6 nutrients to add to your winter diet for your health’s sake

You need to eat healthy for day to day activities, but how? Include the right nutrients through natural sources!
roasted nuts
Roasting nuts enhances their flavour and make them flavourful! Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Kavya Santosh Published: 1 Feb 2022, 12:45 pm IST
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A healthy and balanced diet is important for every individual. It contains all the essential nutrients in the appropriate amounts which are required for regular bodily functions. However, the nutrient requirement is much more in growing children and menstruating, pregnant, or lactating women. During the winter, as you keep adding more layers of clothing to keep yourself warm, it is equally important to eat healthily and increase the nutrient needs as well to accommodate for the energy required, metabolism rate, and more.

Important nutrients and their sources for the winter

1. Iron

Iron is required for the transport of oxygen in the blood as well as helps to boost hemoglobin levels. This is a very important nutrient for women and its consumption needs to be higher in women than in men.
Green leafy vegetables, honey, jaggery, nuts and seeds, red meat, poultry and fish, fortified food such as juices/ cereals.
Dishes to try:
Dry fruit ladoos, Palak paneer, Methi chilla, Moringa soup

2. Folic acid

This nutrient is needed for the production of new healthy cells. Folic acid is equally important for women. Especially those who are pregnant as it helps with the baby’s growth and cell development and to prevent neural tube defects.
Green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, fruits, fortified cereals.
Dishes to try:
Rajma chawal, Avocado toast, Beetroot Hummus dip

3. Calcium

As we all know, calcium is needed for bone health. It is an important mineral for children and pregnant women for the growth and development of bones and teeth and to strengthen them. Calcium also helps to prevent various conditions such as osteoporosis, Osteomalacia.
Milk and its products, green leafy vegetables, seafood, lean meat, soybean, nuts and seeds
Dishes to try:
Turmeric milk, Ragi roti, Caramel Custard

wheat intake in diet
You can make your rotis with healthier ragi atta! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

4. Zinc

Zinc plays a very important role in cell metabolism, boosts immunity, wound healing, protein and DNA synthesis.
Whole grain cereals, eggs, poultry, seafood, nuts, seeds, fortified foods
Dishes to try:
Multigrain malt, Til chikkis, Dalia halwa, Eggnog

5. Vitamin C:

It is an important nutrient to boost immunity, faster wound healing and prevents various infections.
Citrus fruits such as lemons, gooseberries, orange, sweet lime, kiwi, broccoli, capsicum, etc.
Dishes to try:
Broccoli pasta, Lemon- honey tea, Kiwi tart, etc.

body ache due to Covid-19
Oranges can up your immunity by a notch. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

6. Vitamin D

It helps with bone mineralization and better absorption of calcium.
Dairy products, fortified cereals/ juices, mushrooms, salmon, etc.
Dishes to try:
Mushroom soup, Grilled salmon, Pan-fried tofu, etc.

Note: Avoid consuming tea, coffee or other caffeinated beverages as they could hinder the absorption of some of the nutrients such as iron, folic acid.

Here are some additional healthy winter tips you must know:

Quite often individuals would prefer having something warm or crave for a certain food to beat the cold days. Nourishing your body with the right nutrition and diet during the winter is essential for every individual. Here we are sharing some healthy winter tips for you.

1. Honey: It is a natural sweetener with better nutritional values than white sugar. It is very commonly consumed during the winter because of its warm nature. Honey can be added to warm beverages such as a glass of water, a herbal drink, tea, coffee and more.

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honey for the skin
Honey, the golden liquid is a great addition to your diet . Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Spices: Some spices such as cinnamon, cloves, star anise bring a feeling of warmth during the winter days. These can be added to hot beverages, curries or desserts.

3. Roots and tubers: Vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, garlic, yam help to keep our bodies warm during the winter. These vegetables can be eaten in the form of soups, curries or starters like cutlets, oven baked chips

4. Dry fruits: These are great snacks to munch on during the winter. They are rich in nutrients and are a great source of energy. Figs, dates, raisins can be added to desserts or made into dry fruit ladoos.

gond laddus
Nosh on these nutrient-rich dry fruit ladoos for a health boost. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

5. Ghee: Ghee is naturally known to be warm which not only radiates heat to keep us warm but also provides good energy during the cold winter days.

6. Soups: The perfect soul food for the winters are soups. It can be prepared using roots and tuber, or chicken, lentils, etc. with a sprinkle of salt and pepper but it doesn’t feel complete without breadsticks or a slice of toasted bread to go with it.

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About the Author

Kavya Santosh, Executive nutritionist, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Bengaluru ...Read More

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