will help you stay warm during winter.

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