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Winter is in full swing, and blankets are our best friends for lazy days and nights. Have you ever thought about why it happens only during this season? In the cold weather, your blood vessels will constrict, which means that blood flow is restricted and your heart has to work harder to pump blood around the body. As a result, your blood pressure and heart rate can increase and your circulation can slow down. This leads to a drop in body temperature causing cold. To overcome the seasonal effects, there are certain vegetables that help to warm you up and are available in abundance.
Consuming fenugreek leaves in winter will give you warmth, because they contain folic acid, iron, protein, potassium, vitamins A, B, B3, C, and E, fibre and phytoestrogen.
* It helps expectant and new mothers maintain iron and folic acid levels during pregnancy and lactation period, and also acts as a galactogogue.
* It reduces menstrual pain, treats hormonal and reproductive disorders.
* It helps in controlling diabetes and heart disease, since it reduces the blood sugar levels and cholesterol.
* It is also used in treating asthma, bronchitis, arthritis, skin problems, sore throats and gastrointestinal inflammation.
* Dishes you can make: Methi thepla, methi bhaji, methi rice, methi malai mutter, methi dal, methi khakra, methi paratha, methi muthiya(baked) etc
Mustard greens are low in calories, and provide an excellent source of vitamins B1, B2, B6, C, E, K, folic acid and minerals like calcium, carotenes, manganese, copper, magnesium, protein, potassium, and iron.
* It has high content of antioxidants and protects from cancer.
* It helps to protect against heart diseases, and promotes bone health.
* It is also rich in fibre, which aids in bowel movements, preventing constipation.
* It is helpful for women during menopause and pregnancy.
* It helps in preventing arthritis, osteoporosis and anemia.
Dishes you can make: Sarson ka saag,sarson soups and stews, dry chicken with mustard leaves, corn and mustard leaves (dry vegetable) etc
Spinach is another superfood for good health in cool and dry weather, loaded with minerals, vitamin A, C, E, K, folic acid, iron and low in calories
* It strengthens your bone health.
* It helps to lower your blood pressure, maintains blood sugar levels, and prevents cancer.
* It helps to combat iron deficiency.
* It prevents constipation and similar issues.
* It is beneficial for pregnant women.
Dishes you can make: Palak soup, palak paratha, palak dal wada, dal-palak, palak paneer, palak raita, spinach omelette, palak chutney, hara-bhara kabab etc
Carrots are a crunchy superfood that contains a good amount of nutrients , such as fibre and vitamins A, B, B2, B3, C, D, E and K.
* It improves eyesight and prevents night blindness, since it contains carotene.
* It prevents cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
* It is good for maintaining good skin, hair and nails.
* It regulates menstrual flow.
* It can be used in treating obesity.
Dishes: Carrot halwa, carrot raita, carrot soup, carrot Salad, mix vegetable sambar, carrot uttapam, boiled carrot sticks for kids, etc
Green peas belong to the leguminous family, and are one of the most nourishing vegetables that contain phyto-nutrients, vitamins, antioxidants and minerals.
* It lowers cholesterol levels in the body.
* It helps to regulate blood sugar levels.
* It has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits.
* Green peas are a good source of vitamins C, B-complex, folate, and phytosterols.
* Including these green gems in your diet helps in weight management, as they are low in calories and high in fibre content.
Dishes you can make: Mutter pulao, aloo mutter, mutter kachori, mutter halwa, utter Poha, vegetable stew etc
Beetroot is a vibrant and colourful, and contains a variety of unique health-boosting nutrients. They are delicious too.
* Contains iron, vitamins A, B6 and C, and several minerals.
* Helps in liver detoxification process.
* Limits the possibility of diabetes, obesity and heart disease.
* Helps increase WBCs and fights inflammation.
* Boosts our immune system.
Dishes you can make: Grated beetroot salad with sesame seeds, beet-Carrot juice with lemon, beet raita/smoothie, beet-coconut laddoo, beet paratha
Green garlic is a good source of calcium, phosphorous, and selenium, vitamins C and B6, as well as manganese. Garlic’s natural heat promotes warmth throughout the body. Green garlic, and other members of the onion family are rich in sulfur, which helps improve the digestion of protein/amino acids, and has warming and purifying qualities.
* It enhances circulation, eliminates toxin and improves digestion.
* It helps in breast milk stimulation
* The pulp of garlic can also be applied topically to reduce swelling and prevent infection.
* It prevents cold and flu.
* It acts as an antibiotic, when administered both internally and externally on open wounds.
Dishes you can make: Garlic mint chutney, garlic tadka to be added in soups, dals, vegetable preparations, garlic chicken, garlic sauce, garlic dip etc
In conclusion, these vegetables are available in the winters in abundance and are affordable for all too. They are gifts from nature to improve our immunity, to stay warm and be healthy.