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Winter superfoods

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Ayurveda expert Mohamad Yusuf N Shaikh suggests some foods that will keep your body going in chilly weather

As the days get short and nights become long it’s time for the temperatures to drop in the city. Most people get tempted to warm up their belly with rich, creamy macaroni and other junk. However, such junk can result in adverse health conditions. As per the Ayurvedic definition of good living, along with regular exercise and sleep routines, people also need to be extra careful about what they eat.
Here is a list of eight Ayurvedic superfoods loaded with nutrients, antioxidants, and immune-boosting powers that will keep the body going even in the chilling cold weather.
Ancient Ayurvedic texts have treated ghee as a sacred symbol of auspiciousness, nourishment and healing. Comprising a spectrum of daily essential dietary elements (like Omega 3 and Omega 9 essential fatty acids along with Vitamin D, E, A and K), it is recognised as the satvic food that ensures the well-being and healthy development of the whole body, including that of the heart. During winters, a ghee-rich diet provides the body with the much-needed insulation from inside to tackle the weather along with infusing the body with nutrients to repair, rebuild and rejuvenate the cells for a holistic growth.
Ginger Tea
For people looking for a hot beverage option in the cold wintery days, a cup of ginger brewed tea is the best option. The thermogenic properties of the powerful herb boost body metabolism and promote blood flow.  This power drink is also a great fat-cutting potion; medical research across the globe has found that those who drank a ginger beverage reported less hunger and greater fullness for a few hours longer than those who did not consume ginger. Adding this medicinal spice to tea also brings down severe aches and stiffness in the body.
Walnuts are great natural snacks to munch on around the year, but during the fall season, the light roasted version of the snack with the light mist of oils and seasonings as per choice make the perfect snacks for healthy living. Filled with the richness of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and omega-3 fats, walnuts become the best choice for boosting overall health, primarily of the heart.
An essential ingredient of winter diets to combat the excessive levels of unwanted fats that get into the body by the means of greasy foods. The best way to have them in chilly weather is to warm them up and enjoy it with other veggies. As more than 50% of avocado comes from monosaturated fat, it will help in considerably bringing down the bad cholesterol levels and in maintaining adequate nutrition levels for the cell to perform well.
Pumpkin Soup
Most people lack maintaining Vitamin A levels and especially during winters. Pumpkin is a good source of antioxidants and Vitamin A nutrition helps in reviving and cleansing the body from within. To warm up the body and keep it healthy all winter, it is advisable to have pumpkin soup at least thrice a week.  In a serving of soup, it is advised to use a third to a half cup of pumpkin puree.
Underground vegetables
All veggies like squashes, beets, carrots, potatoes and sweet potatoes that are under the ground all summer are the best options for the balanced diets of vata (winter) season. Loaded with the nutrition of fibre, minerals, vitamin A, vitamin C, and antioxidants these ingredients help in keeping the stomach stress-free and strong all winter.
Oats are a great source of fibre and plant-based protein and the perfect ingredient to stop hunger cravings in the winter. Plus, the beta-glucan in oats helps in bringing down the harmful cholesterol levels to a great extent. To further increase the nutrition level add healthy toppings of almond and chia seeds.
Black bean soup
There's nothing like a black bean soup with toppings of cumin and chilli pepper to heat you up when things get cold. The nutrition star of the dish, black beans is a good source of iron and copper. So sipping on this soup will help the muscles in better utilising the body oxygen and boost the immune system..
Mohamad Yusuf N Shaikh is Founder, Kudrati Ayurved Health Center


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